4 Professional Makeup Artists & How They Got Started

Hear from four professional makeup artists about how they got started into makeup. Sometimes you don’t know your true calling until later in life. The great thing about makeup is it’s never too late to educate yourself in becoming the next big artist. Sometimes you may find yourself starting out in something completely non related to makeup. 

Eventually if that’s what you really want to do, you will see there is always time to do it! Some of the professionals we interviewed did not start out or even plan on doing makeup full time until later in life. Then there are those who always knew. 

We took the time and asked these four professional makeup artists some questions and the responses may surprise you. Above all they may help you make your next move. ; ) 

How did you get your start as a professional makeup artist?

Jen:

Jen’s journey into makeup started earlier in life, as a teenager. She used makeup as an outlet for self expression. YouTube tutorials were Jen’s favorite thing to watch, she would spend hours watching tutorials on makeup. Even though Jen went to college, she still did not feel fulfilled. She wanted to do the one thing that made her the most happy, and that was makeup application! Finally at the age of 23 she attended makeup school to pursue her dreams.

Christina: 

Christina, believe it or not, started in jewelry and metalsmithing at CCS. She then switched majors to fashion design which led to doing makeup for student runways. It was at that point she knew she was supposed to do makeup for film and more specifically FX.

Nicole:

For Nicole her interest in makeup started with watching popular shows like The Walking Dead & Face Off. This is when Nicole started to look for makeup schools so she could pursue a career in makeup. After attending makeup school, Nicole fell in love and knew there was nothing else she wanted to do. 

Sami: 

When attending college as a theatre major, Sami stumbled upon makeup her senior year when she took a theatre makeup class. Sami knew right away her career was about to take a shift. After completing the makeup class she knew her future was meant for something in the makeup field. She later went on to pursue this dream. 

What is the best piece of advice you received?

Jen:

A lot of artists, especially in the beginning of their careers, tend to second guess themselves and let their thoughts, fears or worries deter them from opportunities. Jen immensely expresses the importance to have confidence in yourself. Furthermore, the best advice she ever received was, “JUST DO IT.”

Christina:

Her best career advice is, “Always stand 10 feet back from your work and look it over”… you’ll notice everything that needs to be adjusted. The best life advice she received is,“Treat others how you would like to be treated.” Even Christina’s life advice can go far in a professional environment, through bettering your work relationship with co workers & clients. 

Nicole:

Do the best you can and learn from your mistakes. Nicole shares her favorite advice, “If something on set doesn’t go as planned do not let that define who you are as an artist.” Things happen out of our control, don’t let that change how you feel as an artist.

Sami: 

No matter what happens in your professional career, you can always somehow make it work. Sami shares this advice with us as the best she has ever received, “make it work!”

What is the biggest lesson you learned?

Jen:

“Flexibility,” Jen explained this as more of a personal lesson for her, as she tends to lean towards structure and organization. Being flexible to a person like this may not be the easiest transition. However, in makeup this is a great thing to adapt to. It makes it easier for you as an artist and your clients. 

Christina:

Christina mentions how important it is to not stay comfortable. Along with the fact that kindness costs nothing to dole out to others, it’s free! Her response is as follows, “Stand up for yourself. Change your situation if it isn’t working.”

Nicole:

Nicole explains that things change depending on location and weather in this industry, so be ready to roll with the punches. Therefore, her response is; “If you are working on a set make sure that you are ready to do whatever is needed.”

Sami:

Sami says it short and sweet in saying the biggest lesson she learned was, “ trust the process.”

What is your favorite part about the job?

Professional makeup artist Kelsey applying Special FX makeup.

Jen:

Jen explains that the opportunities are limitless. She continues to be amazed on all the new routes one can go and all the new skills one can learn. Leading us to her favorite aspect about a career in makeup, “There’s so many different facets to the beauty industry.” The possibilities are endless. 

Christina:

Christina mentions with FX there is often a process or multiple that leads up to the finished look. As a makeup instructor she enjoys watching her students go through the process.”The process” is Christinas favorite part about the job. Being a makeup instructor she loves to see when a student completes a piece, Christina finds such joy in watching their faces. The students are amazed at themselves.

Nicole:

According to Nicole, if her job is done properly the actor or actress will have a much easier transition in getting into character. Which brings us to her favorite part of working in the industry, “Creating characters and adding that extra layer to the actor to get into the role.”   

Sami:

Sami’s favorite part about the job is “Script analyzing.” Through understanding the script creating the perfect character look becomes easier. You have to truly understand the character before creating the perfect look for them. Sami enjoys this thoroughly. 

Learn from these professionals! The key point to remember about artist is that not all started out as makeup artists, in fact very few are born knowing they were meant to do makeup. Often this interest arises later in life and sometimes even by accident. The end result is always the same though. The pursuer is thrilled with their career choice and shares a special passion for it. It is never too early or too late to start your journey in makeup artistry. If this reached you on any level, start your journey today!

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