I've Assisted So Many Celebrity Makeup Artists—This Is What I've Learned

by Hannah Biddle
PHOTO:

Faith Xue

I decided I was going to become a makeup artist after realising my mind was consumed with makeup. I’d spend hours at the makeup counter looking for the perfect nude lipstick. I made notes on which artists were doing all the magazine covers and editorials. I’d look at ads and red carpet images and try to figure out why their makeup looked like a work of art. I was obsessed with it all. Back then, there wasn’t much information on how to get started, but I’d heard that in order to do so, you need to assist a makeup artist. So I compiled a list of every single agency in L.A. that I could find and emailed all of them asking to be put on their assistant list. I included my portfolio, which consisted of only five or so shots. One, maybe two, agencies actually added me to their list, and the rest turned me down or just never responded.

I also emailed makeup artists directly if I was able to find their email address. I once even walked into an agency to introduce myself to the agent without having an appointment. For an entire year, I continued to follow up with all of the agencies and an opportunity finally came through: I got the call to assist a celebrity makeup artist. The job was for the cover of a major fashion magazine with a beautiful actress who was starring in a blockbuster film. This was the moment I’d been waiting for. There were just so many questions I pondered. What do I do? What do I say? What will be expected of me?

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