The Make-Up Business

Beauty and the Beast: The Perks, the Drawbacks of Being a Make-up Artist

Mirror, mirror on the wall, Sometimes it’s pretty, sometimes it’s not.

If you thought being a make-up artist was all glam and excitement with a splash of colour thrown in, you might want to think again.

Every profession has its pros and cons. While the expense account, business class seat, stock options and vacation periods are huge incentives, they exist side by side with long hours, endless travel, boring meetings, little time for family/leisure and the constant pressure to deliver top-notch work.

No job is a walk in the park.

Since we are focused on make-up artistry and its nuances, we have curated a list of some highs and lows of being a make-up artist in this world of ours.

Perk: Meet New, Interesting & Different People Frequently

You’re in the people business; never forget that vital slice of information. And in your quest for work, perfection and growth, your path will intersect with all shades of humanity, similar to the colours contained in your eye shadow kit. This is one perk of being a make-up artist you should make the most of, for from it could spring lifelong friends, clients and valuable connections worth having.

Drawback: Encounter Exacting Clients

Alas, these will also surface in your new circle of work-related acquaintances. Humanity is as unpredictable as the weather – the good, the thunderstorm and the sunny. Read about them here.

Perk: Flexible Hours

No 8 am–6 pm schedule for you. No, sir/ma’am! Especially if you’re not a morning person. Your hours are what or when you say they are. This is a particularly enticing perk of being a make-up artist. You’re not bound by official opening and closing times, or the odd late night or two; you own your hours

Drawback: Occasional Irregular and/or long hours

Many a make-up artist has worked with clients whose schedules are different from what they are familiar with. This drawback of being a make-up artist can be found when working with a film crew, for instance. Shooting scenes command funny and lengthy hours as they can take place in the early hours of the day and extend deep into the night, demanding repeated make-up applications.

Perk: Constant Creativity

Another amazing perk of being a make-up artist is the opportunity to be constantly creative. Your canvas, the human face, is a fresh slate to unleash your expertise on. As you highlight, contour and transform your client into a breath-taking work of art, you adapt to their bone structure and personality, and also experiment with your style for future work.

Drawback: Unstable Income

You might not always get work for you to practise and experiment your craft. Your make-up gigs might be few and far in between. Unlike a regular office (or WFH job) which comes with a salary at a specified time, there won’t always be funds to look forward to at the end of each month.

Perk: Exciting Job

Making people beautiful is perhaps the best perk of being a make-up artist, and can be an exciting experience. It also includes travelling to different locations each time (paid for by your clients), meeting diverse individuals (sometimes popular people), and being surrounded by the glamour which permeates the industry.

Drawback: Stiff Competition

To be recognized, successful and get more gigs in their field, make-up artists tend to be highly competitive amongst themselves. This is an unhealthy and damaging trend in the industry.

Related post: 7 Things You Should Know About Being a Make-up Artist

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