Becoming a Freelance Makeup Artist

Makeup services can be a form of creative expression. Applying beauty makeup is like a magic trick that conceals blemishes, can revive a dull complexion, and transform a look. A professional makeup artist knows how to apply cosmetics to accentuate a client’s best features and when to pare back on contouring, highlighting, and blush. Becoming a certified makeup artist will train you to understand all skin types and product formulations and learn about the beauty industry trends and tricks—whether you’re an aspiring bridal makeup artist or want to teach makeup artistry education online or in schools.

The path to becoming a freelance makeup artist might come with challenges. Still, the best advantage anyone can have is proper training and certification in makeup artistry by attending an accredited makeup artistry program. Learn how to become a beauty professional and build a career as a freelance makeup artist.

makeup artist and client


How to get started as a freelance makeup artist

Makeup school, widely known as a cosmetology program, is a helpful place to start your path. Here are some tried-and-true tips to accelerate your career as a makeup artist.

Learn the skills

Being a makeup artist is one of the professions in which you will have to prove your abilities to customers immediately. An easy way to learn the skills in demand is to get trained by professionals. At Evergreen Beauty College, we offer makeup artistry courses within the cosmetology and esthetics program. In esthetics, you’ll learn skincare and actual makeup application.

The esthetic training program utilizes professional products and instructs students on traditional applications. Our cosmetology program will give students training beyond makeup artistry. Students will learn hair styling techniques, basic facials, and professional makeup application. Cosmetology teaches conventional makeup application and special effects makeup applications for those pursuing a career in the entertainment industry. There is a difference between being a cosmetologist and a makeup artist. Evergreen’s faculty teaches best practices in sanitation with cosmetic products.

Students will learn everything from editorial fashion makeup to bridal looks.  Our programs will prepare you for the board exam and meet all licensing requirements. Learning with a makeup artistry school will give you the essential tools you need in your career.

Get the tools to do the job

When you enroll in a cosmetology or esthetics program and begin your level 1 introductory makeup artist training in applying makeup, you’ll receive beauty essentials, also known as a makeup designatory (MUD) kit. In case you’re wondering what a MUD kit includes, here are the essentials:

  • Foundation for all skin tones
  • Mascara in black and brown
  • Eyeliner in various colors
  • Foundation sponges and brushes
  • Other disposable application brushes
  • Eyeshadow palette
  • Concealer
  • Highlighter palette
  • Contouring palette

Before establishing a career in makeup, it’s essential to understand the various ways you can use these makeup essentials.

Market yourself online

Working for someone else means you’re responsible for representing the brand’s voice, and there are limitations on your creative expression. When freelancing and working for yourself, you must create your brand identity. Most makeup artists begin developing their own voices during their training at school or after becoming certified makeup artists and working at makeup counters. Many people get their cosmetology or esthetician licenses and work at a makeup counter before developing a successful career as a freelance makeup artist.

Use your time at work to network, showcase your skills, and promote your abilities. Here’s how to start your self-promoting:

  • Social media. Set up social media accounts with your name or business name.
  • Post pictures of your work! Before and after photos and videos are compelling. Don’t hesitate to share with people what you do. Make sure to use relevant hashtags and tag the brands and products that you do.
  • Interact with your audience. If you get comments and questions on your pictures, answer them. Along the same vein, make sure to answer direct messages.

For more social media tips and tricks, follow people who inspire you. Search out other makeup artists who use hashtags like you, and engage with other beauty professionals and brands, big or small. You can follow trends while displaying your unique flair in your work.

Grow your book of clients

Typically, when you do a good job, clients come back to you. Nurture the returning clients, and ask them for referrals. Offer discounts for first-time visitors, and make sure you’re making a genuine connection with your clients. It will take time, but your book will grow if you dedicate yourself and are good at what you do.

If you want to work in the entertainment industry, start apprenticing or relocate to a place where makeup artist jobs are in demand. After you get your cosmetology license or esthetician license, cast your net wide and take on small jobs to develop a portfolio. If you persist, you will eventually find meaningful opportunities for makeup artists. Many makeup artists continue their education by attending cosmetic conventions. It’s also a chance to network with other makeup artists and beauty brands.

Are you ready to pursue a freelance makeup career?

We support our students and foster a creative environment at Evergreen Beauty College. Visit our campus to see cosmetology and esthetics students at work. The first step toward doing something you’re passionate about is learning the skills to be great!

FAQ: How to become a freelance makeup artist

How do freelance makeup artists get clients?

Makeup artists can get clients through word-of-mouth advertising, social media, makeup counter work, or advertising services on Google.

Do you need a license to be a freelance makeup artist?

Not all makeup artists need licenses, but getting certified and studying with an accredited school will teach valuable lessons in the application and how to use best practices in sanitation. Having a license will give you an edge in the hiring process.

How can I make money as a makeup artist?

You can start working at makeup counters, beauty brands, work weddings, and events. Eventually, if you want to work independently, you will have a list of clients.

Frank Trieu
Vice President of Business Development & Industry Relations

Frank Trieu is a cosmetology industry leader, and despite his accomplishments and accolades, he still prioritizes students on the Evergreen campus. Through building relationships within the community and local salons, retail stores, and spas, he helps facilitate job placements for aspiring beauty professionals using his expansive network.

Happy Evergreen Beauty College Students


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flower tunis
flower tunis
8 months ago

Your post is a treasure trove of guidance for aspiring freelance makeup artists! The emphasis on professional training, tools, and the power of social media is spot on. Your insights about networking, nurturing clients, and continuously learning are truly invaluable. Thank you for sharing such a comprehensive roadmap to help us embark on a successful freelance makeup journey!

Best regards,
Flower Tunis
Check out my work at [](