As a makeup artist you should have a well stocked online portfolio that is easily accessible for your clients and filled with professional photos of your work. This portfolio should display your range of skills and what you can do as a makeup artist. It should be diverse in it’s makeup applications showing a wide variety of makeup looks as well as your ability to work with varying skin tones, age groups, and if you do male grooming show both male and female head shots of your work.
But if you are like so many new makeup artists you may not have a well stocked portfolio and you may not know what potential clients will be looking for when they go to your portfolio website.
Here is our list of 5 must have looks to begin your portfolio and build upon.
Natural Daytime Look: Even the most well trained celebrity makeup artists have a natural daytime look in their portfolio to present to their potential clients. This shows their ability to enhance a clients features without overdoing a makeup application and keeping a flawless fresh look. Not everyone wants dramatic looks and to assume they do would be to miss the opportunity to work with a large part of the population who want this type of service. Keep your look fresh, simple and with very few products but remember the key to a daytime natural look is to make it appear flawless.
Night on the Town Look: This is crucial for your portfolio as a makeup artist because it is the single most requested look you will do for your clients. This look requires a dramatic lip and eye application with heavier contouring and highlighting to show off the face even in the dimmest lights of a ballroom, cocktail lounge, or a candlelight dinner. Pay close attention to your eye makeup application and steer clear of making the eye to dark if your client is going somewhere that might be a professional gala where she may be required to mingle with her own potential clients. This look is a must in your portfolio so be sure to use a pro photographer to capture this look.
Teen Prom Look: Failing to add teens to your portfolio will exclude a large part of the population looking for your services. Proms, teen galas, and Winter formals are a great place to practice your makeup skills and get you the exposure to a large group of faces, teens tend to run in packs and share their pics all over social media. Price your teen looks at a better price point and you may end of with an entire group of girls excited for your services. Remember teens are social media buffs but are unaware that most pics they find of eye looks on IG have been photoshopped and altered and not all looks can be achieved. Keep it real with your teen groups and keep it fun.
Bridal Look: You may not want to think about all the hassle that can go into working with brides but as a makeup artist it can be a very lucrative part of your business and as you know your business when you first start out as a makeup artist isn’t always lucrative. So we recommend finding a very good photographer or make sure when you are doing bridal makeup on your clients to connect with the wedding photographer and ask if you can use their photos on your portfolio site. Some of the best bridal makeup looks you will get will come from your wedding photographers and they in turn will be your best referral source. They like makeup artists who are easy to work with and make their brides look flawless for their wedding photos.
Trendy or Fashion Looks: This is an area that is very easy to break into as a makeup artist and if you work your social media skills it is much easier finding models to work with than you think. Trendy and fashion makeup is all about art and using your skills to create specific looks that you want to create. In this category you can practice your smokey eye looks or your trendy looks or re-create looks from years gone by such as the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. To learn more about working with models and local photographers check out our finding models to work with article.
No matter what looks you do in the first few years of your makeup artistry keep a record of all the makeup applications you do and update your online portfolio often to keep it fresh and looking new.