How to become

How to Become a Makeup Artist

How to Become a Makeup Artist

A career as a makeup artist may be ideal for you if you’ve mastered the smoky eye and can quickly determine what shade of lipstick would look fantastic on a person depending on their complexion. Start by honing your abilities with online tutorials and practise sessions on friends and family if you want to pursue a profession as a makeup artist. Think about going to school to receive official training or taking a job at a cosmetics counter to obtain experience. To launch your cosmetics job, you’ll need to have a solid network and portfolio.

STEP 1.Learning New Skills

Analyze well-known Instagram or YouTube makeup vloggers.

 An wonderful (and cost-free!) approach to start learning more about makeup artistry is by watching online video tutorials. Look for makeup artists whose appearances correspond to the styles in which you are most attracted.

Remember that while tutorials are a terrific place to start, nothing can replace hands-on instruction and experience.

Apply makeup to yourself and your pals for practice.

 You can use this to hone your skills and improve your technique. Even while you could be an expert at applying your own makeup, remember that applying makeup on someone else requires a distinct set of motor skills and coordination. 

Apply cosmetics to individuals with various skin tones, facial shapes, eye tones, and age ranges. This will assist you in gaining the abilities necessary to work with a variety of clientele.

Start assembling a “kit” with the brushes, cosmetics, and other items you frequently use. To begin with, these may be drugstore brands. You’ll be able to purchase more expensive goods as your profession progresses.

Learn about the latest trends in cosmetics.

 Read fashion blogs, peruse periodicals, watch movies, attend plays, and keep an eye on the various face makeup trends. In order to guide clients, it is crucial to stay current on current beauty trends.

Customers can want you to imitate a particular style that a celebrity had at an awards ceremony or in a magazine. To accurately bring your clients’ descriptions to life, you’ll need to get familiar with the language used in makeup artistry.

STEP 2.Obtaining training and work experience

1.Enroll in a makeup artist programme that works with your budget and schedule.

 States do not require course offerings from makeup artist programmes because makeup artistry is not a licenced profession, hence the curriculum varies greatly amongst institutions. While some colleges provide all-encompassing full-time courses, others let you pick and select classes that concentrate on specific fields of study or skill sets. The cost of these programmes also varies greatly, with full-time universities being the most expensive.Usually 300–600 hours long, makeup training courses can be finished in less than six months.It is not necessary to attend school in order to succeed as a makeup artist. However, in a highly competitive field, it might help you. 

2.A cosmetology degree will open up more work opportunities.

 Join a private cosmetology school or, for a less expensive option, enroll in a cosmetology course at a community college. You can apply makeup in a beauty salon or spa if you have a cosmetology license, which can open up more job opportunities for you. Complete cosmetology programmes last 12 to 24 months and require 1,500–2,000 hours.

You will learn various beauty procedures throughout cosmetology school, such as hair, nail, and skin care.

3.Work in a cosmetics counter to gain experience in the field. 

Apply for jobs at pharmacies or department stores. You’ll get the chance to test your abilities on a large number of individuals with various skin tones, fashion tastes, and expectations. The best part is that you’ll get paid to hone your abilities.

Given that you will be selling cosmetics in addition to providing makeup artistry services, retail experience is beneficial when applying for employment at department and beauty stores.

Look for a business that isn’t just focused on making sales but also takes the time to teach its staff how to apply makeup.

4.Join a local theater company to learn a new makeup technique. 

An excellent venue to exercise your creativity is a theater organization, either at your school if you are a student or in the larger community. You’ll have the ability to experiment with various makeup techniques, learn how to apply greasepaint, and employ theatrical lighting.

5.Obtain an apprenticeship or internship with a reputable makeup artist.

 Find a renowned makeup artist in your neighborhood whose work you like, and inquire as to whether they would be open to hiring an apprentice or intern. Show that you’re motivated to gain practical experience in the makeup profession.Ask if you can observe them for a day or two if they are unable to commit to an internship. A few hours of observation could give you a wealth of new skills.

STEP 3.Construct a Portfolio

Find models to display your appearance. 

Find folks whose faces fit your makeup aesthetic and whose faces don’t necessarily have to be professional models. To put in your portfolio, take some “before and after” pictures of your models.

Think about using models for trade-for-print projects.

Develop your portfolio through collaborations by being inventive. Ask a buddy who is creating a music video if she can utilize your beauty skills, or volunteer to apply your coworker’s cosmetics for her wedding. At the same time that you start building your reputation, you’ll sharpen your skills.

In the early phases of your profession, you might even need to offer your skills for free to create more material for your portfolio.

Take professional-level pictures of your work. 

Think about purchasing a high-end camera or hiring a photographer to assist you in building your portfolio. A portfolio’s visual appeal may make or destroy it.

It’s acceptable to take pictures using your phone camera if you’re still in the beginning stages of your career. Just make sure your pictures are clear and well-lit.

Make a fascinating portfolio that showcases several makeup looks.

 The brand you are building should be reflected in your portfolio. In order to provide potential clients an instant sense of your exceptional talent, your greatest and most imaginative work should be displayed up front. Include a variety of makeup looks, such as those used in fashion, special effects, cinema, and television.

You should have a print and online version of your portfolio. An advantage of an online portfolio is that it can be promoted via multiple social media platforms and reaches a broader audience.

STEP 4.Develop Your Career

If you are good under pressure, concentrate in the fashion industry. 

After acquiring a foundational education or some professional experience (or both! ), you’ll need to choose which industry to specialize in. Fashion-related runway events and photo shoots frequently require the services of makeup artists.You can be required to work quickly in challenging circumstances, such as confined backstage locations during fashion shows or harsh weather if shooting outside.

Instead of the makeup artist, the editor, designer, or fashion photographers are in charge of the looks in this industry.

