Ten Tips to becoming a Make-up artist in Fashion by Sara Hill

Posted on December 17 2014

#1 Make connections: Look on Facebook groups, websites and other forms of social media for other creatives to connect with, fashion is as much about who you know as it is about your talent. Say hello, Introduce yourself and offer your skills. Don't wait for your career to come to you; you have to put yourself out there. 

#2 Build your book: You can't work in fashion unless you have a fashion portfolio full of images that show you have worked on fashion editorials with stylists and professional models.

#3 Your Model is everything: Unfortunately, it doesn't matter how good your make-up is, you're only as good as your model when it comes to the fashion world. Symmetry is important; fashion models tend to be quirky and cool looking rather than "perfect pretty".

#4 Clothing is important: Don't have a portfolio full of headshots, you need full-length fashion shots as well. Working with a good stylist makes a big difference in the final images.

#5 Work with ambitious, driven people: It takes a lot of courage and hard work to make it in fashion, so it's important to work with people who have similar goals if you can. Their positivity and passion will keep you motivated. 

#6 Learn to love feedback: When I first started out I asked everyone what they thought of my work. Friends and loved ones all said "how nice," but I knew I could do better. At my first London agency meeting, I asked them for their honest opinion, and they told me they hated my book, tore apart every photo and explained what was wrong with my work. I was relieved and grateful because what they were saying was the truth. I threw my whole book away and started again. It has taken me 17 years to get a book I'm happy with and even now I know I need to improve. I don't think you ever stop. I'm not saying take everyone's opinion on board, but I would actively seek out people you admire to ask for feedback. Loving feedback is the only way you will grow.  

#7 Assist: Working as an assistant is a great way to learn how everything works behind the scenes. Work hard, and the key artist may pass down work to you. Remember you're not there just to learn you're there to assist and help the key artist organised. Top tip * always be early for the job not just on time. 

#8 Test regularly: I used to test three or more times a week when I first started out. Fashion moves fast, so you need to keep your portfolio on trend and up to date. 

#9 Know who you are: It's taken me many years to develop my own style of make-up. Just like photography, you want to get to a stage where people see your work and instantly recognise it. Artists like Alex Box, Pat McGrath and Isamaya Ffrench are great examples of artists with a unique and personal style. 

#10 Keep the faith: It's not easy, and it might not happen overnight. You've got to eat, breath, sleep fashion. Study it. Know your designers. Know trends and know photographers, who they are and what they have done. Become an expert in the fashion industry not just in makeup. 










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