Australian MUA, Charlotte Ravet, is the proud owner of her very own hair and makeup business. From bridal, to editorial, to film and television, and everything in-between – Charlotte provides a wide variety of services that cater to all types of clientele!
Her extensive resume includes working for Prada, L’Oreal, and even the cast of the hit show, Glee! A developer of educational programs, Charlotte has even been awarded Best Makeup Educator of the Year by the Australian Industry Makeup Awards.
Here, she explores the many reasons why your fellow makeup artists are some of your best allies within this industry!
“It’s a small industry!”
If you’re a beauty lover who’s currently learning makeup, and who has dreams of becoming a pro MUA, be ready to hear this sentence every day!
Yes, it’s a small industry. This much can’t be denied. But as an international makeup artist myself, I can testify that there are no borders. In reality, it’s a WORLDWIDE industry! As makeup artists, the level of passion we have for our craft is ultimately what brings us together, and makes the industry seem small by comparison.
So, why does this matter? After all, isn’t it great to work in an industry where people get to know each other so quickly? Yes, of course it is!
But there is one thing you’ll need to be ready to deal with: competition.
The fact is, there will always be someone you’ll envy within this line of work. Whether it’s because of her resume, her success, her connections, or her skills. The real question is: is it bad to be a bit jealous?
No, it is not. I’m personally not jealous by nature. But I am giving myself career goals, in order to reach the same level as the artists I admire. Once I decided to approach my career with this positive mindset, I quickly discovered the importance of networking and sharing.
Even more importantly, I realized just how supportive the makeup artist community can be towards others! Just because other MUAs are technically your ‘competition’, it doesn’t mean they’re your enemies. The two don’t need to be synonymous!
In fact, one of the most valuable things you can possibly be taught when learning makeup is that your competition are actually your FRIENDS!
Why You Should Make Friends with Your Competition
Honestly, there are too many reasons to name. If I tried, we’d be here all day! But I can definitely come up with a few of the most important ones.
Here are a just some examples of how you can support – and get support from – this wonderful community:
1. Other Artists Can Become Part of Your Network
Ever since the early days of my professional career, I’ve always valued my network. I was lucky to have a successful start in TV makeup, right after I finished learning makeup and earning my certification. When I was booked for other jobs afterwards, I always recommended other artists.
The TV productions appreciated that I didn’t let them down. In the same breath, other artists would recommend me for work whenever they could. A good rule of thumb to abide by is this: always recommend someone you know will be the best for the job.
Don’t be scared that the artist could steal your clients! Remember: self-confidence is key!
My network works in the same way that my private relationships do. Just because you have a close friendship with one person, it doesn’t have to mean that any other friendships mean any less, or will suffer.
The same can be said about your clientele. If you know you’re always doing your best for your client, always make a great impression, and have a secure work relationship with them, why would they try to book someone else?
In this industry, people provide excellent word-of-mouth, and often help each other out. There will always be more potential clients! Plus, professional makeup artists will rarely try to actively seek out and steal your faithful clientele.
If you know someone in your network would be the best fit for a potential job, don’t worry that recommending them will somehow hurt your own career. In reality, this other makeup artist WILL remember your kind recommendation, and they’ll be likely to recommend YOU when a similar opportunity arises on their end.
In the worst-case scenario: if it just so happens that another MUA does steal your contact, well, it was not worth it! All you can do is live and learn. Simply refrain from recommending this makeup artist again in the future.
2. Other Artists Can Help You to Continue Learning
I always strive to continue learning. After that, I plan to learn again, and then again! You get the idea. There’s always something new to discover. Importantly, you often can – and should – learn from others.
I’m an educator, and have taught classes to other makeup artists. Some of them even had 30+ years of experience! Still, that doesn’t stop them from coming to me, and seeing what new and exciting things I can teach them.
Similarly, I always jump at the chance to learn from other skilled experts within the industry. As artists, we should ALWAYS continue in our quest for more knowledge!
