What is Expected When You Work as a Makeup Artist’s Assistant?


If you are an aspiring makeup artist, in your area there could be an opportunity so amazing, just waiting for you! There could be an established makeup artist that is looking for an assistant, that could be just someone to clean their brushes or they have more work than they can handle and need an extra set of hands. I find there’s a lot of confusion as to what is expected and what the responsibility is as a makeup artist assistant. This blog post will hopefully help define the responsibility and clear up any issues that may come up. Of course, every business, makeup artist, and job is different so please ask the person that hired you if you have any questions!

The business/makeup artist that is hiring you will determine if you are paid hourly or per face and what your job as an assistant will be. You will be expected to look and act professionally as you are there to represent the business/makeup artist that hired you. As an assistant, your work should reflect their work and style, it is best to follow the makeup artist on their social media ahead of time so you can see how they represent themselves.

When I am hiring an assistant to do makeup for my business if they do not carry the same makeup brands in their kit that I do, I will want to know what they have to make sure that it is professional quality products so that my clients will be getting the highest quality makeup application, as is expected. Unless I am familiar with an assistant's work already I will want them to have taken classes with me and have been trained based on my signature style.

When I hire assistants they are not permitted to take any photos or to post photos to their social media at all. For weddings, we have a contract with the client and ask for permission to use the photos for our website or social media and that permission does not extend to the assistant hired for that job. If you did not hire the client personally, you have no contract with the client, you haven’t spent time emailing and building a relationship… they are not your client, not your photos! Of course there can always be exceptions and every business/makeup artist is different so be sure to ask before posting.

Show up on time, no drama, and ready to work. If you are hired as an assistant please be reliable, it makes the business/makeup artist look bad when they’ve hired someone who doesn’t show up or shows up late. Also, another big one please do not try to upstage the makeup artist that hired you, they are not there to build your personal business, you are hired as an assistant to do a job. Do not pass out your personal business cards or promote your business in any way or you will not be asked back!

So what’s the advantage of working as an assistant? Real work experience and working with someone that has years of experience doing the job that you want to do. Being introduced to wedding professionals like planners and photographers that may take years to be able to work with on your own. Being in a setting watching someone that has perfected their craft, this experience is priceless, there are no classes in the world that can teach what you can learn by working hands-on in a real-world setting!

The relationship that is built on trust and mutual respect is a huge asset to an established business/makeup artist so that the assistant is actually seen as an extension of that person or business. This is a mutually beneficial relationship that can lead to years of high quality and well paid work for the assistant.

I hope this helps and as I said before, every artist is different so be sure to ask if you have any questions!




Work with Me! If you are an aspiring makeup artist or wanting to uplevel your business, I teach makeup artistry classes as well as an online business class for makeup artists. Go to the Contact page to let me know how I can help you!


{Shown is beautiful Katie, a lead artist with our team! Photography credit:  Christina Barnum Photography}

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