How to Be a Professional Makeup Artist

Have you ever thought about turning your passion into a career? I have.

As you might have already noticed by browsing through my blog, my passion is all about makeup: whether it is makeup applications, products, or trends. Since the first moment I started to play with makeup, I have always wanted to be a makeup artist, but how? What are the steps I should take before I can actually call myself as a professional makeup artist, apart from polishing my makeup skills?


Make-up artist backstage at the Lee Matthews show, Spring/Summer 2007 Australia Fashion Week (Author: Charlie Brewer)

Lucky for me, I had a great opportunity to talk to Roushanah Washington, a freelance makeup artist in the Philadelphia area, about how to become a MUA – makeup artist. The tips she gave me were brilliant yet practical:


It is very important to learn how to apply makeup properly to your costumers or models, especially in terms of hygiene and product safety. You can always go to a makeup school and learn from the people who have years of experience. If you don’t have the time or the financial support, you also can learn from books or the Internet. There are a lot of good, free resources out there on the Internet.


Always practice your skills. Your skills speak more than whether you are self-taught or school-learned. Try to practice applying makeup on as many people as possible. By doing so, you will learn how to work with different skin types, different skin tones, and different ages. Working at makeup counters and helping at photography studios are some of the great ways to gain makeup experiences.


It takes time and effort to build a good reputation. Stay connected with your clients at your makeup counter, the photographers you work with, party planners, and any potential clients. Your name and skills will spread by word of mouth. The new media such as Instagram and other social networks will also help you to market yourself. Post your work to the Internet, and people will follow you.

About Raushanah Washinton:

Time in the makeup industry: since 2008

Favorite makeup look: “no-makeup” makeup

Favorite makeup brand: MAC and Make Up For Ever


How to Choose the Perfect Lip Color

Baby pink, fuchsia, coral, and fire engine red… they all look so cute and how difficult it is to pick the perfect one! I happened to have the chance to talk to one of the makeup experts in Philadelphia, Susan M. Wall, about choosing the perfect shade for the lips. Here’s what she said:

Image courtesy of nuttakit/

Image courtesy of nuttakit/


When it comes to choosing the right lip color, there are a lot of factors you should consider: skin tones, eye color, hair color, and etc. If you want to go bold and pull off a gorgeous red, try to match the lip color with your skin tone. Wear a red with blue undertones (fire engine red) if you have a cool skin tone; wear a red with orange/yellow undertones (cherry red) if you have a warm skin tone.

** A note from Liuyi: don’t know your skin tone? Read How to Choose a Right Foundation for more information about finding out your skin tone.


If you are going for a natural lip color, try to match it with your skin tone. Coral and orange are perfect for warm skins, and pink and fuchsia look great on cool skins.

** A not from Liuyi: if your teeth are not as white as you want them to be, try colors with blue undertones (cool pink or fuchsia). Some blue tones on the lips can cancel out the yellow undertones on your teeth.

About Susan M. Wall:

Time in the makeup industry: 18 years

Favorite makeup look: classy, simple

Favorite makeup brand: Lancôme and Urban Decay

How to Do a Simple Eye Makeup

Want to find out how to create a simple, yet chic eye makeup? Look no further. Makeup artist Tinamarie Fairfax revealed the secrets of making your eyes pop in only four steps.

Image courtesy of  Stuart Miles/

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/


Apply eye primer on your upper and lower eyelids before you start your eye makeup. You don’t want your eye makeup to look like a hot mess after a long day. Like a face primer, an eye primer provides a clean canvas for any pigmented products to stick to. A good eye primer can actually prevent makeup from creasing and smudging, and give your eye shadow better color payoff.

** Liuyi Recommends: Too Faced Shadow Insurance


If you are going for a simple, natural-looking eye makeup, start with a nude eye shadow all over your eyelids as a base color. A nude eye shadow not only creates a smooth surface for the following products to glide on, but also evens out your lid color if you have hyper-pigmentation around your eyes.


Choose an eye shadow that is two or three shades darker than your skin tone as your crease color. A pop of color in the crease helps to define the shape of your eyes. Use a small brush to apply the color to the crease. Sweep the brush back and forth following your natural eye socket. To achieve a softer look, use a clean fluffy brush to blend out any edges of the crease color.

** Tip from Liuyi: For people with monolids, instead of applying darker shades in the crease, pile the color near your upper lash line to enhance your eye shape.


Line your eyes with black or brown eyeliner with short, light strokes in the roots of your eyelashes. This will give you the illusion of fuller lashes.

** Liuyi Recommends: Nars Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner

Always curl your lashes before applying mascara. A set of curled and full lashes will finish the look.

About Tinamarie Fairfax:

Time in the makeup industry: 12 years

Favorite makeup look: Smokey

Favorite makeup brand: Every brand has its own unique products and it is really hard to pick one.

Simple Makeup Look For School

Late night studies and rushing for classes should NOT be the reasons for you looking tired and unlovely. How to look pretty while being school-appropriate? Makeup artist Sara Wren has your question answered.

Image courtesy of  stockimages/

Image courtesy of stockimages/

Step 1: Use a tinted moisturizer

Toss out your full coverage foundation, and use a tinted moisturizer for a light coverage and hydration. You should let your beautiful skin breath and glow, instead of hiding it underneath a mask of heavy foundation.

