This topic may just feel all too familiar for many of us in the film and television world right now: after a long hiatus, or extended period of time in which you just weren’t working. Sound familiar? As we emerge from what felt like the longest forced break in our industry, I’ll share some valuable insights and tips to help you get back on track with confidence and revitalized skills. So, if you’re ready to shake off that rust and reignite your passion for your craft, let’s jump right in.

how to keep from feeling rusty about your makeup skills after a long hiatus
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In This Episode We Cover:

  • How and why self-assessment and goal-setting are crucial to refresh your makeup skills after a long hiatus.
  • The actionable ways you can quit feeling rusty and get back into makeup again.
  • The different practices you can pick up to revitalize your skills and stay connected to the industry.


click here to read the transcript!


Episode 41: Show notes

brown and black brush lot

As a makeup artist, I’ve been navigating the challenges of the film and television industry for over two decades now.

And, throughout my career, I’ve encountered a bunch, but none quite as unique as the forced hiatus our industry recently endured.
The extended period of not working has left many of us feeling rusty and more than a little uncertain.

If you’re like me and are looking for ways to shake off that feeling of stagnation and regain your confidence, I’m here to share some valuable insights with you.

First and foremost, it’s crucial to take a step back and reflect on your past experiences and accomplishments.
Remind yourself of the skills and techniques that have made you successful in the past. Setting achievable goals can also help revitalize your spirit. Whether it’s practicing applying makeup again or familiarizing yourself with current trends and techniques, taking these small steps can reignite your passion for the craft.

Next, consider refreshing your knowledge and skills by researching current trends and techniques.

Take the time to observe and analyze the makeup work in films and television shows. Is it aging makeup, period work, or fantasy? By immersing yourself in these elements, you can reignite your excitement and enthusiasm for the art of makeup.

Embracing practice, whether it’s working on a friend or exploring tutorials and online courses, is essential in overcoming doubts and rediscovering your creative flair.

Setting a routine, even if it’s on a weekly basis, provides a sense of consistency and structure. Through this, you’ll find your skills and passion slowly returning.

However, it’s equally important to experiment with different makeup styles and products. If you’re used to effects makeup, delve into beauty makeup, or if you’re into grooming and hair work, explore natural or corrective makeup. Embracing variety can help broaden your skills and keep your work fresh and exciting.

Don’t shy away from seeking feedback from your peers and mentors.

Constructive criticism helps you gain a new perspective and grow professionally. Collaborating with fellow artists not only inspires you but also boosts your confidence. Their unique experiences and viewpoints can provide valuable insights into your work.

Furthermore, showcasing your recent work on social media or in a portfolio can boost your confidence and re-establish your presence in the industry.

Networking, while daunting for many of us creative individuals, is essential for re-establishing connections and reminding the world of your talent.

Continuing education and professional development play a crucial role in rekindling your enthusiasm for your craft.

Enroll in workshops or online courses to enhance your skills and stay updated with industry news and resources. The journey of rediscovery may seem daunting, but taking small steps and embracing ongoing learning can significantly contribute to your renewal.

Despite the challenges posed by the hiatus, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

By embracing continued learning and adaptability, you can revitalize your skills and reignite your passion for makeup artistry.

The hurdles we face today will only make us better professionals and individuals tomorrow.

As we stand on the brink of a new year and a potential hive of activity, it’s time to reacquaint ourselves with our craft.

By focusing on self-assessment, self-reflection, practice, networking, and ongoing education, we can revitalize our skills effectively and reemerge as confident and inspired makeup artists.

Your patience and persistence are about to pay off, and I have no doubt that you will look back at this period with pride for having overcome it.

So, here’s to new beginnings and the infinite potential that lies ahead. Let’s embrace the journey of rediscovery and emerge stronger and more resilient than ever before.


Click here to listen to this episode!


Episode Transcript

[00:00:00]: I thought it was important to have this conversation with you today.

As I know many of my listeners fall within the film and television world. And at the time that I’m recording this, we’re coming out of what might possibly be known as the longest forced hiatus our industry has seen, at least within our career spans anyway.
And I’ve had conversations with a handful of artists already about this very notion.

How do you stop from going rusty when you don’t work for a long period of time?

Well, the strikes of 2023 have given many of us a long, long time when we haven’t worked continuously. And the weird thing is that don’t you find that often your skills and techniques get really quick when you’re practicing them all the time?

When you’re going to work every day and you’re going to work from job to job, you just get quicker at things and you even take it for granted because of that momentum and that speed and that forward motion that you have. But I know I do.

[00:01:03]: So I wanted to help you get over that feeling that you may well just be facing right now, or perhaps you’re about to face it when you go back to work after such a long period of not working. And I want to get you back on the bike again, feeling as confident as the last day that you worked.

