It seems nowadays that every 2nd person and their dog is a makeup artist. But what does that mean?
What really makes a makeup artist and how can you tell who is a great artist and who is a makeup enthusiast? A great makeup artist will not only make you look good, but make you feel amazing too! Unfortunately, I’ve heard more horror stories than I care to share, so in the hopes of reducing these horror stories, I thought I’d share my professional advice.
Unfortunately there are no laws in Australia regulating the level of qualifications and training one needs to start up their own makeup business, so diligence and research is imperative.
Natural talent cannot be trained, but skills, techniques, product knowledge and industry information can be taught to be able to harness and refine that natural talent and create a true artist. A good makeup artist will have the perfect harmony of natural talent, with strong refined skills, knowledge and great customer service. A fun and friendly personality is crucial too.
So, what do you need to look for when scanning through the endless array of websites, adverts and photos?
Have a look at their portfolio photos
Look for professional shots with a variety of different looks on different types of clients. Anyone can make a model look good, but not everyone is a model, so look for an artist who proudly shows their versatility through their range of different clients.
Avoid the selfie portfolios
If most of their photos are of themselves, it’s possible they don’t have many clients to get good photos to build a portfolio and they may only be an expert for their own face. Avoid the Phone Portfolios too. If most of their photos are phone shots, it can be a sign they have not done a lot of professional work.
Do you like their makeup style?
Everyone is different and has their own style. Your artist’s styling talents and abilities need to match yours styling preference, otherwise you may end up not quite feeling yourself. You may not want to feel like a drag queen, if you are not one.
What qualifications and experience do they have?
In my almost 20 years, I have only been asked about my qualifications around 4 times by clients!!! The laws are slowly changing in terms of course regulations, which is great, but there are some things you need to look for. You want someone who has studied a Professional Makeup Artist course at a Makeup school, by an experienced and trained Makeup Artist. Beauty Therapy and Makeup Artistry are different professions in a related industry, but they are NOT the same thing, I have studied and worked in both. I hate to say this, but unfortunately it must be said, Youtube and “Self Trained” are not makeup schools. Look for someone who has taken the time, care and money to ensure they have the right training to give you the best possible job they can. You wouldn’t go to a non-qualified hairdresser or dentist, so why makeup artist?
Most people don’t realize there is an entire science regarding the relationship between photography and makeup and most commercial cosmetic lines are not designed for it. Ask your artist to list the products they use and feel free to research those brands. Most professional lines are not sold in department stores, or supermarkets, so don’t be surprised if you have never heard of them. Don’t simply choose your artist based on whether they use your favorite brand. You need pan-chromatic products for your photos (Specifically Foundation and Base products). If your artist doesn’t know this word, she may not be the artist for you. (Note; Just because your fave brand may not be professional, doesn’t mean it’s a bad brand btw)
Price is last, because price does not make an artist good or bad, however a good artist will value their work and their clients with a price fair for both (don’t forget, they need money to live too). The average price for one makeup in Australia is around $85 – $150. I am based in Adelaide and we are at the lower end of average at around $85, which is great for my clients. Warning bells arise however when I see prices well below, or above the average. No professional can pay bills when charging $35 per face, just business costs alone, not to mention time for actual labour can cost more than this. You have to choose if you want a professional, or a hobbyist. I recently just heard of a bride whose makeup artist was a no show and the photographer put a call out to all his makeup contacts in a desperate attempt to help out the bride on the morning of the wedding. A professional is much more unlikely to risk their reputation by being unreliable.
So, take a look at their work, training and experience and then check their prices. But just remember if this is for a wedding, you will be looking at your photos for the rest of your life and passing them down through generations. I have done way too many post wedding shoots because clients have hated their makeup. Their hopes to save money on their makeup artist, turned into paying anywhere from $1000 to $4000 Extra for reshoots. Don’t regret your choice. If you do your research, you will find your perfect artist. There are a lot of brilliant artists out there!
So, what if you have found your perfect artist? What questions do you ask, what info do they need, how does it all work?
Your makeup artist will need these details;
- Your name
- Your phone number and email
- Your event date and address you are getting ready in
- How many people are having their makeup done
- Time you all need to be ready by, and/or ceremony time
- Type of services required some artists also offer Airbrush Makeup and hairstyling
- Do you all want false lashes.
- Do you want a trial
And here is some information you need to know;
- Cost per person
- Do lashes cost more
- What are the travel fees if any
- What are the trial costs and do they have a studio for trials
- Deposit amounts and due dates
- Do you need your own touch up products, or can they supply them. If they supply them, is there an added cost
- Start and finish times
- Will the person doing the trial be the one doing the event? If your trial artist is NOT going to be the artist on the day, move on and find a new one. A trial is not only for the artist to design and map the makeup, it is also for you to test their skills against your style and needs. A different artist on the day cannot guarantee the trial’s results.
I hope that helps and makes it a bit easier for you when choosing your perfect makeup artist.
Please feel free to comment with ideas on what you would like me to blog about.