5 Steps To Start A Makeup Artist Business

start a makeup artist business

Table of Contents

I want to kind of chat with you a little bit about five easy steps to start a makeup artist business how to get started in creating a professional freelance makeup artistry business.

I want to share five necessary steps to get your feet wet. Get you moving in the right direction to launch your makeup, hair, and beauty business. 

Get Your Beauty Certification To Start Your Makeup Artist Business

So first, we’re going to chat about accreditation. What you need to do is figure out why you want to get into the industry of makeup. Whether it is makeup, hair styling, nails, or skincare, you must figure out what is required of you by your state to be a professional. I can’t speak for all states. Every state is different. Some don’t need it, but check before your start offering up your makeup services.

 You can quickly go online and figure it out under your state government pages under certifications or by doing a Google search. It will readily tell you what type of specific certification requirements are needed. 

This is the first thing you need to do before you start your beauty business and get out there, painting faces and just start making an amazing, beautiful career is to get your certification first. 

Build Your Starter Makeup Kit For Your Business

Next, You’re going to need to build your starter makeup kit when starting a makeup artist’s business. When I started in this industry a 1,000,000 gazillion years ago, the internet was not even was in existence, but today you guys have so much going for you. So much knowledge at your fingertips that just make this process so easy to get started. My best suggestion for all of you beginner makeup artists trying to get going here as far as building your kit goes would be to go online.

You can easily do searches for how to build your bridal kit. Discover the different types of pro makeup artists in your area.

 On YouTube, do some searches on essentials for bridal kits. “How to start to build a starter kit for professional makeup.” Doing this will lead you to a ton of different tutorials, professionals in the industry who just have a plethora of knowledge that they want to share with you on the products that they found that have helped them. They’ll go through direct product links. They’ll go through their experiences, and what the pros and cons of certain makeup products. You can find everything you need just by doing a simple search online, either through Google, YouTube, and Instagram. When searching different beauty pros in the industry that just love talking about this stuff and they’re going to share their favorites with you. 

Simply jot down on a piece of paper, in your phone wherever you’re going to take notes and just kind of take all that information from all these multiple different sources and condense that all into one format to where you have now a base for how you can build your bridal kit. 

You’re going to find what products are going to work best for you. If you want to be in bridal beauty, search for bridal makeup artists, those stylists are going to be using different products than makeup artists who are out there doing theatrical kind of work, producing crazy masks for sets and things of that nature. Your makeup kit is not going to need to be filled with any of that stuff if you’re focusing on bridal, right? So just cut it out, hone in on the different artists that are out there influencers in the industry, top bridal or top makeup artistry professionals in the industry, and see what they have to say about their favorite products that they use.

Doing this will help. You really can of act as a steer you in the right direction to figure out how you want to build your makeup kit and what products to be adding to your kit. 

Makeup Artist Beauty Ring Light

When you start a makeup artist business a beauty ring light is huge; This is a game-changer. Do not hit the pavement doing faces, making up faces without a professional beauty ring light guys; it will be a disaster. I try to set you guys up for success here, so and I can vouch for this, okay? Because since I have been doing this for over 20 years, I’ve been around way longer than this beauty ring light. It amazes me. I don’t leave home without my light guys. Okay, It’s a critical factor; my bookings have increased substantially after investing in my ring light. 

I’m going to give you a little information on why for me that I found this so crucial to our makeup business and hope that you can take away something if you don’t already know. 

I always let my clients know when I’m about to work on them, I give them a little education because obviously, I have my ring light with me every time I have a client or warm body in my chair. So I always like to give them a little education. 

I ask my makeup client …

  • Hey, do you know the purpose of this ring light? 
  • What it serves, why beauty professionals use these ring lights?
  • Do you understand the concept behind this ring light? 

Chances are your client won’t; a lot of them don’t understand. Other than like, hey, it just makes me look awesome, right? Well, yeah, it does make you look fantastic, but there are more technical details behind it. So for me, the essential features of this beauty ring light and why I do not leave home without it is

Number one. 

When I’m working on a client, it allows me “the beauty professional” to see everything on their skin. 

