THE ART OF INTERVIEWING makeup artist dream job.jpg

You’ve done it! You’ve officially graduated from our 4 Week Makeup Artistry Course. Starry-eyed, bushy-tailed and MUA certificate in hand, you’re ready to take on the Big Apple. After sending out your pro portfolio along with your resume to big beauty brands, FINALLY, you get the call you’ve been so eagerly waiting for: you’ve been scheduled for an interview! But are you really ready to take on the pro work of MUA? Yes, it’s true that you’ve mastered our level 1 (beauty) makeup skills, but landing your dream job is also about client/employee etiquette. ESPECIALLY when it comes to your interviewing skills. Because, let’s face it, bad first impressions are hard to overcome! That’s why our team of beauty insiders has put together a checklist of interview essentials that will help you make a favorable, long-lasting impression to help you land your dream job:



One of the perks of being a freelance makeup artist is the freedom that comes with being your own boss. You’ll be able to chose your own clients, prices, and schedule. Sounds like the perfect gig, right? Well, just remember, there’s downsides to being a freelancer, too. First off all, being able to rely on a steady paycheck will be a thing of the past. Finding clients can be challenging, especially when you’re just starting out.  You’ll have to get your name out there, and build a good reputation. That takes time, and effort. You’ll have to build a website, create a portfolio, and learn how to market yourself through things like social media. And don’t forget the administrative side of things! Taxes and bookkeeping can get challenging.


Building a freelance client base can take some time. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t explore other options within the beauty industry. Cosmetic retail jobs are a great way to gain experience, practice your skills, and network. Plus, it’s a great addition to your resume! It will help you master different products, and gain confidence to work on different types of features and skin tones. Plus, the extra income will give you a stable source of income that will help take the pressure of finding private clients.

Remember, behind the counter jobs are just as much about salesmanship as they are about knowing how to do makeup, so remaining professional, friendly and approachable at all times is key. You will be expected to do both “full service” makeovers (client books ahead of time for full makeover), and “complimentary makeovers.” For the latter, most stores will require clients to purchase a certain amount of products before becoming eligible. It’s your job to use the company’s products based on the client’s individual needs, so they’ll be incentivized to purchase them. Some companies may expect you to meet certain daily and/or monthly sales goals, which can become stressful at times. 


Without the necessary experience and portfolio, your chances of landing an agency contract are slim. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get your foot in the door! Applying for assisting jobs will do just that. It will also allow you to refine your skills, and gain some hands-on experience. Not only will agencies get a chance to know you, but shadowing a more experienced makeup artist will give you a one-of-a-kind glimpse into the world of professional makeup.


If you thrive under pressure, are able to think on your feet, and can remain professional in high stakes environments, runway makeup artistry may just be the perfect job for you! Most runways are held during the “Big Four” fashion weeks, held twice a year throughout major fashion cities, such as New York, London, Milan, and Paris. Specialized fashion weeks, including Bridal Fashion Week, are also held around the same time of year. 

As a runway makeup artist, you will meet with the designer a few days before the show to decide on what makeup will work best with the overall feel and “look” of the collection. Sometimes, you will even hold “test days” where you’ll do a complete rehearsal of the show: models will be wearing their outfits and suggested makeup to see how your look translates in real life. 

During the big day, if you’re the head makeup artist, you’ll not only be doing makeup on several models in an extremely hectic and fast-paced environment, but you’ll also be supervising your assistants. These shows can take long hours and have mind-bending deadlines in an already extremely cut-throat field. So before you decide to dive head-first into this kind of career, remember, it’s not for the faint-hearted.

So, how does one become a runway makeup artist, you ask? Well, above all, it takes experience, connections, and a good reputation. In short, a lot of hard work! But also time. Landing a runway gig isn’t something you’ll be able to achieve fresh out of makeup school. First, you’ll need a great runway makeup portfolio, so try and collaborate on as many “styled shoots” as you can to get your name out there. Attend as many fashion and networking events as possible, you never know who you might meet! 


Makeup for movies can cover anything from simple, more natural beauty looks, to extremely challenging techniques, such as period, over-the-top glam, elaborate prosthetics and much, much more! Plus, you’ll have to be an expert in HD makeup, as your looks will have to translate adequately on camera. So if you’re looking to conquer the world of film, versatility is key.

So what can you expect when working on set? First of all, you’ll have to design all your looks beforehand. Sometimes directors and other creatives on your team will direct you on the style they’re looking for. Other times, they’ll give you more creative freedom, with only the film’s script to serve as your inspiration. Make sure you understand each character, the plot, and overall storyline, so you can adjust your looks accordingly. On the day of filming, you’ll meet with the actors beforehand, and will most likely be asked to stay throughout the rest of the shoot in case touch-ups are needed. 

Since film projects may take months to complete, it’s important that you stick to the character’s makeup profile. Being able to recreate a look over and over again is essential, so taking pictures of each beauty profile can be a helpful working tool. Since locations and schedules can get extremely challenging, the ability to adapt to different situations is a great skill to have as a movie makeup artist. 

Also the film industry is an extremely competitive field. Many makeup artists are hired through reputation. This means it’ll take time to work your way up the ladder. Taking assisting and/or technician jobs are a great place to start. Also, don’t limit yourself geographically. Not all movies are filmed in Hollywood!

Want more advice? Our Master Makeup Artistry, 5 Week Extensive Course and 2 Week Advanced courses also feature a one-of-a-kind business, branding and marketing class that will teach you all the business essentials every pro-MUA needs to know!

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