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How to Market yourself as a Freelance Makeup Artist by Karla Powell

With the success of my blog post on the Pros and Cons of being a Make-up Artist went down so well with my followers I decided to do a lead up blog post today on some more of my top tips within make-up artistry and this time on ‘How to Market’ yourself as a make-up artist! Some of you may know some of these tips however for those that don’t I really do hope this blog post helps you in the success of your career as a make-up artist.

For those that think ‘Oh I want to be a Make-up Artist’ until they start to actually try and get into this world of make-up artistry a realisation hits them of how much hard work goes into it, I am not going to lie to you- it’s not easy and there were so many times I told myself I can’t do this or there is no work out there, but my passion and love for make-up took over and I found every possible way to get into make-up as a career and to prove all those that told me being a make-up artist is not a professional career, and here I am now with the most amazing job in the world and this was all down to marketing myself properly, building contacts and getting my work out there and I will never look back. This short journey of mine I had to learn it the hard way as there was no one there to point me in the right direction, so it’s my pleasure to give as many tips and direction for my followers as possible in this blog post.

Once you start marketing yourself right it will become easier and the rewards of being a make-up artist is amazing! As a freelance makeup artist it’s down to you and you only to ensure you market yourself and just like your make-up lecturers will tell you, being a make-up artist the jobs just don’t come to you (only if you market yourself properly) and there isn’t jobs in newspapers it’s about you showing people what you can do and building those contacts up and getting your work out there. A make-up artist will also have to know how to invoice, collecting testimonials, working on clients and marketing your makeup business in the right way. This is quite possibly one of the most important aspects of your business, as without clients there is no business to speak of.

Being a full-time freelance makeup artist depends on your ability to successfully attract clients. Even if you’re a part-time freelance makeup artist, the more you market your business the right way, the sooner you will be able to make the leap to becoming a full-time makeup artist. Marketing also requires consistent efforts in everything and that’s even keeping on top of blogs and your social media (if you choose that option) implement additional promotional ideas into your marketing plan. It’s always better to over-promote, than to under-promote!


Something I want to do more of! Youtube videos but that is all down to time, equipment etc. However I do keep My Channel updates regularly with behind the scene videos of my photoshoots etc. By developing a following for yourself as a professional makeup artist by creating high quality makeup tutorials, reviews and giving tips on YouTube can get you noticed very quickly! However seeing the success of some of my favourite make-up gurus on YouTube they do have the best lighting, they speak clearly and opt for a true video camera rather than using one that may be built into a computer. In addition, if you make partner on YouTube (your videos must be quite popular), it’ll be an effective way to supplement your income while still following your passion in makeup as YouTube do pay you on each video through advertisement links. There are only a few makeup artists and beauty gurus that stand out of the crowd for me on YouTube and that being Kandee Johnson, Pixi Woo and Miss Chievous I learnt so much from them when starting out as a make-up artists and from this day I continue to learn from them.

Join Social Networks on ModelMayhem, Purple Port, Twitter, Facebook, Behance, Dribble, Linkedin, Pinterest & others…

Participate in social media has taken such an important role in my make-up career- It all started by posting my make-up work up on Facebook which got my work noticed and believe it or not many of my full time make-up jobs with big brands were through Twitter! Social networking is one of the most effective ways to spread the word about your freelance makeup artist business, your work and who you are.  Promote your business on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and any other social networking websites you’re active on. The best way to promote your business is by offering a discount, sending a link to a blog post or YouTube video or updating your fans on the current happenings of your makeup artist business and don’t forget to interact with your fans- My pet hate is seeing artists never even responding to their followers. I try my hardest even when super busy to respond to everyone.

Sites like Model Mayhem, Purple Port, Behance etc are websites where creative professionals, such as photographers, models, and of course, makeup artists, can connect with one another. You can network with talented professionals in your area and work together to develop all of your portfolios simultaneously. And, photographers, models and interested clients can contact you for paid work through your profile. Spend time creating a professionally written bio and uploading quality pictures (Any images of work on yourself does people of straight away so work on some professional images through testing).

