top of page

Learn with Cortiva

What separates good makeup artists from great ones?

Updated: Jan 2



While choosing a profession is a natural process for some, it can be a stressful question mark for others. Still, whatever career you choose, we all want to be the best.

Makeup artists know the job is often for creative and perfectionist types. But what separates a great makeup artist from a good one?


Let’s start with the basics. A makeup artist is a professional who consults with customers to create the client’s desired makeup look, whether it’s for a wedding, a special event, or even a normal day.


At the base level, being a makeup artist, even a freelance makeup artist, requires training. Depending on the school or program, the length of the training can vary. Even further, some states also require makeup artists to obtain their licenses, especially if you plan to work in a salon. Research what program or esthetician training is best for you, your goals, and your schedule. Here are a few factors you should consider when choosing a certified makeup artist program, including salary information and frequently asked questions outlined by the Cortiva Institute.


When you have the basics squared away, it comes time to figure out how to be at your best game and be your best self. Here are five qualities that separate great makeup artists from just good ones.

1. They Are Not Afraid To Experiment.


Artistic makeup and creative makeup looks require trial and error. How will you find your style if you do not experiment and try new techniques and tricks? Watch tutorial videos, try new tips on yourself, or ask a friend to model for you. Learning comes with doing.

2. They Have Strong Referrals And Recommendations.


Many people will spend hours scouring the internet, searching “mobile makeup artist near me.” The more your name is out there, the better. Ask your clients to leave you website reviews and reviews on Google, Yelp, and other searchable sites. Building repertoire is crucial in the beauty industry. However, it is vital to make connections organically and earn strong reviews. And that comes with catering to your clients.

3. They Listen To Their Client.


While experimentation is encouraged, it is best not to stray away too far from the path. Read your client. Some customers know exactly what they want, while others seek advice and new ideas. Know when experimentation is welcome or not. It is most important to listen to the client.


Great makeup artists also listen to their clients when it comes to budgets. If you work at a salon or beauty counter, prices are often pre-selected. But as a freelancer, you set your rates along with the market and competition. Know how to stay within your client’s budget, and don’t be so pushy as to try to sell them more than they intended to spend.

Makeup artists require strong interpersonal skills and active listening.

4. They Must Be Able To Be Flexible And Adaptable.


Being a makeup artist also requires adaptability. The beauty industry is ever-changing. You have to adapt to new trends, beauty standards, and what your customers want. Things can change, and being flexible is crucial in building your business.


5. They Are Time Efficient.


Time is our greatest resource. And while it may sound simple, makeup artists that can complete their job on time, in the time allotted by the customer, and do well are appreciated.


Makeup artists’ jobs are essentially customer service roles. It requires active listening and pleasing your clientele. Investing in yourself first and diversifying your portfolio is crucial to becoming the best and a competitive professional in the beauty industry. Don’t be afraid to try new things to find your expertise indeed.


If you are interested in becoming a makeup artist, whether a freelance makeup artist or salon professional, it is crucial to do your research, take your craft seriously, and experiment. For more information about makeup artist programs, advice, and opportunities, visit our website and contact us today to learn more.


bottom of page