7 Tips for Working with Makeup Models and Agents - QC Makeup Academy

Working as a makeup artist means you have the opportunity to network and build solid business relationships. This might not sound like the reason you got into the makeup industry, but trust us – it’s a huge part of your success story!

Landing professional makeup artistry jobs takes more than just skill. You need an impressive portfolio and glowing references to prove you’re more than just an artist. Follow these 7 tips to working with models and agents and build your business savvy!

Set your standards

As you start out in the makeup business, you need to think about who you want to work with (or for) and how you want to work. There are different levels of professionalism throughout the industry, and you deserve to work with the highest standards out there.

Putting up with bad attitudes and unprofessional teams will look bad on you as an emerging artist. In this industry, people talk – you cannot afford to have anyone think that your work isn’t always the best quality. Keeping away from people who don’t put 100% into every job will save you a lot of stress and frustration.

Stick with teams who are professional and put their all into making every job count. This will only make you a better business person and give your brand a high-end name!

Know your worth

On top of working with driven professionals, you also need to make sure you’re always being respected as a makeup artist. There may be some employers or agents who try to lowball your pay or only give you the odd job. Don’t allow someone else to dictate your worth – if you are confident in your skills, then reach for the stars!

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We’ve all heard stories about agents taking too much from their clients. Let’s make this clear: you are the one doing the work! Your agent will help you find jobs, but you are putting in most of the effort to prove yourself. Make sure your pay is proportionate to the amount of work you do and experience you have. If you feel as though you’re being taken advantage of, walk away.

Always have a contract

To protect yourself, always have an employment contract with your models and agents. Having a contract entitles you to proper treatment under the law – it’s an official agreement that you and the other party need in order to uphold their responsibilities. Yes, it sounds boring, but contracts will save you from utter disaster in your career.

If you’re worried about certain aspects of your business relationships, look into adding clauses and new terms to your agreements. Worried about not being paid on time? Put a deadline in your contract. Have you had a model not show up before? Add a clause on reparations for lost money. You’ll have to do a bit of negotiating, but knowing you’re protected will lift a weight from your shoulders!


Networking with other professionals in the makeup industry means you’ll want to strike a good balance of give and take. If you can show a model that you’re willing to help them find new employment, you can almost guarantee they’ll do the same for you.

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Something as simple as offering your makeup services pro bono for your model’s upcoming event will help build a generous and trustworthy name for yourself. Being known as a kind person will make people want to work with you, rather than just hiring you and hoping you do well! Building a good reputation for yourself will boost your job offers and networking potential.


Along the same lines as reciprocating for other pros, be sure to refer the people you work with. Whether it’s a photographer, set designer, stylist, or model, sending out a few glowing references will mean the world to them. Of course, it does look good on you as a professional, but the point is to raise up others in the industry.

And why wouldn’t you want to refer a great hair stylist to your bridal clients? Or a brilliant photographer to your models? Create an atmosphere of quality in everything you do!

Be on time

The number one rule for any makeup artistry job! If you’re late or forget about an appointment, your reputation will take a big hit. Even if it’s just once, you still look unreliable and that employer probably won’t hire you again (or refer you to anyone!). Sometimes we can’t help being late – accidents happen and people become ill – but make sure you give notice whenever possible and get in contact right away.

Be prepared

Ah, prep work – the backbone of every job that has ever existed. Heading to a job unprepared is a huge issue for makeup artists. You cannot do your best work without everything you need (your makeup kit, schedule, directions), and without your best work you won’t be able to find jobs.

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Needless to say, being unprepared will start a vicious circle of low quality work and low quality jobs!

Need a boost in your makeup career? Find out the top 6 ways to level up your makeup business!

Author Victoria Begin

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