How to Become a Makeup Artist

You can with these five steps.
  1. Enroll in a Makeup Program at Cosmetology School. The only way to truly master your craft is with an education. …
  2. Build Your Portfolio with Makeup Photos and Other Visuals. …
  3. Be Social with Clients and Hair Stylists. …
  4. Network with People in the Makeup Industry. …
  5. Learn New Makeup Styles and Trends.


Average salary

The level of experience, location, industry, specialization, and the caliber of portfolios are some of the variables that affect the average makeup artist’s pay. Because makeup artists may work independently and set their own rates as freelancers or in salons and retail establishments that pay hourly wages, there is a wide range in the pay scale. Working in television, movies, and special effects allows many makeup artists to earn higher salaries, and some of them have even become well-known for their advanced abilities.

What does a makeup artist do?

Cosmetic techniques are applied by makeup artists to improve or change someone’s appearance. The makeup artist will use makeup to enhance colors, highlight particular features, or conceal blemishes.

Makeup artists typically work in places like beauty salons, but they can also work on film or television sets, with professional photographers, in theater productions, or even as independent contractors. They use cosmetic products and techniques to create specific looks for their clients or employers.

Makeup artists must take into account lighting, a person’s skin tone, hair color, the products they have on hand, and any tools being used, such as a digital camera or high-definition film camera, in order to achieve different looks. By enrolling in specialized beauty programs and receiving on-the-job training, makeup artists can learn how to do this.

How to become a makeup artist

1. Get the right training.

You must first obtain your makeup artists certification in order to work as a makeup artist. The way you do this varies from state to state. You can obtain a license and only practice makeup artistry in some states. Others combine makeup artistry with other cosmetology courses, requiring you to obtain a full cosmetology license. Some states dont require certification at all. Advanced training is still advised, though, so that you can acquire the skills required for career success.

If you want to work as a makeup artist, you should research the state’s requirements for certification. A makeup training course should last between 300 and 600 hours, or roughly six months. This takes between 1500 and 2000 hours, or roughly one to two years, for states that demand a full cosmetology license.

2. Gain relevant work experience.

If you want to work as a makeup artist, you should obtain some relevant work experience in addition to a formal education. Some possible work you can consider includes:

You can decide if becoming a makeup artist is the career path you want to take by working one of these jobs, which will give you an understanding of how makeup artists work. Additionally, it will enable you to network productively within the sector and enhance and broaden your resume in preparation for future employment.

3. Build a portfolio.

You should start building a portfolio as you pursue education and gain relevant experience. Take excellent before and after pictures as you apply makeup to clients. Then, you can create a portfolio by gathering images of your best work. You may also include a succinct statement outlining the tasks you undertook and the appearance you aimed for. Your portfolio will aid in future job searches or draw in freelance clients.

Make sure to obtain permission from anyone whose image appears in your portfolio before using it. Include more images of this kind of work if there is a particular makeup artistry style you would like to practice, such as stage makeup. To let employers know what you’re capable of, try to demonstrate a variety of your work.

4. Look for jobs or become a freelancer.

You must choose how you want to launch your career after graduating from your makeup program and compiling a portfolio of your finest work. Some people opt to look for work nearby, submitting applications to beauty parlors or neighborhood theaters You should speak to your cosmetology school about the opportunities since they probably have a program to assist recent graduates in finding employment. Working for a reputable company is a great way to launch your career and acquire some necessary experience.

Others choose to become freelance makeup artists. If you want more control over your schedule, want to travel, and have a lot of drive, working as a freelancer is a fantastic option. To find clients, freelancers must put in a lot of effort, especially in the beginning. Freelancing may be difficult for new makeup artists to begin with, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Remember that your decision isnt final. You could always begin working at a neighborhood salon before switching to freelancing once you have some experience and contacts. If freelancing doesn’t work out, you can use the portfolio you’ve built to help you find a full-time position.

Frequently asked questions

The following are a few of the most typical queries about becoming a makeup artist:

What additional skills should a makeup artist have?

Makeup artists should practice techniques that will improve their ability to communicate with customers and manage a business. Strong communication skills are great to develop. Additionally, learning the fundamentals of math and computer usage will help you market your services online and charge customers.

How can I attract clients as a freelance makeup artist?

If you’re starting a career as a freelance makeup artist, there are many ways to draw clients. The best place to start is with family and friends. Inform them of the services you provide and request that they spread the word about you to their own family and friends. Additionally, you can network with individuals you met while attending beauty school or working at prior jobs. Finally, you can market yourself online. Engage in social media activity to advertise your services. Additionally, you can create a website where potential clients can view your prior work.

What does cosmetology school cost?

The cost of beauty school varies from school to school. Depending on the caliber of the institution, your location, and the program you are enrolling in, you can anticipate spending anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 on average.

How should I display my portfolio?

A website or social media account is the simplest way to present your portfolio. Making a simple portfolio website is simple, affordable, and improves your appearance. Another option is to simply create a different Instagram account and upload all of your pictures there. Select a platform that is both appropriate for the kind of job you want and simple for other people to see. If you’re applying to a high-end salon, for instance, a website is probably preferable; however, if you’re a freelancer trying to find local clients, a social media profile is acceptable.


What qualifications do I need to be a makeup artist?

You’ll need:
  • design skills and knowledge.
  • the ability to work well with your hands.
  • artistic and creative flair.
  • the ability to work well with others.
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail.
  • to be flexible and open to change.
  • excellent verbal communication skills.
  • the ability to use your initiative.

Do makeup artists get paid well?

When determining the national average salary for a position, it’s important to take both the average salary and salary range into account. In the United States, a makeup artist makes an average annual salary of $31. 44 per hour with a salary range between $7. 25 and $94. 45 per hour.

Is it hard to become a makeup artist?

Short Answer: Yes, It’s a Challenge Makeup artist is one of the most difficult careers in the beauty industry. Finding the jobs that really excite you, developing your skills, and establishing professional connections all take time.

How long does it take to become a MUA?

In California, there are many institutions that provide instruction in permanent makeup. Typically, training lasts up to six months, or 300 hours.

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