Can these tips help you pick a better makeup artist?
Updated: Aug 4
Portfolios have changed with the digital age. A website is perfectly acceptable and it is rare that artists have an updated hard copy portfolio book. But it is a bright, red flag if they send a Facebook account as their “portfolio”. This could indicate either this person is a hobbyist and doesn’t take it serious enough to start a business, hasn’t been doing it long enough to make a website or doesn’t have enough images to build a portfolio which also conveys inexperience.
Professional make up extends far beyond simple shine reduction. Really good make up is hard for untrained eyes to notice, and knowing whether or not your MUA is pro or not is often hard to tell until it is too late.
So, let me help you with two basics:
Skin should look like skin, not makeup.
We want to see the texture of the skin. Beware of blurred parts of images. That often indicates an error being “fixed” which leads to a more costly post production process for you.
1st photo (below), this face is so blurred out I had to really look to see any area that was skin.
2nd photo (below), the texture is missing from under the eyes, forehead and under the nose.
3rd photo (below), there is so much makeup caked on we could have a birthday party. And still they needed to edit out the crease under her eye.
You should see the natural crease that happens under the eye. But it shouldn't be dark or have makeup creased in the wrinkles. Below is a good example.
Hair should look like hair, not makeup.
Eyebrows can be a dead giveaway of inexperience. What we are looking for is fine, hair like lines drawn in the direction of the hair grows. Drawn in short strokes the length of the hair there.
What we are looking for is fine lines in the direction.
1st photo (below), a brow like this is fine for Instagram. The over sculpted and defined brow does not look like hair. It looks more like an eyebrow drawn on a Disney villain.
2nd photo (below), not only does is the brow pencil used more red than the hair it is also drawn above the hair line in a solid line. Does the color used to fill in the brow match the brow?
3rd photo (below), the solid line under the brow is not in the direction of hair growth. It is distracting and unnatural.
Below is an example of a good brow, you aren't able to see the difference between the hair and the eyebrow makeup.
Do you see variety? The portfolio should contain men, women, young, mature and a variety of skin tones. Diversity is in demand. The makeup artist should be able to work on all
skin types, tones and maturity.
I want to give you one more tip that an untrained eye can see pretty quickly. Color tone and color matching are extremely important. Color correcting foundation to match different skin tones is also something you only understand with lots of practice, lots of experience.
Check the neck, does it match the face?
We don’t want to be forking over the extra money to rent an Arri Alexa for its beautiful skin tone rendition only to have MUA render it obsolete with poor makeup skills.
Now you can confidently check for tell tale signs that the makeup artist has the makeup skills needed to keep your clients happy.
Go be awesome!