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What Does it Take to Be a Makeup Artist?

Makeup Artist Definition Apply makeup to performers to reflect period, setting, and situation of their role.

Life As a Makeup Artist

  • Assess performers’ skin type to ensure that makeup will not cause break-outs or skin irritations.
  • Advise hairdressers on the hairstyles required for character parts.
  • Design rubber or plastic prostheses that can be used to change performers’ appearances.
  • Confer with stage or motion picture officials and performers to determine desired effects.
  • Select desired makeup shades from stock, or mix oil, grease, and coloring to achieve specific color effects.
  • Apply makeup to enhance or alter the appearance of people appearing in productions such as movies.

Things a Makeup Artist Should Know How to Do

Makeup Artists state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Types of Makeup Artist Jobs

  • Prosthetic Makeup Designer
  • Body Make-Up Artist
  • Commercial Makeup Artist
  • Special Effects Designer
  • Hair and Makeup Designer

Makeup Artist Employment Estimates

There were about 4,800 jobs for Makeup Artist in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 12.5% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 600 new jobs for Makeup Artist by 2026. There will be an estimated 600 positions for Makeup Artist per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Makeup Artists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Makeup Artist are North Carolina, Nevada, and District of Columbia. Watch out if you plan on working in Washington, Indiana, or California. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Makeup Artists Salary

Makeup Artists make between $22,460 and $130,710 a year.

Salary Ranges for Makeup Artists

Makeup Artists who work in District of Columbia, Tennessee, or California, make the highest salaries.

How much do Makeup Artists make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
California $79,820
District of Columbia $84,320
Florida $63,950
Georgia $58,100
Hawaii $47,720
Louisiana $35,720
Nevada $37,340
New York $77,030
Tennessee $88,090
Texas $42,550

Tools & Technologies Used by Makeup Artists

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Makeup Artists may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • Web browser software
  • Email software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Facebook
  • Intuit QuickBooks
  • Twitter
  • Appointment scheduling software
  • Blogging software
  • Instagram
  • Client databases

Becoming a Makeup Artist

What education or degrees do I need to become a Makeup Artist?

Makeup Artist Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Makeup Artist?

Makeup Artist Work Experience

Who Employs Makeup Artists?

Makeup Artist Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Makeup Artist Industries

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Image Credit: Tiffany Bumgardner via Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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