So, you want to pursue your dream and become a professional makeup artist. There’s just one problem: you already have a full-time job – and you can’t exactly quit. After all, you’ve got bills to pay! So, how can you do both?

Luckily, this goal is a LOT more achievable than you think!

Join QC Makeup Academy graduate, Gabrielle Rivera, as she breaks down how to become a makeup artist while holding a full-time job!

Debunking a Common Makeup Artist Misconception

When it comes to professional makeup artistry, there are a lot of misleading misconceptions. For example, many people incorrectly believe that being an MUA is just a “hobby”. But the fact is, becoming a pro makeup artist is a full-time job in and of itself!

Now, if you’re just dipping your toes into this industry, you might be thinking: “How am I supposed to do this professionally and commit this much time if I already have a full-time job?”

Don’t worry, you can still become a professional makeup artist! Yes, some beauty experts have decided to commit to their business full-time. However, just as many others choose to maintain their regular jobs and either do makeup on the side, or as a second (part-time) career. I’m here to give you some tips on how to manage becoming a professional makeup artist while holding a full-time job!

How to Become a Professional Makeup Artist While Working Full-Time

Drawing from personal experience, I’ve put together a list of 5 key tips to help you pursue your dreams of becoming a professional makeup artist. (Yes, even if you’re currently holding full-time employment.) If you give these 5 tips the proper focus and dedication, I guarantee you’ll be able to achieve your goal!

Tip #1: Planning, Scheduling, and Organization

I’m both a professional makeup artist and a full-time teacher. To me, the key to successfully balancing both priorities is all about organization! If you’re like me, you probably love writing in a physical planner. That being said, you may prefer a digital one instead. Either way, all I have to say is trust me – a planner is an important greatest asset to helping you manage both careers. It’ll quickly become your best friend!

When I plan my work weeks, I take into consideration both careers, as well as the workload each one requires per week. By doing this, I can stop and take a step back. As a result, I can ensure that I’m not overworking myself or overbooking my makeup artist business.

For example: I know that between April to August, my professional makeup artist business will be extremely busy. Mainly, because it’s prom and wedding season. So, I plan accordingly and pay extra attention to how many clients I can book realistically.

Pro Tip: Remember to Be Flexible!

Being flexible – while also setting realistic expectations – is going to be an important part of having a successful professional makeup artist career. You need to keep in mind the kind of workload you can actually manage. If you feel you’re biting off more than you can chew, don’t simply try to power through it. You won’t be benefiting anyone by spreading yourself too thin.

Remember that what matters most should always be the quality of your work, rather than the quantity of clients you schedule. Your clients will respect you for providing them with your best work – without having to rush their appointment or hurt their results in order to meet your next customer.

How to become a professional makeup artist article, in-post image, networking concept

Tip #2: Become a Professional Makeup Artist By Networking

Holding a full-time job and becoming a professional makeup artist takes balance. Moreover, it requires a strong ability to network with others. When I first started out, I didn’t really value the power of networking… That is, until I saw what networking can really do!

When you learn to network with other professionals in the beauty industry, you’re opening the door to invaluable opportunities. Such opportunities could include gaining new clientele and securing more bookings – all through word of mouth! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve booked clients because my networked recommended me. I’ve also gained clients because fellow artists within my network needed extra help working large bridal parties, proms, and/or photoshoots!

Tip #3: Maintain Clear and Consistent Communication

Everyone says that communication is key. But from my experience, this is especially the case in our profession. If you want to know how to become a professional makeup artist, one of the first things to understand is that clear and consistent communication is critical!

If you have a full-time job but dream of working as an MUA, you really need to make sure that it’s easy for clients to contact you. Furthermore, you must always keep those lines of communication clear and consistent (to the best of your ability). You never want to lose out on a potential client because they weren’t sure how to contact you. Similarly, it’d be a shame to miss out on a golden opportunity because you missed their inquiry.

A way to combat this is to have a system in place that works the best for you. Many professional makeup artists will provide a business email for contact. Additionally, you can also have a contact link set up on your website that’ll directly send visits any customer inquiries. Regardless of the method that works best for you, ensure that it’s easily accessible to clients.

Happy woman relaxing at home on couch, practicing self-care

Tip #4: Remember to Practice Self-Care

Speaking from experience, trying to juggle a full-time job and a professional makeup artist career can be overwhelming at times. Your goal is to be able to maintain your full-time employment. However, you’re also driven to grow your own makeup business. As a result, your personal and/or mental health can unintentionally wind up taking a back seat.

