Getting into the MUA business?

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I think the time has come for me to start getting into the makeup artist business. I'm just worried about finding enough work to use up all the makeup I'm going to need to buy. I can work for the photo studio that I'm already doing other things for, but they can barely pay me as it is so I can't really expect any extra money from them. I'm going to need to build up a portfolio, so I suppose I should offer some trade work to start. How do I eventually go about getting paying clients? Advertise? Word of mouth?

 
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I'd seriously reconsider this if I were you...I've been fortunate in that I have many connections and most of the people I know are using me as a makeup artist on various film and video projects and from there it's word of mouth from people on set and the models and actors I've worked on...but I know some people who 3-5 years later are still trying to hustle up jobs to pay the bills. Most muas that I know have a regular 9-5 and do makeup when something comes up or on the weekends...it's a tough field and it's getting even tougher since so many newbies and wannabes are basically giving away services that they should be getting paid for. Most of the newer photographers and directors figure why should they pay for makeup when they can convince someone that a copy of the prints or a reel of the film plus credit and a meal are enough and they "don't have the budget for makeup"-which is complete bull! Anytime I hear about someone wanting to be a mua, I usually try to steer them away from it just cuz it's such a tough field to make money out of...So unless you know some people that will use you and pay you, I would recommend finding another more stable source of income and maybe do mu in your spare time.

Sorry this is kinda long, but I've been on another board for pro muas and there's been lots of discussion lately about the way the industry is getting worse in every way.

 
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Thanks for the advice ladies! So I'm right in thinking that it is hard to get paying work? That's good to know. Maybe I'll just stick with the photo studio that I'm already working for and just work as they can pay me.

What about makeup for wedding and events? Any money in that end of the business?

 
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Originally Posted by suzukigrrl Thanks for the advice ladies! So I'm right in thinking that it is hard to get paying work? That's good to know. Maybe I'll just stick with the photo studio that I'm already working for and just work as they can pay me.
What about makeup for wedding and events? Any money in that end of the business?

Like envymi said, it depends on who you know. If you've already done this kind of work before, and word gets around, it's easier to get clients. You can also advertise at bridal mags in ur area, or have a booth at a bridal show, but even then, a lot of MUAs have said that it's still tough to get new business this way

Unfortunately, it is a really really tough business now
Go to this site:

http://www.themakeupartist.com/portfolios/qa.php

It really tells u a lot about the business nowadays. The MUA is very honest and blunt with her answers.

 
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Originally Posted by suzukigrrl Thanks for the advice ladies! So I'm right in thinking that it is hard to get paying work? That's good to know. Maybe I'll just stick with the photo studio that I'm already working for and just work as they can pay me.
What about makeup for wedding and events? Any money in that end of the business?

There's actually alot of money to be made in event makeup, especially bridal. I just don't have the patience to put up with the general public, it's a whole different thing! With bridals you need to do consultations and then dealing with the wedding party and deposits...UGH! I couldn't deal with it but you can make crazy money if you do the mothers and the bridal party as well. I've heard it's a good business up in the bay area, but most brides want to see some sort of bridal portfolio first, unless it's someone you know...I'm not sure how you would go about getting new clients without an extensive portfolio, but I do know some people who leave their cards with bridal dress shops or bakeries or you can establish some sort of deal with wedding planners.
 
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Originally Posted by iloveparis Like envymi said, it depends on who you know. If you've already done this kind of work before, and word gets around, it's easier to get clients. You can also advertise at bridal mags in ur area, or have a booth at a bridal show, but even then, a lot of MUAs have said that it's still tough to get new business this way

Unfortunately, it is a really really tough business now
Go to this site:

http://www.themakeupartist.com/portfolios/qa.php

It really tells u a lot about the business nowadays. The MUA is very honest and blunt with her answers.

Thank you so much for that link!! Her advice is so helpful!!
 
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Originally Posted by envymi There's actually alot of money to be made in event makeup, especially bridal. I just don't have the patience to put up with the general public, it's a whole different thing! With bridals you need to do consultations and then dealing with the wedding party and deposits...UGH! I couldn't deal with it but you can make crazy money if you do the mothers and the bridal party as well. I've heard it's a good business up in the bay area, but most brides want to see some sort of bridal portfolio first, unless it's someone you know...I'm not sure how you would go about getting new clients without an extensive portfolio, but I do know some people who leave their cards with bridal dress shops or bakeries or you can establish some sort of deal with wedding planners. Haha! yeah ths public, you are so right about that. Hmm.. well I really don't want to make a full time job out of this. I just think it would be a fun way to make some money and meet new people. I think after I get some practice at the photo studio I might try testing the waters in the bridal and event market. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!!
 
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Your first step I guess would be to get whoever you can to sit for you, do their makeup and take pictures. Put a portfolio together, make up a few business cards... and just hand them out!
Go to hair salons/spas and see if they are hiring a MA - some salons offer makeup, which can be a pretty stable area to work in, especially if the salon does a lot of 'full services'. You'd also be able to work on clients that want makeup as well as their hair done for an event or party. Or like Trisha said before, you could try retail... go into Macy's or Nordies and see if any of the counters are hiring. Gotta do it little by little until you build up a following - but you gotta start somewhere
I would still keep your regular job at first - until you are set in an area where you know you're getting the $ you want, and on a steady basis.


 
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Originally Posted by NYAngel98 Go to hair salons/spas and see if they are hiring a MA - some salons offer makeup, which can be a pretty stable area to work in, especially if the salon does a lot of 'full services'. Actually, in order to do makeup in a salon you need to be either a licensed esthetician or a cosmetologist. I don't know why...I think that's kinda stupid.
 
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Originally Posted by NYAngel98 Go to hair salons/spas and see if they are hiring a MA - some salons offer makeup' date=' which can be a pretty stable area to work in, especially if the salon does a lot of 'full services'. /QUOTE']
Actually, in order to do makeup in a salon you need to be either a licensed esthetician or a cosmetologist. I don't know why...I think that's kinda stupid.

I always thought so... because a salon I was going to work at for makeup awhile back wanted a copy of it... but there's a few people I know that do it out here at salons that don't have one. Guess they're breaking rules, but I guess those salons didnt require it. Maybe it's a NY thing, not sure
 
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I def. agree with doing retail... its the most reliable. Most people do freelance once they build their clientel through retail work.


 
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Originally Posted by envymi I always thought so... because a salon I was going to work at for makeup awhile back wanted a copy of it... but there's a few people I know that do it out here at salons that don't have one. Guess they're breaking rules' date=' but I guess those salons didnt require it. Maybe it's a NY thing, not sure [img']https://forum.makeuptalk.com/images/smilies2/icon_confused.gif[/img] Wow, I'm not sure about NY laws, but in CA a salon can get their business license suspended for letting someone without a license work. I'm sure there are still some who have mua artists who don't have a license, but if they're ever caught...shut down
 
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I was thinking about maybe doing Mary Kay because I really don't want to work at a counter in a department store. I did retail for too long, and my health isn't so good anymore. At least with Mary Kay I can work from home and set my own schedule. A salon might be fun, but I'm entirely not qualified!

 

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