What MUAs need to know about session work
Being successful in the make-up arena requires you to know much more than the latest trends. Applying your trade in film, TV and fashion means understanding the rules of etiquette, which when you’re on set can vary considerably.
As with anything in life, hindsight and experience are priceless, but in an industry where there is an ever-increasing number of make-up artists compared to the paid jobs available, having a poor attitude can cost you your career.
The hard and fast rules regarding what constitutes good on-set etiquette are: being punctual – so plan your journey well in advance; making sure that you’re dressed professionally and your kit is clean; and being respectful of your colleagues.
I also get approached for advice on what you should or shouldn’t do when working with celebrities. Actors and singers are human beings doing a job just like the rest of us. Being complimentary and letting them know you appreciate their skill if you’re a fan is fine but acting star struck is not.
For example, asking for selfies in between takes on set is a definite no-no. Celebrities will often take photos of themselves in the make-up room if you’ve done a look that they love and that’s when you ask if they mind you taking a photo to document it. Never presume you can take their picture.
Also, don’t be over familiar. Seeing a celebrity on TV or in magazines can make you feel like you know them but you don’t. Take the time to get to know them like you would any other client and be mindful about the opinions you share on social media relating to celebrity gossip. You never know who you might end up working with, and being caught out sharing derogatory comments could come back to haunt you.
Hannah Wing is a professional make-up artist, owner of Bellus Femina.