A Professional Website

Most prospective clients research makeup artists before deciding to hire them and that’s through your social media sites, websites and even on Google!  If your portfolio isn’t online, you very well may lose potential clients to the competition. Create a website to showcase your portfolio, and also add pages that display your bio, and rates- I don’t add rates on mine as only on request but many makeup artists choose to quote on a case by case basis, therefore you may choose to simply implement a contact form and ask prospective clients to contact you for a quote this way.

My website runs through Tumblr and Behance’s ProSite service. Behance takes the projects that you’ve already created for your Behance portfolio and turns them into a customizable portfolio website. For a reasonable fee, Behance will host the website and provide an intuitive editing system for manipulating your website.

This saves you the headache of searching for the best web-hosting deals and then coding a website from scratch. The best part is that you can try it out for free because you don’t pay any fees until you are ready to publish your site for the world to see, here is a video for more information on how to do that here:

Start Blogging!

A blog in addition to your website is one of the most effective ways to promote your business as you can write blog posts about previous work you’ve done including photos of the process/client if possible, post tutorials and reviews on some of your favourite products or like me give out some of your top tips! As always, write your blog posts in a professional voice as this is an avenue in which you promote your business, rather than rant about your everyday life- I have followed some other make-up artists blogs and the way they write their reviews or on a subject matter is really un professional and off putting and as a client I would not employee. With your own blog you get to share your passion with others, I just can’t get enough of blogging and for sure it changed my life when Tumblr took me to New York Fashion week back in 2011 and now I have one of the top most followed UK beauty blogs on their platform which keeps growing from strength to strength. With addition to this you can make money and receive products from brands to review when you build up enough following and a certain amount of hits on your blog monthly. The best of all, you can use your blog to make real money through advertisers, affiliate programs, and even selling your own products!

Advertise on others blogs

Find relatively popular blogs that are tailored towards your area and purchase advertising. Nowadays, most independently owned blogs will offer their sponsors an introductory post which tells their readers about your business in addition to placing a button to your website or blog on their sidebar. Maybe start finding some beauty blogs that you love and you can email them and ask if they do offer this service?


Networking with other makeup artists, photographers, models and other creatives opens the door to you receiving their overflow, and vice a versa. Some make-up artists may have a job so therefore you can refer them rather than turning them away altogether. So therefore building relationships in this industry is key! This also apples to being an amazing assistant for someone, I have had my assistant’s show me how amazing they are and if I can’t do a make-up job I always give their contact details out and that’s the beauty of assisting too.

Bridal Work

Teaming up with local bridal businesses (if that’s the niche of makeup artistry you’re in) can be highly profitable for your business. You can simply ask local bridal shops, accessories shops, bakeries and wedding planners to pass out your business’ information if they have a bride that is yet to hire a makeup artist. In exchange, you can hand out their information to your clients as well to reach a mutually beneficial partnership. Wedding make-up is one of the easiest ways to start making money when starting out as a make-up artist as every bride knows how important their make-up has to be on this special day.

Finally visit the Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union for current rates of being a make-up artist pay on Bectu.

I really hope this blog post can help many of you, I really enjoyed writing it and I look forward to creating many more helpful blog posts like so. If you remain passionate, professional, nice, NOT BITCHY,  humble and never don’t give up on the dream I promise you amazing things will come your way as a make-up artist.




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(Photo: OPI)

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Le Désir et la Menace, Installation by Cédric Le Borgne.

Festival Arbres en Lumière – Rue de la Fontaine, Genève (2012).


Candelier by Kevin Champeny on Tumblr.


Hesitate // Activate // Deviate by Alexa Meade & Sheila Vand.

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Sophisticated lady, Jason Wu.Photo by Kristen Somody Whalen


Sophisticated lady, Jason Wu.
Photo by Kristen Somody Whalen