How to start up your own makeup business in Australia
Before we get into the specific details of starting a makeup business in Australia, we need to make a certain point very clear. Kicking off your own makeup brand or beauty business is not a walk in the park. Even the most successful makeup artists and beauticians of 2019 have spent years establishing their brand and working long hours to enable feat.
In order to make waves in the makeup industry, you need to be extraordinarily passionate about what you do. You should already have experience and thorough knowledge in the makeup industry. The only thing that will keep you motivated through the long hours and stress is an unswerving love for the beauty world.
As leaders in the commercial beauty industry, we have conglomerated nine fundamental steps that can assist you to open the doors of your makeup business. Time to whip out a notepad and pen.
1. Decide if this is for you and if you have the budget.
There are some things that you should consider before quitting your standard job and attempting to create your own makeup business:
Makeup products can be very costly.
As a makeup artist, you will be dealing with clients of varying skin types and appearances. Hence, you will need more than one of two foundations and blushes to satisfy the range of customers. Most makeup artists have an unbelievably large collection of makeup and skincare products. As well as needing every possible colour on the skin spectrum, they need products that are suited to different skin types. Some people have oily complexions, whereas others are much drier. In the initial startup phase, makeup artists can expect to pay up to thousands of dollars in skin products.
That does not even begin to mention the amount of money that needs to be spend on studio equipment and appliances. Items such as skincare fridges, vanity mirrors, makeup organisers, beauty belts, beauty cases, studio lighting and travel cases are all key components for a studio.
Being a makeup artist means working usual days and hours.
Most birthday parties, weddings and events take place on weekends. Therefore, your clients will need their makeup done on days that are outside of the standard business week. Additionally, some clients will require their makeup done early in the morning, or late at night.
Beauticians can receive a fair amount of criticism.
The makeup and beauty industry can be highly competitive. With so many buddying makeup artists competing for clients, the claws are likely to come out now and then. Before starting a business, anticipate that you may receive harsh feedback or criticism at some point in time. Being resilient is key.
Having a small business or freelancing means irregular pay.
When you have a full-time or part-time job, money regularly appears in your bank account. Running a small business is far different from this. Some weeks, you may make thousands, but other weeks you may receive nothing. Financial management and maturity is important to handle the intermittent cash flow.
2. Undertake a course or studies in the profession.
To be a makeup artist, you actually need to have skill and talent in makeup application. Duh!
Although some professional makeup artists are self-taught, majority have undertaken studies at beauty schools. There is no denying that a specific course in makeup will allow you to further develop and tighten your skill set. It will also give you a decent opportunity to recognise whether you have a deep and robust passion for makeup, or if it is just a fad interest.
3. Make a name, logo and brand.
Still reading? You must really be serious about beginning your beauty brand. One of the first steps for opening your business is devising a business name and logo.
Most makeup artists will incorporate their legal name into the business name. Especially if they are a sole operator, they are going to be a significant part of the business brand. Logos and avatars can be easily made on websites such as Canva.
4. Address your legal requirements.
Unfortunately, taking cash in hand from your clients is not a legally accepted way of going about business. In Australia, you need to create an ABN (Australian Business Number) before beginning any operations.
You will also need to conduct some research into your tax obligations, so that you do not get caught at the end of financial year owing thousands to the tax office. In particular, you should investigate whether GST (Goods & Services Tax) is going to be relevant for you.
5. Set prices for your services.
Deciding upon prices for your makeup services is one of the most perplexing tasks when establishing your business. You do not want to set your prices too low to attract clients because this will make your brand appear unprofessional and tacky. However, charging too much could stop clients from wanting to work with you.
It can be worthwhile snooping on other makeup artists in your state or area to analyse what they charge their clients. You should also consider whether you will charge extra for add-ons, such as eyelashes or wedding makeup. Make these choices before you on-board any clientele.
6. Organise a space or studio to work from.
Some beauticians will partner with hairdressing salons or beauty parlours so that they can operate out of their premises. It is a win-win situation for both stakeholders, because you get a free studio to work in, and they may get some flow-on clients from your work into their business.
If you plan on working from home, it is still important that you arrange a designated space for your clients to be in. Your workspace should be clean, comfortable, and a medium-low temperature. Having a disorganised or awkwardly personal studio (like your bedroom) will appear amateur and shoddy.
7. Get beauty products to suit your needs.
First of all, you will need to invest in an extensive range of makeup products. You may need to purchase: foundations, blushes, mascara, eyeliner, concealer, lipstick, lip gloss, eyeshadows, eyebrow pencils, highlighters, primers, moisturisers, setting spray, eyelashes, lip liner, bronzer, lip balm, brushes, curlers, tweezers, makeup removers, and more. Be certain to purchase . Also, only buy from reputable online beauty stores.
