How Much Money Do Makeup Artists Make?

Making actors look their best is just one of many responsibilities for makeup artists. They must also research and gather photos, films and other s throughout time to ensure an actor’s appearance matches the period and setting of the project. While they work in a relatively small field, movie makeup artists can earn pretty high salaries. Some even earn close to six figures, especially in a major metropolitan area like New York City.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics – in 2020, Makeup artists earn a median annual salary of $48.07 an hour or $99,990 annually. This far exceeds what experts say a single person needs to live comfortably in the US.

How much money I make as a makeup artist | First year vs. current year

Makeup artist salaries by state

When comparing the average salary of each state, it is important to consider the average salary and the comparison of the cost of living for each state to make sure you are getting an accurate picture that will help you choose which location is right for you. Here is a list of makeup artist salaries by state:

How much do makeup artists make?

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has two separate career categories that makeup artists can be grouped in: skincare specialists and barbers, hairstylists and cosmetologists. The BLS projects skincare specialists will enjoy a job growth outlook of 11% and barbers, hairstylists and cosmetologists will enjoy a job growth outlook of 8% between the years of 2018 and 2028. These job growth outlooks are faster than the national average for all occupations of 5%. This means makeup artists should experience high levels of career stability and have several career opportunities available to them.

How to increase a makeup artist salary

Follow these steps to increase your salary as a makeup artist:

1. Choose the right geographic location

The first thing you should do to increase your salary as a makeup artist is to choose the right geographic location to work in. Salaries of makeup artists vary greatly by location based on the demand for the services of makeup artists in the area and the areas cost of living. It is important for you to choose a geographic location that balances your earning potential and your cost of living for you to increase your salary and maximize the take-home value of your income.

2. Network with industry professionals

The next thing you can do to increase your salary as a makeup artist is to network with other industry professionals. You can do this by finding a more experienced professional within the industry to learn from and practice perfecting your skills and techniques when you are an entry-level makeup artist. Doing this will help you increase your salary by making you more valuable because of your level of skill and by helping you build connections with professionals who are already successful within the industry.

3. Advance within the industry

Next, you can use the connections you build through your networking to advance within the industry. For example, a makeup artist who is working in a department store may advance into an independent makeup artist position by networking with other independent makeup artists.

4. Consider secondary revenue streams

Finally, you can increase your salary as a makeup artist by seeking secondary revenue streams. For example, if you are working as a makeup artist in a local department store or a salon, you may consider building your own business by offering makeup artist services outside of work. You can also seek to learn new skills and pursue continuing education to diversify your skills so you can offer more services to your client base.

Related careers

The following are careers related to the makeup artist role:


Who is the highest paid makeup artist?

Opportunities are Endless

The great thing about makeup artistry is that you can work anywhere. With a job in makeup artistry, the whole world is open to you. You can work anywhere because makeup artists are needed everywhere. If you want to work in California on movie and production sets, you can.

How much does a celebrity makeup artist make?

Topping the list for the highest paid beauty influencers is Huda Kattan (Huda Beauty), who, according to Forbes, is said to have racked up a net worth of $550 million USD (approx.

How much do you get paid to do makeup?

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $108,500 and as low as $15,000, the majority of Celebrity Makeup Artist salaries currently range between $26,000 (25th percentile) to $52,500 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $83,500 annually across the United States.

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