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How to Succeed as a Makeup Artist

As told by celebrity makeup artist Anthea Bueno.
How to Succeed as a Makeup Artist
ILLUSTRATOR Gab Gutierrez
As told by celebrity makeup artist Anthea Bueno.

Makeup artists probably have the most competitors in the field of fashion, and it’s definitely survival of the fittest.  The ones who keep their place in the industry have to fight tooth and nail to do so, and they need to have the skills to match. Basically, the job isn’t as glamorous as the faces they get to paint on. Every piece of effort does pay off eventually though, and Anthea Bueno is a living proof of that.


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With a combination of positive work ethic and unbelievable skill, Anthea is one of the industry's fastest-rising makeup artists. She is currently represented by Jed Root, and is the go-to MUA of Kelsey Merritt, Ylona Garcia, KZ Tandingan, and Miles Ocampo. In an impromptu interview during a Preview shoot, we asked her about the secrets to her success and her special tips for newbies in her field.

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1. Be open to the thought that doing makeup is not all glam.

It’s a hard business, especially if you’re new. “You have to do shoots for free to hone your skills," Anthea admits. "Don’t turn jobs down because they’re low budget."

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2. Do makeup everyday.

“Grab every opportunity to do makeup,” she stresses. You should be motivated to improve for your skills to go far.

3. Get a mentor.

Especially one whose makeup style you like. This way, you’ll be able to see how things work in shoots and you’ll be able to network before you walk your own path. In case you didn't know, Anthea used to be Jigs Mayuga’s apprentice before she went solo, and now she’s a mentor to someone else.

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4. Be nice to everyone.

Do expect that this will be on every list in this series, because it really pays off to be kind to others in every situation. “You have to be careful," says Anthea, "You’ll never know who that person [you offended] will be someday.” Karma really bites back!

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5. When it comes to application, less is always more.

Online beauty trends can be tempting to use on clients, but they become dated really quickly. Anthea is known and loved by her clients because she believes that makeup should enhance the features instead of masking them.

6. Invest in base products. Everything else can be mediocre.

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If you’re gonna splurge on something for your kit, spend on good base products. Anthea thinks a good foundation, concealer, and powder are staples for a newbie’s kit, because as long as the base is done well, no one will be able to tell that you used eyeshadows and lipsticks that cost less than 200 pesos. Here's a secret: the first foundation that made it into Anthea's kit is MAC Cosmetics' Face and Body Foundation.

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7. Start by doing makeup on the side.

If you're currently employed but are interested in becoming a makeup artist, start by accepting a few gigs here and there to test the waters. After a while, you'll find out if it's really something you're meant to do. In Anthea's case, she used to have three different day jobs to make ends meet and to start building her kit. When she finally found herself in the position that she was able to support herself through doing makeup alone, she started doing it full-time.

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Being a new makeup artist may not be easy, but it's still how you deal with the struggles you face that can prove your potential for success. So don't waste your time complaining and work, work, work!

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