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5 Must-Have Skills for Professional Makeup Artists

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Professional makeup artists have a canvas of opportunities to prove their talent – from high fashion runways and magazine editorials to celebrity styling and film/theatre. With the growth of social media tutorials and increased awareness about the industry, being an MUA today is much easier than 10 years ago – but that doesn’t mean you can cut corners on the essential skills.

Here are 5 must-have skills for professional makeup artists who are looking to make it big.

1 – Creative Imagination

As with any other profession rooted in art, an aptitude for makeup stems out of a creative mind. Most basic trait you must look for in an aspiring makeup artist is their visual sense – because, without any perspective to visualise ideas, makeup artistry cannot be learnt. Before you take your first steps into a professional makeup career, analyse your creativity and how far you are willing to push it.

2 – Makeup Theory

Once you have decided to go down the career path to professional makeup artistry, the first step is to acquaint yourself with the basic theories that support the art. Watching and learning under an established makeup artist can help you understand the practical side of the profession – however, without a strong foundation of theoretical knowledge, it could take longer for you to absorb what you learn.

Sign up for an online course or enrol yourself at any reputed makeup academy. Focus on learning the theory behind the application of each product – what kind of tools are used, what kind of products are best for different types of skin, time of the day, and occasion etc. In a well-designed makeup course, you will also be introduced to colour theory – the knowledge of undertones help you enhance the results further. You should also learn about the types of skin including colouring, condition, and sensitivity, and the bone structure of each face shape to apply products in the right way.

3 – Thorough training

Before you commit to professional assignments, it’s recommended to have a good amount of training hours behind you. You can attend masterclasses, assist at a salon or an independent makeup artist, or practice on your friends. At a professional beauty academy, you will be provided with a full range of tools and products to practice. Training isn’t just about how to hold the brush – you’ll learn how to prepare different skin types for makeup, judge what products to use in different situations etc.

Learning the basics gives you more confidence when it comes to experimenting and innovating your own signature looks.

4 – Attention-to-Detail

Makeup often has to go beyond the defined steps – you might need to improvise on your feet as different situations arise. Training helps in keeping your work meticulous even under pressure – this is especially important in fields like a movie or editorial makeup where your workspace could be different for every assignment. The ability to stay focussed, reason and solve problems efficiently is the sign of a good makeup artist.

5 – Communication Skills

Professional makeup artistry is not an isolated job – you are required to work closely with clients, photographers, stylists, models, celebrities etc. Understanding the guidelines and goals of each client or project is vital to the smooth process of makeup. As a professional, you also need to be tactful and confident in suggesting improvements, giving feedback etc.



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