Earning High-Paying Gigs as a Freelance Makeup Artist

Working as a freelance makeup artist has its perks. You’re able to do what you love for a living, you get paid to make people feel and look their best, and of course there’s always the opportunity to earn a high-paying gig or the chance to land a big makeup client. As a makeup artist (MUA), you will learn that consistently doing great work will lead to you getting more clients – you’ll need to market yourself, just like any other freelance job, but at the same time if you are consistently turning out great makeup work, it will show and makeup clientele will often refer you or at the very least help you network your makeup skills and services.

As a makeup artist, if you’re looking for the high-paying jobs, you’ll need to make sure that you are always out in the field applying your craft, but that you’re also continually learning and studying new and modern makeup techniques that will keep you in the running with other MUA’s and the always evolving cosmetics industry. As with most other professions, the more you put into your craft as a licensed MUA the more you’ll get out of it.

Working Out of Your Comfort Zone as a Makeup Artist

As a professional makeup artist for television and film, you’ll run into on-set directors that may often challenge as a makeup artist by switching the entire artistic direction midway through a film or TV appearance and you’ve got to stay completely flexible and roll with the punches in order to get re-hired by them as well as earn a reputation that you’re a makeup artist that’s easy to work with within the industry. Directors may want to add more glam or even a different look with special effects makeup, for example, they may want you to apply a prosthetic nose or chin or facial hair or scarring, and again, as a well-trained makeup artist, you’ve got to remain completely flexible, and if you’re more of a fashion MUA vs. special effects makeup artist you’ve still got to remain completely in-tact and try your best to apply the necessary look with whatever makeup and cosmetics you have in your kit at the moment.

Another example of going out of your way in order to get rehired as a makeup artist could be leaving your comfort zone in order to do apply a look on a client that you’re not necessarily comfortable with in order to please them. Often times you’ll see that simply going out of your way for a client, even when it comes to pushing yourself will lead to getting rehired and referred to other paying makeup gigs in the future.

Other Great Ways to Get Paid More as a Freelance Makeup Artist

Give your clients an introductory rate. A lot of well-known makeup artists and freelance MUA’s got their start doing reduced-rate makeup jobs early on in their careers. For instance, you can take on higher-profile clients who you know will either re-hire you or help you network (getting your name out in the industry) and start off by telling them you’re going to give them a great introductory rate in order to earn their business. This will not only set you apart from the competition, but you can also let them know that you’re worth a lot more – that your real rate is actually substantially higher, but that you’re willing to cut them a deal in order to start a successful partnership that will thrive in the future. Needless to say, this is a great way to get your foot in the door and begin gaining a higher level of clientele that will also refer you to others at their level.

Other ways to get your name out there is to stay working within the industry and makeup artist education. You can teach classes at the makeup school that you went to, or at regional occupation schools and cosmetics and beauty colleges. You can approach these from a mentor perspective if you’re unable to teach full-time or you can always be a guest lecturer. Staying active within the makeup and cosmetics education system is also a great way to get and keep your name out there – these students that take ‘looks’ and beauty industry insider knowledge away from the sessions you teach will always reach out to you later or quote you when working with their clients, effectively keeping you alive in the industry for quite some time. You may also find yourself working with or alongside these students one day out in the field, which can lend to more networking opportunities in the future as well.

Setting Your Rates as a Freelance Makeup Artist

Some makeup artists swear by setting rates very high from the get-go for their daily and hourly makeup gigs. While sometimes setting your rates really high will attract a certain clientele that is looking for an experienced and high-end MUA, it can also scare away clients that you can grow with as well as be dangerous if your experience doesn’t stack up against your hourly rates. Some makeup artists charge a flat fee for their work, while others swear by charging hourly with an X-hour minimum. Other experienced makeup artists say that they wouldn’t accept a flat rate for a day because hours on-set can go long and deep into the night – something running 12-16+ hours and making you work for a flat fee doing way more than you bargained for.

Other things to consider are charging a kit fee for the makeup. For instance, think about charging $45-60 for standard makeup as well as $99-$499 for special effects makeup and prosthetics, since you’re using your own cosmetics and makeup stash, and often putting together specific looks for your client, meaning what you are using was custom-built for the job, and your clients should know that.

This could lead to you getting hired by higher-end makeup clients who you’ve never worked for before. Reassuring your new clients by telling them you that you won’t let them down and living up to their expectations and working hard for them will not only show them you’re worth your fee as a makeup artist, but also that you’re a MUA that they’ll want to rehire. Many inexperienced makeup artists won’t make them feel this level of comfort or give them the reassurance, so be sure to go out of your way to prove yourself to your new clients – they’ll remember and rehire or refer you throughout the years.

Some Final Notes on Finding Clients as a Makeup Artist

Above all the things you can do out in the field as a MUA is, be nice. Be honest. Work hard. These clients will judge you and the way you carry yourself and market your brand. Your reputation will follow you throughout the years. Not only your makeup artistry and experience, but the way you actually conduct yourself on a personal level while on set. If you’re kind and smell great, are well-put-together, sympathetic and good to every client you work with, you’ll almost always be suggested in the future every time they have an opening or need a great experienced makeup artist. Remember that it’s not only the person that hired you, but every single person that you come across while out in the field that will tell others whether you’re a great MUA or awesome to deal with on a day-to-day, and that gets around.

A final thing to keep in mind is your foundation. If you are serious about becoming a licensed makeup artist in Southern California, you’ll want to attend a solid cosmetology school, like Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy in Orange County, CA. Our world-class modern beauty school facility in Santa Ana, CA is one of the best makeup schools in California. We’d love to give you a free tour of the campus and show you why we’ve been one of the longest running cosmetology schools in California. Please call us at 888-463-7869 in order to start your career as a licensed makeup artist today! For more information on beauty school and how Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy can help you become a makeup artist in California today, please call us or visit us at http://colleenoharasbeautyacademy.edu/makeup-artist-diploma-program/ our cosmetology instructors and advisors are standing by!