Everything You Need to Know About Getting Started as a Freelance MUA

Whether you’re a new makeup artist wanting to dive into a fresh career of working for yourself or a seasoned pro who’s looking to make the switch to better hours and a flexible lifestyle, freelance makeup artistry is a great career path!

Freelancing is all the rage lately, and luckily, as a makeup artist, you have a skill that’s easily transferred over to this style of work. 

With freelancing, you’re able to choose the jobs you want, develop your niche, and only work the hours and days you want to (or need to).

There are so many flexible, awesome benefits to freelancing as a makeup artist,  but it can be a tough gig, too. Freelancing requires a lot of self-motivation, passion, communication skills, and a lot of drive. If you’re confident and committed, though, you’re already on the right path toward starting your burgeoning freelance career!

We’ve helped make the process a little easier by providing you with a few need-to-know tips and tricks for starting your freelance makeup career.

Check out our advice below, get to checking these boxes, work hard, and get ready to see your freelance makeup career blossom!

Flaunt that Certification

To have a legitimate, valid, and trustworthy freelance career as a makeup artist, you need to make sure your certifications and licenses are on full display. At a salon, shop, or with an established company, you sort of get to coast under the wing of their credibility.

But as your own boss and business, you need to make sure your licenses and certs are loud and proud. Make sure you’re listing your license on all your platforms, apps, and in any shop you’re renting a booth in or from. Find a nice balance between flaunting your certs and being too in-their-face and you’ll be good to go!

Learn a Little About Marketing

One of the benefits of working with a certified company is that, typically, they’re taking care of marketing you to clients. But as a freelancer, you have to get on your own hustle and create your own marketing opportunities.

Consider taking some courses on self-marketing, learn about digital advertising, and definitely get in good with social media tricks. There are plenty of online courses you can take, articles you can read, and even in-person classes you can enroll in at local community colleges and schools. It’s an extra step, but one that will definitely benefit your freelance career!

Tools You’ll Likely Need

Obviously, every makeup artists bag is going to look a little bit different. Some artists swear by certain brands and won’t touch others, some have a hodgepodge of brands and tools that they’ve accumulated over time. The reality is, no matter what brand, there are going to be some basics that you need to invest in to ensure that your freelance makeup kit is going to work out for you.

Our best advice? Invest in quality, long-lasting tools. If you go cheap, you’ll find yourself replacing your tools all the time, and not only is that not financially prudent, it can leave totally unprepared.

Consider things like:

  • An amazing set of brushes – you’ll need a variety, so consider looking into an all-inclusive set. This can get pricey, but if you’ve built a successful career as a freelance MUA, then they’ll pay for themselves quickly.
  • Primers, Foundations, Concealers, Contour too! – never underestimated the power of having every quality foundation, concealer, and contour tool under the sun. People are paying you to make them look amazing, and this starts with their skin.
  • All the eyebrow tools – this is a hugely important set of tools to consider. Eyebrows are all the rage, if you don’t have every tool you need to accomplish this, then you’re going to be out of luck when it comes to clients. Ensure that you’re set with the brushes, creams, pomades, pencils and more so that you can offer a full range of brow services.
  • Lashes, lashes, lashes – we’re talking eyelash curlers, eyelash glue, fake lashes, eyelash kits, and more. Go the whole nine when it comes to eyelashes, you’re going to be glad you did.
  • Palettes on Palettes – make sure that you’re getting a broad range of palettes for skin, lips, and eyes. People aren’t going to want to work with you if you can only offer a few looks, so make sure you’re hooked up with a ton of colors and palettes so you can give everyone what they want!
  • Blending Sponges – this is huge! Ensure that you’re investing in a great set of blending sponges! The last thing you want is to purchase a bunch of quality makeup and then use a less-than-impressive sponge to blend it all together. This is the key to making everything look perfect, so don’t underestimate this.
  • Setting Sprays – why bother creating a stunning look if you can’t keep it in place? You need the right setting spray!
  • Cleaning Products – You need to really look into the right kind of makeup cleaning tools. You’ll need to ensure you’re getting sanitizing products that thoroughly disinfect your tools without ruining the products. We suggest spending just as much time looking into your cleaning tools as you do your actual makeup products. Your clients will certainly appreciate this extra step and your tools will likely last much longer!

Get Familiar with App Services

If you’re new to the freelance game, then you might know this, but there are a TON of apps out there that can help you boost business, book clients, and even help you find temporary spots to rent out as studio space! Look into apps like ShearShare for affordable salon rental space by the day, GlamSquad, Vensette, Priv, Bella on Demand, The Glam App, and more if you’re looking to book with clients on the fly! Tons of clients use these apps to book freelance makeup artists for events, parties, weddings, and tons of other celebrations! Most of these apps are only available in bigger cities, so make sure you’re doing your research to see which apps will make the most sense for your freelance business. Getting in good as a pro in these apps definitely helps to boost your business  — just remember that many of these apps will take a cut of the pay because they act as the middleman. In most cases, this works super great, but if you have business already burning a hole through your pocket, then you might not need to work with these apps. It’s all up to!

Professional Freelancef Makeup Artist Insurance

We cannot stress enough how important this is for all freelance makeup artists out there!

We at ShearShare have partnered with Elite Beauty Society and are offering $10 of the per year premium. You’ll have access to programs specifically tailored to you, someone who has your back in sticky situations, and the peace of mind knowing that should something happen (or should the allegation that something happened should occur) you’re covered! Get secure now!