I’m going to kind of do a little test run here and show you guys what I mean, So, like, you see, full no filter, everything is like, you know, coming through the true colors, everything. I’m going to turn my ring light off second and show you what happens. Like now, what you’re probably seeing is just like a ton of shadow. We’re getting dark areas. You’re not seeing any of the clarity of the correct pigmentation coming through. Okay, so let’s turn them back on who they’re am. 

The beauty ring light is going to allow me to make sure that …

  • I’m covering. 
  • I’m blending. 
  • I’m evening out 

When I am with a client, I want to be able to see the client’s true skin. 

They might say hey, I don’t know if I want you to see all of that is going on. My skin is kind of crazy right now. 

I tell them you want me to see that? 

It will be exactly the way I need to see you photographed the best possible way for your event. 

Number two

 It allows the ring light allows the purest form of the pigmentation to come through the camera. 

  • Flattering Facial Close-Ups.
  • Eliminating Harsh Shadows
  • Soft Light Quality.
  • Photographers use very similar lighting

A huge and critical point to make your makeup clients.

When we take pictures after I’m done with your makeup trial, I want you to see what comes through the lens because there are not going to be any questions on how you look. 

The worst thing you can have for your client to do is be questioning. 

  • What kind of color did she use on my eyes? 
  • Is it like pink or blush? 
  • Did she use a bronze? 
  • Is it a bronzy peach? 
  • What type of color did she put on my lips? 

You don’t want these questions asked. If your client is not getting the full story of what you’ve created on their face, then you’re doing something wrong. You need to change that. 

Another super important point is that the ring light ….

It allows the truest form of the pigmentation to show up on the camera lens. You’re going to take these pictures of them at your trial so that they can see how they look. Then they’re going to go right away and also look in person, probably a bathroom mirror where the lighting is going to be much softer, dimmer lit, more of a candlelit type of look. This will create more shadows; everything is going to kind of deepen and darken. 

Tell your clients

Hey, listen, we’re going to a go look in person, but what I want you to see is the exact way the color is photographing. The ring light is super important because the way that we’re going to photograph during our trial and you look at the photo afterward, you will see all these colors and see how beautiful it looks. You could pretty much 90% know the exact way you’re going to be photographing on your wedding day. 

So that’s why we take photos with the ring light on, this is how the color comes out when you photograph allowing the true pigmentation to come through.

The number one concern of a bride on her wedding day and things that she thinks about is my gosh…

I hope 

  • I’m going to photograph amazingly. 
  • I’m going to be flawless for my groom and guests.
  • I’m coming through that camera lens like this beautiful bride, a bridal goddess.

 Well, how awesome is it that you can do a trial for them so many months in advance whenever you do it and be able to just on your smartphone. Just be able to say, Hey, look, this is pretty much how you’re going to photograph on your wedding day because your photographers use very similar lighting through their cameras when they’re shooting on their wedding day. All the photographers I’ve been able to work with throughout the years in this industry love it. 

When a photographer sees an artist has one of these lights, they get super excited to see what a beauty professional is using this light because this is very similar to the lights they use. To be able to deliver that to your bride and say, This is how you’re going to photograph that’s a pretty freaking impressive detail to deliver. 

Define What Type of Makeup Artist Business You Want To Be.

This is super important to brand yourself in the industry; you’re going to need to know where your focus is going to be when you start a makeup artist business. 

  • Do I want to do bridal and work in the wedding industry? 
  • Do I want to be working doing film and editorial specifically?
  • Do more ad campaigns for modeling agencies and fashion or fashion events, 
  • or maybe you want to focus on the theatrical industry. 
  • Do you want to be doing sets for movies and putting all your focus in on that? 

I just think that’s important to dig deep for this and see where your heart is tugging. I think the best way to start and to get you there is going to be a lot about getting your feet wet. As an active makeup artist, this is going to be like where you get the ball going and start rolling. You need to start somewhere. 

We all have to start somewhere, right? So I remember when I started in this industry, I didn’t just come into my makeup business being at this awesome, thriving place. It was baby steps. I don’t want you to have these unrealistic expectations that you’re going to come into the scene and just kill it, and within a couple of months, be this mega professional makeup artist. Don’t set yourself up for failure. You need to take baby steps with this thing. I’m not telling you to quit your job and delve all into the makeup industry. It needs to be built. I want to help you take steps to build it properly, though. So the first thing is you have to get your feet wet.  

