Celebrity makeup artist, Nathan Johnson (@nathanwalnut), is QC Makeup Academy’s Executive Makeup Artist and is based in New York City. This month, Nathan talks about whether or not a home studio is right for you!

There has always been a debate as to whether a home studio is necessary for a makeup artist. Some in the industry swear by the convenience of having everything set up and ready in their own personal space. Others find that making clients travel to them hurts their bookings. In my humble opinion, I think a home studio is a lovely option for some career opportunities—as long as it is clear to your clients that you are also fully mobile and happy to travel if requested.

I cannot imagine a makeup artist who wouldn’t dream of having everything in one place, perfectly set up each and every time, to not have to fight traffic and trains, to have clients magically appear at your doorstep. You would be able to work your magic on them in a setting tailor-made to maximize your success and their satisfaction, receive piles of cash when they joyfully depart, and retire to your living room to await the next client. Sounds great, right? But how realistic is it?

Depending on what you are doing—as convenient as a home studio could be for you—it could be equally inconvenient for your client.

makeup artist working in home studio

It’s important to remember that unless your work focuses on celebrities, editorial, runway, and so on, makeup is often seen as a luxury service. This means that it will not be served out of your home studio. The luxury aspect explains why most people only have it done a handful of times in their lives—if they even have it done at all. And because it is a luxury service, makeup is not usually the only service a client seeks on the day of their special event. If you are working with a bride, a teen for her prom, or any other client who requires hair and makeup services—and you don’t do hair— you face the strong possibility of losing that client if you ask them to come to your home studio. Think about it. Does someone want to drive to multiple locations for their beauty services when there are places that offer both and, more importantly, professionals who will come to them?

If the focus of your home studio is makeovers, studio photoshoots, and/or lessons, a home studio is a very viable option. Especially if you are in close proximity to your client base. These particular services do not always have a mobile aspect, so it may not be surprising for a client to learn they have to travel to your studio. You will also find great success if you maximize your offerings and network well. You can even increase your earning potential if you have products to sell, such as joining with a direct to client sales company. This will allow you to host individuals or groups in a beautiful setting for lessons, make-overs, and, most important to you, product sales. It will also open you to a huge number of potential clients you would likely not have otherwise met.

makeup artist working on client

If this career path is what you want, I recommend you really understand skincare and makeup before you get started. The Skincare Course, Master Makeup Artistry Course, Pro Makeup Workshop, and Global Beauty Course offered at QC Makeup Academy will have you prepared for success. It is knowledge and practice that make someone a master. It is the ability to share that knowledge with people in an honest and thoughtful way that shows the mastery. And masters never hurt for clients or income.

If home studio photoshoots are your goal, you may wish to understand how to style hair (or have a stylist on call). Beautiful makeup is great, but how great can the final photo be if the client’s hair looks like a wild mess? If hairstyling is a stumbling block for you, take a look at the QC Hair Styling Essentials Course and you’ll nip that in the bud.

With cohesive makeup, skincare, and hair styling expertise, you can easily be a one-stop shop for anyone seeking an artist for any sort of event. The more services you can offer, the more opportunities you have to increase your income. And if you’re going to invest in a home studio, you should be armed and ready to use all your skills to maximum benefit.

Next month I will follow up with all the must have’s for a perfect home studio.

Do you think a home studio is worth it for your clientele? Let us know in a comment!

Looking for some inspiration as a professional MUA? Check out this article!

Nathan Johnson

Author Nathan Johnson

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