Being in my line of work, and constantly posting about my line of work, means I get questions on the DAILY about how I got to where I am and what I needed to get there.
Knowing that Makeup Artistry is a growing ‘trend’, I’ve decided to break down my journey so far, and answer a few FAQ’s about what it’s been like!
What made you decide to become a Makeup Artist?
I actually had ZERO interest in it through school, which has been a mild disadvantage now (I defo should have taken accounting…). I initially was moving down to Queenstown in the middle of my first year out of High School to study Event Management and Hospitality, but I’m a busy body and needed something to keep me occupied. I saw a DESPERATE need for Makeup Artists in Queenstown, so decided it wouldn’t be a bad idea to study up and have it as a side hustle when I moved down.
Where did you study?
I did a full time (8-week) course at Kristen Stewart School of Makeup here in Christchurch. I chose KSSM because the course was fast, I could focus solely on ‘beauty makeup’ (I have no interest in SFX) and it was close to home. I was lucky to have my parents help me with the cost (love ya) and I started in February of that year.
I know that there are other options in Christchurch, but I ruled them out because the courses were long winded and didn’t give you as much freedom.
What did you like about KSSM?
First off, we got a HUGE bag of MAC goodies on Day 1, so KSSM has totally fuelled my love for MAC Cosmetics. I like that the trainers are well known and respected in the industry, and have awesome connections, giving you loads of options post-course.
I like that the course itself is also well known, and most graduates I had met were awesome makeup artists and bloody cool people too!
The hours suited me perfectly, we went from 9-about 3pm Monday to Friday, and the whole thing was over quickly, meaning I could get to work and earn some $$ before I moved down South.
What can you do with a Makeup Artistry Diploma?
ANYTHING! I love this question, because it’s totally up to YOU!
Personally, I applied for a handful of jobs and was lucky to land my DREAM one with MAC. In addition, I built up my social media pages to help direct clients to me and my personal freelance business.
Nowadays, I work 3 days a week taking special occasion and bridal clients, and the other 2-4 days I have multiple social clients for which I create content and manage their channels- solely based off what I’ve learnt while building my own biz.
Having a reasonable client base takes up much more time than you think, with quotes, emails back and forth and invoicing for your time, so I learnt quickly that there was no way I could continue growing my business if I was working full time.
There’s also the option of commercial artistry, editorial, fashion, advertising and TV. I’m personally not 100% interested in most work in these fields, so I’m not the best person for this advice!
What should I study at school?
Honestly, based on my experience, it really won’t matter. Personally, I took Geography, Statistics, Food and Nutrition and English. I wish I had taken either Accounting and/or Economics, but this is also something you can learn by trial and error.
More importantly, you’ll have to be super determined if you want to turn it in to your full time job. You can’t expect clients to just ‘come to you’ and you’ll need to know how you constantly be building your clientele.
How do you get people to notice you?
This one is fun- especially in the world of social media. I personally think as long as you’ve got ‘something’ about you, that differentiates you from another MUA, then you’re on the right track.
For me, I’ve found my ‘niche’ in my candid stories. I prefer an upfront and honest review in raw footage than something that has been well-constructed and thought out. It’s also VITAL to me that my clients/followers trust me and relate, so I always try and engage in conversations wherever possible.
How do I build up a client base?
ADVERTISE- but not in the classic way. Spend time on Instagram, Facebook, any form of social media getting your name out there.
COLLABORATE- good god, nothing is more important than this. Build meaningful relationships with people in your area, ensuring you receive lots of referral clients.
RETAIN- KEEP the clients you get. Add incentives to come back, keep in touch, whatever works for you. But make sure they love your service and love you as a person!
What should I put in my kit?
This is a HUGE question, one that requires a lot more than a mention in a blog post, but let me know if you’re interested and I can do a separate post on this!
I personally started out with an almost exclusively MAC kit, after completing my KSSM course. I was lucky enough to try almost everything MAC while training, so I knew what I needed to start off with- but use what you feel comfortable with.
I personally go by the mantra: try, buy, try, buy. Initially, I will visit a counter (if possible) and try the product on myself. Then, if I like it, I’ll buy ONE (if a foundation etc) in my shade and try it on myself and my family + friends (to get a hold of all skin types and textures). Then, if I love it from there, I’ll buy it, probably in multiples, for my kit!
How do you keep inspired and up to date?
With trends, fads and social media in general, it’s SUPER hard to keep up with what’s ‘cool’ in the makeup world sometimes. I was blessed with the training I received at MAC, but now that I’m out in the world, I’m doing my best to attend Masterclasses, Trend nights and read up on what’s ‘going on’. I also really hope to visit IMATS, a huge makeup convention, in either Sydney or LA before the end of the year!
I hope that helped you (and/or fulfilled your curious brain)