Nadia Calabro is a QC Makeup Academy Student Ambassador, as well as a QC alumnus. She has graduated from the Master Makeup Artistry Course, the Pro Makeup Workshop, and the Skincare Course. She is also the proud founder of her very own makeup business, Beauty Beyond the Mirror. Today, Nadia reveals 6 ways to find makeup jobs when first entering the industry!

Becoming a professional makeup artist can be very fulfilling. But building a successful career as a makeup artist can also have its challenges. The most common challenge when starting out is finding makeup jobs.

It’s that classic (yet frustrating) double-edged sword: we need jobs to build experience, but we need experience to get jobs. This can be discouraging at first, but the truth is that there are MANY ways to overcome this challenge!

female model having makeup professionally applied by makeup artist

Get Professional Training

Social media is a blessing and a curse of modern society. This is especially true when it comes to makeup. People everywhere are going onto YouTube and trying to learn the latest trends and techniques. But this is impossible, because it’s simply not enough.

A lot of what’s found on social media reflects what is trending in the moment. Much of the time, it lacks proper education. These videos are not adequately teaching the viewers about how to determine your clients skin type, undertone, and ultimately, the products to use on other people. Classic makeup artistry techniques aren’t typically taught either.

When you learn nothing but ‘trendy’ makeup, that knowledge is going to go to waste. This is because those looks will inevitably die out and become irrelevant.

But when you get professional training, such as the training offered by QC Makeup Academy, you start with the very basics. You’re taught the classic techniques, makeup theory, and the foundational skills that will always remain relevant. The benefit of having this knowledge is that you can then create ANY makeup look, since these techniques can be adapted accordingly.

Proper education means that your makeup artistry will know no limits! You’ll never have to turn down a job due to a lack of knowledge. When you don’t have professional training, you’ll quickly become limited in what you can and cannot execute in your work.

Take Part in Stylized Photoshoots

If you’re not familiar with stylized photoshoots, this is when photographers partner with different vendors to create a mock photoshoot. A common example would be a staged wedding or bridal shoot. There really is no better opportunity to network yourself than by getting involved in one of these photoshoots!

You’ll meet all kinds of people within the industry, create meaningful impressions and relationships, and increase your chances of getting recommended for makeup jobs in the future.

Getting hands-on work is one of the best ways to learn and grow. Taking a chance on a mock photoshoot is a great way to practice your art in a safe environment. Stylized shoots also allow you to gain advice and expertise from other professionals.

In my opinion, one of the biggest selling points of a makeup artist is their professional portfolio. When you have a tangible collection of high-quality photos to show prospective clients, they’ll be much likelier to book with you. Stylized photoshoots can lead to excellent content for your portfolio – which means it can help steer you towards paying makeup jobs down the road.

Pro Tip: Certain styled photoshoots can open you up to even larger audiences. Mock wedding shoots, for example, will allow you to demonstrate your bridal makeup skills. In turn, you can get your foot in the door for wedding makeup services. This client base is massive and will absolutely lead to more makeup jobs than you know what to do with!

makeup brushes propped up on table in front of laptop

Build a Professional Website

Having a professional website is always a good idea. It’s worth noting that having a website is different from having social media accounts. This is due to one simple – yet extremely important – reason: potential clients can learn SO much more about you and your business through your website than they’ll ever be able to on Facebook or Instagram.

A business website allows you the chance to speak about your journey, what you love about your work, the steps you’ve taken to get to where you are now, and where you’re headed in the future. Just as critically, it gives you somewhere to list all of the services you offer, as well as your rates and contact information.

Being able to have a write up about yourself gives your customers a chance to see the person behind the brushes. This is important! A lot of the time, when doing makeup on people, we’re taking part in some of the biggest days of their lives. Giving them the chance to get to know us establishes trust and a meaningful relationship. This helps to ensure that people don’t see you as a one-time service – but someone that they can (and will) call on whenever your services are needed.

Establish a Presence on Social Media

You know the old saying, “Pictures speak louder than words“?  There has never been anything truer when it comes to the world of makeup on social media! Everyone wants to see pictures of artists’ work.

Creating social media accounts for your makeup business allows you the opportunity to show what you can do. You’ll be able to promote yourself across so many different platforms, establish a name for yourself, and attract the attention of potential clients from all over the world.

You can also maximize your social media presence to connect with others in both your area and the industry as a whole. This can lead to you getting the chance to work with others. As your social media presence builds, the promise of makeup jobs gets closer and closer to your reach!

Work on People You Know

I’m not going to lie – in the beginning, finding makeup jobs is hard. People want to see that you have experience before they can trust you. Of course, this makes perfect sense. So, a good way to gain real-world experience, strengthen your skills, and potentially add to your makeup portfolio is to work on people who already trust you!

Start by practicing your craft on family and friends. You’ll be able to challenge yourself and possibly make mistakes, without the fear of repercussion. You’re also likely to get good feedback. Chances are, your friends and family will be completely honest with you, in order to push you to be your best.

By working on friends and family, you can also actively choose who you want to work with. This will allow you to add more variety to your makeup portfolio. Choose models in different age groups and with different facial characteristics, skin times, and skin tones. Switch up the types of looks you do, so that your portfolio can speak to as many people as possible!

Do Your Research

It’s scary to try and figure everything out on your own. It’s also, in most cases, downright impossible. The jump start of a business is the hardest, yet the most important. You want to get it right from the start!

Before making any decisions, you MUST do your research. Start by finding your niche, then create a brand and logo for yourself. You want it to be short and catchy. It should tell everyone exactly what you do. Before starting anything, register your business and make it official!

A legitimate business is always going to impress potential clients, which will result in more makeup jobs for you!

woman researching on laptop

The most beneficial thing you can do is find people in your area that are specializing in that same thing as you. Make sure that you keep your pricing comparable, yet competitive.

You’ll also want to see what job opportunities may be out there for you. If there are any specialized or advanced makeup classes that you can take to make you stand out from the rest, do it. Never pass up an opportunity to shine!

How I Found Makeup Jobs

The courses I’ve taken with QC Makeup Academy really allowed me to find my strengths. Through my training, I was able to discern which areas of the industry I wanted to work in.

The last unit of the Master Makeup Artistry Course, for example, was all about researching makeup artists in my area. I had to make a business plan for myself so that when I graduated, I was confident and ready to get going. I started by doing makeup on my friends and family for fun.

Once I was really sure I could do something great, I booked a photoshoot with a local photographer. I put together an entire photoshoot concept that symbolized my business name and helped me showcase my work!

I had my sister model for me and the photographer took high-quality pictures.  That photoshoot grabbed SO many people’s attention. Suddenly, tons of people were contacting me and asking to work with me!

I also quickly discovered smart ways to tailor my services to specific clients. For instance, if I knew someone had a function to attend, I would offer my services at a cheaper price. While this might sound counterproductive, it was the exact opposite.

Because I knew that the client would be around a lot of people, my work would be showcased on a much larger scale. Ultimately, this would bring me more interested clients and more makeup jobs. That sort of exposure is worth shaving a few bucks off my services here and there. Sometimes, in the beginning, you have to spend a little to make more!

It’s all about putting yourself out there. So long as you have the right work ethic and positive attitude, I promise that the makeup jobs will come to you!

In the age of social distancing, you have a unique opportunity to book all sorts of virtual makeup jobs! Discover how to offer online makeup and skincare services by enrolling in QC Makeup Academy’s new Virtual Makeup Training Course!

Author Sarah-Lynn Seguin

More posts by Sarah-Lynn Seguin

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