How to become a Makeup Artist

Makeup artists use their skills and knowledge of beauty products to select and apply makeup and other cosmetics to people. They work with people who need makeup for a wide variety of reasons, including for events such as weddings, actors working in film and on stage, or as specialists in a cosmetics store.

If you are creative, love to help people look and feel their best, and want a job that can give you a great degree of flexibility, becoming a makeup artist could be perfect for you.

What skills do I need as a makeup artist?

  • Creative & artistic
  • Great people skills
  • Dextrous with a steady hand
  • Good eye for colour
  • Excellent communicator
  • Flexible & adaptable
  • Great time management skills
  • Good problem-solver

What tasks can I expect to do?

  • Choose the right products for a client’s needs
  • Apply makeup & other beauty products
  • Advise clients on colours & styles
  • Provide touch-ups to keep makeup looking fresh during long events
  • Give clients advice on skin care
  • Help people buy the right cosmetic products
  • Keep up with the latest trends in fashion & beauty
  • Teach others how to apply makeup correctly

What industries do makeup artists typically work in?

  • Retail Trade
  • Arts & Recreation Services
  • Information Media & Telecommunications

What Career Cluster do makeup artists belong to?

Because their job involves helping others to look and feel their best, most makeup artists belong to the Guardian Cluster.

What kind of lifestyle can I expect?

There is lots of flexibility in the working week of a makeup artist, with most working part-time or casually. Depending on your exact role, you may need to work evenings, weekends, or holidays (to attend events such as weddings, for example).

Most makeup artists earn an average salary throughout their career.

Many makeup artists have the opportunity to travel and work on location. You can also work out of a salon, retail outlet, or home studio. You might also like to consider freelance work or starting up your own business.

How to become a makeup artist

You generally don’t need any formal qualifications to work as a makeup artist but, there are many vocational and short courses you can take that can help you build your skills and make you more appealing to potential clients. Makeup artists in specific industries (e.g. film and television) may require certain qualifications or certifications. You may also receive on-the-job training to learn specific skills and techniques.

Ongoing education and development throughout your career is also vital to ensure you stay on top of the latest beauty trends and techniques.

If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a makeup artist is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:

  1. Try and find work experience in beauty, retail, or performing arts. This will give you some exposure to the industry and you can see if you enjoy the work.
  2. Take short courses or workshops to start building on your skills and knowledge.
  3. Practice doing makeup for friends and family, and ask for feedback so you know if there are any areas you need to improve.

Find out more here:

Similar careers to makeup artist

  • Costume Designer
  • Cosmetic Nurse
  • Fashion Stylist
  • Hairdresser
  • Beauty Therapist
  • Nail Technician
  • Visual Merchandiser
  • Performing Arts Technician

Find out more about alternative careers.


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