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Makeup Artists Tips

Read these 12 Makeup Artists Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Make-Up tips and hundreds of other topics.

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What kind of makeup brushes should I invest in?

The Six Essential Makeup Brushes Every Artist Needs

Good quality makeup brushes are an investment, but when you spend the money on great brushes and take excellent care of them they will practically last forever. Sometimes it's more practical to buy brushes a la carte. Here are six essential makeup brushes that you should start with:

Foundation - This is made of synthetic hair and is the one that you want to wash most often. Other than foundation, it can also be used for any cream-based products like blush or highlighting fluid.

Concealer - It's just a smaller version of the foundation brush, but can be used for cream- based eye shadows as well.

Powder - Great for loose or pressed powder and bronzer. These natural hair brushes are usually made of sable, squirrel, pony, or goat hair.

Blush – About half the size of the powder brush to layer color onto the apples of the cheeks.

Large Shadow Brush - For applying powder shadow all over the lid, and for pressing shadow into the lower eyelid.

Angled Shadow Brush - This is used to apply shadow to the crease, brow bones, or doing a deeper shade on the outer corners or along the lash line.

These six versatile brushes are the easiest way to start your collection. As you get more advanced with your makeup application you can continue to collect makeup brushes to add to your collection.

Can I volunteer my expertise as a makeup artist?

"Look Good Feel Better" With Makeup

If you are a licensed esthetician, makeup artist or nail technician, you can volunteer your time and skills to help patients with cancer look and feel better. The “Look Good Feel Better” Organization ( sends trained volunteers around to area hospitals with the goal of, “teaching women the tips and techniques to improve their appearance and maintain a positive self-image.” Established back in 1989, the Look Good Feel Better programs are now in every state. Each local chapter of the American Cancer Society trains their volunteers and the commitment is just three to five hours a month. It's amazing how a little makeup can make a big difference in brightening someone's day!

How can I store my makeup?

A Bargain Makeup Case

In order to optimally organize all of your makeup, you should invest in a train case. Professional train cases are a beautiful, elegant way to have all your cosmetics right at your fingertips. They open up so that you can see exactly what you have, and so that your beauty essentials aren't all stacked together in one cramped makeup bag or thrown into a bathroom drawer.

Unfortunately, a good makeup case can be quite expensive. If you would rather invest your money into your makeup than in your case, a good sized fishing tackle box is very similar to a traditional train case. It opens the same way and also has lots of little different-sized storage compartments. Plus, it's made of sturdy material so your makeup will be protected if it happens to get banged around a bit. It's great for travel, too!

What tools should I use to apply my foundation?

The Best Way To Apply Foundation

There are three methods to applying foundation. They all work fine, but for optimum application use a foundation brush. This tool is the best way to apply foundation evenly and achieve the proper flawless coverage.

With a brush, which should be made of synthetic fibers and not natural hair, you can get into all contours of the face, like around the nose area and chin. When using the brush you want to use downward strokes to blend, or you can go in a circular motion for a more sheer finish. Another reason it's best to use a brush is that you use less foundation overall. You can apply the foundation directly to the brush, or you can dab the foundation directly on your face and then blend with the brush. If you use your fingers to apply your makeup, it's going to look streaky and you end up wiping a lot of it away. Beware of the foundation sponge--sponges can harbor bacteria easily and absorb too much of your foundation too fast.

Is there a method to make my cheekbones stand out?

How to Fake a Cheekbone With Contouring

The key to highlighting or enhancing hidden cheekbones is contouring. Contouring is not easy to do, and if you aren't careful it can look too obvious. You can achieve subtle contouring with the right tools.

Start with a darker matte neutral blush or bronzer. Sweep the color diagonally under the cheekbones back up towards the ear. Make sure it's not too dark either; just slightly darker than your blush. Your blush goes in a circular swirl right on the apples of the cheeks. (If you have having trouble figuring out where your apples are, just smile big and feel where the fullest part of your cheeks are.) Finally, take a highlighting powder which has a little shine or shimmer to it, and dust it on the tops of your cheekbones back towards your hairline. These three cheek products will help to create that coveted chiseled cheekbone.

How is a makeup primer used?

Prime Your Skin For Longer-Wearing Makeup

A makeup artist never usually applies makeup to a bare face. To ensure the makeup lasts all day, a primer is used to "prep" the skin. A simple moisturizer can act as a makeup primer. Just give your moisturizer about five minutes before you apply foundation. If you want your makeup to look ultra smooth and last as long as possible, you can invest in a specific makeup primer. A primer is a lotion or cream that is applied directly under makeup to smooth out the skin, even out redness and help skin retain moisture.

What are some book that teach makeup application?

