How to Make a Makeup Artist Portfolio

Your make up artist portfolio needs to demonstrate your unique style and passion as an artist. Display technical traits you excel in as well as simple skills you have mastered and personalized. You should also be sure to show your versatility to the client so they can use you for differing projects in the future. Although you need to demonstrate a unique vision, presenting yourself in a professional demeanor is always a necessity in any business, especially the within the art industry.


  1. Image titled Make a Makeup Artist Portfolio Step 1
    Present your makeup artist portfolio in a professional manner. Purchase a professional portfolio, either purchased from an art supply store or ordered online for customization, in which you can display photos of your work. A standard black artist portfolio with your name on the front works best.
  2. Image titled Make a Makeup Artist Portfolio Step 2
    Catch the attention of the client with your first photo. Your first picture should be your best work and the style of make up you are most passionate about. This should set the tone for your entire artist portfolio. The first photo also needs to set you apart from other make up artists making the client want to see more.
    • If you have worked with well-known people, show off the make up you have done on them to demonstrate your notability.
    • If your work has been published in a magazine or catalogue, place that most highly accredited title you have first.
    • If your work has been published in a commercial, movie, or TV show, take a still from that work that accurately shows your make up as well creates a beautiful shot that will catch the client's eye.
    • When using pictures of your work that you've taken yourself, be sure to keep in mind the entire layout of the shot instead of just the make up itself. For example, instead of simply taking a picture of your subject in the chair you did the make up in, take the subject outdoors or somewhere with a nice background to add to your photo. This minor detail will make a huge impact in the client's eyes.
  3. Image titled Make a Makeup Artist Portfolio Step 3
    Place your following photos in a congruent order that allows them to flow well, then slowly transition into the next style of make up of your expertise as a make up artist.
    • Put your natural looking make up first then transition to smoky colors, then vibrant colors and more and more intense until the portfolio ends with very artistic make up styles.
    • You can also put your portfolio order of technicality beginning with easier styles of make up and moving into more technical beauty story styles of your work that really showcase the model's eye, lip, cheek and textures of make up you are capable of.
    • Also take into consideration putting your portfolio in color order; for example, you could have an entire section on brown make ups and how you can work them. Be sure to also demonstrate the colors you can combine to create a unique look.
    • Your sections could be based on make up areas such as lips, to eyes, to cheek, etc. In your lips section show that you can create a clean lip line then leading up to a more creative, avant garde style of lip coloring.
    • If you have pictures that have slight changes in the make up, place all of those together to demonstrate to the client your ability to make slight changes in order to create a new look.
    • Also, use black and white photos if you have them. This exposure verifies you are able to do make up that can even register in non-color mediums. Doing make up for black and white photos requires a different technique and discipline, demonstrating versatility to the client.
    • Show your ability to proficiently apply classic, female favorite make ups skillfully and with a modern twist. These are styles that are loved throughout the generations such as black eye liner.
    • Illustrate your ability to put your own unique twist on a client's models instead of what would typically be done. For example, if you have a model that is typically portrayed as young, sweet, innocent, and neutral, use a photo of the model in something more luxurious or even something dark that still suits them, but shows your creativity.


  • Because the make up artist industry has become so competitive, not only is it crucial to have a portfolio that sets itself apart from the rest, but also necessary to find other outlets into the industry. Working as an assistant allows you to get your foot in the door and pick up countless trade tips, giving you a cutting edge.
  • Stay always prepared and keep your work portfolio updated for urgent calls and meetings. If you have lots of photos, sketches and make up ideas - consider collecting and organizing them all at EspressoWork, which is very productive professional portfolio organizer [1].

Article Info

Categories: Makeup | Makeup Styles