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