**Liuyi recommends: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20

Step 2: Cream blush

Again, stay away from powdery and cakey skin product… they tend to give you a more tired look. Try cream blush. Using clean fingers to pick up some of the product. Smile and apply the color to the apple of your cheeks. Voila! There you have it!

**Liuyi recommends: NYX Rouge Cream Blush

Step 3: Mascara

One coat of mascara would be sufficient for your day at school. Use a waterproof formulation if your lids tend to get oily during the day.

**Liuyi recommends: Maybelline Volum’ Express® The Rocket™ Waterproof Mascara

Step 4: Lip gloss

Finish off your ready-for-school makeup look with a touch of lip gloss, and you are ready to head to class!

**Liuyi recommends: Anastasia Hydrafull Gloss

About Sara Wren:

Time in the makeup industry: 10 years

Favorite makeup look: dewy skin with natural eyes

Favorite makeup brand: Stila

How to Wear Beach Makeup

It’s that time of year again. Are you ready to hit the beach? Don’t leave yet without reading the following beach makeup tips provided by makeup artist Adrianne Fahsbender!

Image courtesy of  Michal Marcol/

Image courtesy of Michal Marcol/

Wear SPF

Always wear a sunscreen with 30 SPF or more before going to the beach, or doing any activities under the sun. A sun kissed skin can look nice, but we can always fake tan while having healthy skin.

Let your skin breathe

Wearing a thick coat of sunscreen on the face can be suffocating already. Try to avoid too much face makeup. If you really need some coverage, a light weight concealer is sufficient.

Bronzer, bronzer, bronzer

Beach is the perfect place for girls who love to bronze! There is no such thing as “too much bronzer” on the beach.


Wear waterproof eye and lip makeup to the beach. Make Up For Ever ( has a great waterproof line. Try their waterproof mascara, eyeliner, and aqua creams…you will be amazed!

About Adrianne Fahsbender:

Time in the makeup industry: seven years

Favorite makeup look: natural

Favorite makeup brand: a mix of every brand

How to Get Ready in Five Minutes?

Don’t you just hate waking up early in the morning to get ready? Here I have some makeup tips from makeup artist Amy Osborn for getting ready in only five minutes, which can totally save you more specious time in the morning.

Image courtesy of stockimages/

Image courtesy of stockimages/

Step 1: Tinted Moisturizer

Tinted moisturizer is a multi-purpose beauty product that is lightweight, provides hydrations to your skin, and evens out your skin tone at the same time. The new BB cream is just a fancier name for tinted moisturizers, with more pigments and more beneficial nutrients. With one layer of tinted moisturizer (or BB cream), you can skip over other skin products in the morning.

Step 2: Mascara

A pop of mascara can instantly refresh your face and bring out your eyes. Of course, you can always curl your eyelashes because it shouldn’t take you more than three seconds for each eye. Curled lashes can make your eyes look more awake.

Step 3: Blush

A light dust of blush can make your face glow and look alive. In addition, it can accentuate your cheekbones if you apply directly on them.

Step 4: Lips

Apply your favorite lip color before heading out– no matter it is pink, red, or neutral. Wearing your favorite lip color is the fastest and easiest way to boost your self-confidence in the morning, and be ready for your day.

More tips from Amy

Having the right beauty products prepared in front of you can actually save you a lot of time in the morning to get ready. Remember to organize your vanity table every two weeks, so that you don’t end up wasting time looking for the products you need.

About Amy Osborn:

Time in the makeup industry: more than 20 years

Favorite makeup look: Simple, neutral

Favorite makeup brand: Laura Mercier

How to Choose a Right Foundation

Great makeup starts from a great base. Period.

Today, you probably can find more than a hundred shades of foundations (and the latest on-trend BB creams and CC creams…) in a cosmetic store. However, how do you know which foundation is your perfect match? For all the makeup newcomers out there, I have great news for you. Philadelphia-based makeup artist Melinda D. Austin shared with us a few tips and tricks of how to choose the right foundation.

Image courtesy of marin/

Image courtesy of marin/

1. Determine your skin tone.

Your skin may be cool toned, warm toned, or neutral. Determine your skin tone first, and then choose a foundation with the same undertones.

**A note from Liuyi: Don’t know your skin tone? The easiest way to find out is to take a silver/gold test! If you look better in gold jewelry, you have a warm tone; if you look better in silver jewelry, you have a cool tone. If you look great in both gold and silver jewelry, then your skin is neutral toned.

2. Determine the right type of foundation.

What type of skin do you have? Is it oily, combination, normal, or dry? Choosing the right type of foundation based on your skin type is important. Also, if you don’t have many blemishes on your skin, you can opt for a sheer coverage foundation. If you need a lot of cover-up, a full coverage foundation is great for you.

3. Swatch foundations for the perfect shade.

Now you have matched your foundation with your skin tone and skin type. What you need to do afterward is to find your perfect shade. If you unsure of which shade suites you the most, test the foundation on your chin when you are not wearing any face makeup. Pick two to three shades that you think will suit you, and swatch them on you chin. The shade that disappears in your skin and blends well with your skin tone is your perfect shade.

More tips from Melinda

If your skin gets very oily after a few hours of wearing makeup, you need to ask yourself whether you have a good skin care regime. Make sure your skin is well-hydrated before you apply your face makeup. Use mattifying powder and oil-free primers if needed.

About Melinda D. Austin:

Time in the makeup industry: Since 1980 (WOW!)

Favorite makeup look: Smokey

Favorite makeup brand: Make Up For Ever