Working with a stylist and hair crew to assist get models ready is common.

For a variety of careers, look for openings in the film or television industries. The television and film industries, which provide a variety of chances in various makeup styles, employ the majority of makeup artists. While makeup for a sci-fi television show would demand special effects work and a more innovative style, makeup for a newscaster would call for a more natural look. When working as a makeup artist in this field, accuracy is crucial. It is getting simpler to detect if someone’s makeup isn’t correctly applied as our television screens become more sharp and clear.

For a more adaptable work schedule, work as a makeup artist freelance. Many makeup artists pursue lucrative careers through freelance work, traveling from gig to gig while carrying their equipment. People often hire makeup artists when preparing for photo shoots of bridal and wedding parties, family reunions, or graduations.

Make use of word-of-mouth to market your skills. Encourage your friends and relatives to consider paying you to apply their cosmetics for formal events like weddings and celebrations.

Promote your brand, especially on social media. 

Start marketing yourself to let people know you’re seeking employment as a makeup artist, whether you want to work as a freelancer on a project-by-project basis or find a full-time position with a specific organization. A personal blog or even a Pinterest page, as well as social media sites like Instagram and YouTube, are quite significant.

Credentialing and Licensing

Not only does formal education give you advanced abilities and information. A diploma from an accredited institution demonstrates to potential employers what kind of training you have had and how many hours you have finished. While a lot of brilliant artists are self-taught, the beauty industry looks at certification in the same way that other industries might demand an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree.

Always do your homework and confirm the certification requirements and laws in the state where you wish to work or reside. Different branches of study, such as cosmetics, cosmetology, and aesthetics, may have particular prerequisites, or there may be none at all.

Organizations for Makeup Artists in the Profession

By joining or following the leading professional and industry organizations, you may keep up with trends, knowledge, techniques, and news as your education and career grow.

IATSE, or the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, is a union that represents more than 140,000 workers in the US and Canada’s entertainment sector, including those who work in live theater, motion picture and television production, and trade exhibits.

Global Association of Cosmetic Industry

The IMA is the industry’s preeminent honoring organization on a global scale.

Professional Makeup Artists International Association

The IAPO offers services for company development and education. Both professional and aspiring makeup artists are served by the membership group.

National Association of Screen Makeup and Hair

NASMAH is a U.K.-based association for makeup artists specific to the fashion, TV, theater, film, and photography industries.

Salary & Job Outlook for Makeup Artists

Enhancing someone’s innate attractiveness, changing someone’s appearance, and even using sophisticated makeup and prosthetics to help create characters for film and television allows makeup artists to see the joy on their subjects’ faces. Making money as a professional makeup artist is another benefit of the job.

Like most professions, a makeup artist’s pay will vary based on their level of education, where they work, and how much experience they have. This means that in order to acquire the skills and knowledge required for a job in this industry, you will probably need to enroll in a makeup institute. You’re on the correct track if you earn a diploma from an academy and can demonstrate that you’ve finished a diploma programme.

Range of pay for makeup artists

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the typical annual wage for makeup artists in 2020 will be $48.07 per hour, or $99,990. This is much more than what experts estimate is required for one person to live comfortably in the US.

Given that location affects a makeup artist’s earnings in part, it’s worthwhile to investigate potential locations for your business.

Makeup Artists Salaries By State

The 10 states that pay makeup artists the most include:

Hawaii: $26.01 per hour;

Massachusetts: $26.00 per hour;

Rhode Island: $25.11 per hour;

North Dakota: $24.64 per hour;

Alaska: $24.50 per hour;

Nevada: $24.30 per hour;

Washington: $24.10 per hour;

South Dakota: $23.92 per hour;

Oregon: $23.66 per hour;

New York: $23.53 per hour.

How to Raise the Pay of a Makeup Artist

It’s possible that you don’t reside where makeup artists are paid the most or that you do and would still like to earn a little extra money. You have a few options if you don’t want to move but yet want to increase your income as a makeup artist. In the discipline of makeup artistry, you can:

Analyze your abilities:By examining your abilities, you can identify your blind spots and enhance your craft. You might learn new skills or identify areas where you are wasting time, freeing up time for more clients. It can also cause you to change the cost of your makeup services.

Additional education: You can broaden your horizons by enrolling in more makeup classes and assistantships. You can transition into a higher-paying beauty artistry career by learning new makeup methods and techniques.

Networking: You can maintain your finger on the pulse of your business by using social media to interact with artists and clients, staying informed of new prospects, and attending trade shows and events. You can work with other artists through networking, expand your clientele, and learn new, cutting-edge makeup methods to set yourself apart.

Update and improve your portfolio: If you don’t already have one, you should make one. Writers, photographers, and painters all have portfolios. Making (or upgrading) your portfolio will help you display your most recent work to clients and other makeup artists while also providing them with your contact details and a way to get in touch with you, particularly if you utilize the right social media platforms.


Can makeup artists earn well?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the typical annual wage for makeup artists in 2020 will be $48.07 per hour, or $99,990. This is much more than what experts estimate is required for one person to live comfortably in the US.

Is working as a makeup artist simple?

Being a makeup artist is a serious dream job since you get paid to think about beauty trends, experiment with different looks, and work with cool customers. However, like any other amazing profession, it also requires a lot of hard work.

Is a degree required to work as a makeup artist?

Depending on the state, becoming a makeup artist may require a degree. While some states have no restrictions, others call for specific licenses or credentials for makeup artists. In either case, getting a degree will give you useful training that will help you get a career in this industry.

What professions are available to makeup artists?

Makeup artists can find employment in a variety of sectors:

  • The entertainment sector
  • Services for personal care
  • Theatrical production companies
  • The hotel and retail sectors