As a professional makeup artist who’s new to the game, building your makeup portfolio is critical. This portfolio must reflect high-quality work that accurately represents who you are and which services you can provide to clients.

But while there are tons of tips and tricks out there to help you develop your makeup portfolio under normal circumstances, what happens once a global pandemic has been thrown into the mix?

With in-person contact at a minimum, it might seem impossible to build a high-quality makeup portfolio. But this couldn’t be further from the truth! The fact is, there are still ways to gather the material you need. It’ll just be a matter of getting a bit craftier and staying on the safe side.

Here are just 3 examples of what I’m talking about…

3 Ways You Can Build Your Makeup Portfolio During the Pandemic

1. Utilize Your Virtual Beauty Clients

Virtual makeup and skincare services became quite the hot commodity over the course of 2020. After all, many people didn’t want to leave the safety of their homes (or straight up couldn’t). So, beauty professionals needed to find a new way to offer their expertise in a way that works for everybody.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, there are plenty of online services you can offer instead of in-person ones. For instance, you can provide online consultations. Another option is to teach virtual makeup lessons or even develop personalized skincare regimens for clients.

The best part? These can all be done from the comfort of your couch!

What better way to illustrate to prospective clients that you’re capable of providing them with beneficial virtual services than to prove it in your online makeup portfolio?

Whenever you work with a client, ask them to take a high-quality photo of their full face prior to getting started with you. Then, once your work with them is complete, ask them to take a second photo of their full face. This second image should clearly show the difference your services have made when compared to the first picture.

Tips for Taking Photos

Most people use some sort of smart phone these days, and the majority of them have excellent cameras capable of taking high-quality photos. When requesting these photos, provide a few tips/requirements for the images, such as:

  • The photo is taken in front of a white or neutral background. There should be no clutter or anything else to distract the eye from the focus of the photo.
  • The photo is an up-close shot of their full face. From the top of their head to the bottom of their chin should all be within the frame.
  • The photo should not be a selfie. Advise your client to rest their phone or camera on a sturdy surface and set a timer. Selfies are never recommended within a makeup portfolio, as they aren’t very professional-looking.
  • There should be good lighting. Prompt your client to take a photo in a brightly lit room, or during a relatively sunny day, in front of a window. They don’t need fancy ring lights to get the job done. But the picture shouldn’t be taken in a dark or dim space either.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to request – in writing – for your client’s expressed consent to use their image on your website’s makeup portfolio, social media pages, etc. Ensure that the permission provided by the client is likewise given to you in writing so you can keep it in your records.

virtual consultation for makeup portfolio

2. Ask Members of Your Household to Be Your Models

If you live with someone else, you might have the perfect model sitting right there! So long as they agree to it, you can easily do a few different makeup looks on their face, take some nice pictures, and add them to your makeup portfolio.

If you have more than one member of your household who would be willing to be your model, take advantage of this! Remember: variety is key in your portfolio. In order to demonstrate to potential clients that you’re a makeup artist of many skills, you’ll want to highlight the different techniques, looks, and specializations in your repertoire.

For example, if you live with people of different ages and/or skin tones, this alone can give you plenty to work with! Additionally, if you happen to live with a man and he’d be willing to let you put makeup on him, this could be an amazing contribution to your portfolio, too.

makeup artist putting makeup on male model's face

3. Take Part in a (Safe) Stylized Photoshoot

There are countless reasons to take part in a stylized photo shoot, especially as you’re building your career. Not only can they help you grow your network and gain hands-on experience in the field; they’re also a great way to receive professional-quality images for your makeup portfolio, in exchange for your services.

Depending on the severity of the COVID-19 risks in your area, or physical distancing regulations, paying clients might be in shorter supply right now. By volunteering your expertise for a stylized photo shoot, however, you can continue doing what you love while also getting more material that showcases your work!

Tips for Working Together Safely

Just make sure to keep in mind the safety measures that you and everyone else participating in the shoot will need to abide by. Enforcing these protocols and sticking to them is very important since it’s the only way to make sure everyone is truly staying safe.

Everyone should be wearing a mask whenever possible and washing/sanitizing their hands regularly. On top of maintaining a minimum distance of at least 6 feet apart from one another, there should also be a limited number of people working in one space at a given time.

model wearing face mask for makeup portfolio

All that to be said, in the meantime, there’s no reason why you still can’t continue to grow your business, develop your makeup portfolio, and gain real-world experience. You simply need to explore the options available to you and always ensure that you (and everyone around you) are making health and safety the top priority!

Even though 2020 is now a thing of the past, we’re not out of the woods yet. While the bright light that is the end of COVID-19 is finally starting to be seen on the horizon, we all need to work together and do our part to get there. But so long as we do that, the world will one day return to normal.

Want to learn even more tips and tricks for creating an impressive makeup portfolio? Enroll in QC’s Portfolio Development Workshop to learn everything you need to know!

Author Sloane Seguin

More posts by Sloane Seguin

Leave a Reply