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Makeup Artist

What Does it Take to Be a Makeup Artist?

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

What Do Makeup Artists Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Write makeup sheets and take photos to document specific looks and the products used to achieve the looks.
  • Alter or maintain makeup during productions as necessary to compensate for lighting changes or to achieve continuity of effect.
  • Study production information, such as character descriptions, period settings, and situations, to determine makeup requirements.
  • Confer with stage or motion picture officials and performers to determine desired effects.
  • Demonstrate products to clients, and provide instruction in makeup application.
  • Apply makeup to enhance or alter the appearance of people appearing in productions such as movies.

Skills Needed to be a Makeup Artist

These are the skills Makeup Artists say are the most useful in their careers:

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

  • Body Make-Up Artist
  • Prosthetic Makeup Designer
  • Hair and Makeup Designer
  • Makeup Artist
  • Beauty Therapist

Job Opportunities for Makeup Artists

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.


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.

How Much Does a Makeup Artist Make?

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


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

How much do Makeup Artists make in each U.S. state?

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

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Makeup Artists:

  • 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

How do I Become a Makeup Artist?

Individuals working as a Makeup Artist have obtained the following education levels:


How many years of work experience do I need?


Similar Careers

Those interested in being a Makeup Artist may also be interested in:


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

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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