Breaking into Editorial as a new MUA: Collaboration is KEY

The leaders, the creators, the influencers… the editorial artists.

Mixing technique and skill with artistry and vision is what creates editorial artists, and they rarely work in a vacuum.

Editorial work is largely part of being a team… creating an editorial piece that speaks to the world of fashion, beauty and culture as a whole. It shares a concept, tells a story, and like being a ‘published’ author, editorial work defines who you are as an artist.

So how do you break in to this seemingly exclusive and very connected world?

“It’s all about relationship building.” says Johannah Adams, an instructor at Nina MUA Makeup Academy NYC. Adams, an established makeup artist in New York City, works in nearly every realm of makeup artistry, from private clients, to bridal and creative makeup. Adams has extensive experience as a published editorial makeup artist and she tells her students interested in editorial work to connect with other editorial artists as much as possible.

“Reach out for test shoots and portfolio building shoots with photographers known for editorial work.” says Adams. “These non-paid shoots will give you experience and the opportunity to develop relationships with models and stylists as well.”

And this is where the importance of “team” comes in. An editorial piece is a direct reflection of the entirety of the look, feel and the message. It takes collaboration and communication to create an editorial look that will catch a publishers eye.

“Once people know, like and trust your work, they’ll be more inclined to do a shoot for submission with you.”

Finding these connections can seem difficult, but use social media to find artists, and be prepared to learn as much as possible.

“The best way to begin the relationship is to search through Instagram and your local resources to find photographers and stylists you’d like to work with.” says Adams. And, do not discount the power of the actual face you are working on.

“Models are very important to build and begin the process towards editorial. They’re very connected.”

If editorial work is where your passion lies, your portfolio should reflect your desire and ability to work in this sector.

“A great portfolio should show range, particularly in skin tones. It’s important to show enough work, but it’s also important to be showing new work on a reasonably consistent basis.”

And one of the most important pieces to have in a portfolio is the “natural” makeup look. Especially if fashion and editorial is your direction as a makeup artist.

“When you do “creative” looks, keep in mind what is relevant in the editorial/fashion world, and not too kitschy or cluttered with no focus.”

Adams suggests looking at other campaigns for inspiration. And remember, “Whatever direction you want to go as an artist, your portfolio should reflect that, whether it’s fashion, editorial, bridal or special effects.”


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From the basics to advanced techniques, insider secrets, importance of the consultation, expert techniques, insider tips, and how to market your services to brides and others.

Please note: Photos sitewide reflect student work from their in-class photoshoot(s).


From the basics to advanced techniques, insider secrets, importance of the consultation, expert techniques, insider tips, and how to market your services to brides and others.

Please note: Photos sitewide reflect student work from their in-class photoshoot(s).

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As part of our student’s curriculum, they participate in portfolio photoshoots working with professional models to showcase their makeup! If you are selected to join us, you will get 2-3 looks and 4-6 retouched photos and lunch is provided! These opportunities are unpaid, however, you will network with photographers, artist and other models and have a great experience on campus with us! Looks are at the discretion of our artists based on what they are looking to add to their portfolios. You will be on campus from 8:30 – 3 for a typical shoot and we have both weekday and weekend shoot dates.

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