Thursday, 19 April 2012


  1. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE AND STILL PRACTICE! Sure you've all heard this before but practice is really key and it's how you will really learn. It's not good enough reading/watching how to do something without physically doing it yourself.
  2. Learn from mistakes. I still make mistakes but you know what, you learn from them and it prevents you from making them further down the line!
  3. Ready? Really? Freelance? Just because you can you make-up on yourself it does NOT mean you can go out and do make-up on other people. It is completely different. Application, tools, colour theory, hygiene, different face/eyes/lips, skin tone/types etc. You have to be confident in your abilities before you charge for your services. Remember your reputation is on the line. If in doubt, wait.
  4. Be prepared to shell out for your kit. It's a worthwhile investment for you to prepared for any given job.
  5. Higher the price = doesn't always mean better the quality. Do your RESEARCH before you buy any product so you save yourself from a 'crap' product. I use YouTube/Makeupalley/blogs to see if products are worth it or not.
  6. Don't be afraid to ask for help! I know some counter assistants can be pushy/hard sell, but majority are helpful and honest, so if your interested in a product just ask for help.
  7. Document every look you do, so as well as keeping a record for yourself you can critically analyse your work and tell what worked and what didn't - be it the techniques you used or specific products.
  8. Invest in good quality tools. You shouldn't just rely on the products themselves, application is also KEY. Synthetic brushes are so advanced now, some even feel and act better than natural hair brushes. The advantage with these new hybrids is it means they mimic natural hair brush qualities too -  so they they work with powder AND liquid products really well. I am a fan of Real Techniques, EcoTools, Shu Uemura, MAC eye brushes, Illamasqua, Sigma's synthetic range and E.L.F studio brushes. 
  9. Often neglected, but sponges and fingers are good tools too. Just make sure they are clean. Sponges can really help set areas by pushing product into areas and the heat from your fingertips can help 'bind' the product to the skin.
  10. Keep pushing yourself in terms of creativity. What's the point of doing the same look over and over again? See things, recreate them, but with your own spin. Magazines/YouTube/Tumblr usually gets me inspired.
  11. Network yourself! Your work should speak for itself but don't be afraid to go out there and tell people about what you do. Use social networking sites (Facebook/Twitter/Youtube/Blogger) but also the good old medium of word of mouth - I get most of my work through this method. You only have to do one good job to get your name around.
  12. Persistence is key. You never know what opportunities will be around the corner.
  13. Make-up course? You DO NOT have to go to a make-up school to become successful. In fact some of the best MUA's in the world have never been formally trained. It doesn't hurt to get educated, but having a qualification doesn't mean everything.
  14. If you are self teaching, I really RECOMMEND Rae Morris's book. It's the best book I've found that actually covers ALL the basics, tricks and advice in an easy to understand format. I really recommend this book if you are wanting to learn.
  15. Best thing to come to YouTube= Lisa Eldridge. A real working professional make-up artist demonstrating her wealth of knowledge from basics to editorial make-up. If you want to learn, Eldridge is your girl.
  16. Don't be afraid to ask for HONEST critical opinions. My mum is probably the most brutal person I know she'll find a negative in anything - TRUST ME. It's all nice people saying "omg it's amazing" but it doesn't help you develop and honestly what do they know. Get honest feedback and your progression will grow.
  17. For long lasting/flawless makeup, work in THIN layers, this prevents creasing and make sures it really adheres to the skin.
  18. The 'best make-up' is make-up that works with existing features. Whilst with make-up we can alter the appearance of features, more often than not if we work with what's already there, it's the most flattering/fail safe.
  19. Trends don't suit everyone. If it doesn't feel right or suit you, don't feel the need to follow it.
  20. Confidence is key. If you insecure about your look, it will show.
  21. Experiment - try something new. If you are unsure wear it around the house till you feel confident. And remember you can always take it off. Simples.
  22. Remember to use a light hand when working on clients. Use the right pressure and to alter the position of your clients head correctly, give clear directions or gently change by moving the chin.
  23. Find a specialism. The world of make-up is huge. Find your element and nail your skills in it and branch out if you want to. You don't necessarily have to dabble in everything. It's better to be great at one thing than be mediocre at ten.
  24. Want to save money and make your own 'unique' shades? Custom blend! Lipsticks to eye shadows just layer/mix together and create your own blend and save on the mullah.
  25. Always CLEAN your brushes. Everyone around me outside 'make-up world' are so lazy about their brushes but it doesn't make any sense. Dirty brushes = muddy outcome/face. Simply use a mild shampoo (deep clean) or brush cleaner (spot clean) for sanitised brushes.
  26. What sets apart good and 'perfect' make-up is the small details - have an eye for spotting out details other won't. Do you need to fill in the upper lash line? Is the lip line slightly wonky? Has the eyeliner smudged? Are the eyeliner flicks symmetrical on both sides? These small details will push your work and get you noticed.
  27. Let your outside interests influence the work you do. I find if you limit yourself to one source, the work you produce will be limited. Let other outlets (studies/job/hobby) push your creative boundaries further.
  28. If you are to master any skill, it is blending. Once you get the hang of it the possibilities are endless. From powders to cream formulas, blending can mimic an 'airbrush' look.
  29. You can use any product to suit your needs. Just because it's a blush it doesn't mean you can't use it for the eyes. Have fun!
  30. Work logically. Instead of using X amount of brushes for different things, if you work in order - foundation to concealer and lastly highlight etc, it can reduce the amount of brushes you use everyday/have to clean.
  31. Take every opportunity, but make sure you get something out of it by the end - either experience or the images if you are doing TFCD. It's your time and kit too. Don't get abused by the system.
  32. We all start from somewhere. I believe ANYONE can pick up make-up, just practice and see where it goes. 
Hey guys, I posted this around two years ago, and since then I've gained a few more followers so I thought I'd revise this post as I've learned TONS since then too.
Obviously this is all from my personal experience and I'm not exactly a pro' here. But I thought you guys might find it useful. It's a mix of general and more MUA related tips.
Hope some of it was useful and encouraging. The tips above are good reminders for myself too.

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