Lisa Joy doing makeup for a session

How To Find The Right Makeup Artist

For me it seems that I struggle with casting makeup artists.  I’m not sure what it is but maybe it’s because I’m in unfamiliar territory there.  However, I’ve learned a bit about makeup over the years and have worked with some outstanding makeup artists.  But casting the “right” makeup artist for your project is crucial to success.

Consider what your project is first.  Is it a vintage shoot?  Is it a lifestyle shoot?  Is it a gothic or dark shoot?;  Next, consider what makeup you want.  What is your vision for the end product?  Do you have an example to work from?   Generally, I attempt to do as much research on the style for the project I’m working on.  Along with that research, I do research on hair, makeup, clothing, shoes and props.  I find that research activities uncover a lot of important questions that I pose to the various members of my project team.  I also find that other members of the team bring up ideas and thoughts that help me to refine my vision for the project as well.

Lisa Joy onset at a 1940s shoot

Once you have settled on the vision for the project, begin reviewing makeup artists for your area that have at least some of the experience and look you’re seeking for the project.  I’ve found makeup artists  from anywhere from Instagram, to Model Mayhem to LensMasters meetings.  Sometimes you can get a great makeup artist for trade-for-print if there’s a strong interest in your project.  You can do castings in some groups on Facebook, Craigslist, Model Mayhem and others.  You can also find makeup artists by asking models or a studio for a referral.  Before you ask though know what genre you need and specifics of the project such as when and where you intend to shoot and your budget.

Once you have selected the makeup artist, I like to do a wardrobe fitting and have the model meet myself and the team before the shoot.  While I’m at it, I get a couple of quick snapshots of the model’s face and hair both front and back.  Often, these snapshots later prove to be invaluable to answer any questions your makeup artist may have.

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