It is the responsibility of a makeup artist to know how to do any face that sits in his or her chair. When you’re trying to decide how and where to learn from, even if you’re going the self taught route, it’s so important to know that the person you are learning from, apprenticing with or getting tips from is a well rounded professional makeup artist. Meaning, this person should know how to do any face, any ethnicity, any skin type and as well have the creativity to still have fun.

A makeup artist needs to know how to do makeup that is wearable outside of an air conditioned studio or shoot. If a bride, for example, were to ask you for a very specific look in the dead of summer you would need to know what would work and what wouldn’t work in that humidity. Some makeup applications are just too heavy for an outdoor summer event.

A huge part of being an exceptional makeup artist is knowing how to listen to your clients and their keywords. A lot of this just comes with practice, but a great teacher who knows what he or she is doing will be able to save you a lot of time.

Here are 3 tips that don’t occur to most people from a professional's perspective.


Tip #1: Pee-yew!

Don’t wear perfume. I know! You spent so long finding the ideal scent that just sits on your skin perfectly. But from the perspective of the client it might be a bit too much. You are spending your working day in the very close and personal space of someone else. You should always be aware of this. Sometimes a scent can be too intense and some people are very sensitive to aromas. I like to wear a light body misting scent if anything, and still go easy on the spritzer.


Tip #2: Essential oils

Sticking with the theme of smells a great little trick that will set you apart from the crowd is carrying with you some essential oils.

Sometimes you may get a client who has body odor or a distinct smell. Getting so close in proximity to them can then be a very hard thing to stomach. Luckily there is an all natural solution. Essential oils really help when you have a client who has a bit too much BO to handle. Put a dab at the base of your nostril and you’ll be back on cloud 9. I like lavender, frankincense or citrus. Just choose your favorite.


Tip #3: Know what to ask

This tip may seem a bit obvious, but trust me, most MUA overlook this and it leads to unhappy clients.

Make sure when you’re having your consultation prior to the big day that you actually talk to your client about his or her needs. Asking the right questions will help you tremendously to get to the the heart of what that particular person is looking for and will help you do a great job. This is why so many makeup artists have practice runs. We like to take it a step further.

A lot of times people want things they see in pictures and may even have multiple styles they like as examples. They are relying on your expertise to guide them. If they show you a picture of Kim Kardashian, for example, and admit that they don’t really wear lots of makeup at all but they like her look, it’s your job to explain to them what they are asking. That look is a lot of heavy makeup. If you haven’t worn false lashes before they can feel heavy. It may be something to re-think or try beforehand and see how it feels.

The most important thing is that they feel comfortable in their own skin. You can do a great job of really bold dramatic makeup but they have to carry it around all day and if the client doesn’t feel uncomfortable in it, it just won’t look good.

Knowing what to ask a client and how to listen to them to find out what they really want versus what will look good on them is a huge part of the job that gets passed over by many artists.

This simple idea gets forgotten a lot. That’s why we dedicated a whole section in the course to listening to keywords and even have a list of questions to ask a client in the TEMA reference book. Preliminary client questions gets overlooked too much and can make all the difference.

At the end of the day your client wants to look good, and that comes from feeling good, not by trying to replicate someone else you or they think looks good. Show them what you can do using their own unique beauty. Plus, steering them in the right direction will get your clients to trust you even more.


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