It is THAT TIME OF YEAR! Can you believe it? The holidays are amongst us! You know what that means: lots of holiday festivities, food, and ...... less jobs?!...
If you are a freelance makeup artist like myself, or looking into becoming one, you know that the holiday season can be as slow as a damn snail walking across the 405 highway in Los Angeles (there are 6 lanes!). The jobs are there, but so few and far between, because... why? The lovely hiatus season of freelance artistry. Ahh, Gotta love it!
In my 10 years of experience, I have taken notes every year of the busy and slow times within this lovely industry of makeup artistry. And, yes. Nearly every single year, my freelance work goes down significantly during this time. I am sure if you are reading this, you know this all too well. This time can be GRUELING for some of us, and financially terrifying at times if I am being completely honest. Looking back at some of my experiences, I can recall feeling extremely defeated and lost as to what I could do in order to even pay my bills! Eek!
Having that said though, there are still plenty of ways we as makeup artists can make money! Over the years, I have tried MANY things to make money, and I have created something very very special for all of you!
15 ways to make more money during the holidays!
All of these have worked for me, and I know that they can work for you too! This was originally a free online workshop that I put together in November, but I got such great feedback on the workshop and people asking for the replay afterward that I decided to re-film and make it a free online training video available to everyone! For this blog, though, I kept it nice and simple by listing out each way to make more money. If you want the details of these, make sure to click below for access to the video where I go in length about each way! There are TONS of goodies and inspiration that you will LOVE!
To have access to the FREE full length training video, simply click the photo below, or CLICK HERE!
It might seem a little redundant, but go and apply your resume to some of your favorite makeup counters and stores! Sephora, Ulta, MAC, Nordstrom, etc. these all give you the opportunity to stay within the makeup industry which is great! But! Don't forget that there are THOUSANDS of other stores that may be a great fit for you as well. If you love shoes, try Aldo. If you love candles, try Yankee Candle, etc. Plus you could get an employee discount. Hell ya!
Another option is freelancing for a specific company such as Stila, MAC, Aveda, etc where you travel to certain locations and are brand support for these companies. Pro: they pay really well and you get to travel. Con: the sales goals are really high, so if you don't like the pressure of having sales goals, this may not be for you.
Lastly, salons are BOOMING right now during the holidays. Try to see if your local salons need extra hands with cleaning, folding towels, or reception work!
2. TEMP JOBS/AGENGIES
Google temp agencies and call them up to help find you work! I know SO many makeup artists who utilize temp agencies during this time, one in which has been employed for 2 years now through a temp agency!
3. DIRECT SALES
This sometimes has a bad rep around it. Direct sales can be so much fun! Just make sure you don't become super crazy when it comes to selling to your friends and family...or people you barely know on Facebook. I've had to block some people for this reason haha so don't go TOO far!
I used to work for The Body Shop 10 years ago for their direct sales line and it was one of the most unforgettable experiences. I loved the company, their products, and especially loved doing the at home parties. They were seriously a BLAST!
Direct sales can be very lucrative during this time! Some of the top direct sales companies include:
Rodan + Fields
DoTerra (totally not makeup but, omg I love this company! I totally would work for them if I had the time lol! It's worth checking out if you like essential oils)
And no, I do not rep any of these listed above, nor am I being sponsored! I just want to make it easier for all of you to click and check them out :-)
4. AT HOME PARTIES
These can be so fun, and you can get SO creative with them. Some ideas:
-"How to" parties
-Face painting parties for kids
Some tips on how to charge: You could charge a door fee for tutorial parties, or individual prices per application, you can have raffles going on at a makeup event that you host or GNO parties, and for kids parties you can charge per child or a flat rate.
The options are really endless! I have done so many of these and brought in some really nice extra income from them!
If you are in the direct sales, you could also sell the products you use at these parties for even more extra side money.
5. MAKEUP FOR HOLIDAY EVENTS
Everyone loves getting their makeup done during the holidays for special events! Maybe a store or company is having a huge celebration and would love to have a makeup artist at their event! Who knows :)
6. GLAM APPS
I know some people hate this! However, you can totally rack in some extra cash during the holidays with these as they are incredibly busy during this time. It's worth it to just check out!
The Glam App
This is only for licensed professionals! But a great way to get some extra money during this time of year. Everyone needs their hair cut or colored for all the holiday festivities, so if you have a license, take advantage of this extra income opportunity!
