Beauty blogger Caroline Davis has had her fill of makeup artists. She runs down her top tips for avoiding terrible ones…

The world is clogged with makeup artists. They are coming out of the woodwork at every given chance.

I am not talking about those hard-working makeup artists who have dedicated quite a lot of their life in becoming a makeup artist. I am talking about the individuals who took some dodgy course (with zero assisting) and now all of a sudden they have crowned themselves a makeup artist or should I say ‘MUA’.

Fair enough, you take a course and fair enough, this is usually an individual’s first step into the industry. However, there seems to be a quick turn around and a lack of ‘developing one’s craft’.

A six-hour course does not necessarily qualify you in coming anywhere near my face. Would you let someone become your personal trainer after six-hours of personal training school with zero previous experience? Err no, of course you bloody wouldn’t. It can take time to develop a set of skills and knowledge.


What is more devaluing to the industry, are the images of makeup these cheap breed of MUA publish on social media. Cue the endless washed out, filtered selfies. Cue the same smokey eye, that quite frankly looks like two panda patches. Smoke is seamless people! Think of a cloud of smoke, there is no defined line, the clue is in the name, SMOKEY!

With all that harsh chat in mind, here are top tips and hints for avoiding terrible MUAs…

1. They have a Facebook/Instagram/Twitter account but no website


Most makeup artists have a website, even if it is just a page, they will have it out on the web. If someone is serious about their business as a makeup artist they will have bought that website week one and put something on it, even if it is just a contact page or a blog page.

2. They teach a course but have no published work or history of being a makeup artist

So the makeup artist teaches a makeup course, ergo, they must be pretty decent and have tones of knowledge on makeup and the industry, right? Not necessarily folks, I have seen makeup artists pop open teaching schools and have literally never heard of them. I have researched their background and literally nobody has worked with them. If they have no history and I mean zero, zilch, nada and ALSO claim they can teach, then step away.

3. They have Facebook/Twitter and beside their name is MUA


OK, I know this seems harsh but it actually makes my toes curl, the term is makeup artist, NOT MUA. IT IS NOT MUA! If they have MUA beside their name I can almost guarantee a certain low level of makeup artistry. For your information MUA is the international acronym for ‘rubbish makeup here’.

4. You go to a consultation, you tell them one thing, they do another

You tell them you want a certain look,you couldn’t have made it clearer, they even agreed. But you leave with a look you did not ask for, or worse you leave with their makeup look now applied to your face. If the makeup artist doesn’t listen or does listen but can’t do what you request, then just leave.

5. You go to a consultation and their brushes are dirty


Cleanliness is next to Godliness and you are a Goddess. Leave if you think any of their tools or equipment seems dirty or grubby.

6. You go to a consultation and they don’t have foundation that matches your skin, so they tell you some bollocks and apply the wrong foundation anyway

This has happened to me before and it is seriously irritating, ‘I am just going to warm your skin tone up and apply this warmer foundation’. What a load of tripe! A true makeup artist will have an array of skin tone and colours from the very pale to the very dark and everything in between. If they can’t match your base colour, they clearly have no experience in dealing with your skin tone and looks that suit you.

7. The MUA has the same makeup look on every client

See above.

8. The MUA puts filters on all their makeup images

Bit of a no brainer this one, if they constantly put filters on everything, start getting suspicious and start asking, “would it look just as good without that filter?” The answer is, probably not!

9. They are expensive, they must be good


Wrong! You see, there is more to being a makeup artist than having an Instagram account, it is an actual business that runs and operates like every other type of business. There is a certain level of expertise and professionalism involved. For most makeup artists who I know and have met, becoming a makeup artist it is a way of life.

A true makeup artist will dedicate their time, effort and energy in delivering results for the client. It is about the client, not the makeup artist and it is certainly not about ‘likes’ on their less than average ‘MUA’ Facebook page.

About the author…

Caroline started out as a model and actress, mainly appearing in high fashion editorial shoots and art house shorts. Having taken a break from the industry, Caroline has returned with her new role as a blogger.  Having found the time to study a film degree, her love of beauty and fashion is encapsulated by French New Wave cinema.  Caroline enjoys a controversial statement and plenty of sarcasm.

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