Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / MAY. 28, 2014
version 9, draft 9

How to Become a Make-Up Artist in the US

A career in makeup artistry can be glamorous, playful and even pretty exhausting on most occasions. It’s an art form, like painting except you’re painting people instead of canvas. As with all forms of artistic expression your skills will improve with practice.

Career Prospects

Qualified make-up artists may find themselves in a variety of exciting work environments. Salons, spas, department store cosmetic counters and even photography studios are all wonderful options that usually offer full-time hours and benefits. Freelance gigs such as fashion magazine shoots, stage plays or television and movie sets are also worth consideration. They offer larger paychecks, excellent networking opportunities and are impressive additions to any resume.

Practice Makes Perfect

The first and most obvious step is to do what you love, apply makeup! Not just on yourself, but on others. You may find that “perfect liquid line” you mastered years ago is not looking all that steady once you put it on someone else’s face. It takes a while to warm up to your own hand placement when working on other people. Oh and about those people, think variety. A variety of features, skin tones, skin types, eye colors, hair colors... all of which need to be taken into account when creating a complementary look for someone.

Study the Craft

Read books. There are tons on the trade explaining everything from complementary colors to compensation for set lights. Devour material on your profession (that goes for everyone, not just artists). Collect pictures. Looks you love, looks you want to try to recreate or simply images that inspire you (they don’t all need to have anything to do with makeup directly).  The idea is to see what’s out there, get familiar with the creativity of others and get your own creative juices flowing.

Helpful Hints

As you practice applications, take photographs of your work. They may not be brag worthy at first but they’ll show you how far you’ve come and eventually they’ll start to look good enough to be saved in what’s going to be your portfolio. Your portfolio is essential to landing jobs once you’re ready to get out there and show the world your craft.

A great way to find models and get your name out there when you’re just starting out is at the local schools. Donate your services to the theater and film departments. This gets you experience, your name in the credits, and it’s a great networking opportunity for future projects that will pay you.  

Qualifications

No formal education or certification is necessary to simply apply makeup in the U.S. It’s when you want to provide additional services like waxing, tweezing and facials that you need an Esthetician or Cosmetology license. Requirements vary by state so look up your state’s Board of Cosmetology for the correct information.

In addition to providing beautiful make-up applications, to be successful in the field you’ll also have to possess traits such as:

  • Patience                               
  • Creativity                            
  • Be detail oriented
  • Work well under pressure
  • Have excellent people skills
  • The ability to work long hours
  • Willingness to keep up with current trends and research looks of the past
  • Have the ability to take direction & collaborate with others

Getting Hired

Working at a salon or makeup counter in a department store is a great way to have job stability. If you take the freelance route, having a website and business cards is a must. Promote yourself! Get in touch with wedding planners, event staffing agencies, and bridal shops for freelance work.  Some cosmetic companies also have a list of freelancers they pull from for big in-store promotions, fashion shows or simply when a regular staff member calls in sick and there’s no one to cover. You want to get on as many “on-call” lists as possible. Word of mouth is the most powerful advertising tool in your arsenal so meet people, don’t turn down gigs (unless you’re really being taken advantage of) and always act professionally.

Salary

It’s not uncommon to be paid a day rate per project in this business. As far as hourly paid positions, these are the earnings in the United States on average. Set your day rate with these numbers in mind.

Industry

Hourly Wage

Annual Salary

Film & Video Production

 $40.04

 $83,290

Performing Arts Companies

 $31.31

 $65,120

Personal Care Services

 $14.35

 $29,850

Amusement Parks

 $20.45

 $42,340

It takes more than just a passion for make-up artistry to excel in this industry. You can be amazing at applications but that doesn’t guarantee you work. If you’re truly talented, reliable and able to conduct yourself in a professional manner you’ll be successful in the field. It’s a vibrant career path. Enjoy the journey!

Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'

LEAVE A COMMENT

0 comments

 

RELATED ARTICLES

How to Become a Tattoo Artist
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / APR 18, 2014

Do you have good eye-hand coordination, the ability to draw and an interest in body art? If yes, the job of a tattoo artist could be ideal for you. Tattoo artists use...

Genealogist in the US
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / NOV 27, 2014

Genealogy is the study of the descent of an individual, family or communities. Genealogists, also known as genealogy studies professionals, conduct research to identify...

cytotechnologist
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / NOV 24, 2014

Cytotechnologists are laboratory specialists who examine tissues and tiny cell samples to detect abnormalities in cellular patterns. They play an important role in...

Palaeontologist
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / NOV 23, 2014

Paleontology is the scientific study of plant and animal fossils. Paleontologists strive to understand how life was like millions of years ago and how it has evolved over...

How to Become an Andrologist in the US
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / NOV 14, 2014

Andrology is a field in medicine that focuses on male reproductive health. Unlike urologists who address diseases of the urinary and sexual organs in both females and...

How to Become a Criminologist in the US
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / NOV 14, 2014

Criminologists help law enforcement officers and agencies understand why criminals engage in criminal behavior. They also play an important role in combating crime and...

Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'
G up arrow