How to Become a Freelance Makeup Artist

How to Become a Freelance Makeup Artist

Launching your beauty career can be scary and confusing. You want to be creative but, you also need a paycheck! Working towards your goals consistently every single day will move you in the right direction. I’m a big proponent of working smarter not harder, yet I also believe in burning the midnight oil and doing what no else is willing to do. Remember, attitude is everything so, no matter what your critics say, stay positive and never, never, never give up! Here’s some sound, realistic advice to launching your career as a makeup artist.


1. Work for a cosmetic retailer.


Ok, so after you have had some formal training, I recommend that you work for a cosmetic retailer…for several reasons. I know this is probably NOT what you want to hear, but trust me, this is a great path to take. When you work for a cosmetic retailer your education continues as you get paid! Working at a makeup counter has all of the elements for a wonderful education: handling customers, promotion and sales, curating skills like punctuality and accountability, creative makeovers, and networking.

2. Take on creative projects, even without pay!

makeup artist photo shoot

While you earn your paycheck, you can venture off onto other more creative projects like photo shoots, film and video productions, and fashion shows. Some of these projects are low paying or no pay at all so its important to keep that paying retail job. The key to success is to have that end result in mind: a slamming resume! Once those credits build up and your network increases, you will see higher paying gigs come your way.

3. Be willing to work multiple part-time jobs.


When I started my beauty career in the mid 90’s at 22 years old, I had worked two paying jobs simultaneously. I worked at a Glamour Shots photography studio and at the Lancome counter in Virginia. Both were low paying and yes I was scared but, I knew deep in my heart I was doing the right thing. While working at both jobs I focused on big picture stuff; I put my fears aside and opened my mouth and networked with other beauty professionals and studied how these businesses ticked. I observed and asked questions and occasionally took risks. I learned about freelance work and decided to build a private clientele and special occasion makeover business. As I made more connections, I created more jobs for myself. Fast forward a few years, I built a business and was fully self employed. I am happy to say that I have been very blessed and have never been out of work. To this day, I am constantly expanding my professional circle and continue to grow.


You, too, can launch an amazing career! By working at the day job while never giving up on the day dream, you can build a fun, creative, and profitable career!

Stay tuned for more career focused blogs that will help you fulfill your dreams and goals. Stay current on my career on social media! And I hope to meet you at my next makeup class, Sunday, August 12, 2018, “Let’s Get This Party Started”!


XO, Dawn


Check out some of my favorite everyday makeup picks!


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