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Makeup Artist Careers



Makeup artists go beyond just applying makeup to achieve a desired look.  They are responsible for bringing out and highlighting best features to create the most naturally beautiful and confident version of the client.

“That’s why I began doing makeup in the first place:  I was hoping that through helping people see the beauty in themselves, I could try and find it in me.” -Kevyn Aucoin

This may entail adjusting makeup for lighting on a television set, creating a classic and elegant look for a bride on her wedding day or transforming models before a runway show.

On a film or modeling set, a makeup artist may spend six to eight hours doing makeup for the day. For an individual client appointment, the time span may be an hour to three hours. If a makeup artist is working for a bridal party, then he or she may spend the entire day working with clients.  Makeup artists will use a variety of products on a daily basis including a few of the top brands:

StilaToo Faced,  Urban DecayClinique L’Oréal Paris, MaybellineCovergirlRevlon, and Mac.

How Do I Become a Makeup Artist?

To become a makeup artist, you should think about enrolling in beauty school or an esthetician program. Not all states require that you have a license, although most do, but this education will provide you with lifelong skills to help you become a successful makeup artist.

After completion of a beauty program, we recommend joining a national organization or taking part in one of the many continuing education opportunities provided by nationally recognized programs.  National Online Makeup Artists, the International Make-up Association and the Hair and Makeup Artist Network are the top organizations in the makeup artist industry.

Job Duties of a Makeup Artist

The typical work day of a makeup artist usually starts the night before an appointment. During that time, a makeup artist will cleanse and wash her brushes and tools. The makeup artist may be traveling to a client’s home for an appointment, or she may be 200289825-001: aug15traveling to a film, television or modeling set. Makeup artists are responsible for assessing a client’s skin type, cleansing skin before makeup application and choosing complementary colors for a client’s skin tone.

Other duties may include applying special effects makeup, applying false eyelashes and dramatic eye shadows, attaching prostheses to actors, selling cosmetic line products, applying makeup in individual client appointments.

Skills Required for Becoming a Makeup Artist

To become a makeup artist, one should have a passion for creative arts, possess a steady hand and be able to mix colors. Each artist will use his or her creativity to come up with a list of tips and tricks that they will use to give the client the desired look efficiently.  He or she should also be friendly, able to communicate with clients and have excellent hygiene habits.

How much can you expect to make as a makeup artist?

Makeup artists are typically paid by working with an agency or on a freelance basis. They may make $500 to $700 a day on a film set. Some agencies pay about $600 per project that a makeup artist accepts. The BLS states that the average salary of makeup artists is about $67,850 a year.

Other Employment Opportunities as a Makeup Artist

Other employment opportunities available to makeup artists include working for a cosmetic company for consulting purposes, becoming an instructor and creating one’s own cosmetics line.  Many makeup artists also work in other industries including cosmetology and hairstyling.