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MUA Business & Marketing

Is Makeup Artistry Your Business or Your Hobby?

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Be Honest: Do You Have a MUA Business or Hobby?

Did you know that January has been designated by the internet gods as National Hobby Month? I thought it was a good time to chat about whether or not you’re running a MUA business or hobby. Neither are bad, but you do need to know the difference.

What’s funny is that makeup artistry used to be my hobby! I would do anyone and everyone’s makeup back in the day, for free, whenever they asked. I mean, I love doing makeup on others more than doing makeup on myself. This has been essentially been the case my whole life. Who doesn’t love giving makeovers and making “clients” happy?

As a matter of fact — and according to Alyssa Gregory at The Balance Small Business — “a common theme among entrepreneurs is that they have built on a hobby used it to launch their career as an entrepreneur. From another perspective, just having a hobby—even when it is not directly related to your business—can make you a more successful entrepreneur.”

That’s exactly what happened to me! In November 2014, I finally decided to build a new career as a makeup artist. As soon as I filed for a sole proprietor license, started paying for a website, a domain host, hired a friend to do my logo, and started SLOWLY building up my pro kit, I realized I can’t work for free anymore! I have actual bills to pay and a lot more is at stake.

Fortunately for me, I had the discipline and leadership from my past life as a military officer, so making this shift was easy. I didn’t realize though how hard it would be to actually put running an artistic business into practice.

So I’m going to help you out with five easy, tactical, and practical tips in moving out of hobby mindset into business mindset plus a bonus tip!

5 Ways To Level Up Your MUA Business


Step 1: Set up your professional, business email address.

I use G-Suite so it looks and works exactly like Gmail, but it’s formatted like instead. Anything else screams novice and unprofessional. And I have a confession, I used my email address WAY longer than I should’ve simply because I was too lazy to spend a few hours setting it all up.


Step 2: Set up a client management system (CMS)

This is really only necessary if you have more than a handful of clients you are corresponding with but the second you start missing emails or wondering where you are at with a client, you should consider investing in a CMS.


Honeybook Screen Yellow Flowers


Personally, I use HoneyBook but there are so many other ones out there. Find one that works for you and your business, it doesn’t matter. The best part about having a CMS (for me anyways) is having the contract, questionnaires, proposals, and invoices (hello getting paid!) all in the same place, per client. You can turn on ALL the notifications should you choose and never miss a beat.

They do have great customer support as well as a lot of practical features.

You can use my referral link and if you do, you get a discount and I get some $$ — but the best part is that I’ll hook you up with my email templates at no cost to you to help you get started. So once you sign up for a plan using my referral link, I’ll send you the emails and even help you set them up!


Step 3: Template Everything

Draft templates for all your client correspondence so all your clients will have a consistent experience and you won’t have to guess what you said to one client vs. another.

If corresponding with clients freaks you out and you don’t know what to say or how to respond, stay calm. I have all my business templates available in my shop – which will save you a lot of time and energy while moving your clients forward in your booking and payment process.


Digital Business Templates for Makeup Artists

Step 4: Invest In Your Business Education

If you’re in that messy middle from hobbyist to makeup artist for hire, then sign up for my Side-Hustle MUA Academy course!

Side Hustle Makeup Artist Course

It’s literally everything you need to know to get your side-hustle off the ground. Please advise this course is a stepping stone to help you start off on the right foot! You might not know this but to this day I am a side-hustle MUA and I’ve pretty much been one since day one.  Yes, I have a full-time job that is NOT makeup artistry or education!

Bonus Tip: Grab my Free Systems & Tools Checklist

Call me a nerd, but I love talking systems and tools. I love it so much, I put together a nice little checklist for makeup artists and aspiring makeup artists. You can get it for free here! And, as a bonus on TOP of this bonus, I’ve included some discount codes for some serious savings!

Step 5: Get an actual hobby that doesn’t have to do with makeup… please!!

Successful business owners, leaders, and entrepreneurs have hobbies outside their work. I know in 2022, I’m enrolling in Hip Hop dance classes as well as learning watercolor painting! I’m really looking forward to it!

I didn’t realize how much I needed a hobby until 2020 forced me to find a new hobby. Yes, that means for six years, I thought it was OK that makeup was my hobby AND my job. That’s a surefire way to experience burnout and the long-term success of your business relies on you NOT reaching burnout levels of stress.

Want More Help from Yours Truly?

If these tips are too generic for you or you need more specific guidance, I am always happy to jump on a coaching call. I offer these calls on an “a la carte” basis which means you don’t have to commit to ongoing calls or a package that you don’t need. You can learn more and sign up for a call here!

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Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can't put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you're doing it from a position of correction.

kevyn aucoin