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How to become a Make-Up Artist

Make-Up Artist
avg. starting salary

You hate Monday because you hate your job. You should be a Makeup Artist… As a Makeup Artist, you'll be tasked with creating whatever looks your clients need. This could be helping to sell a range of cosmetics, styling models for fashion or photo shoots, helping enhance the image of a television or film star, or even creating prosthetics for those cast in horror stories. Although day-to-day responsibilities may vary, a Makeup Artist's tasks will typically include:
  • Researching and devising looks to fit clients' briefs
  • Applying makeup and hair products
  • Potentially specialising in certain areas or techniques, such as special effects, theatrical makeup, air brushing or high definition.
  • Photographing creations so they can be replicated later
  • Carrying out touch-ups during long shoots
  • Removing makeup and storing accessories at the end of each day

To be successful in this position, a genuine passion for the beauty and cosmetics industry is an absolute pre-requisite. You may also be working for long hours, and to a strict deadline to ensure shoots or filming go smoothly, so reliability and punctuality are similarly essential. It’s also worth bearing in mind that most Makeup Artists are freelance, so self-determination is key. You'll also generally be expected to have all your own kit for each job. A good Makeup Artist will be:
  • Bursting with creativity to design new and exciting looks
  • Enthusiastic about new products
  • Able to work under pressure
  • Tactful and patient
  • Excellent at communicating with clients and those having their makeup done
  • Meticulous about attention to detail

"The best thing about being a Makeup Artist is the variation - no two days are the same and you never know what the next client will ask you for. I've worked on everything from album covers to making people look undead for zombie photoshoots. It's exciting and creative, although time management and a willingness to stand for long periods are essential. Provided you work hard, you can earn great money too."

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