So You Want to be a Top Make-up Artist?

Do you have what it takes?

So this week I am feeling a little frazzled to say the least, all the travelling for Britian’s Next Top Model, while keeping up with my other makeup jobs during the week has left me a little exhausted. No bank holiday for this makeup artist, I was working all weekend. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. I am so grateful for all the work; especially in this time of credit crunching! My biggest saving grace are my AMAZING makeup assistants who help me on the travelling road of beauty. I couldn’t work as hard as I do without them.

So, what makes them SO AMAZING you may ask? Well there are a lot of various factors in the mix that in my opinion make a super makeup assistant. Here are a few:

They never show up late. I drill it in their heads that they must always be 10-15 minutes early for everything. The tube isn’t an excuse, neither is traffic-if they get lost or have an emergency, well these things happen but then they need to pick up a phone and call-don’t assume I will get a text. A job can’t start in this business if the makeup artist is late, imagine if it is a celebrity waiting for makeup – there is no way you can make them wait for you!
You’ll loose the job or never get hired again. As a head makeup artist my assistants need to be there to help me set up my makeup kit for the days job. I shouldn’t have to start my day stressed and worrying where they are. I have had really talented makeup artists assist me but because they have crappy timing I’ve never hired them again.

When they get to a job with me they are there to work. If their reason is to socialise or they want to hang with famous people etc. they are assisting the wrong makeup artist. I will always have little jobs for an assistant if a model doesn’t need makeup, then brushes may need to be cleaned, nails may need painting; I don’t expect an indentured servant but at the same time I spent years doing lots of little odd and gruelling jobs and I wouldn’t ever ask an assistant to do a job that I wouldn’t or have not done at some point myself. If there is 15 minutes till show time I can’t have my assistants not paying attention and chatting on the phone , etc.

Personality- this is huge for me. Winging and moaning doesn’t cut it for me. There is nothing more unattractive in an assistant who complains over little dumb things-like early starts or can’t be bothered to do something or is negative. I don’t need someone like that working with me. I like high energy, positive smiley people. A huge part of being a makeup artist is getting people to relax, trust you and making them feel comfortable on a shoot set. If an assistant is bitching or acting inappropriately that can annoy people and make for an awkward work environment. This is crucial for me and why I don’t take on assistants I haven’t met before. I prefer to train up my team from the ground up and so I always am on the look out for fresh talent when I do my visiting lecturing day at the Academy of Freelance Makeup I’ve found some of my best workers this way.

They go that extra mile, making cups of tea, cleaning up rubbish around the work area when not asked to makes a massive difference in getting noticed when working in large teams. I sometimes have had up to 20 assistants backstage at a show and the ones who got more work again with me used their initiative and were hard working individuals.

Related Posts

  • No Fuss GroomingNo Fuss Grooming I often find that at the end of a work day - my clients or models always look fab but I don't get a minute for myself... which results in a rather messy looking makeup artist! So I […]
  • The Masculine Side of MakeupThe Masculine Side of Makeup So this past week I laughed my way through a photo shoot  for a magazine with Comedian Michael McItyre. when I was telling one of my friends about it, they were surprised? Why would […]
  • ‘Twas the night before London Fashion Week‘Twas the night before London Fashion Week 'Twas the night before London Fashion Week, when all through the house This makeup artist was stiring, "did that lipstick I put on that model go with that blouse?" The […]
  • Head Make-Up Artist=A Lot to Think About!Head Make-Up Artist = A Lot to Think About! So another week has gone by in my little world of beauty & makeup and what an action packed time it's been! I attended a makeup launch for Armani and discovered a few fab products […]

One comment

  1. red-handed
    May 8, 2009 at 18:18

    Spoken like a hard workin’ girl from Winnipeg. This could be a personal essay about any job, really. I’ll make sure C sees it.

Comments are closed.