Advice for experienced make-up artists

Obviously experience counts for a lot, many years’ experience cannot be compared but if you haven't engaged with new techniques or trends you may find yourself being overtaken and left behind. With advances in mediums such as film and TV using new techniques such as HD it is imperative to ensure you are engaged with the new techniques now used in these areas. Ask yourself when was the last time you attended a training course? Potential employers will notice if you have kept yourself up to date and trained throughout your career and see this is as someone who is not afraid to embrace change and develop their skills

Training in other areas is a great way to ensure you are a great asset to any team and more employable. Hair is a great place to start. If you haven't trained in this area it is never too late to start. Most productions don't employ a separate hairdresser unless it’s a big budget production so you will definitely see more offers of work if you can style hair; this also applies to wedding work too.

Look into new techniques such as airbrushing, it’s imperative to keep up with changes in technology to ensure you don't get left behind and also these key skills stand out on your CV and set you apart from your competition. If you can offer another area of expertise such as nail technician then you will find your earning potential can also increase , this is a great add on especially if you work with brides .

Along with new techniques there are always new products coming to the market! Are you aware of the latest brands and products, have you tried them or do you still use the same old tired kit? Admittedly we all have our favourite products that we use time and time again and that is no bad thing if these products work for you and give great results, however it may be you could be missing out if you haven't tried something new and there is always an expectation from our clients that we have the latest brands, the newest miracle product and the must have item no one would be seen without!

Ensure your portfolio is up to date and fresh. Old images are great to document your career but won't do much for you if you have nothing newer or relevant.

Use social media to network and stay in touch with what’s happening and also to promote your brand.

Invest in a good website to showcase your work. Most employers will look at a website to see your work and if presented well this can really help to promote you.

Advice for aspiring make-up artists

Research your training school and what they can do for you. For example, do they introduce you to contacts, do they offer work placements or have an agency which will help you gain valuable experience when you complete your course? Make sure that you will have the support from them after you have paid your money and trained!

Train in as many different areas of make-up as possible, including hair, as this will enhance your employability and make you stand out from other make-up artists who may be applying for the same role.

It can be hard to get work if you have just finished training and have no experience. However there are things you can do to ensure you stand out and are noticed by a potential employer.

  • Always present yourself professionally and ensure you are well groomed when meeting potential employers.
  • Do your research, find out who are the top make-up artists in the field you are applying to and find out what they may be working on and enquire if they need assistants.
  • Keep looking on the internet at production companies and their next projects, try to be a step ahead and get your CV in early!
  • Never turn down a job even if it’s not something you aspire to. You never know who you may meet and what it may lead to. The more jobs you do the more experience you gain and this will in turn build your CV quickly.

If you don’t get a reply to sending your CV, be patient and resend it again at a later date with a polite enquiry as to whether it was received. Top make-up artists are inundated with CV’s so sometimes it’s a case of just sending it at the right time. Equally though don’t bombard someone as that may well become irritating and may ensure they don’t choose you as they may see that as being too pushy. Try to strike the right balance of interest.

Use social media to connect with potential employers, follow their brand and get a good insight into their business and what’s going on. This is also a great way to meet other make-up artists and best of all its free!

What employers look for in make-up artists

Employers look for make-up artists’ who are punctual, well presented and demonstrate the ability to both work in a team but also someone who is able to use their own initiative as some roles will mean working alone. Being keen to assist and help out when needed and also offering to help out another member of the team if they are busy and you are available will stand you in good stead as being someone designers will want on the team again.

Personality is really important to your success. Skills can be improved and trained but a difficult personality will ensure you gain a reputation, not a positive one, and you will soon find out that the world of make-up is a small one! You need to be aware that your reputation will precede you both good and bad!

The ability to get along with people is vital as you will be working with a variety of people from the talent in your make-up chair to members of the make-up team and production crew. Nobody wants a difficult, uncooperative person on their team.

Research the role you are applying for particularly if you would be expected to take a trade test.  For example if you are interviewing for work on a particular TV channel, watch the show so you can see the make-up style. If it’s a period piece do your research so you have the right ideas and styles to demonstrate and discuss.

Have you researched the company and/or make up designer you are applying to? When you are applying for a job show you are interested by not only  understanding the requirements of the role and what will be expected of you but the people you want to be working for .

If you need practice in a technique or style, do it. Practice makes perfect and better to make your mistakes practicing at home that at the trade test.