Fast Track your Journey to PRO MUA: learn winning career strategies


So you want to be a professional makeup artist… Sounds like a quote out of a television show, yet when you see PRO’s stories on Instagram - it seems just like that: a complete dream. However, not everything in the makeup artists world is sweet, there are challenges to be met and goals to be set if you want to advance from your current level and move on forward with your career.


One thing for sure - this article will be completely useless for you if future success is not your thing, you’re happy at your current point and want to stay there forever. I get it! That coach is tempting me every morning to glue my ass on it for good, but unfortunately I’m not that kind of person :) However, I am not judging anyone that does: if you’re able to enjoy yourself at your current point and that’s enough - good for you! But for those who are ALWAYS hungry for more, let’s get ON and figure out your next step together!

Let’s start from the very beginning - the genesis of your artistry. No this is not a Sci-Fi movie, but it all started somewhere. There are truly only a few ways you could have pursued your fascination with makeup and built up your skill:


Yep, there are truly just a few ways for an aspiring artist to learn and improve, yet, if you are feeling not ready to take full charge of your career - your next step could be hopping on online courses or practising more in order to get more confident in your skills and techniques. And when you have tried everything on this chart - this happens...

Do you want to work with private clients only? Or is fashion makeup your dream: the buzzing backstage and the thrill of it all? Celebrity makeup? Editorials? Maybe theatre or television? Or how about owning your own makeup line? I mean…. Compare these to the genesis chart and you can see how one step can burst into dozens of opportunities. Here is one main choice to be made: you can either pick one goal or go for it all. Let’s see what the natural ascension would look like:



However, the natural scenario is never linier. Things happen in spurs or together or none at all: the main issue here is how to advance from one stage to another and how to keep that success going. Well, that’s what we’re here for! Let’s move on to main career paths!

You desire to work with private clients only:


That is usually where every MUA starts unless their creativity and talent is through the roof and the whole world is watching their work. However, if you’re not one of those - the first step is simple: build your socials - Instagram, Facebook and start spreading the word in your surroundings that you’re available for bookings. If you do not know how to build your Instagram, we have a blog written just for that, check it out by clicking here. You can also apply with a job listing in a salon or beauty shop. It’s entirely up to you if you choose to do your private thing or work under others. However, once those referrals start flooding in and your Instagram grows, get ready to take that next step and expand your clientele further.


You desire to specialise in editorial | fashion | television makeup

Love, your followers, networking and perfect portfolio will be the thing here. Building up your portfolio is extremely important if you want to specialise in a certain style and be recognised as PRO. So much goes into it: makeup, lighting, photography, touch-ups, design. And I am not talking about print ups - this is all purely digital: your own website which can host your portfolio or it can be put on a separate platform all together. Think of it as your own personal editorial spread that shows your every strength and your unique style. And do not get scared - if you are still not in the means to get everything done by others, there are plenty of affordable courses and website builders that make it easy for anyone to build up their web presence. Once you have it - feel free to forward it to brands that you dream of working with, even if they are not hiring at the moment, but be sure to put your best foot forward.




Next crucial thing is networking - advertising goes a long way, but great connections make every advancement faster and more effective. Determine brands, people that you would like to work with/for and see what’s coming up next on their social calendar - maybe, it’s something you also should visit?! I know that it’s scary approaching professionals like that, but networking is like any other skill - you have to practise it. One thing though, networking is different than stalking and a lot of people won’t appreciate you getting in their face - subtlety is what you should strive for.


You desire to own your own makeup empire

Granted - that won’t happen overnight. This thing is based on your success as a makeup artist AND your relationships with brands. First, there may be some collaborations with brands - some may choose you as a representative to their products for your fame. However, that may flourish and grow into more. These relationships can give you insight in what having and creating your own products look like. Mind you, it’s a LOT of work - and not just only makeup: you will have to gain a lot of business insight, knowledge and practise to do it. And, of course, there are financials to talk about - you may fund yourself if your career takes off or find investors: it’s your choice and purely a business decision to make.



However, at this step your clear vision of 'WHAT you are creating', 'FOR WHO you are creating' and 'do they even WANT/NEED it' is crucial. Hundreds of brands fail, because they think that creating a mascara will earn millions, because everyone needs mascara. Guess what - there are thousands of mascaras with famous names on them, so why should I also need yours?


Does it give you a headache? Relax. Breathe. You’ll figure it out - just think about what excites you, what make up and work environment do you find fascinating and it’ll come.

However, if you truly cannot decide, STOP thinking about it and let things develop at their own pace. AND before you go, we prepped one more BONUS that may elevate this somewhat common concern of most MUA's that are starting out.

Some things are easier than others but calculating your rate seems to be the enigma for lots of starting makeup artists. Don’t you worry, we will clear it up in a second. There are two types of payment you can accept: for the whole look or hourly. The first one is done working with private clients or in a salon, the second one - when you start doing editorials, fashion makeup, working with brands. You may still get paid for the job done even there but the rate is going to be significantly different.


First, what you’ve got to do is research: what are other MUA’s charging for the same services rendered, what is considered the norm and decide whether you want to do the same or go higher/lower. Again, this is business - you have to calculate everything: dropping your prices may make you more attractive or make you look less capable than your competition. Be wary when making these choices, yet, do not beat yourself too much, in the beginning you can always experiment with different pricing and see what attracts better business.




AND before you go, don’t forget, that for true success constant improvement of your craft is key, so take NEW classes, learn things, study trends and keep passionate about the thing you love the most - makeup! Goodluck!

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The Makeup Lovers  help people learn makeup online! We believe in making learning possible anywhere, anytime and for anyone!

It all started from a group of makeup enthusiasts that looove helping other people to succeed at their craft and to help them reach their dreams. We've built a support system to all MUA's (or those dreaming to become one) out there by adding value in everything we do: be it our socials, masterclasses or blog!

It takes only one step to go for everything you ever wanted and it all starts here!

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