Why should you engage a professional makeup artist?

Question:  A special event is coming up and I expect to be photographed a lot.  Should I do the makeup myself or should I engage a professional artist to do it for me?

Answer:  Well, if you’re someone who seldom put on make up, I highly recommend that you have a makeup artist do it for you.


In this blogpost, I’m going to explain the differences between DIY makeup and one done by a makeup artist.   As a makeup artist myself, I’d like my clients to know the differences.

Generally, the key advantages a professional makeup artist has over others are ‘products’, ‘skill’ and ‘experienced judgment’.



  • A makeup artist has the required products and tools to do what is required so that your makeup will last.   Most of the time, a client doesn’t have the necessary products to create the right effect herself.  As a makeup artist, I’m constantly trying out products to select the ones that work best for the job.  That can amount to a lot of products!  That is why you see makeup artists with large cases of products to cater for their clients’ very specific needs.

The brushes I use often for a finished look:


  • Getting back to the basics….
  • It’s common to hear clients remark that they can never apply foundation the way a professional does.  Base makeup is essential for a good look.  A good makeup artist can create dimension by employing the right products.  More than one foundation colour is often used, and strategic placement of colours that create depth and highlight is essential in sculpting the client’s face so that it doesn’t look flat. The makeup should also be light and natural, not cakey.

A bride and me

  •  A light hand…..  
  • Something that looks simple may not be so simple to do.  The Korean au naturale look which is so popular today needs more work than what a client thinks.  To create the natural look, many steps are performed.  In fact, nude looks take skill and time to achieve.  Why?  It’s built on the principle of ‘less is more’, but to make sure you have ‘enough’, you need to start with a light hand and keep building. And a makeup artist has the discernment that many beginners don’t have.
  • Precision – placing the products where they are needed
  • A makeup artist applies products more precisely and strategically than a client would.  For instance, the eyeliner is one of the most important products to ensure you have more defined eyes. Applying eyeliners very closely to the lash roots is the key to creating denser-looking lashes and more definition. More often than not, a client and makeup novice finds it extremely hard to do this step well.

Working on a photoshoot...

  • Blending….
  • The colours of a beautifully made up face blend in with one another seamlessly.  You shouldn’t be able to tell where it begins and where it stops.  The technique of blending is one that every artist should have mastered and one that makeup newbies hasn’t quite grasped yet.
  • Correct and Sculpt…..
  • “Can you make my face look slimmer?”  That’s a question I get asked often!    –  Within reason, a makeup artist can minimize perceived flaws. Usually dark circles, spots, redness and dullness of skin can easily be hidden or corrected with the right products and right application.  A wide face can be made to appear narrower and a double-chin disguised.  If flaws can’t be hidden, ‘distractions’ can be created by highlighting another feature!  Needless to say, the more natural the correction or sculpting (or contouring as it’s also known) it is, the higher skill level is required.

Makeup look - focus on the eyes, light lips


  • A makeup artist can see potential in a client.  A lot of people are so concerned about perceived flaws such as  small eyes or a wide face that they fail to appreciate and highlight their good features.  Often an experienced makeup artist can bring out the neglected asset of clients and in so doing, change the way they think about themselves.
  • A makeup artist can help change a client’s misconception.  I have 3 examples below that illustrate that:
  1. A client might be adverse to a particular style of makeup (for example, smokey eyes).  However, through a makeup artist’s work, she may come to realize that it is a good look for her.
  2. Many people are a little wary about the use of false lashes.  Whilst they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, there is a type (or more) for everyone.  In fact, they are a must if the client is going for a photoshoot!  A makeup artist can educate a client on the types of lashes that enhance her own.
  3. A client who has very thin lips always believed that darker colours are better for her.  Not everyone knows or accepts that dark colours on very thin lips actually accentuate its thinness.  The makeup artist can show the client a comparison by creating an eye-focused look and lighter coloured lips which takes away the attention on the lips.  No doubt beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but a makeup artist can take on the role as an educator in sharing with clients what products are better for her and what are not.

In the next post I’ll talk about what to anticipate when you engage a makeup artist to do the makeup for you.

Click here for a link to my Facebook page.