Secondly, there is a range of beauty equipment that could be vital for enhancing your studio. Most makeup professionals will have:
A comfortable director’s chair should be cosy for your clients, and easy for you to manoeuvre around. Cheap makeup chairs do exist, but it is essential that you invest in a quality beauty studio chair. There would be nothing more embarrassing than your client falling to the ground if the chair underneath them breaks.
Keeping your makeup fresh can only be done with the best beauty fridges. These popular makeup appliances are effective at: making your makeup last longer, keeping your products organised, stopping growth of bacteria, ensuring your makeup is always at a ready-to-apply temperature. Cheap skincare fridges can be purchased at various makeup fridge stores online.
LED makeup mirror.
Vanity mirrors are crucial for amplifying the visual appeal of your studio, and allowing clients to see the work that has been completed. Many online beauty shops are stocking a range of mirrors for makeup artists. The best vanity mirrors will often have touchscreen ability and a functional lighting system.
If your LED lighted mirror does not have a magnifying element, you will also need a makeup magnifying mirror for clients to analyse your work. Cheap magnifying mirrors are available at online makeup mirror stores.
Silicone brush cleaner.
The most popular brush cleaners are made with silicone, and can be a valuable asset to your business. There are cheap makeup brush cleaners on the market, and affordability does not necessarily reflect in lower quality.
Beauty studio lighting.
All studios and workspaces with windows or doors are subject to varying lighting. Large LED lights for your beauty studio are vital. The best makeup studio lighting will sit atop tripods and be able to be easily moved to different zones in your room.
Enable practicality and efficiency with a popular beauty belt. With little effort, you should be able to find a stylish, workable and cheap makeup belt online. These accessories are imperative for looking the part and increasing your levels of organisation.
Beauty ring light.
If you plan to take photographs of your clients once their makeup is completed, a good ring light is a must-have. LED ring lights allow for balanced and flattering lighting. They are simple to use, and often inexpensive to run. Although the main use of ring lights is for photography, on the other hand, some beauticians will use makeup ring lights as lighting tool for their entire studio.
To keep your products logically ordered and in a reasonable visual state, makeup organisers will be your best friend. Makeup boxes, makeup bags, beauty drawers and makeup stands can all be used to assist with methodical and systemised storing of your goods.
Beauty travel case.
Depending on how you plan to operate your business, you may need to occasionally travel to your clients, rather than have them come to you. In this case, you will need a makeup travel bag or case that can easily pack down and store your products. The best makeup travel cases will have roller wheels and ample drawer space.
8. Work hard on marketing.
To attain new clients, you will need brand visibility. This is done with strategic and effective marketing. For the most part, marketing in the modern era has turned to digital platforms. Social media is a common way for makeup artists to advertise and bring awareness to their services.
Some of the most common methods of advertising for beauty professionals are:
- Starting an Instagram profile and posting images of your work. Use hashtags and location tags to attract as much attention as possible.
- Uploading video content to a Youtube channel, including instructional videos and time lapses of your client work.
- Paying for advertising on Facebook. You can target specific audiences and track how many people your content is reaching.
- Placing flyers and brochures on community boards.
- Advertising locally, such as in school or football club newsletters.
- Partnering with other beauty providers and establishing a referral system. For example, you may partner with a nail technician or hair dresser and work side-by-side to share clientele.
Without detracting from the importance of the above marketing methods, we must mention that the predominant way for most makeup artists to obtain new business is through word-of-mouth. It is common for beauticians to begin servicing their friends and family, and then these connections will eventually recommend their networks to your business.
Hence, doing a top-quality job for each and every client is vital. If your output is poor, it is unlikely that you will receive any referrals. That could be detrimental to your success.
9. Find inspiration from other makeup artists.
In the beauty industry, trends are continually rising and disappearing. It is important that you stay on top of all relevant news by following popular bloggers and vloggers and engaging with their content.
You should also seek regular professional development by updating your qualifications and knowledge when possible. If you already have a basic certificate in makeup application, why not engage with an advanced course or diploma?
Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with snooping on other makeup artists to watch how they are operating and soak up some advice. Take a thorough look at their price list, marketing efforts, types of clients, and studio appeal, and then take some notes for yourself.
Just as makeup application trends are always evolving, so are popular makeup appliances and products. Our team at Cosmetic Beauty Boutique know what items can be influential to your studio, and we sell them all in our online makeup accessory store. To ensure that you have all the information and products that you need for success, be sure to frequently check our blog and product range.