Simona has outlined core business rules, shared her experiences and provided you with some valuable tips that will be of great help if you are thinking about this type of career.
Who is a make-up artist?
Make-up artist is an artist, a visionary, an innovator, and a woman's best friend, and our work – make-up - is a free, creative expression that is best seen in make-up looks for fashion and beauty editorials. We also do advertising campaigns and fashion shows. In addition to creating make-up looks for editorials, my job is to beautify women, whether they are private clients or well-known people. Make-up also serves to make the most out of persons own features, for them to be who they are.
Creative and interesting job
Make-up artist, along with other creative team members, creates beautiful fashion stories, moves the boundaries of make-up and visual consciousness, draws people to wonderful beauty travels, like other visual aspects in creative professions. For fashion and beauty magazines I have no limits. I create make-up looks in agreement with the team and looks must be pleasing because that is my artwork, and it makes me happy. My make-up work in magazines are at the same time the inspiration of trying to encourage women to be carefree, empowered and have fun. Anywhere I work - in Croatia, Paris, London, Prague, Vienna, Tel Aviv, I always give my maximum and try to go a step further.
Like most creative professions, make-up requires an unlimited amount of perseverance and persistence to reach a point where there is enough work on an everyday basis and, accordingly, for an adequate fee. Even though I've have established myself in this world, I still need a lot of energy and time for the whole business because our profession is essentially a freelance one. Improvement need to happen every day, especially in the Croatian market where knowledge and quality are often ignored. But despite the small amount of work, I find it worthwhile. I am grateful I found what I love in my life and I am happy I can do that home and abroad for the most prestigious fashion magazines in the world - Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Grazia, Cosmopolitan, Glamor, Storybook, Gloria Glam, miss7, Diva and many more others. I cooperate with the best teams and associates because only top teams can ensure the highest level of performance and quality that everyone aspires to. Let's not forget that the average team means average quality.
Getting to know people and associates
I like when I can meet new associates or clients in the business. New people bring new energy that is always good for creative processes and challenges, both in business and personal development. A variety of collaborators is an inevitable part of the story. Mutual trust and respect among colleagues are one of the most important rules of this work. Whether it's the fashion editors of magazines and websites, designers, photographers, hairdressers, stylists, models, brand managers, journalists, creators from marketing agencies or makeup assistants, maintaining a successful and good relationship, along with talent and quality work, is a key part of the job.
It is not necessary to finish a make-up school because most make-up artists learn trough working in the industry. A good school can give a very good, broader perspective on make-up, directly develop interest in a certain part of our work, as well as help in overcoming inevitable barriers that come with work. The first few years are typically difficult and demanding due to possible mistakes that are taking place. School can be a great preparation, but to gain experience, create contacts and get a job, spend some time as an assistant to established make-up artist.
I opened my make-up studio eight years ago. My own studio is a very important segment of business and I recommend that everyone has one on their own or in association with a hairdresser. I have private clients every day, who want make-up for a variety of occasions - weddings, dates, meetings, interviews… Since I never publish photos of my private clients, most people do not know that I do this part of the work also. I also do individual classes, both for women who want to learn how to improve their makeup skills or how to choose the right products and future professional make-up artist. I think individual classes are the best way of teaching and knowledge transfer and it gives me great pleasure to do so.
Make-up as a life changing moment
The client – artist relationship can often help solve some of life situations. Whether a person shares problems or emotions, makeup or education can positively and significantly affect their self-confidence and mood, because the art of make-up is a transformation and a very exciting and significant act of empowering a person. And such situations are happening to me all the time.
I work outside of Croatia. In addition to shooting for magazines, I used to work in Paris for several years in a row, as a make-up assistant at the Paris Fashion Week. Givenchy, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, Dries van Noten and Galliano are just some of the names. I worked with the best make-up artists in the world - Pat McGrath and Peter Philips, met designers, such as Alber Elbaz, Riccardo Tisci and Marc Jacobs, and top models such as Natasha Poly, Freja, Gisele Bundchen, Karolina Kurkova, Erin Wasson, Daphne Groeneveld, Stella Tennat and many others. That was a wonderful and valuable experience. Now I work with CHANEL and I often go to Paris and other European cities to shoot fashion and beauty editorials for CHANEL and their collaboration with magazines in Central and Eastern Europe and Mediterranean. In addition to shootings, I also do exclusive presentations of new CHANEL makeup collections in these markets. I am immensely grateful that I can work at such a level.
Make-up business can be expanded in multiple directions. After ten years of constant presence and work, I noticed that more and more women are asking for individual counseling and product recommendations, so I started my own blog as part of my website, where I write various makeup tips in Croatian and English. I also write about the products I use in my work and who have proven good for clients. I have very good readership and I get a lot of questions about makeup products and techniques, as well as about skin care on every day basis. For past three years I've been a make-up columnist in StoryBook and on the Journal.hr website. Certain brands have recognized the long-term value of collaboration with the established, top make-up artist, so I work with a number of premium brands, but exclusively of my choice. I've also developed a very successful mobile app with make-up tutorials that had about 150,000 downloads and was the most downloaded app in the App Store for a long time.
Professional make-up artist is expected to follow, know and own the latest products on the market. However, it is not cheap and easy to fill your kit with top quality and luxurious make-up because quality cosmetic products come with a hefty price tag. In my case, investing in the best and highest quality products has never been questionable. From the very beginning, and today, I travel to world metropolis to get the best of the best. Advice for beginners - always go with a smaller number but with better quality products.
Misconceptions about the industry
Being a make-up artist is not always a glamorous job, though often considered differently. Often time is spent on shoots in cellar studios and locations without sunlight, standing on sets 14-16 hours a day, mostly without normal working conditions. Most make-up artists mostly agree on one thing, which is that our work is underestimated and often underpaid. There are a lot of situations in which make-up is observed as something anyone can do, and I notice that performance quality and professionalism are not important to many whose work directly depends on the quality of make-up. There is no agency in Croatia that represents fashion and beauty creators, so we are completely left to ourselfs. Finding jobs, negotiating, making deals, PR - all of this we do and finance ourselves.
Make-up artist VS beauty influencer
Instagram and YouTube today have a strong focus on make-up, everyone wants to be a make-up artist, mostly because of the appearance of a beauty influencer. I think beauty influencers are great for the make-up industry, but make-up artist and beauty influencer are two different occupations. The community of professional make-up artists has existed since the beginning of the last century and, to succeed, much effort, perseverance and work is needed, and a lot of free or poorly paid work with expensive make-up and equipment that you must buy yourself. Beauty influencers are people who strongly promote make-up products and usually put make-up only on themselves for social network channels, demonstrating the capabilities of a personal product use, thus becoming a channel for advertising beauty brands. Most of the products they get for free, and their revenue depends solely on the amount of likes, followers and popularity.