Becoming a Professional Makeup Artist

During my senior year of college at James Madison University, I decided to start doing makeup for senior grad photos. I'm not going to lie, I was very nervous at first because this was my first time being PAID to do anyone's makeup. My going rate was $10 for eyes and $25 for a whole makeup application. Check out this OG makeup menu I created for my services.


(I probably made a total of $100, which for a broke college student, was really good!)

I would use a combination of my personal makeup along with my clients' makeup bag. It was not the most sanitary, I know! But, I did wipe down everything with alcohol, used disposables, and cleaned my brushes properly.


After realizing how much I enjoyed it and that people did like my work, I decided to work at Sephora after I graduated, to gain more experience and education. Working at Sephora allowed me to create a makeup kit that would only be dedicated to my clients this time and taught me how to properly apply makeup. Some valuable skills I learned from Sephora were sanitation, skin prepping, and more in-depth makeup techniques.


From this point, I was working almost every weekend at Sephora, which did not allow me any flexibility with freelancing. There came to a point where I had to decide to find a new job where I could dedicate my weekends to freelancing or continue with Sephora. As you can probably tell, I quit Sephora and began my freelance journey.


Shortly after, word of mouth was my number one marketing tool. I continued to build my portfolio and created social media accounts for my business. Instagram is now my number one marketing tool, and I am so grateful to have gained so many wonderful clients from the platform.



I currently work a full-time position in marketing, but I love having makeup appointments to look forward to on the weekends. I'm very fortunate to have two passions of marketing and makeup, and be able to pursue both as well. Becoming a professional makeup artist in the DC, MD, and VA area has led me to so many opportunities. I am so proud to be apart of this industry and more importantly, this community.


Have a question or a suggestion for a blog? Email me jtanartistry@gmail.com!