How to Become a Makeup Artist


Authored by Kimberly Back in Makeup and Cosmetics 
Published on 06-16-2009

A career as a makeup artist is becoming a highly desired profession. Makeup artists have an eye for detail, trends, and creativity. They are craftsmen and craftswomen who apply foundations and shadows to the body, like painters apply color to a canvas. Whether your goal is to work in a high class boutique, backstage during Fashion Week, or behind the scenes of a major motion picture, becoming a makeup artist requires some very important qualities and characteristics:

Education: In the world of makeup, education is critical. Some choose to attend formal makeup schools to learn advanced theory and technique, however, the only required education is a high school diploma. Another tip is to take theater, drawing, painting, anatomy, and photography classes at a college or university of your choosing. Even if you don’t choose to take formal classes beyond receiving a high school diploma, in the makeup world, education always means self-study. Anyone who wants to have a career as a makeup artist should constantly be up-to-date on new products, tools, and application techniques. Even the most seasoned professionals have to stay abreast of the latest makeup trends. This is a profession where education and study will always be crucial.

Experience: Having experience in the makeup world is key to finding employment as a makeup artist. Recruit your friends as volunteers and apply makeup to them. Take photos of your work and then build a portfolio. Talk to the person working the makeup counter at your favorite department store and check for openings. If they have no positions available for pay, ask if you can shadow as an unpaid intern. Also, find makeup artists in your area and intern for them to gain experience. Take advantage of the prom and wedding seasons and freelance as a makeup artist. Get creative, and find ways to gain experience for your resume.

Face forward: This qualification can have several meanings. When someone hears the word makeup, that person immediately thinks of the face. So, when you introduce yourself as a makeup artist you should try and sell your skills using your own canvas. Use your face to illustrate the latest makeup trends and techniques. Keep in mind that you should tailor your look to suit your situation, and the job that you want to secure.

Putting your best face forward can also mean flashing your winning smile and personality. Makeup artists work with a variety of clients with varying styles and personalities. It is always important to have a fun, outgoing attitude and presence. You will secure more clients that way.

Many people dream of having a career in the makeup world. It is an exciting, fast-paced environment where the creative, and detail-oriented can thrive. If you are looking to begin a career as a makeup artist, make sure that you continuously educate yourself, that you work to gain experience, and that you put your best face forward. Following these tips will put you in the right direction toward a successful career as a makeup artist.


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