How to Survive as a Millennial Makeup Artist - QC Makeup Academy

The beauty industry is bigger than ever. Everybody and their mother is incredibly makeup savvy these days, so finding legitimacy as a professional makeup artist isn’t easy. Since we are the social media generation, the makeup industry is as relevant online as it is off. Established makeup artists who were just posting their looks on Instagram for funsies blow up and become celebrities in their own right!

With the sheer amount of self-made makeup artists on the scene now, how can you make sure that your skills and training shine through? How can you use today’s tools to expand your career opportunities and build your makeup business? Stick around for our guide on how to survive as a millennial makeup artist.

Dealing with Millennials…

Let’s face it—millennials are quite the handful. You probably are a millennial yourself (anyone born from 1982-2004 is!) so you know just how fickle millennials are… and how staunchly loyal they can be to any one beauty guru, trend, or brand. Read on below for our tips on dealing with millennials!

Makeup Trends

Not only do you have to be someone who can follow and apply the latest and great beauty trends, but you also have to be a trendsetter. Give them all something to talk about! The greatest thing about being a makeup artist is that you have your own creative freedom to do whatever you want and slay it.

Beauty trends for a celebrity makeup artist

Allure recently did a Millennial Beauty Poll that gives you a look at just what kinds of trends are coveted by the generation with the greatest purchasing power. While not all your clients are millennials, that target demographic often sets the trends in the beauty market. Making sure that you’re up-to-date and can respond to any crazy client requests is part of the job, so study up!

Beware: Makeup Hobbyists!

The beauty industry pops up in all aspects of our online and offline lives. Savvy youngsters are subject to information overload and pick up makeup and beauty knowledge without even knowing it! The problem is that you have to navigate a generation who thinks they know it all. It can be quite frustrating to do makeup on a client who is constantly parroting the tips and tricks they see on Instagram, and telling you how to do your job!

How to show them who’s boss?—kidding, please be kind to them…but let them know that you are a trained professional! Lots of beauty tricks—especially if they are color-specific—aren’t universal! Makeup tricks who work on one person may not work for another person with a different complexion and skin attributes!

Remember that video that showed you how to use red lipstick to conceal under-eye circles? You can only use red for that type of color-correcting if you have dark skin! Don’t be afraid to show off your knowledge.
How to use the digital age to your advantage

Living in the digital age means you have access to something previous freelance makeup artists didn’t have—social media! Let’s explore all the ways you can use social media as a new form of advertising for your career as a millennial makeup artist.


Instagram is like every professional makeup artist’s second portfolio. While we would never suggest using your Instagram as your sole point of contact and resume for potential clients, many a lucky Instagrammer have found success as real-life makeup artists after being noticed on the ‘gram!

Become a makeup artist on instagram

Shay Mitchell found her personal makeup artist on Instagram, in fact! Patrick Ta had no formal makeup artistry training, but after working behind a MAC counter and moving to LA, Shay herself stumbled onto his Instagram page, and the rest was history. Now, he’s worked with the likes of Ariana Grande, Olivia Munn, and Gigi Hadid! You never know who might stumble onto your Instagram, so keep it current and professional.

YouTube’s Beauty Community

YouTube’s beauty community has pumped out dozens of makeup mavens who have gone on to start their own makeup companies, work with big-name celebrities and become stars in their own right. With new trends rolling out all the time, you have to tap into the hyper-connectedness of your audience and use their ideas to catapult your business and career. Besides using YouTube as a platform to review products and create makeup tutorials you can also feed into current trends, secure sponsorships, and collaborate with other beauty gurus!

You have a chance to build a loyal following on YouTube that may not have otherwise been possible. You’re able to show off your personality along with your passion for makeup and skill in the art form—if you can show them what you’re made of, you’ll have loyal fans who will support you through thick and thin. Your career will only reach new and higher heights!

Alternative Brands

Why not try venturing out and trying new brands that you can’t even find in the department stores? You will find that alternative indie brands are popular for a reason! Whereas previous generations of women found a brand for all their cosmetic needs, nowadays people spread their loyalties for multiple brands and their respective products.

Your clients expect you to be in-tune with today’s hippest trends. Millennial clients are always on the lookout for the next big thing. The worst thing that can happen with trying an alternative makeup brand’s makeup is that you lost $20… and the best? You get to be one of the first to start recommending the products of these small-business brands that deserve more hype.

If you’re on-the-ball, you can strike up a mutually beneficial partnership and grow your business alongside theirs! What’s more millennial than striking up a business deal on Instagram?

Sold on using social media to boost your makeup business, but don’t know what to post? Check out these tips on producing creative social media engagement posts!

Author Celina Feng

More posts by Celina Feng

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