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Catching up with make-up artist and hairstylist Shabnam Patel

Fashion Rider recently caught up with London based, professional Makeup Artist and Hairstylist, Shabnam Patel to talk about what success looks like, as well as how most jobs in the fashion industry aren’t your typical 9 to 5!

Shabnam specialises in makeup and hairstyling for film and TV.  Not one to stand still, she continually looks to enhance her skills to make sure she is always at the top of her game within the ever evolving field of fashion styles.

So if you’re looking for a makeup artist/hair stylist based in London, check out Shabnam’s profile and availability on Fashion Rider.

Makeup Artist

Industry training

In the fashion industry, or any industry for that matter, we are continually reminded that experience can be everything.  But, so can the training.  Of course there are different elements, types and styles of training.  But learning the skill, and perfecting the technique is what’s important.

For Shabnam, she trained at the renowned London College of Fashion and The London College of Beauty Therapy.  Breaking the elements down to focus on hair, makeup, stage/event makeup, hairstyling, body art, spray tanning and the important element covered in all training courses now, health and safety.

During her training, Shabnam was honoured with the Outstanding Achievement Award at LCBT student awards.

Moving into the real world

When we’re training everything seems ok, we can just about handle the pressure and the constraints of the different learning practices we take on.

However, when we then leave the comfort of our training and enter into the real world, well this is certainly eye opening.

For Shabnam, what she wishes someone had told her when she first started out, was that “it’s going to be hard work .Nothing is handed to you and you have to go and look for work and promote yourself as a MUA. You have to work long hours and it’s not your typical 9-5 office job”.

Success in the eyes of our members

When talking to our members, we always ask, what they think success looks like.


Because everyone is different and we love hearing about these differences.  From generating sales, launching a new collection or working on the set of a new feature film, what drives us is our ambitions.

And our ambitions are just that, they are ours.  We strive to achieve them, and when we do, this is what in our eyes, makes us successful.

For Shabnam she believes that she will know when she’s successful because she will be “a renowned make-up artist, working on A list celebrities”.

“I would also feature in vogue, Harpers Bizarre magazine and have the opportunity to travel the world with my work”.

However, just because we haven’t achieved these ambitions yet doesn’t mean we can’t be proud of what we have achieved.  All of the work we do now is to help us build up our portfolios and our experience, working towards these achievements and dreams.

Being proud and standing by our work is important.  It helps us to reflect, learn and grow as professionals.

When we asked Shabnam about the work she is most proud of, her achievements are incredible, working with the BBC, ITV, SKY as well as a Hollywood actor (of course as hard as we tried, we still couldn’t get the name of just who it was!)


Makeup Artist

It’s not always plain sailing

No matter what industry you’re in you will face obstacles.  We have to learn to understand these and to find solutions to help us overcome them.  In some instances this is also about learning how to ask for help, whether this be from colleagues or our peers.  Getting as many different ideas and thoughts as possible can only help you grow and in most instances can help you with that eureka moment.

Working as a make-up artist in London, Shabnam commented that the single biggest obstacle for her when it comes to business success is building a client relationship and elevating it to the next level.

It’s hard work, especially when just starting out.  What I can say is however, is that all of the hard work, to being doing something that you love, is most certainly worth it!

makeup artist

What Instagram trends to avoid in 2018.

Over drawn boxed eyebrows and cut crease eyeshadow get away from them trends. That was so 2014-2015. People seem to think that’s the way to do make up, since there is 1,000 of them doing the same look. Also in the industry I have noticed pro people telling me that’s how I should do my make-up. I’m like no thanks. Be creative and initiative and break rules it’s meant to be broken. That is what will make you stand out as a make-up artist and make you unique and creative.

How to look out for the latest trends as a make-up artist.

The only way you will make it as make-up artist is to practice and keep learning your craft. Also reading Vogue magazine and other fashion magazines to see the latest make up trend and fashion week too. You will be on the pulse with make-up trends.


When you start out as an MUA do you get paid work immediately?

No, you may get expenses paid back to you. That is like covering your travel, food and make up kit. When you start out as an MUA you are building your portfolio and building your clients base. Clients want to see that you experience in doing make up on all skin tones e.g fair, medium to deep skin tones to doing make up male and female of all ethnicity.  Once you gain 2 years’ experience you start to get paid work. Everyone is different so you may get paid after a year, it depends if you get your big break or your new clients get regular work and they pay.


How do you become a make-up artist?

Getting the correct qualifications going to reputable college and learning about make-up and health and safety, hair styling.

I’m not talking about the 5 days intense course. You have to understand that if you don’t have the correct make up qualification that is NOT recognized in the industry the insurance company that covers MUA’s for liability insurance won’t cover you for safe practices e.g  A client you did make up application on  gets an allergic reaction from foundation that you used. The clients will sue you and take you to court. You are not covered then the client will win the case you will be out of business.

That’s why it is important to get insurance cover as an MUA. Invest in the qualification and also the time. It will pay off. Also getting the experience assisting other MUAs and learning the craft and what it’s like to work in the industry. For some it’s like “OK I’ve done this and it’s not for me.”


2018 can be your year!

2018 is fast approaching and as the start of the New Year beckons, why not set some goals, both personal and business.

What is it that you would like to achieve?  What are some of the challenges you are facing that you might want to ask other people’s advice and opinion on?

Why not ask Fashion Rider?  We’d be only too happy to provide further information and advice either from ourselves or from our members.


Make-up artists in London

If you would like to find out more about make-up artists and hair stylists in London, and to find out more about Shabnam’s great work, you can contact her directly on the details below.




Don’t forget if you would like to ask Fashion Rider a question or if you have some friendly advice which you would like to share with others, we’d love to hear from you!

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