When starting a career in makeup, one of the first opportunities to take advantage of is an assisting position. Whether you live in a small area or a large metroplex, reaching out to a respected artist and inquiring about assisting is a great way to get noticed in the makeup community.

Here are five best practices to keep in mind when assisting a makeup artist.

1. Become your key’s best hand.

An assistant ’s job is to do whatever it takes to make the key makeup artist look good. Help with whatever he or she needs, watch to see if your key has everything in line. Forecast what the artist could need before he or she even asks.

2. Never show up late to a job.

As a rule of thumb show up 20 minutes early to every job. This way, if there is trouble on the way, you will still be on time. This is the least you can do to show that you are invested in the job and is a sign of respect towards your hiring makeup artist and to the production team you’ll be working with.

3. Don’t overstep your boundaries.

Never hand out your card, or make buddies with the art director or production staff. Doing so will undoubtedly ensure that you will not work with the artist who hired you again. It’s understandable to look for future work, however, it would serve you well to make sure to network on your own time. it’s best not to try and take an opportunity from someone who was nice enough to get work for you.

4. Ensure you are being productive

There is always something that needs to be done. If you’re not directed to do anything, it is your job to busy yourself and find something to do. If you are sitting relaxing while the key makeup artist is working there is a problem. Unless the key artist asked you to take a break you should be working as hard as he or she is, if not harder.

5. Invest in a kit

Have all the supplies you need to work on your own. If you are lacking supplies you will always be an assist; no one will want to refer you for a job if you do not have the supplies. A photographer would never show up without her camera. Ensure you’re taken seriously if you have not invested in your career at least this much.  

For more advice on business practices and finding work, portfolio development, products, and techniques, check out themakeupartist.com.

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