5 skills you need to make it as a session make-up artist

Being a make-up artist is a fantastic career that gives you the chance to travel the world, meet interesting people and make a living doing what you love. However, there are five traits you need to be successful:

1. Vocational training – make-up artists are expected to have hands-on experience and technical knowledge, and this is something you can’t find in a lecture hall. Vocational training gives you a taste of what it’s like to be in the industry.

2. A strong portfolio – you need to photograph everything you do. Building up a portfolio showcases all the amazing work you’ve done and you need this to land jobs.

3. Great people skills – you could be working with models, actors, designers, stylists and crew members, and that’s a lot of personalities in one place. A good make-up artist knows how to get on with everyone.

4. Plenty of stamina – the job can be tiring, so stamina (or loads of coffee) is key. You’ll be the first one on set in the morning and the last one to leave. It doesn’t always leave much time for sleep.

5. Enthusiasm – you’re going to need tons of it working in film, TV, theatre and fashion. Media is a fast-paced industry that’s hard to keep up with but promises loads of exciting experiences.

Liz Tagg-WoosterLiz Tagg-Wooster is principal at The Iver Make-up Academy and has more than 30 years’ experience working in the film and television industry as a make-up artist and hair designer.

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