The role of a freelance Hair & Makeup Artist

4 min readFeb 18, 2021

I came across Ruth’s work via seeing her work with Lava La Rue on Instagram.

Not only a fellow Scot, but Ruth also knows my previous guest Lori Duncan-Allan (Ep 27 — BBC Scotland’s TUNE — Creation & Production). Her cousin used to go dancing with Lori, so they met through that plus Ruth used to go to some of her shows when Lori was in The Cinnamons. And Ruth did the face painting for Lori’s fabulous Day of The Dead Night in Glasgow. So much Scottish synergy going on here.

Ruth, like all the bodacious babe’s guests, welcomes you to reach out to her if you are interested to find out more about her profession.


What we talk about

Why Ruth became a Hair & Make-up Artist?

✨ Ruth’s path into being an artist

✨ Clients: Lava La Rue, Lux, Girli, July Jones & more

✨ Vegan & cruelty-free: Charlotte Tilbury, Kevin Murphy, Elf, NYX

✨ Building your portfolio

✨ Charity NHS Morale Boost

My guest

Ruth Higgins


Currently, Ruth is a freelance celebrity film and TV hair & makeup artist born in Scotland, based in London, available worldwide.

Ruth’s work includes working with Broadcasters such as BBC, ITV and Sky television, CNN, CNBC, and Iran International.

✨ Ruth also loves making clothes, helps keep the creative juices flowing

✨ During the 2020 Pandemic Ruth got involved with a charity called NHS Morale Boost. Set up by make-up artists called Caroline Barnes. NHS staff, zoom make-up tutorials to see what they wanted to learn.

Path to now

“ Handed my notice in and went freelance, which was probably one of the best decision I have ever made. It was scary but I had so much Support from thee people I met in London. They really help each other out.

✨ Ruth worked the Glasgow art & music scene to build her portfolio with unpaid work on music shoots, fashion shows, and club nights

How? Emailing photographers and musicians to try and get her name out there

✨Having built her portfolio she was hired to work on shows like River City and Mrs. Brown’s Boys (filmed in Glasgow)

✨ Ruth then went traveling for a few years before coming back to Glasgow and saw an application to work in Sky TV in the Hair & Makeup department. Popped on the Megabus to London, had the interview, and was terrified…and got the job offer a week later, and moved to London!

✨ Worked at Sky for almost 4 years. At Sky worked on: Sky News, Sports News, Russel Howard Show, Landscape and Portrait Artist of the Year

✨ Whilst at Sky worked Freelance too, and finally took the plunge and went freelance, which is what she does now

Ruth’s work includes…

✨ Lava La Rue ✨ Lux ✨ Girli ✨ July Jones ✨ Ed Sheeran ✨ Benedict Cumberbatch ✨ David Gandy ✨ Alexander Skarsgård

Advice & tip

“They want to see visual stuff and what you have done, where you have done it and who you have worked with”


✨ You do not always have to take the best jobs

Email people every 6 months, ask if you can assist a make-up artist

✨ Keep active, keep creative otherwise you lose the creative flair

Utilise Instagram — good way to get direct contact with someone

✨ It’s hard work. You are going to get a lot of shutdowns but if you keep working, stick at it, you will get the rewards in the end

✨ Have your own website — show off your portfolio. Handy for sending to agencies. Ruth uses Strikingly

Online makeup databases

The Knowledge — makeup artist database of people, places, contacts, and connections for makeup

Film Bang (same as above but more Scotland based)

Hair & Makeup Kit

✨ Start with what you are comfortable with

✨ I don’t really stick to one brand, I mix about, and use whatever I like that week

✨ Used to love MAC lipstick but they are not cruelty-free

✨Vegan & cruelty-free: Charlotte Tilbury, Kevin Murphy, Elf, NYX

Shout Outs

Sian Clarke (Comedian) @sianclrke

Zainab & Emma (Ruth’s two make up besties)

✨ All the girls at Sky and Iran International

Caroline Barnes (Makeup Artist and Max Factor UK Ambassador) @carolinebarnesmakeup who organised the NHS Morale Boost which Ruth took part in


Want to read more?

Go to my website