Let’s be real for a moment - anything you do is not a polished or complete end product if you skimp on the essentials. “Do it right the first time” has been drilled into my perfectionist mind since I was young- and it’s an objectively great mantra to have. It makes all the difference to be mindful from the get-go about what you are looking to achieve and to implement the right tools to get that job done, and done well.
Makeup is critically important to the outcome of every photoshoot I do. If it’s done poorly - it shows up more than you would think. Lighting captures *everything*. My Makeup Artist’s expertise adds so much value to the final photos produced by helping avoid details that could effectively ruin a shot. Their presence on-set to create the right look for each client’s vision and be an extra pair of hands to provide attention to detail during the shoot is invaluable. From touch-ups, to change-ups, to mid-shoot hair taming - nothing is more important to me than having creative team members that I can trust to deliver exceptional quality service to my clients.
It literally takes a team. And it takes the right team.
What follows are my must-have and love-to-have qualities that I look for in a Makeup Artist.
#1 - So fresh, and so clean
Nothing - and I literally mean nothing - is more important than hygienic practices when it comes to makeup. A Makeup Artist should always show up with clean brushes and tools, disinfectant and disposables. If not, there is the health risk of easily spread infections from shared product with eye/mouth contact. This is usually the first line of training or education that Makeup Artists go through, so it’s a good basic guideline in knowing that who you are working with is a professional. I urge everyone to always pay close attention to this!
#2 - Self-motivated superstars
That sounds like a lofty expectation, so let me bring it down to reality for you all. Ok, ok - I completely understand that the hardest thing to do as a creative professional (especially a self-employed one at that) is to keep up with the hustle. I am super lazy. I used to be a huge procrastinator as well. Only over the last few years have I been asking for help, divulging in education for myself, and starting to implement new and updated things to improve my photography & business.
Training on techniques, knowledge of trends, and the experience that follows in implementing it, is an everyday, long-term thing. It’s a lot of work to motivate yourself - I know first hand. It’s something that you have to build-up. The constant self-education and seeking-out behavior is how we get to where we are, and where we want to be.
For me, being able to recognize a Makeup Artist that is consistently aiming to improve their work is a huge deal. When a person, or a professional, cares about their career by being open to new ideas and never stopping the learning process, it fuels the people around them to do the same. I thrive off of surrounding myself with those who are of the same mindset - being better and doing more.
#3 - Inclusiveness
They ! Have ! To ! Work ! On ! All ! Skin ! Tones !
Need I say more?
#4 - Interpreter of dreams
Makeup Artists are visuals, just like Photographers. The transformations start with a blank slate and an idea. For photoshoots, it is our duty as a team to execute those ideas to the highest standard for our clients.
It is completely necessary that I have team members who can accurately decipher the tone and purpose of the look requested. Everyday is a different project with a specific purpose. From commercial beauty, to editorial, to conceptual looks - a versed Makeup Artist is an asset. They interpret the dream and they help bring it to life. It is an art after all, and it takes the right eye!
#5 - That creative flow
For life in general, I believe in only surrounding yourself with people who give you energy and joy. And professionally, that advice is no different. Take it or leave it - but you should really take it.
Effective communication between team members is so incredibly important. Being on the same level and understanding as my Makeup Artist can’t be understated. Visions must collide. The energy day-of must be cohesive. Our clients must be relaxed, and pampered and happy. Nothing else really matters, does it?
I am really lucky (in that, because I don’t budge on this) I end up loving the team members I have, and they always turn into great close friends.
Tell me what important qualities of a Makeup Artist you look for below!