As independent artists, we are totally responsible for building our own careers. From finding practice models to networking for employment, the artist is always front and center. Shyness and insecurity can be immobilizing obstacles that will halt your success… unless you learn how to work with them.

Read on to find out more about becoming a makeup artist even when you are shy.

makeup artist practising

Dealing with First Contact

For many makeup artists who are shy, first contact is the biggest barrier. The fastest and most professional way to bypass this is through the safety of your computer. You can find makeup models, chat with potential clients, and network with hairstylists, photographers, bridal salons, etc., through email.

Pro tip: Keep it friendly and professional. Avoid slang, emoji’s, and any other elements that could alienate your potential clients and collaborators.

At times when in-person contact is unavoidable, expertise is a foolproof way to combat insecurity. When you know makeup inside and out, you will always have a point of connection with your clients, collaborators, and industry peers. Education and practice are essential for succeeding in this.

If you understand theory, balance, color science, individual techniques, face shapes, balance, tones, and undertones, you will always have a topic to fall back on. Social shyness is often rooted in the fear that we will embarrass ourselves if we speak up or stand out in any way. If you are an expert, embarrassment will be next to impossible.

Pro tip: Get a solid education. A combination of courses like the Master Makeup Artistry Course, the Skincare Course, the Pro Makeup Workshop, and the Global Beauty Workshop, will set you on the path to perfection.

Makeup artistry

Dealing with Clients

If your shyness extends into working with your client in person, the solution is to let your client lead the conversation. There is a misconception that conversation must be guided to make the client comfortable. However, most clients will opt to relax and enjoy your makeup application rather than chatter endlessly. If you relax and let your clients take the lead, the rest should be a breeze. If they want to talk, they will. All you have to do is respond and that’s easy.

Pro tip: Know your questions and ask them as soon as your client sits down. For example: Can you tell me about the look you are after? Do you have any allergies or sensitivities? Is there anything you want me to know?

If the tips above aren’t enough to help you, here’s one of my reliable favorites. Focus your attention on something other than talking. Shyness takes over for most people when they start thinking about speaking up. If you focus your attention elsewhere, you’ll stop thinking about conversation. Then, when the natural moment comes, speaking will be no harder than ordering coffee.

If you don’t want unchecked shyness to halt your makeup career, you have to take action against it. At first, you may have to “fake it ‘til you make it”. But in time, things will become easier. When you are accustomed to being shy, baby steps can feel like huge leaps. Believe me, I’m speaking from experience. Confidence can become a habit. You just need to take one small step toward it every day.

If you are on social, I’m @nathanwalnut. Follow and tag me on your work if you want hearts and comments…

Would you like to hear more tips on how to become a makeup artist? Check out this article on 3 Sure-Fire Ways To Boost Your Makeup Career

Author Nathan Johnson

More posts by Nathan Johnson

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Brittney says:

    Thank you so much for this, Nathan and QC! Definitely a huge hurdle for me but I’ll keep chugging along! 🙂

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