Oftentimes, people believe that in order to be successful, you must wake up at the crack of dawn, work yourself to the bone, and even limit sleep in order to be more productive. Well, I’m here to tell you that those beliefs couldn’t be further from the truth!

A phrase I often tell my students is, “Work smarter, not harder.” Being successful is not contingent on working long hours, depriving yourself of sleep, or a lack of proper nutrition. In fact, it’s actually quite the opposite! When you feel your best, you’ll work and produce your best.

So, make sure to give yourself days off to relax, unwind, and recharge. Remember to practice self-care regularly and you’ll notice how it benefits yourself and your business!

Tip #5: Become a Professional Makeup Artist By Getting Properly Educated

Ultimately, it all boils down to this: if you want to know how to become a professional makeup artist, the #1 answer I can give you is to get reputable training. This is especially true if you’re holding a full-time job. After all, you’re already busy as it is. As such, it can become all too easy to fall behind on the latest beauty trends.

When you enroll in a professional certification course, however, you’ll not only stay current on these game-changing trends – you’ll learn how to combine them with core techniques, so you can apply them correctly.

Knowing trends is one simple step that can help bring you a LOT of new clientele. For instance, if you’re an artist in the world of bridal makeup, you’ll quickly see the trends in wedding makeup. The more you educate and practice both the classic and current trends, the more clientele you can attract and book for your business.

Furthermore, it’s imperative that you continuously educate yourself and better your craft. I suggest taking seminars, online classes, one-on-one lessons, business webinars… Basically, any learning opportunity you can get your hands on!

The more knowledgeable you become about skincare, makeup products, applications, and styles, the easier it’ll be for you to secure more clients, network, and collaborate with others. This will also allow you the opportunity to increase your prices as your knowledge base and experience grows!

A great way to support your professional makeup career while holding a full-time job is to sign up for one of QC Makeup Academy’s self-paced, online certification courses. As a QC graduate myself, I cannot recommend them highly enough!

Author Gabrielle Rivera

More posts by Gabrielle Rivera

Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • Beautifully said! It’s definitely not easy being a full time worker then going home to kids and house. Even mommies who are full time stay at home moms have a huge load to bear. I’m grateful for QCs courses. Becoming a makeup artist was the best decision I made. My true passion.

  • Jordan Garcia says:

    Thanks so much for sharing Gabrielle! I’m definitely in the same boat of trying to make both work until I can move full-time into makeup artistry. It’s nice to hear that I’m not alone in this venture.

    I’m also based in NJ and would absolutely love to connect with you!!

    • Sloane Seguin says:

      Hey Jordan, thanks so much for reading and commenting! 🙂 Be reassured in knowing that you’re DEFINITELY not alone in this venture – most individuals who want to become a professional makeup artist are in the exact same boat. We’re glad to hear that Gabrielle’s advice resonated so deeply with you. We definitely think it’d be cool if you two ever got a chance to collaborate together one day! <3

      All the best,
      The QC Team

  • Paula Alleyne says:

    Thank you for the blog. It is great to hear realistically about ways you can manage a full time job and being a professional MUA. An area you don’t often hear discussed.

    • Sloane Seguin says:

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Paula! We’re thrilled to hear that you found the advice given by Gabrielle so beneficial. We agree – there are tons of blogs articles about how to become a professional makeup artist, but not quite as many on how to achieve this goal when you already have a full-time job (which, let’s face it, is the case with most aspiring MUAs). 🙂

      All the best,
      The QC Team

  • Luisa says:

    Yessss! “Work smarter, not harder” – so true, especially when it comes to navigating your way through the makeup industry! <3 xx

    • Sloane Seguin says:

      We couldn’t agree more, Luzaan! Thanks so much for reading and commenting – we’re sure Gabrielle will really appreciate the kind words! <3

      All the best,
      The QC Team

  • Thank you for this! It’s not easy juggling work kids and side hustles. Well done and well said!!

    • Sloane Seguin says:

      We can’t imagine how tough it must be for our students and graduates who are working hard towards becoming a professional makeup artist while also juggling a FT job AND being a parent! But day after day, so many of you pull it off and show us all just how possible it is when one is truly passionate about their dreams. You’re all honestly rock stars in our eyes! xx

      All the best,
      The QC Team

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