With the advent of social media, it has become increasingly more popular to aspire to be a makeup artist. YouTube tutorials have changed the face of makeup, and everyone thinks they can be the next big thing in makeup artistry.
As a person who decided to become a makeup artist well before it was the cool thing to do, I am a little hesitant when women tell me daily that they want to be a makeup artist. I don't have the heart to tell them that "being a makeup artist" has nothing to do with creating makeup looks you see on YouTube or Instagram. Choosing to dedicate your life to makeup artistry can be a great idea, but you must be strategic in your path to take the right steps toward success.
I fell into these steps by accident. I had a long love affair with makeup, yet it was not something I ever considered as a career. After college, I worked for a nonprofit, which yielded a very small salary. I needed a part-time job to supplement my income and went to Macy's to apply for a cosmetics position.
I, like many girls today, explained to the cosmetics department manager that I was in fact a "makeup artist" who was skilled in doing my mother's and my friends' makeup. She probably saw that I was clueless but took a chance and offered me a part-time position at Clinique. I was disappointed as I was hoping for MAC or Trish McEvoy.
However, Clinique provided me with training that, in hindsight, was priceless. I knew how to apply eye shadow and blush, but previous to my Clinique training, I had no clue about human skin. Clinique educators worked tirelessly to train me about skin and all of the conditions that could affect it, such as acne, rosacea, eczema, hyperpigmentation, dryness, oiliness, and many others. With this skin education under my belt, I had the power to properly diagnose each woman who came to the counter and offer them products that would get their skin to its most optimum health. This was the first, most important thing I learned about being a makeup artist. The most beautiful makeup application in the world will look horrific on skin that's unhealthy.
After a couple of years at the Clinique counter, I was hired by Laura Mercier to be a freelance artist locally. After a short time of success in that position, I was hired to be part of Laura's freelance team for New York and Connecticut, going from store to store for events. With Laura Mercier, I learned tips and tricks from the top makeup artists in New York, including Laura Mercier herself. I also put in thousands of hours of work in the field, which no makeup class or YouTube video can possibly teach you.
My path is not for everyone. Yet there are a few things to consider before or during your jump into the cosmetics field. Ahead are some answers to common questions that women ask before they start their career.