How To Get Started in Assisting Makeup Artists

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How To Get Started in Assisting Makeup Artists

When I moved to London , I had never assisted a Makeup Artist before. I had no idea where to start, and no one helped me either. I moved with no contacts, no friends or family just a whole lot of ambition and blind faith.

I started by emailing creative agencies , but to no avail I received no replies. It was actually through a Facebook networking group that I was given my first chance to assist a Makeup Artist for London Fashion Week.

I now have been solidly assisting for 3 years and have learned skills and techniques I never dreamed of. I have made some amazing friends and met some absolutely amazing people. I am often asked by colleagues how to assist or how to get on an assistant list. The fashion industry is tough, but perserverance is absolutely key.

Here are some tips to get started;

1) Have a website

It does not have to be detailed, or in depth. Having a website with just an overview of your work and your contact details is essential. A Facebook Page or Instagram is great but not the most professional approach. Put your best foot forward.

2) Keep it short and sweet

When emailing agents remember they are inundated with emails daily. Keep it to the point, explain who you are , what you do and that you would like to assist. Attach your website address and explain your work can be viewed there.

3) Don’t take it personally and be patient

As mentioned in point 2 , Agents are inundated with emails. They may not get back to you. I rarely got a reply. It just so happened one day I was emailed for a job last minute and it was my chance to get onto the assistant list for the agency.

4) Timing

I have found timing can be everything. The best way to get onto an assistant list is usually for Fashion Weeks when Artists need teams. Do your research as to when Fashion Week takes place and email a few months before expressing your interest.

5) Know the terminology

This was so new to me at first and no one tends to tell you what these terms mean;

Holding your option- This means they are holding your time for a certain job

Released- This means they do not need you and will release your time (you did not get the job)

Confirmed- Well this goes without saying (you got the job)

6) Be flexible

Not all jobs confirm, or option you with the best timing. If you don’t like not having a solid schedule or quick answer than this is probably not the best fit for you. Flexibility is key with assisting.

7) Be persistent , but not a pest

If you have not had replies in the past from emailing , give it another go, persistence is rewarded, however don’t be a serial pest, emailing too often can get a bit too much and you don’t want to get put in the pest pile.

If you have any other questions or tips, please let me know and I can add to this post.


P x





  1. Pingback:How To Be A Good Makeup Assistant | Phoebe Taylor Makeup Artist

  2. Hi Phoebe,
    I am looking to assist other makeup artists and I approached agencies about a month ago. Although I heard back straight away and was ‘put on the list of assistants’ (even had an interview with one), I haven’t heard back since. I have been told that you have to basically hound one of the best MUA’s here (Australia) to get to be an assistant for her. But I don’t want to be a pest. Do you think one month is enough time to then re-approach them? And what would I say? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. X

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