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Modeling Tips to Keep Your Makeup Artist Happy

by Dania Denise

Makeup is an art and as a model, you want to put your best face forward when it comes to shoots for your portfolio, fashion shows, and booked assignments.

If you've never worked with a professional makeup artist before or if you have but are still learning the ropes of the industry in general, it doesn't hurt to know some helpful tips to keep every makeup artist you work with happy and showcase you as the professional you are.


When you've been hired for a job, either through your agent or on your own via freelance modeling, and there is a makeup artist onset, it is a dream come true. That means less work on your end but there are still important things to keep in mind to ensure each experience with a makeup artist is a positive one.

Arrive With a Freshly Cleaned & Moisturized Face--That Means No Makeup!

I know this sounds like common sense but you'd be surprised by the stories I've heard from makeup artists who have worked with models that showed up without washing their face. That's the definition of gross.

So let's keep it simple: when you wake up the day of your shoot, wash your face and moisturize... that's it!

Don't apply concealer or your base/foundation. Fresh-faced is key because it gives the makeup artist a clean (no pun intended) canvas to work with.

There might be some instances where you may be required to arrive with your base/foundation on. This is normal and happens sometimes for a variety of reasons (saves time so the makeup artist doesn't have to figure out what shade to match, helps the makeup artist if she/he has several models to do, etc.).

Just because you're asked to arrive with your base/foundation doesn't mean the makeup artist doesn't know what he/she is doing or that the client that booked you isn't professional.

If you are instructed to come with your base/foundation on, don't do your eye makeup, put lip color, or blush on. Literally, just put your foundation on and set it with powder (if applicable) and that's it.

But if fresh-faced and no makeup is requested, then do that. Oh, and don't freak out if the makeup artist ends up removing your moisturizer and applying their own. That's normal, too. Arriving with a moisturized face is better than assuming they'll have their own and showing up with dry, flaky skin.

Bring Your Own Foundation Color (Optional) It doesn't hurt to bring your own makeup items with you, including your foundation. Politely mention to the makeup artist that you have your foundation if they wish to use it. Make it an option--don't demand it, it's not that serious.

If they use it, great, if not, no worries.

Follow Instructions & Stay Still

It's common for the makeup artist to instruct you while applying makeup (i.e. look up, look down, chin up, chin down). Don't question them, just do it. Simple. Oh, and common sense again, please hold still when your makeup is getting applied. Just sayin'.

Are you a frequent blinker? Do your eyes tear up easily? Tell the makeup artist beforehand so he/she knows what to expect. Chances are they've seen and dealt with it all before so they'll know how to proceed accordingly if you prep them with the basics.

Another important factor to mention is your skin type: dry, oily, combination, normal, acne prone? Don't know your skin type? That's something you definitely want to find out since you'll be exposing your complexion to a variety of elements when it comes to modeling.

Lashes? Spoiler Alert: It's Gonna Be Weird

The first time false lashes get applied, it's a new life experience, let me tell ya. Expect it to be weird and as if there is a weight sitting on your eyelids. Don't freak out--blink slowly a couple of times until you get used to the weight. After the first time, it does get easier.


If you're unhappy with the makeup for any reason, it is still important to be professional in giving feedback. Instead of complaining about how the eyeliner looks and pouting like a child, ask the makeup artist if it's possible to tweak/fix it. Whatever feedback you have or if you request a change, be specific so the makeup artist will know what to do. This doesn't mean be condescending and treat them like they're dumb. The goal is to get on the same page so use your words wisely and they'll be more than happy to accommodate.

Now if you're being hired by a client, you need to keep things in perspective because, unlike a freelance opportunity where you hired the makeup artist, the playing field is different when you're on the client's time.

Are you unhappy with the makeup but the client is happy with it? Then guess what: you better suck it up and deliver the results they hired you for. The makeup artist was hired to do a job and so were you. It's not the end of the world. Vent about it after the gig, not on social media! #poorsport #careersuicide).

Keep respect at the forefront of all communications and treat makeup artists professionally (if they're the one acting unprofessional, that's an entirely different thing but for the purpose of this post, let's assume they're acting like they're supposed to).

Remember: makeup artists are a crucial part of the modeling career life cycle team and they work with you, not for you.

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