If you’re a die-hard freelancer or a person who wouldn’t leave the makeup counter for anything I’d say don’t be afraid to do both.
Recently, I’ve been fortunate enough to have the experience of working at a makeup counter. For the past three years I’ve just done freelancing and it was a surprise to me how different, yet refreshing it is to do something new. A lot of people flip flop between freelance work and working at a counter and I really believe that’s how the best makeup artists are born. During this time of doing both I really feel I’ve improved my skills.
Here are my findings after having done both:
Imagine having an entire line of cosmetics/skincare at your disposal. Every brush you could ever need, every color of every form of every product-it’s a beautiful thing. It’s a place you can really shine. When you start out freelancing like I did sometimes you can feel held back from not being properly prepared. Starting out getting all your own everything can be very expensive and you still may run into being short on something. You can really learn and explore the line you work with and find what you love. This will also help when it comes to investing when you freelance you can even narrow down formulations of certain items. Did you like using foundation in the form of a powder,stick, liquid or, do you like bb creams?
In freelancing you will find your own style. It’s you and only you. There’s no format or protocol, no one way to tackle a face. This is something I like and I appreciate having found my own way to do makeup before doing it the way that the brand suggests. You have no limitations, with anything, you can work your own hours, drop in as you please and only have yourself to worry about. Freelancing is attractive, there’s no doubt about that. I definitely struggled with getting on my feet in the beginning. If you have a large group of family and friends you won’t feel it as much, but if that isn’t the case for you it can be harder.
When it comes to getting experience fast working at a makeup counter trumps freelancing. You’ll get to do multiple faces every time you come into work. I am now able to match a foundation to someone faster than ever. You learn to have someone walk up to you, ask for makeup and just go with your gut. I think not knowing who’s coming or what they’re looking for until the moment you have to do their makeup is where you really expand.
I didn’t think that working at a makeup counter would make that big of a difference. I thought freelancing was the ultimate. It is, it definitely is something you’ll want to work towards, but I understand now why companies prefer people with counter experience. You’ll gain confidence quickly, you’ll learn to sell and the business end of the counter. Small things like cleaning around the counter and keeping organized will allow you to create standards for your own business. No matter where you are in your makeup career make sure you take time out to work at a counter.