How To Be A Good Makeup Assistant

posted in HOW TO

How To Be A Good Makeup Assistant

Previous to my “How to get started in Assisting Makeup Artists”   post, I was asked what is considered etiquette on set, shows , shoots etc.

My views and opinions come from my OWN experience. This is my personal advice, from the mistakes I have made (we all do) , to the things I have learned along the way.

1) Be early

Nothing is worse than arriving the same time as the artist (OR LATE!!). Be early so that you can assist them with their kits and inspect the environment you’re going to be working in.

2) Be polite

When working on projects with big teams or people you have not met before/unsure of their job roles, be polite. It goes without saying (seems simple , but some people are beyond rude). Being polite and kind to everyone including fellow assistants will help you to be re-booked in the future.

3) Know your place

When assisting , you are simply there to do that, assist. Your personal opinion does not matter, unless of course the artist asks for it. Sometimes it may be a case of being seen and not heard (I initially found this really difficult). I learned it is not about me as an artist, it is about me helping the artist I am assisting to achieve their vision.

4) There is always something to do

I personally can’t handle having nothing to do. There is always something to do. If I am not on set with the artist or prepping models, I will ask them if they need anything in their kit cleaned or sorted, No one likes a lazy assistant.

5) Never poach clients

If you are booked as an assistant you are just that. No way are you entitled to network or build relationships with clients or talent. The artist has worked hard for their clients and built relationships, for an assistant to hand out business cards, or to even after the job contact them for future work is the fastest way to have yourself blacklisted.

6) Work as a team

In the case of working on shows or jobs with a few assistants,  you work with a lot of different artists who may or may not have more experience than you. Work as a team and respect each other. You also have to take direction from the 1st assistant/s to the head makeup artist, be respectful of them and take direction as if it was the head artist instructing you. Working well with other people is key when it comes to being part of a team, if you’re not a team player then re-think your choice as an assistant.

7) Leave your ego out of it

It is never about you as an assistant. If you don’t nail a look it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, learn from it and leave ego out of it. Everyone has bad days. You could even be cut last minute from a show or a shoot for no other reason than the budget was cut or the numbers of assistants needed to be cut. It happens to the best of us. Leave your ego at the door and remember tomorrow is a new day.

8) Be flexible

You may not always agree, or like what you have to do as an assistant , but it’s opportunity to learn and grow as an artist. See everything as a new skill or experience and embrace it.


Have you any input I can add to this?

P x




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