How to Become a Successful Freelance Makeup Artist

Sure, being a makeup artist is fun, but if you'd prefer to be your own boss, freelancing is the way to go. Freelance makeup artists are 100 percent in charge of their income potential, which is limited only by the ability to generate enough business. Becoming a successful freelance makeup artist takes hard work, long hours and a ton of advertising. If you are up for the challenge of creating a successful career in freelance makeup artistry but don't quite know where to start, you'll be glad to hear that the first steps mimic those of most small business entrepreneurs.


    • 1

      Build a portfolio. Your portfolio is your resume in the freelance makeup artist business. You don't need years of experience to develop an impressive makeup artist portfolio; you need talent and models. Find your makeup models by volunteering at local fashion shows and photo shoots. Since fashion shows typically employ the services of several models, you can add an entire collection of makeup looks to your portfolio in just one day.

    • 2

      Create a website. All makeup artists need websites to serve as online portfolios, present services and facilitate a business presence on the Web. Contact a graphic designer to create a chic website for you. You supply the domain name, your portfolio and the text. Commission the graphic artist to create a logo for your makeup artist services if you don't have one.

    • 3

      Create a business card. Flashy business cards aren't typically used in business, but quite the opposite holds true for your industry. A professional makeup artist working in the beauty and fashion industry needs a flashy or artistic business card. Hire a graphic designer to create a makeup artist business card that is right for you and that has the proper amount of glitz and glamour.

    • 4

      Market your services. You're not just a makeup artist; you're a freelance makeup artist. As a freelancer, you are in charge of your marketing efforts; if you don't get clients on a regular basis, you won't have food on the table. Start marketing your freelance makeup artistry services aggressively by acquiring attractive and professional caliber brochures of your services. Include your logo, rate sheet, service menu, whether you travel to the client's location, your website and your contact information. Include at least two images of your work in your makeup artist brochure, so people can see what you can do. Hand your brochures out to local wedding boutiques, hair salons, spas and modeling agencies.

    • 5

      Once you start getting clients on a regular basis, you want to give them incentives to keep you as their go-to makeup artist. Give your clients rebates on your services for each client they bring your way. For example, if a client refers you as a makeup artist for her sister's wedding, offer your client a makeup application for 50 percent off next time. You can create a more aggressive rebate plan -- for example "refer 10 clients to me and receive a free makeup application and makeup artist goodie bag."

Tips & Warnings

  • Dress in business casual style, even when you're food shopping or filling the car with gas. You never know when you will run into a prospective client. You should always look stylish and professional.
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  • Photo Credit Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

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