If you’re thinking of doing makeup professionally, now may be a good time to start. While the COVID-19 crisis certainly affected the hair and makeup industry—just like it did many types of industries across the board—the current roll-out of vaccines in the United States might make it easier for the beauty industry and other related fields to open up again.
It will come with a different set of challenges, though. While there were already plenty of challenges for professional makeup artists before 2020, the pandemic has surely aggravated those hardships. Here are some essential tips for succeeding as a makeup artist in a post-pandemic world.
Amp up your skills
Now that there is more supply but less demand for professional makeup artists, you need to make sure that you have something to offer that your competitors can’t. Consider finding the best beauty school to help train you while building up a clientele and investing in extra skills that other makeup artists may not have.
For example, if you also have a background in skincare or become a licensed esthetician, that’s already a huge incentive for clients to choose you over other makeup artists.
Step up your social media game
Many of the most successful makeup artists today, like Patrick Ta, were first discovered by celebrities through social media platforms like Instagram. There are no two ways about it: If you’re only starting, you need to build up a solid online portfolio that showcases your ability and sets you apart from other run-of-the-mill makeup artists. Here are some tips to make your social media presence stand out:
- Let the work speak for itself. As much as you can, try not to edit too much or use Facetune to correct mistakes. When people are looking for more authenticity and transparency from beauty influencers, you need to set yourself apart as someone who would never use editing apps and tools to deceive your clients into thinking your skills are better than they are. Master the craft and let the photos speak for themselves.
- Partner with photographers and hairstylists who are also in the process of building their own portfolios. Check your Instagram’s Explore page for other aspiring artists that you can collaborate with, and together, you can help find your way to success. You don’t need to do it alone!
- Make sure your website has all the contact information from the first page. The last thing you want is frustrated customers who want to book your services but can’t navigate your website.
- Constantly engage your audience even as the world opens up again. This was key in 2019, and perhaps even more so in a post-COVID-19 world.
Emphasize cleanliness and hygiene
We live in a time when makeup artists need to be maniacal about sanitation, hygiene, and cleanliness. Here are some key tips to remember:
- Do a double cleanse of your tools. Wash them thoroughly with gentle baby shampoo and warm water. Let them dry for a bit, and spray them again with spray brush cleaners you can find in the market. Make sure they have clean ingredients too.
- Put some isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle and gently spray some into your products and packaging.
- Show through your social media platforms your commitment to your clientele’s health and safety by showing them the process of cleaning your products and tools.
- Wear a mask while doing your client’s makeup, even if both of you are vaccinated.
- Wash your hands and sanitize them before touching your client.
- Don’t let the product touch your client’s face directly. Use a palette and palette knife to take some product of the packaging before applying it to the client.
Consider how your medium has changed for good
Before the pandemic, makeup artists had the luxury of focusing simply on in-person work. But now that the future is a bit more uncertain, you need to consider that your medium as a professional makeup artist is physical and virtual. While you should never neglect finding opportunities to do makeup on-site, like for a photoshoot or a special event, consider that there are also plenty of ways to make money as a professional makeup artist online. You can hold special workshops, be a keynote speaker for a beauty webinar, or build up a portfolio so that brands will sponsor your content.
The possibilities may be endless, but they will require a lot of work. Believe in your ability and the power of the internet, and give yourself the chance to try.