How to Succeed as a Freelance Makeup Artist

The fashion industry, the motion picture business, the entertainment sector: these are only some of the areas that demand a talented, experienced and professional makeup artist. Indeed, a makeup artist does not need to be on a company’s payroll. Instead, a makeup artist can survive and thrive in the freelance business.

Becoming a makeup artist comes with a lot of dedication and time consumption much like any other industry. It takes determination, practice, education and skills training to transform into a makeup aficionado and expert. Once the qualifications are attained then a freelance makeup artist can flourish.

In order to be taken seriously, a freelance makeup artist needs the top of the line makeup kit, a positive and upbeat attitude and a passion for the business. Of course, for each makeup artist freelancer, there are a number of ways to proceed, but here are five methods that can help any pro to climb and reach the top of this business.

Practice and portfolio

If you’re just starting out in this industry, it would be prudent to have plenty of practice. This can be done on models, friends and family or your fellow colleagues in the industry. In addition, once your makeup project is complete, take pictures of these testing subjects and showcase them in print and online portfolios to show to potential clients.


Akin to any other industry professional freelancer, it’s imperative to open and maintain a detailed, professional-looking website that can offer a resume, a list of experience, samples and a portfolio and contact information. In today’s world, a website is one of the best and most important investments.

A step inside

If you want to work for the best and brightest in your industry – as well as to make plenty of contacts – then consider working at a department store, interning at a fashion firm or becoming a makeup artists’ apprentice. This way, you can learn about the tricks of the trade, the newest methods and how to thrive. Again, the networking factor might be the most important element of this measure.


In a way, the Internet has made us languid and complacent when it comes to marketing and advertising our products and services. This is why in addition to utilizing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it’s also important to start advertising on websites, such as or, handing out business cards at industry-related events and networking with businesses that could need your kind of services in the future.

Contact and enquiries

Seek, Craigslist and Kijiji for film producers, whether it’s a big-budget, student film or a small picture, and inquire if they would need the services of a makeup artist. If they’re offering pay then that’s great, but if not then it’s no big deal because you’re attempting to gain some experience – after a while then you can start soliciting your services for pay.

Furthermore, applying to gig advertisements on freelance websites, like Elance, Freelancer or oDesk, can also prove to be a beneficial endeavor. Although these websites generally seek freelancers that are involved in writing, graphic design and search engine optimization, it could be worthwhile to skim these boards a couple of times a week.

Are you a successful freelance makeup artist? Let us know about your journey in the comment section below.