How to Hire a Freelance Makeup Artist

Essential skills to request, key interview questions, and more

Attention all beauty buffs! Have you ever considered hiring a freelance makeup artist but don’t know where to look, what to ask or how much to charge? Have no fear, because we have all the information you need before you start your search, whether it’d be for a personal event, a fashion shoot, a wedding, or the special effects of a movie. Before you dive into the sea of glitter and lipstick, let's take a moment to talk about what it takes to hire the perfect glam squad member.

According to a survey by The Knot in 2021, 75% of brides hire a professional hair and makeup team for their wedding day and the demand for makeup artists is expected to grow by 5% between 2020 and 2030 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

how to hire a makeup artist

First things first, you need to assess your needs. Do you want a makeup artist for a wedding, photoshoot, or just a regular day of pampering? Once you figure that out, it's time to start your search. But beware, there's a lot of competition out there and you don't want to hire just any old Tom, Dick, or MUA.

Next, research, research, research! Check portfolios, read reviews, and ask for recommendations. You don't want to end up with a makeup artist who specialises in clown makeup when you're going for a chic and sophisticated look.

Lastly, make sure to communicate clearly with your makeup artist. Don't be afraid to ask questions and discuss your vision. After all, you want to make sure you're on the same page and end up with a flawless final result.

Let us now dive deeper into some hacks and questions to ask when you want to hire the perfect freelance makeup artist. 


Things to look out for when hiring a freelance makeup artist:

Check out their portfolio and make sure their style aligns with the look you're going for. No one wants a zombie makeup look when they’ve asked for a natural glow. You’ll see a mix of professionally taken images containing the MUA’s work as well as shots taken by the makeup artist of past clients. Try to find examples of work that represent the type of look you’re going for and reference it when speaking with the MUA. 

Look for an artist who has experience in the specific look or event you're hiring them for. Again, you want to make sure that the makeup artist that you hire is specialised in the particular event or occasion you intend to hire them for. A bridal makeup artist, for example, has a set of skills far beyond that of making a bride look fab. They will consult on tones and textures, be there for touch-ups throughout the day, and have a hanky at the ready when it gets emotional! 

Don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth recommendations. Ask for referrals from friends, family, or past clients. Also, platforms such as the Freelancer Club provide an excellent starting point when trying to find a freelance makeup artist.

Freelancers are often busy with several clients at the same time, so make sure the artist is free on the date and time of your event. You don't want to be left stranded without a glam squad.

Good communication is key, make sure to discuss your vision and expectations with the artist before hiring. You don't want any surprises on the big day.

Make sure they have all the necessary tools and products to create the look you want. You don't want to end up with a makeup artist who only has two shades of eyeshadow, or forget to bring the fake blood.

Ask about their hygiene practices and make sure they use sanitary methods and disposable tools. Beauty is important, but so is health.

Always, when you hire a freelancer, make sure you discuss budget and pricing upfront to avoid any misunderstandings or surprises. You don't want to be hit with a makeup bill that's bigger than your rent.

According to a 2021 report by IBIS World, the global makeup artist industry employs over 250,000 people and generates annual revenue of over $15 billion. 

How to hire a makeup artist

Questions to ask when you want to hire a Freelance Makeup Artist

Doing someone's makeup for let’s say, a wedding, can be a highly personal experience. Try to get an understanding of how the makeup artist interacts with clients to create a personalised look.

It’s important that you have an awareness of the makeup artist’s level of experience in relation to the particular event you’ve hired them for. Let them talk you through different sorts of work they've been involved in.

Makeup is all about looks, so you want to see the artist's range of styles and techniques to determine if they align with your preferences.

hire a makeup artist

Perhaps you’re not an expert yourself, but it might be worth checking the makeup artist's product knowledge - after all this is what they specialise in. Ask whether the artist uses high-quality and skin-friendly products, and if they have any brand preferences or restrictions.

Who knows what might happen on the big day of your shoot or event, it might be raining, you might be crying… Try to get an understanding of the artist's responsiveness and problem-solving skills.

If you’re aware of any skin concerns involved with the job, make sure that you’ve checked that the makeup artist is equipped to handle clients with sensitive skin or other specific requirements, beforehand. 

As with any freelancer, make sure that the makeup artist you hire can meet the event's specific scheduling and financial needs.

In conclusion, finding the right freelance makeup artist can be a fun experience if you know where to look and what to ask. From scouring portfolios to putting your face (literally) in the hands of a stranger, the hiring process can be a wild ride and one you want to get right. 

By following the tips outlined in this article, you're sure to end up with that stunning look only a professional makeup artist can create. Either way, hiring a freelance makeup artist will ensure that your makeup game is on point!


Images: Kinga Dwornik, Anna Filippelli, Mahshad Fallah