Tutorials & Tips

professional makeup artist's guide to budgeting

A Professional Makeup Artist’s Guide to Budgeting

By | Graduate Feature, Student Features, Tutorials & Tips, Your Makeup Career | No Comments

QC Makeup Academy Student Ambassador, Whitney Conn, shares her secrets on how she budgets as a professional makeup artist! Whitney has a few years of makeup artistry experience under her belt and knows all about how to budget for all her makeup expenses!

Whether you are just starting out or have been deep in the makeup industry for years, budgeting for your makeup business expenses is a must. Budgeting allows you to plan and track where all of your money is going. It allows for growth possibilities as your needs change. Budgeting will not only save you money, but time as well. Find out below how I plan my budget out for all of my makeup expenses.

Makeup Kit

My biggest investment is by far my makeup kit. Stocking it with good quality products for my clients is very important to me. I plan every year to use my tax return to fund my kit for the upfront cost. I tend to spend $400 to $500 when first stocking my kit. Then use the rest of the amount to replenish any empty products or to buy new products as needed for applications. As my skills grow, so will my need to stock my makeup kit with different or new products.


We never stop learning as makeup artists and it’s our job to constantly keep ourselves educated. The makeup industry is a rapidly changing field. To stay up with all of this, I chose to continue my makeup education. While I paid for my first course up front, I continued by adding on other courses as promotions came up or when I paid off a previous course. I try to keep my yearly budget for schooling around $1500; which could include more than one course within a years’ time.


Social media has taken the marketing world by storm. Paid ads are a great way to gain more reach.  I budget somewhere are $35 to $50 a month to post ads or to boost my page. This allows for a further reach to more potential clients or views on my social media page.

Marketing products, such as business cards, I buy depending on how fast I give them out. The cards and the logo conversion cost around $60 for a pack of 500 cards. I budget $100 to $150 per year on marketing materials as I see needed for events or busy times of the year.


Depending on where you live or if you are willing to travel there are marketing and makeup events all over. This is a wonderful place to meet fellow makeup artist and to put yourself out there. Many makeup events have classes to further your education or to refresh skills you already have. It is a good way to see things from a different perspective and learn from those who have been in the industry for many years. I budget between $500 to $800 a year for tickets and travel expenses for these trips. The trip may end up becoming a vacation while I am there for that event, which is a win-win for me.

As you grow in your skills and as your business demand grows, so should your budget. This may mean investing in higher quality products or that the courses you are taking requires more supplies. Whatever the reason may be it will be an ever-changing thing.

How do you budget your salary? Let us know some tips in the comments.

How did Whitney balance her full-time job with taking makeup classes online? Read this article to find out!

Online Makeup Review: QC’s Highlight Palette

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We all know how important highlighting is in making your makeup glow. Therefore, this month Stephanie tries out QC’s new 4-shade highlight palette.

Although “Vision” is her favorite shade, she shows how you can incorporate all four shades into your makeup look! Watch the tutorial to see what Stephanie thinks of the highlight palette, and how to create a beautiful, glowy look.

Let’s Recap

  1. Stephanie starts off by swatching each powder highlight shade on her hand to compare the different colors.
    • “Lunar” is a light yellow-toned highlight, “Oomph” is a vibrant purple and pink shade, “Vision” is peachy shade (and Stephanie’s favorite shade!), and “Enrich” is darker and coppery shade.
  2. For her inner corner highlights, Stephanie chooses to use the shade “Lunar” as it’s one of the lighter shades. She uses a small blending brush and slowly works it into the corners of her eyes. As the color complements the whites of her eyes, it really makes her eyes pop!
  3. To highlight her brow bone, Stephanie uses the shade “Vision”. With a small, flat brush, she follow the full bottom of her arch to make her brows stand out.
    • Tip: as the colors are quite pigmented, you don’t need to use a lot of product!
  4. For her Cupid’s bow and nose, Stephanie uses the shade “Oomph” which has a cooler tone. With a small fluffy blending brush, she strokes the color over the bridge of her nose, and follows the natural shape of her top lip.
    • Use your finger to gently blend out the color on your Cupid’s bow.
  5. For her cheekbones, Stephanie uses the last shade, “Enrich”, to match her copper-toned eye shadow. With a fan brush, she gently strokes the color over her cheeks and blends it up towards her temple and hairline.
    • This shade would be perfect for a summer look!
    • As Stephanie’s bronzer shade is quite dark, she mixes in a bit of the “Lunar” shade highlight to make her cheekbones stand out even more!

Stephanie is very impressed with this new highlight palette! The colors are all very pigmented (so a little goes a long way!), and the pans of colors are really large. The magnetic packaging is also gorgeous, and is the perfect size for traveling. As the highlight shades glow beautifully in the sun, Stephanie can’t wait to experiment more with these colors!

What is your favorite highlight shade? Let us know in the comments!

Want to try QC’s highlight palette? Find out how you can get it for free in QC’s new deluxe makeup kit!