A Day in the Life of a Makeup Artist
Life as a freelance Makeup Artist is consistently inconsistent.
My schedule is always changing and evolving. I don’t have a set weekly routine, the luxury of a steady paycheck is just a memory. I can go a week without working followed by 5 weeks without a single day off. Life as a freelance Makeup Artist is consistently inconsistent… and I love it.
Although I have been working with makeup since I was a child (thanks to Mommy), I first started my professional career as a “full time” freelancer in November of 2010. Before then, I had worked at Sephora followed by Saks Fifth Avenue… trying to take on as many photo & video shoots and bridal clients as possible on my designated days off.
Some of you might know that this career I have chosen to pursue in my late twenties was not AT ALL what I started out doing. I went to college to become a Producer. After graduating, I went on to work at CNBC, a smaller production agency, and then co-founded a creative media agency called Hybrid Interactive (who you should definitely hire to create any customized marketing materials because Heather and Jenn kick some serious ass).
Anyway… Through my experiences as a Producer, I was lucky enough to meet a handful of phenomenally talented Makeup Artists (Maryann Muro, Hector Ferrer, Lisa Bell, & Shannon Lauretta to name a few). These MUAs hold a dear place in my heart, for they are the ones who inspired me to make what felt like “the change of a lifetime” (my lifetime) from producing to makeup. After that, it was off to makeup school in the big city (thanks Laura and Jeff for letting me crash at your apartment for a shorter commute)!
Nowadays, instead of sitting behind a desk and in front of a laptop doing “producery” things, I have the distinct pleasure of playing with colors and faces (and sometimes celebrities). Whether it be on a film, TV show, or industrial video shoot set… Or a photo shoot or back stage at a fashion show… Or in a bridal suite with 12 lovely ladies drinking their traditional mimosas waiting their turn for makeup (Yes, I’d love a mimosa but I’d rather get this lipstick on your LIPS!!)… OR even working the retail circuit for one of my favorite lines, Laura Mercier… I am a happy camper.
It’s true that making definite plans in advance is a thing of the past… It’s true that I get anxious if I’m not working a few days in a row… It’s true that I’m exhausted after a few weeks of working nonstop… It’s also true that I absolutely LOVE what I do. Do I still have massive student loans? Yes. Thanks for that, college. Do I have to pay extra for my health insurance? Sure do. Do I have normal people bills to pay? Obviously.
Guess what… I manage to pay all of my bills every month. “But Jacqueline, how do you do that without a steady paycheck?” I’m glad you asked… It’s because I work my butt off networking and following up with past clients. I also try to be smart with the money I have coming in and save as much of it as I can.
All of the uncertainty and anxiety is worth it. I get to do what I love to do on a daily basis.
Are you thinking of making a career change or taking the leap to freelance-hood? DO IT. But first… Call my girl Ungenita because she knows what’s up. She is the genius that helped me find this statement: I am a Celebrity Makeup Artist specializing in production. A simple yet strong statement that has helped me gain more business in the last few months. Thank you Ungenita!!