8. CONTACT EVENTS AND OFFER YOUR SERVICES
This is different than doing makeup for people that are GOING to an event. For example, if your city has a holiday event such as a school fair or community event, you can offer your services. Just google "Holiday events in (your city)" and there will be some options that pop up. Click on the ones you feel drawn to and then look up the supervisor for that event. Call or email them and say "HEY! I would love to add my services to your amazing event. Who would I talk to about this?" And they will tell you who to get in touch with. Rates will be determined by what you agree to do for the event, their budget, etc.
9. CONTACT PREVIOUS CLIENTS/NETWORKS
Go through all the productions you have worked on and contact the actors, models, photographers, directors or producers you have worked with. See if they have anything going on (productions are slow, but they still happen!), and at the end of the email, mention that you are available for personal makeup applications if they or anyone they know has a holiday event that they would like their makeup done for!
Actors and models tend to be slow during this time as well, which means they have the extra time to fit in some last minute head shots. Contact anyone you have worked with in the past and offer your services to them! Or google headshot photographers and email the ones whose work you admire, and let them know you are available for hiring on their next shoot! Headshot shoots can bring in some really great money. Anywhere from $50 on the low end to $500 on the high end, and they only last 1-3 hours! Yes please!
11. ASSISTANT WORK
Try calling up other artists to see if they need an assistant! They might be on a big job and need some extra hands, you never know. Also, don't discount that assistant positions such as a PA job on a set, can really bring a foot in the door with people you want to work with. If you are in a smaller city, go to your local news station and see if they have an assistant position open. Develop a good relationship with them and possibly work your way into being their in-house makeup artist!
12. PAID ONLINE SERVICES
These have worked pretty well for me in the past! I actually got a job on productionHub and have been working with that particular client for 4 years! Each of the websites listed below are always active in sending jobs via email, so take a look and see which one might be a good fit for you. They range in price, as well as what they offer.
-24/seven (agency, $0)
13. SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING/NETWORKING
Social media is incredible! Make use of going in the Instagram/Facebook/Twitter rabbit hole and meet endless amounts of people who you could potentially work with! Connect with actors and models to offer your services for headshot, contact photographers to work on their next shoot, connect with other aspiring directors to work with on their next film! If you contact 25 people over Facebook. Instagram, or LinkedIn, I can promise that you will get a reply from atleast one person who will respond with potential work! Just make sure they aren't people with millions and millions of followers because your message will get lost in the shuffle of everyone else who is trying to reach out to them lol!
14. SELL ARTWORK/SELL YOUR STUFF!
We are all creative individuals, I mean come on! We create art on other people! So, why not utilize that and create your own art to sell during this holiday season! Make jewelry, sew some cool purses, paint or draw really awesome artwork and sell it on Etsy! You can also gather items that you don't use anymore and sell them on Amazon, Ebay or Facebook Marketplace. All ways that are great options during this time of year as SOOOOO many people are in the buying mood :)
15. PAID STUDIES
Last but not least! Now, this isn't quite in the artistry side of things, however! It is a great opportunity for artists such as yourself to get some extra money by giving your time for case studies, giving blood, or secret shoppers. I have made collectively almost $700 with these options! For one case study, I was paid $150 to give my opinion on a commercial for a fast food restaurant and it was only about 2 hours of my time for simply giving my opinion. Another study I did was for Chevy as I am a Chevy car owner. I did 2 studies for them, each were paid $200, and it was about 45 minutes of my time. So definitely check these options out if all else fails!!!
-Adler Weiner Group
-Giving blood (check with your local blood bank)
And those are the 15 ways to make more money during the holidays! I hope you all loved it and will be able to make more money this holiday season with some of the ideas and suggestions I listed. Like and Comment below if this helped you!
Also, be sure to sign up for the FREE video training I have created just for you that goes along with this blog, but in MUCH more detail, there are actually many more suggestions and ideas in the video I made, so you won't want to miss it! CLICK HERE to access the video completely free!
I wish you all the best this holiday season! May you all be, inspired, motivated and on your way to a successful career as a makeup artist <3
Amber Talarico and Kenneth Alexander. Amber is the Director of What It takes, and Kenneth is the producer. Our mission is to motivate, inspire and empower freelance makeup and special FX artists around the world to pursue their dreams by sharing knowledge, encouraging artists at all stages, and bring a voice to our industry as professional makeup artists!