[00:01:44]: First of all, I think it’s important to take a good look at yourself.
Give yourself a moment to reflect on your past jobs and experiences because this will help refresh you of exactly what you’re capable of. Actually, I think I need this advice myself. Sometimes it’s much more easy to tell someone else what can help them than what can help yourself. But I definitely need to listen to this, too.
And to pair with this perfectly, set yourself some goals, and I’m not talking massive ones here, just achievable goals that will help revitalize you.

Whether it’s simply doing your own makeup again after many months of not, I know I’ve loved not wearing any makeup for the better part of 2023.

[00:02:39]: So, yep, it’s time to get those brushes in motion again. And next, it’s important to refresh and reset.

Get familiar with what’s going on out in the big wide world because I hate to remind you that the world is way bigger than our little industry.

So get researching again. Take a look at current trends and techniques that are being used and talked about right now.

And if you’re in the movies, go to the cinema again and look at what’s going on on screen. Is it aging makeups? Is it period work? Is it breakdown and dirt makeup or fantasy?

Remember to pay attention to how you respond to what you’re watching. Get excited again and remember how to feel about our jobs again because we don’t just do this for the money, let’s face it, because we don’t get paid that much.

[00:03:31]: And now remember to get practicing again. Even if it takes dragging a friend over, just do it. It won’t take long before all of those doubts have dissolved and you’re back in the creative zone again and finding your own way once more. And don’t be afraid to check out tutorials, videos, old dvd behind the scenes, and even online courses that can all help to refresh your rusty creative juices.

Once you’ve confronted this hurdle, then it’s time to create a routine. I know daily routines can be really tricky to orchestrate, so let’s aim for weekly and if you can do this, your skills and your passion, and I’m certain your familiarity will come back to you in no time.

And yes, it really will be just like riding a bike because consistency is key, so that’s important to remember and don’t forget.

Along with consistency, remember to experiment with different makeup styles and products.

[00:04:30]: If you’re an effects makeup artist, get back into beauty and if you do a lot of grooming and hair work, then get back more into natural or corrective work again.

And don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Seeking constructive criticism from your peers and even your mentors can help to give you perspective and see your work objectively from a different point of view.

And I cannot stress how vital collaborating with other artists can be, not only for inspiration and learning. Every single one of us has an entirely unique experience and I truly believe view of the world and how we see it and also how our hands put product down.

So working with others can be one of the most rewarding aspects of our job, and it will boost your confidence to no end.

Now, showcasing recent work, including new work that you’ve just been getting back into through this podcast episode, showcasing it through social media or a portfolio can do your confidence the world of good, and also just get you back out there.
The reason I even bring this up is to tip my hat off to one makeup artist who’s been really incredibly inspiring throughout these strikes this year.

[00:05:48]: He would do a weekly makeup on himself or on someone else and post it on the same day each week.
So there’s that consistency that I mentioned, and sometimes he would create quite simple makeups and other times they were much more large scale. But the fact that he did it and committed, I found really inspiring. So way to go, Dan.

Now, networking, which is, by nature, something that I personally find exhausting at the best of times. And I know you may just feel exactly the same.

This is very natural when you’re a creative person, but by getting out there with potential clients or employers and even coworkers, you’re getting out amongst it all to remind the world who you are again. And don’t forget the value of continuing your education and professional development.

[00:06:39]: Enrolling in workshops or online courses, regardless of where you are in your career, can enhance not only your skill level, but can help you refresh your brain again and get you excited.

Plus, learning is something that we should never stop doing, ever.

And by staying updated with industry-related news and resources, you’ll be able to feel a little bit more connected again. See? It’s just taking those baby steps, isn’t it?

Perhaps you’ve shied away from this sort of stuff for the last six months. I am definitely guilty of this.

But here we are on the cusp of a brand new year and I suspect a hive of activity. So yep, it’s time to get reacquainted, my friend. Finding the motivation to start again can be so challenging, especially after the year that so many of us have had.

[00:07:29]: But simply by knowing that there is a light at the end of this tunnel and we are so close now. You’re right there, and your patience and persistence to get revived are about to be paid off. And not only by picking up again and shaking that “I’m so rusty I can’t do this anymore” mindset, start learning again and gain adaptability, and before you know it, you’ll be back in the trenches and laughing at why you ever doubted yourself.

And I can’t emphasize enough the importance of continued learning and being adaptable.

It not only makes you better at your job, but better as a human being, too.

I hope this episode has helped reacquaint you with your craft after such a hiatus, and that by focusing on self assessment, perhaps even self reflection, practice a little bit of networking and a lot more ongoing education, you’ll be able to revitalize your skills effectively and easily.

[00:08:33]: Okay, that’s it for today. I’m going to get off the soapbox now, and I’ll see you next time. Okay. Bye.

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