Learn Makeup From The Best Books

A true makeup artist views the face as a canvas. A true visionary in the field of makeup artistry was the late Kevyn Aucoin. He had a remarkable career for almost 20 years as a makeup artist and touched many famous faces and hearts before he passed away in 2002. Makeup in Keyvn's hands truly had the power to transform and show many creative possibilities.

If you want to get a piece of true makeup genius, check out the three books he wrote - The Art of Makeup, Face Forward, and Making Faces. The stunning photographs and detailed instructions are a must-have for anyone learning the craft of makeup artistry. Or, for anyone who just wants to get to know the basics with his detailed and easy-to-follow instructions. Kevyn believed that, “true beauty lies in discovering women's own individuality.” His best-selling books are just a part of his extraordinary legacy.

How often do I need to clean my makeup brushes?

Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

Dirty makeup brushes means unflattering makeup application. So how often should you clean your brushes? It really depends on your skin type. If you have oily skin, you will need to clean your brushes once a week. Oils from your face adhere to the brushes, which causes build up faster than dry skin. Those with dry skin can usually go about two weeks between brush cleanings.

To clean your brushes, use a foaming face cleanser that has a makeup solvent in it. Wet the brush and dab a drop of cleanser right onto the brush and swirl it around the palm of your hand, rinse, and lightly squeeze off the excess water onto a towel. Then, lay the brushes flat to dry overnight. Don't prop the brushes upright because the water will drip into the handle and cause the hairs to come loose internally.

You can also purchase a brush cleaning spray. An industry favorite is “Brush Off” (, which comes in a pump spray bottle. Spray the solution directly onto the brush hair and then tissue it off. It's very easy, dries quickly, and is much less time consuming than cleanser and water. Both methods will get your brushes free of bacteria, makeup and oils so they are ready to go for smooth makeup application!

What's the proper way to apply mascara?

Getting The Most Out of Your Mascara

Do you ever notice how amazing the model's eyelashes look in the beauty shots for cosmetics ads? Of course they do! They have makeup artists who spend hours making the model's lashes look perfect. Makeup artists on commercial sets use anywhere from three to five different types of mascara, a lash comb, a toothpick, and a tweezers to make each lash stand up just right. If you had a makeup artist poring over your eyelashes for three unbelievable hours then yours would, too. But let's get real! There are a few basic things you can do to make the most out of whatever mascara you are using:

  1. Replace your mascara every 3 months - old mascara doesn't go on smoothly, making your lashes dry, short and clumpy looking. If you are on a budget, try to find a great drugstore brand.
  2. Get a hand mirror - when you apply your mascara, hold the mirror down by your nose and look into it. This will allow you to see the root all the way to tips of your eyelashes and gives you the best length possible for application.
  3. “Wiggle and Pull” - wiggle the brush back and forth to ensure your lashes grab the most mascara possible from the wand. It's great for volume and length.
  4. Go Slow - practice your mascara application technique and take time out of your makeup applying routine to devote to applying your mascara. Great lashes make a big difference!

Are makeup artists really experts?

Makeup Artists

The majority of makeup artists are skilled in their craft. Everyone has a different opinion in how someone should look. Remember, no two artists have ever painted the same way. To decide what brand of cosmetics you may want to invest in, ask questions and look at their advertising and promotions. You can get some idea about the kind of makeup looks that the company shows. Makeup should be fun. So, enjoy.


How to Become a Makeup Artist

Makeup, when applied by the hand of an artist, allows not just the face, but the whole person, to shine. If you have an eye for aesthetics and a desire to make other people look beautiful, being a makeup artist is the career for you. Here are some tips that may guide you.

Nurture Your Skills

This means practice, practice and more practice. Use your own face, the face of a willing friend, and also different people with varying skin color, face shape, and age. Experiment with different makeup brands since they can give varied results. Do research- read magazines, watch films and plays to familiarize yourself with different trends and application techniques.

Source for Training and Experience

You can enroll in beauty school to learn theory and techniques from experts. Consider becoming a licensed cosmetologist. This will give you an upper hand in the industry. Try finding a job at a cosmetics store or beauty salon. Another possibility is an internship at a cosmetics company.

Shape Your Career

Decide on the path you want to take in the industry. Do you want to work as a personal make up consultant? In a salon? On a movie set? Start working on your brand. Network for entry level jobs or internships to get your feet wet. Create a portfolio with your best work to showcase to potential clients and employers. Begin to market yourself and get the word out.

What is the salary for freelance make-up artists?

Freelance Artist's Salary

Salaries for freelance makeup artists vary according to your geographic location. Metropolitan areas will pay more than a rural area because of cost of living.The more in demand you are, the higher hourly wage you will receive. On the East coast, salaries range from $15-$20 per hour. It is a great job for someone with interest and skill in cosmetics.

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Guru Spotlight
George Sayour