There’s no shame to ask for advice. Reaching out to others for help is not a sign of weakness. If anything, it signifies your love of the craft and your dedication to always self-improve. One thing I recommend is involving yourself in online communities! Personally, I love being a part of Facebook groups.
I’m always happy to share some tips, and likewise, learn a lot from the community myself.
3. Your Relationship with Other Artists Strengthens Your Reputation
We have one reputation… and ONLY one!
You can be the best in your game, but if you don’t have support from your industry, this often won’t be enough. Being kind and helpful with others doesn’t cost anything, but it absolutely goes a long way! How you treat others will play a major role in how others perceive you and your business.
You’ll quickly learn that makeup artists who speak badly about others are not the most talented ones. Putting other artists down won’t make you shine. Gossiping about other artists – whether it be to your network or your clients – will only make you look extremely unprofessional.
If you want to build a positive reputation, make yourself known for all the RIGHT reasons. Be kind. Be fair. Have a strong work ethic. These are the best strategies to making a strong, pleasant impression!
4. Other Artists Can Provide Encouragement
Working as a makeup artist can be exhausting! We don’t always fully understand this when learning makeup, but we quickly do once we begin working in the field.
Sometimes, the best people to lift you up when you’re feeling down are the ones who actually understand what it is you’re going through. When I’m feeling frustrated or overwhelmed, I need my “makeup family” to remind me why I’m doing this job. Their support can help ground me, and bring me back to my roots.
They can help remind me why I love this industry so much!
We ALL have our rough days. It’s important to know that it’s okay to not always be okay. In regular life, you need your friends. If you’re struggling, you rely on those who understand you best.
In your professional career as an MUA, this is provided to you in the form of your makeup artists friends!
How to Start Making Friends in the Industry
First, create your network while you are learning makeup. Look around and ask yourself:
- Are there other artists around you who are sharing your passion?
- Are you coming into contact with fellow MUAs who inspire you?
- Are there other artists who seem genuinely happy for you when you succeed?
The nature of your friendship with other industry pros can be as similar (or as different) from a regular, everyday friendship as you want it to be. Remember: not everyone in your professional network will be your new BFF. That’s okay!
Many of the relationships you forge in your career will be of a professional nature. They will help build your network and establish your reputation. With this in mind, you want to make sure that you always give your best, most professional image.
Above all else, present yourself as reliable, organized, and committed to your work!
Another option is to join specialized groups! Here are just a few examples of wonderful Facebook groups that welcome all professional makeup artists:
If you’re a QC Makeup Academy student, graduate, or are simply figuring out if you want to be learning makeup from an online school, I also recommend the QC Makeup Academy Virtual Classroom. This is a fantastic place for you to meet other aspiring MUAs!
Online groups and forums give you the chance to learn from other artists, as well as the opportunity to ask questions. I’ve met a few of my current industry friends through these groups, before we met in real life. They’re an excellent, convenient way to stay connected with the industry, and exchange tips and advice.
Another suggestion is to start assisting professional artists. Assisting is an excellent way to build a relationship with an experienced artist, while also refining your own skill-set. You’ll learn a lot, and have the opportunity to observe and connect with the professional industry!
Food for Thought
These past few months have shown us just how vital respect and kindness are towards others. You don’t need to announce when you are helping someone, or passing on work to another artist, or encouraging someone, or sharing a makeup technique…Acts of kindness will always be able to say more than words ever could.
Competition is real in the makeup industry. But the only rule to remember is that your competition should only push you to be YOUR very best! Competition is not about spending energy to put others down.
We shouldn’t be afraid to sometimes ask for help, whether it be to find work or to improve upon our skills. And if someone judges you? Well, that just means that person isn’t worth being a part of your “makeup fam”!
Your success starts today! So, start being the person – and the artist – you want to be!
Join the discussion One Comment
Fantastic article and artists should support each other as a family. Supporting your network is so important and rewarding. Competition only exists within yourself not others.