A makeup artist specializes in the art of putting on makeup. It is a serious career choice for both men and women and there are many outlets for makeup artists. Yes, you can apply your own makeup, but a makeup artist is a professional who knows how to apply professional makeup. He or she may work for movies, television, live shows, private clients… and also in makeup or beauty salons, at counters of stores, for the demonstration of products or even for large companies who produce makeup products.Makeup to make them look more presentable. And sometimes makeup is also used to create special looks for artistes and actors. The right use of makeup can also make people disfigured by burns or accidents look ‘normal’. You can see there are many avenues of work for makeup artists.

Skills Required for a Makeup Artist.
  1. First of all, you must be creative.
  2. Also, filled with original ideas.
  3. Knowledge of modern makeup procedures and products is added benefit.
  4. Confidence is what you while performing makeup.
  5. Sometimes you need to be a little Diplomatic.
  6. And, Tactful.
  7. Flexible to any work schedule and location.
  8. Self-driven.
  9. Good communication skills.
  10. Pleasing personality.


Personality Traits.

You need to be a creative and arty person with a flair for color and how make optimum use of it. As you will be managing beauty conscious people, it is important to have strong people management skills… be diplomatic, tactful, and sometimes sympathetic. Moreover, you should be a good communicator, though you will have a lot of listening to do!

An eye for detail and discipline are also important qualities. The abilities to work and be on your feet constantly and keep the larger picture in mind. You should also be able to get on with your clients and colleagues.



Education IconHow to Become a Makeup Artist: Education.

You should have a minimum high school diploma. After that there are a number of makeup courses you can do. You can study on your own or apprentice with a professional makeup artist or work at a beauty salon as a student. The latest option is joining online courses. The online courses are good but lack practical guidance, as you need to learn all practical works watching videos.

The USA Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) guides that every makeup artist must complete a formal training to be able to apply for State License. Every state has its own licensing process. Read here for state-wise details and requirements.


Certification Courses.

Makeup Artist Education

There are 3 major certification courses available. You have to know how to work with a palette of colors, study skin types, and tones, even hair colors and styles. Makeup varies from season to season, day, evening, night, special occasions and fashion. Then you can see about getting a job, once you have the qualifications. The courses are…

  1. Makeup Artistry Certification.

This is one of the most demanded courses. It is shorter duration course and so perfect for those who are studying. It has both theory and practical classes. Moreover, some training schools offer internship in their own salons where you can gain real-life experience. The course involves…

  1. Makeup Fundamentals.
  2. Basic make up techniques.
  3. Advanced makeup techniques.
  4. Fashion makeup.


  1. Diploma in Cosmetology.

This course actually improves your overall knowledge on cosmetology. You must have basic knowledge about makeup artistry to get maximum benefit out of it. This course involves…

  1. Fundamentals of Skin Care.
  2. Knowledge about various cosmetics.
  3. Hand-on experience and analysis of various cosmetic products.
  4. Customer Management.


  1. Degree in Cosmetology.

During this course you will gain in-depth knowledge on the Diploma course subjects, plus other specialized courses. Practical times is increased to almost double. The specialized courses involves…

  1. Safety and Precautions.
  2. Sanitation processes.
  3. Modern Beauty tools.
  4. Business Management.


  1. Theater Degree.

It is an optional course. If you wish to build your career in film or theater, you must attend this course. This course is specially designed to suit the industry requirement. The additional subjects are…

  1. Quick touch-up (makeups during shootings).
  2. Special Effects (e.g. Wound marks, face-over etc.).
  3. Scene based makeup (based on the characteristic of the actor).
  4. Full Body makeup.


Makeup Artist Schools.

In recent past finding a makeup artist school was really a tough job. Now, the situation has changed as most of the technical schools and universities have included the course. It takes 2-4 years to complete the course. However, some private schools offer shorter-duration courses (normally less than 2 years) and you can do simultaneously with other courses or jobs.

Before joining any course you must check if the school has Certified and accredited by National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS). You should also check if those are approved by State Licensing Department.

Top 10 Makeup Artist Schools in USA.
  1. Montclair State University.
  2. Santa Monica College.
  3. Milwaukee Technical College.
  4. Mt San Antonio College.
  5. Augusta Technical College.
  6. Cosmix School of Makeup Artistry.
  7. Cameo College of Essential Beauty.
  8. Emerson College.
  9. Boca Beauty Academy.
  10. Empire Beauty School.



Career1How to Become Makeup Artist: Jobs.

