The Pros and Cons of Being a Hair AND Makeup Artist
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Being a hairstylist is all fun and games until you add makeup artist to your resume. The business of brushing manes is one thing, but glamming faces is a whole other beast in and of itself. Imagine showing up to a job to do both—the hair and the makeup. Scary? Kinda. That’s the reality for some artists, who can assure you there are benefits and disadvantages to having multiple talents. Click through the gallery below to find out the pros and cons of being a hair stylist and makeup artist, straight from top hybrid professionals themselves.
Brittany Sullivan @brittsully
When I first started out, fresh out of school, I replied to a call for a NatGeo project – they needed makeup artists. BUT when I got there, they actually needed hair team assistants! I worked where they needed me, and after, continued to do makeup and light hair for shoots, tests, etc. Gradually, I began to be booked on shoots specifically as the hair stylist.
I took a course for ‘hairstyling on set’ during makeup school and thereafter, continued to learn as I went! There were lots of very kind people who gave me tips along the way, and I would also try new techniques and styles on tests. (I tested A TON in the beginning).
I learned the core from a makeup school called Make-Up Designory. You kind of evolve into your own style as time goes on but having been taught the core foundation (no pun intended) at makeup school was so helpful to me – even just with basic things like knowing how to keep all my kit clean and sanitized. So important.
- I often am asked to do both, which is fun! It’s nice to drive that ship and really help create a whole look.
- Along with getting asked to do both, I can do one or the other and get to meet, team, and be creative with different makeup artists and hairstylists.
- There’s some flexibility and variance in my schedule and which I’ll be doing / what I’ll be working on from week to week.
- Your kit weighs only slightly less than you (Xs 3).
Etienne Ortega @etienneortega
Since a young age, I was drawn to the beauty of both hair and makeup. I love the art and the way you can express yourself with both such different things yet meant to be together, like real LOVE!
For hair, I went to the Paul Mitchell School in Alhambra, I believe it’s now in Pasadena! But before that, I used to go to this salon where Hilda cut my hair. She was so busy I would have to wait two hours while she did her thing, but I wouldn’t mind because I loved watching and learning!
Makeup is something that really came with practice, on anyone and everyone, in time discovering different things and products etc. Practice really makes perfect!
- The client loves it for convenience reasons.
- You create your own vision for both!
- You are able to help the other artist if there is ever an emergency, like timing, or the other artist is sick! Or if someone has to leave early. I have to say—I’ve come in handy so many times!!!
- People are threatened.
- It really is A LOT of work. Imagine how hard it is to simply do one, now picture two jobs?!!! OVERWHLEMING! You gotta be a beast and know how to handle a lot!!
- At times, you don’t get enough time, so you have to choose to focus on one or the other.
Sara Rose @sararosebuzz
I grew up dancing and playing dress-up with my big sister, so it was kind of the natural progression! I also always loved colouring and would borrow my mom’s makeup for dance recitals and just colour my face. The beauty of a kid’s mind! From there, my sister would let me beautify her… she had amazing taste and was really particular so she always challenged me in the best way. It was at that point I began to discover I had a real knack for the art, and of course, from there got plenty of practice on my friends. I remember how great they always felt afterward, especially as they tried to navigate the many trials and tribulations of the teen years, it gave them confidence. The women in my life inspired me to carry on and spread the feeling I’ve been giving them since our grade eight grad!
I was initially a self-taught hairstylist, along with always keeping a watchful eye on colleagues, which led to eventually being able to hone my skills through a private educator in Vancouver, Canada.
Makeup was also initially self-taught. I assisted makeup artists whenever I could get the opportunity and worked for Estée Lauder in the Cayman Islands. I returned to British Columbia and attended the Blanche Macdonald Centre to fine tune my art.
- Control. I get to step back at completion and assess the full look and be 100% happy with the whole thing or have the ability to fix what isn’t perfect. I sometimes have to really sit on my hands when I’m not creating both aspects of a client’s look.
- Versatility. I never get bored of my job. Each day I’m doing one or the other or both. It really keeps me on my toes, forces me to continue learning and developing my creativity, and excited to continue.
- Being a makeover go-to. I LOVE beautifying my clients. There are so many people out there unaware of what a little makeup and haircut/colour can do for their self-esteem.
- Timing. I’m hard on myself and feel as though I should be quicker. I make myself remember how much I’m doing, so it’s really only me stressing – not my client.
- Control. If I’m not doing both makeup and hair and I can tell the client is unhappy with the other service provider, I want to burst out of my skin. So, if I didn’t know both I wouldn’t be as crazy.
- Being asked to do the most. Sometimes people forget I’m one person. I try my best, most are understanding, but sometimes you get rushed to complete a full look when they forgot it’s just you.