In a Creative Slump? Here's Where to Find Makeup Trends and Inspiration - QC Makeup Academy

Like most creative industries, makeup artistry is influenced by seasonal trends. One month, your clients might be obsessed with dramatically winged eyeliner and dark, sultry lipstick like they saw their favorite actress wearing on the red carpet. A few months later, they could ask you for the natural look recommended by their favorite beauty vlogger, featuring a light blush and barely any eyeliner at all.

Makeup artists can keep track of popular trends in many different ways. Your clients will be happiest with a look that is unique and attractive, but that also keeps up with the latest craze. Staying on top of new trends, or even predicting what will be popular before it catches on, is essential for success.

Using the following resources can help you discover which colors, products, styles, and shapes are “hot” right now, which ones have become passé, and which might be the next big thing!

Online resources

going online to find makeup artistry creative inspiration

Websites, blogs, social networks, and online “pin boards” are convenient for tracking trends in makeup. You can access these electronic resources anywhere that you have a wireless or data connection and a smart phone, tablet, or computer.

Most online resources have subscription or notification settings, letting you track posts related to specific trends. Have you noticed a particular style of highlighting rising in popularity? You can track how often posts about that technique are made. You can also use hashtags to search particular makeup techniques and see which ones are ‘in’ right now for inspiration.

The ideas you gather online are accessible at almost any time to show your client or refer to while you work. Check out these online resources and think about how they might be useful for makeup artists who want to stay ahead of trends.


Online “pin boards” like Pinterest are useful for seeking inspiration, organizing your ideas in one place, and keeping track of trends. Search categories let you look at which looks are posted about most often, giving you an idea of what’s in style. Picture browsing and links let you see examples of other artists’ looks to get inspiration or avoid trends that are over done.

Pinterest allows you to save pictures and information into categories by saving websites that you find into a specific “board,” Remember, however, that Pinterest itself is quite trendy, so some of the ideas there are recycled and have been done many times.

Check out this pin board of metallic-inspired avant garde looks by Chic Studios School of Makeup to see how useful Pinterest can be! Would you rather find unique ideas for eye makeup? Take a look at Ipsy’s “Eyes” board instead. Try your own Pinterest searches and see what you can find.

Blogs and Vlogs

There are hundreds of makeup artistry blogs and vlogs, many of which are well respected. Reading a reputable blog can help you track which trends other makeup artists have tried, liked, and disliked. Watching a vlog about those trends lets you see the technique and gives you insight into who your clients might be getting ideas from.

Pay attention to which things are posted about often, which things are rarely posted about, and what seems to be making its way into popularity. While you’re searching blogs and vlogs, however, be sure to verify the information in each post. Remember that anyone can write a blog or start a YouTube channel, whether they’re a professional or not.

Do a search for beauty blogs and makeup vloggers to see how many different resources are at your finger tips. While you’re at it, check out Beauty Banter and Gigi Gorgeous to see how beauty bloggers and makeup vloggers can differ greatly but still give you a good idea of what’s trending.

Online Magazines

Online makeup magazines are accessible from all over the world. You might find a neat new trend that is popular in the UK but hasn’t caught on yet in North America. Many reputable makeup magazines have online issues that can be accessed from anywhere. Keep in mind, however, that online magazine subscriptions often cost money.

Take a look at the online content posted by Make-Up Artist Magazine. You can already see how a subscription to their full electronic issues can help you track trends in an accessible way.

Facebook groups and makeup artists’ forums

Social networking groups and forums can be extremely useful for seeking feedback from and exchanging ideas with other makeup artists. You might consider trying a trendy new liquid lipstick on your next client but then see a post on a forum where another professional recommends against it. Because social networks are interactive, you can engage with that person to learn why their experience was negative and make an informed decision. You might also seek advice and support about staying inspired and keeping ahead of trends, or provide support to other artists.

Check out the forums available at Model Mayhem. You can network with makeup artists through this website, but you’ll have access to discussions with other industry-related professional like models, hair stylists, and photographers as well.

Print resources

Just because the Internet is a goldmine for makeup artistry resources doesn’t mean that print materials are useless to you! Fashion magazines can give you a great idea of which makeup styles are most fashionable on the runways and red carpets right now. Looking through these shows you track which trends other makeup artists are following. You can then assess what your clients might like based on how their style icons and favorite celebrities look. You’ll also learn what you can do to keep your looks unique. Printed magazines are available on an international scale, but they cost money to subscribe to and order.

stack of magazine and print materials for fashion styling and makeup artistry inspiration

Television, movies, and media

Which makeup styles do you see actresses, news anchors, talk show hosts, and reality TV stars wearing? Which popular faces do you think your clients are most likely to admire? Keeping up with the way public figures have their makeup done will help keep you on trend. Watching TV and seeing new movies will also show you which of the up-and-coming makeup styles you found online have made it into mainstream trendiness and which ones still have you a step ahead of the game.

Networking resources

Networking with other beauty professionals offline, rather than exclusively on the Internet, can give you an even better idea of which makeup techniques are trendy and which ones you should let go of.

Workshops and conferences

Attending workshops and conferences gives you amazing networking opportunities. You’ll interact with other professionals and gain insight into where they seek their inspiration and how they deal with rapidly changing trends. Workshops and conferences are a chance to learn and improve your skills.


Tradeshows are an opportunity to network with beauty professionals and product vendors from your area, or from around the world if the show is very large. You can browse the different products and services being offered to gather new ideas and get a feel for which colors, products, and techniques are “in style.” If you are the only makeup artist from your area who attends a tradeshow, you might even be the first person around to try something new!

makeup palette inspiration


If you keep an open mind about where makeup inspiration can come from, you’ll find it just about anywhere. Take in all of the people, colors, textures, and shapes around you as you go about your day. A creative outlook and a good idea of current trends will keep your work innovative but stylish.

Where do you look for creative inspiration? Let us know in a comment!

Would you like to learn more about makeup trends and gathering inspiration? Check out the courses at QC Makeup Academy and see which one is best for you!

Author Ana Scholtes

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