You can work at salons, spas, health farms, skin clinics… production houses, advertising agencies, movie, drama industry, photographers… cosmetics counters in stores and many other places to get experience and training. When you build a portfolio and reputation, you can get to working with top stars, plays, live shows, celebrities, special occasions and more. Another good option to work as a freelance makeup consultant, a makeup teacher, or even work with companies making makeup products. You can even open your own makeup salon or be an online beauty guide. I know some makeup artists who has their beauty channels on YouTube. It’s unbelievable but true that they earn thousands from online only.



Makeup Artist Career Path.

A makeup artist should go through 4 essential steps…

  1. Certification Courses.

You must have a certification followed by Diploma or Degree in Cosmetology or related fields (I have shared the details in the later part of this guide…Read on).

  1. State License.

In USA, you need the State License for a makeup artist career. You need to be certified by an approved makeup artist school, followed by attending an exam arranged by the State.

  1. Gaining of Experience is very important.

The makeup professionals’ work requires perfection. So gaining experience is very much essential.

  1. Makeup Artist Jobs.

Proper exposure and experience in related fields can help you get a better job or for getting regular work if you are doing freelance. Apart from your domain knowledge, you need to develop qualities like… market knowledge, listening, customer service and management skills.


Makeup Artist Job description.

As you have to work with a vast array of products, you should know them inside out. The same goes for skin… what kind of product will suit what skin color and tone is of utmost importance. You should also know about all kinds of skin-care products, makeup removal products, anti-aging creams, colors, foundations, lipsticks, nail polish, eye make etc. You should also know how to camouflage the bad spots and highlight the good spots of the person under your care. You need to know which styles looks best for any face or hair type.

If you are working with models and screen stars you will also have to learn specialized make up techniques. This includes making a person look older or younger, lighting used for effects and keep to continuity. You may have to create particular ‘looks’ as well and work with the director’s vision of how the screen persona has to look. As I stated above, you need to undergo Special makeup course for that.


Makeup Artist Job Responsibilities.

  1. Deciding potential clients.
  2. Client’s requirement analysis.
  3. Plan desired outcome.
  4. budget plan.
  5. Decide approx. time required (very important in Film industry).
  6. Beauty products selection and arrangement.
  7. Ordering artificial items like Wigs, silicon pads (for face-over) etc.
  8. Designing draft sketches and presentation to the clients.
  9. Performing individual allergy and skin sensitivity test.
  10. Makeup on client on scheduled date & time.


Makeup Artist Job Requirements.

Please note that job requirements may vary from clients to clients. Here are basic points you should follow and highlight in your resume…

  1. Ability to Discuss, understand, and plan to achieve client specified look.
  2. Gaining experience is definitely a positive aspect for this profession. You must highlight all your experiences in the CV.
  3. You must be capable of understanding skin types and plan makeup accordingly.
  4. Should be aware of the adverse reactions of the products you are using.
  5. Excellent time management capability is another most important factor .
  6. If you are planning to work with any agency, you need to be team player.
  7. Should be able to work in fast-paced work environment.
  8. You must be flexible with the time and location. You may need to work weekends and late nights.
  9. You may need to multi task.
  10. Must be enthusiastic about latest cosmetic trends, tools, and developments.


Makeup Artist Resume Template.

Here is the sample resume template which you can use for preparing your resume. (Please Note: it’s just a sample Resume. To download full CV, check the link below).

Makeup Artist Resume

To download this Resume template, CLICK HERE

Find latest Makeup Artist Jobs at indeed.com.


SalarySalary of a Makeup Artist.

The salary range for a makeup artist is between $18,000 and $115,000 per year. Hourly range is $9.00-$55.00 per hour. Good freelance makeup artists can make from between $100 to $2,000 a day. This depends on experience, location, and industry. These values are excluding the Tips amount, which is very common and makeup artists earn a good amount from Tips. As per Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the average salary of a makeup artist is around $60,000 before Tips. The top jobs are with movie stars and production houses, fashion (both ramp and print) and advertising.


Makeup Artist Salary Charts.

Makeup Artist Salary

Makeup Artist Salary (Hourly)



Industry-wise Salary Chart.

Industry-wise Average Salary (Annual)


Bridal makeup is another specialty and if you are known for it, you can get more money during the wedding season. If you find work in a salon or at the cosmetics counter of a store you will be paid rates which are effective in your area, and based on your expertise and experience. Makeup artists can find work in most places and can even open their own salons or teaching courses.



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