The makeup artist etiquette is not always easy to understand if you don’t have your feet yet into the industry. There are some codes and also mistakes to avoid when working as a makeup artist. As it is not office work, you have the freedom to express yourself artistically but professionalism is extremely important!
Always arrive on time!
And on time if before the time, when you are a makeup artist. If you arrive late, you might put all the crew on set later too. Makeup artists are often the first ones to start. If you finish the makeup later than expected on the talent, the all-day can be delayed and production might end up paying extra hours for all crew. It goes the same when working for a wedding or a private event, if you arrive late, your client could be late for the ceremony! If you are following a diploma of screen and media all assessments and tasks are timed to help you work within deadlines.
Keep simple makeup and comfortable clothes
When you work in a studio or for a big wedding you will need to carry your kit and stay standing up for long periods of time. Wearing high heels is definitely not recommended. You should also consider keeping a light makeup look. Imagine your client being after a very natural look and you arrive with full face glam makeup. Even if you master glam makeup, your client will probably imagine that you only do this style of makeup. Keeping light and fresh makeup is often recommended as it avoids confusion for your clients. But, If you specialise in glam makeup only, then it is fine! The great thing about being a makeup artist is that you can express yourself and wear pink hair and tattoos if you want to! Just be mindful of giving the right message when it comes to the makeup look you can create.
Avoid wearing bright colours on the set
Wearing bright colours might reflect onto your client’s face and mislead you when it comes to creating colour matching or colour correcting. Also, if you are working on a set with a camera, bright colours can reflect onto the image and catch the attention of the actor. Finally, you will quickly realise that it is hard to avoid stains when doing makeup, wearing black clothes will help you look neater throughout the day. The usual uniform for makeup artists is always black. If you follow a diploma in screen and media, you will usually have a school uniform. Black pants and a black t-shirt with the school’s logo is recommended to wear.
Try to avoid ‘fan moments’!
You will probably meet famous people if you have a successful career. It is very exciting as you might meet people you admire for a long time! But as a professional from the industry, it is recommended that you keep it low key! Celebrities are often solicited for photos, autographs… When they have their makeup done it should be a relaxing moment, so of course, you can let them know that you love their work, but avoid pressuring them to get a selfie or a signature.
The makeup industry is pretty small and will often cross the same people, this is why reputation and work ethic are very important. At the beginning of your career, you will probably assist more established makeup artists. Be mindful that you will be working under their business and also learn from them! Usually, if it all goes well, the makeup artist will recommend his/her assistants when she cannot do a job. But remember that you are working under his/her business, so it would be a mistake to hand out your own business cards and try to connect with the client directly. You will also meet friends through your diploma course, if you enrol a diploma of screen and media in Sydney there are high chances that you will keep working with your classmates for TV channels or fashion labels Sydney based.
Adjust your work when required
You will sometimes have to create makeup that is not exactly what you have in mind, and it is ok if it’s what the client wants. If the client asks you to change the make or create something different, you should do what it asks. It is not always easy to handle feedback but at the end of the day, the client is king! As a professional you can, of course, make suggestions but your client will always have the final words on what he/she pays for.
Experience will always teach you what is the correct way to behave at work. Thankfully the makeup industry is also a big community where a lot of artists are happy to mentor and help others grow.
There are a lot of Facebook groups where you can ask questions and also following a nationally recognized diploma taught by industry leaders will teach you all that you need to know to start your own business.