When you’re unsure about where you want to focus and where you want to land within the makeup industry, the best way to do that is to dabble in all different areas. You’re going to need to be giving services away for free when you first come on. This is the nature of the beast. I’m not saying all the time, but a lot of it that first year of you building up your business, there’s going to be a lot of free things you’re going to be doing. That’s just part of the process; it is going to legitimize who you are and legitimize your brand; ultimately, you need to have people to work on. The only way to do that is to give away your services, and while you’re practicing, get those techniques down, get comfortable with different faces, different looks.

Side Note: When I say get comfortable with different faces, I mean it. Don’t be a makeup artist. That is only doing work on your face. You will never make it in this industry. If all your work consists of in your portfolio is work completed on your face. That’s a huge no, no. Nobody is going to hire you in this industry. All they see is what you can do with yourself. The reason why, because doing makeup on yourself is 100% different than actually being able to execute a flawless, perfect look on another human being.  

It’s super important. I can’t stress this enough. Get your feet wet. Start practicing. Start putting yourself out there, Family and friends, those will be the easiest to grab from at first. That’s what I did. I started by doing all my friend’s makeup, and I started just perfecting my craft little by little.

Another good thing you can do is find some beauty professionals in your industry who have a following and who are booked, running their businesses—a simple Facebook search, Instagram search, Google search. Then once you find these beauty professionals in the biz, what you’re going to do is just reach out to them and say, Hey, like I love makeup, I’m super passionate about it. Can I be your assistant? I would love to come to assist whether it’s just, you know, helping with cleaning your brushes or helping you set up your kit. I would love to just kind of be there and assist and learn and offer my assistance in whatever way possible. This is an excellent way to get your feet wet. There are a lot of beauty professionals in the industry who like me; I want to be there to help promote growth and other young minds who are coming into this. 

So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. You have to take a leap. A big part of what we’re doing here, Just it stems on faith like you have to have faith that, you know, there’s something in you that wants to do more than what you’re currently doing right now. So this is why I stress, get yourself out there, take a leap of faith, invest in yourself, and see what you can do. The only way to guarantee failure is not to try it at all. Taking a leap, take a step out there, and chances are you’ll receive the road that’s going to lead you to build this up ultimately. 

Find the right people to surround yourself, learn how to network is huge. There are so many great groups within our community that you can be a part of networking communities that you can join where there is a plethora of information that’s just going to help you grow and build your empire. 

This is why I say get yourself out there, start bringing people in, put yourself out there on Instagram and Facebook. Let people know you’re wanting to start doing makeup and just kind of spread the word like, Hey, I need some models offering free makeup, you know, whatever it is just to create a buzz, this is going to help you build your portfolio. 

Side Note:  You’re going to need to know how to work on not just your age group. You’re going to need to know how to work on different skin types. And how to tackle various skin conditions and disorders to allow the makeup to lay correctly and last and look flawless. So you’re going to need to delve into different skin conditions, right? 

 Make sure you’re able to work on all different women from all different age groups. Not all skin is the same within the age group. Okay, so this is super important and why you need to be knowledgeable about some being able to tackle all different ages. Finally, ethnicity, this is the other thing that you want to be able to work on all different ethnic groups. Make sure that you have your kit set up so that you’re ready to match all different tones, all different colors, tints, and shades.  

Start Your Makeup Business Brand

I’d say my last final point is going to launch your brand. 

  • You’ve had some time. 
  • You figured out your certification. 
  • You’ve built that kit. 
  • You have your ring light. 
  • You’ve been making your portfolio for a while. 
  • You’ve got just a great variety of different faces. 
  • Different skin types, different skin tones, different age groups. 


You’ve got all of this set. Now it’s time to launch your brand when you start a makeup artist business. 

Now you’re ready to kind of go out there and start putting forth the marketing efforts that it takes to start to build your makeup business and take it to the next level. Okay. Now, if any of you have questions, obviously I’m here to answer them. I do delve more into marketing and brand building.

 So if you want to click the link below, this will take you to a pdf format. I also have different video tutorials that you can click on to find information on branding and marketing. 

If this is something you want to get into later, so just know that that’s available. I’m not going to go into that too much. And this is just talking about the five steps start a makeup artist business in the order that I think you should go to just kind of build that career and launch that successful makeup artist, freelance makeup artistry career.


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