After 16 years in the field I have had the opportunity to work with countless other makeup artists and in doing so I have compiled a list of tips that will help you take your profession to the next level:

1. Always KEEP YOUR KIT CLEAN! In our business our brushes touch several faces in a day and there is no excuse to not be sanitizing them in between each client and giving them a complete washing when we finish a job. There are too many disorders that can be spread by a dirty brush - acne and pink eye, just to name a few, so in your clients best interest make it a habit of cleaning your brushes, sanitizing your lipsticks & liners, using disposable mascara wands and using alcohol on all of your containers periodically to make sure that your kit looks neat and is germ free at all times. Not to repeat myself but CLEANLINESS is KEY so keep the following items in your kit for your safety and your client’s. ALCOHOL, HAND SANITIZER, BRUSH CLEANER and DISTILLED WATER.

2. Stay on top of your game and USE THE NEWEST & BEST PRODUCTS on the market. If you are charging clients for applying makeup, you should be giving them the best available products. A few ways to stay on top of what’s new: stop by your local Sephora and ask the cast members what’s new and useful for the type of makeup you do, check the M.A.C website monthly to see what is new and exciting – chances are your clients will ask you about the most recent launch and it would be great if you could give them your insight on the latest products and lastly every year InStyle puts out their Best Of issue and it is safe to say that the majority of the products that win the coveted title should probably find their way into your kit.

3. Make it a point to UPDATE YOUR PICTURES in your portfolio every month. Whether you get prints of magazine work or have point-and-shoot snapshots, either way it will only make you look more professional to your clients for them to see a visual resume of your work.

4. USE MAGAZINES AS A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION and that doesn’t just mean other artist’s makeup work but also what inspires you? Flowers? Urban sky scapes? Asian artwork? Whatever tickles your fancy can be used for inspiration for your upcoming makeup jobs. Mimic color combinations that really got your attention or the strong/soft lines you love in a photo of the horizon… inspiration is everywhere!

5. BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR CAPABILITIES. This means if someone asks you if you do African American makeup and you have never been exposed to that complexion, say so because if you do a bad job and it is immortalized in a photo, you will have a bad referral and you would have single handedly ruined a very important day for your client. I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t challenge yourself to broaden your horizons but I am saying that you should practice on friends first so you can confidently do an amazing job!