Kick-Starting Your MUA Career:
The Top Tips Every Makeup Artist Needs to Know
MUA wannabes all over the country, listen up—we’re dropping some of the gotta-have-it knowledge you’ll absolutely need to kickstart your MUA career. And we’re dropping it right here, right now.
Becoming an MUA is an amazing goal. We might be biased, but we believe that cosmetology is one of the best industries out there. Think about it, it’s ever-changing, super exciting, crazy fulfilling, and like, that job security is nothing to turn up your nose at, either.
But how exactly do you get from the “I-want-to-be-an-MUA” stage to actually becoming a totally killer makeup artist?
We’re here to help answer that exact question now!
If You Haven’t Gotten Your Cosmetology License—Get to It
Not every state, shop, or employer is going to require that you have a license, though, to be honest, most will. You’re talented, hardworking, and a kickass MUA, so you might as well have the professional proof to back it up.
The truth of the matter is, most employers won’t hire you if you aren’t licensed—even if you’re the world’s most talented MUA. So, safeguard yourself, boost your credibility, and get licensed ASAP. This will really pay off when you’re ready to open your own MUA biz.
Find Your Niche
Whether you know it yet or not, there are so many different avenues you can take as an MUA. The key to MUA success is not trying to be the master of every single one of these—instead, find your niche (or niches) and become the undeniable champ within them.
While it’s definitely important for you to be good at almost every aspect of MUA services, you’re also going to want to sit back and specialize at some point. Once you’re the expert in a niche, clients will flock to you.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Even if you’re licensed, even if you’re naturally skilled, and even if you’ve worked damn hard to get where you are, we’ve got one piece of advice that’ll never fade—practice, practice, practice.
Our industry is amazing because it’s always changing, but if you’re not keeping up with new trends and tactics, you better believe you’re going to be left behind.
So, trust us, practice may not make perfect, but it does make you relevant and needed.
Find a Mentor & Do Some Research
If you’re just starting out in the MUA game—or honestly, even if you’ve been in it for a while—one of the best things you can do for your career (and for yourself) is to find a totally badass mentor who’s willing to teach you what they know.
Finding a great mentor should be an awesome, exciting, challenging, and entirely humbling experience—and one we highly recommend.
Snag a Killer Intro-Job
More specifically, snag a killer intro-job where you can learn from someone super talented. This is kind of like finding a mentor, but a touch different. Sure, you can work for your mentor (kill two birds with one stone, why not?), but you can also double-up and learn from two (or more) super talented people.
If you’re going to have to start with an intro job (and most of us do), we highly recommend you ensure the people you’re learning from have more experience than you and are people you actually want to emulate.
You don’t just get inspiration out of nowhere; you have to create it and find it—working at a killer intro-job can do both.
Decide Where You’ll Put Your Skills to Work
Are you planning to work at someone else’s MUA studio for your whole career? No judgment—do what works best for you! But if you ever want to strike out on your own, you’ll need to ask yourself a series of questions, like:
- Do I want to own my own studio?
- Would renting a booth in a salon work for me?
- How about an entire salon suite—does that work?
- Could I be a mobile MUA?
There are SO many options when it comes to your career, so don’t limit yourself!
Don’t Forget Makeup Artist Liability Insurance
Yeah, yeah, we know what you’re thinking—“of course the insurance company is going to try to sell me insurance.” We get it—because, yeah, you’re right, we’re definitely an insurance company.
But here’s the thing—we’re an MUA insurance company, which means we know your needs and risks better than anyone else. And with that knowledge, we’re giving you this advice—get insurance.
We care about giving you some serious protection—as long as your insurance partner takes care of you, is there for you, and offers you a ton of member benefits (low-key you’ll be hard-pressed to find another company that offers as many as we do, but that’s a conversation for another day)—we’ll be happy for you! Get insured here.
Loving our MUA advice? We hope so! If you ever need tips, tricks, insight, or inspo, the Elite Beauty Society blog is totally where to look.
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