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What is a makeup artist?

What does a makeup artist do? How does one become a makeup artist? Complete makeup artist job description, definition and steps to becoming a makeup artist.

 How do I find a makeup artist job and what are a make up artist's job duties?

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Makeup Artist Definition and Job Description

All art needs a place to be seen or experienced, and in the world of makeup artistry that canvas is the human body. A makeup artist uses many different types of media:
  • Makeup
  • Paint
  • Hair
  • Prosthetics
  • Molds and Casts
These items help the artist to create a work of art using a human form - by enhancing that person’s beauty or appearance, or by creating an entirely different fantasy-based appearance or effect.

How Do I Become a Makeup Artist?

Most who plan to work in makeup artistry require training. This generally involves going to school, where the student will learn basic techniques and upon graduation, receive a certificate or diploma. Many makeup-specific courses are shorter and bestow a certification, whereas a complete beauty, cosmetology or aesthetics course of study will end with a diploma and/or eligibility for a license in that field.
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Once you are fully trained and prepared, you have a number of employment opportunities available to you:
  • Retail Makeup Stores
  • Makeup Counter in Large Store
  • Special Events (Weddings, Proms, Award Shows)
  • Salons and Spas
  • Theater and other Live Dramatic Events
  • Photography Studio
  • Magazine Photo Shoots
  • Runway Fashion Shows
  • Television Sets
  • Film Sets
  • Freelance
Working from the ground up, you could begin at a store, salon, or spa to gain real-world experience, hone your technique, and build a good portfolio. Eventually, you can begin moving into more specialized areas. Work for a local television, photo studio or small magazine may be easier to break into, though freelancing may provide opportunities in larger venues.

How Do I Find a Job as a Makeup Artist?

Some cosmetology schools and beauty programs do offer job placement assistance. However, if you find yourself on your own, you can also:
  • View online makeup artist jobs
  • Volunteer your services to attract people’s attention.
  • Do makeup for friends and family and ask them to refer you.
  • Search Craigslist and other job boards for film and television projects—especially in film-heavy cities such as Los Angeles, New York and Vancouver.
  • Take your portfolio to a boutique, salon or other retailer.
  • Look for an internship that could turn into a permanent position.
  • Do your best work at every job and be personable!

Path to Success

Once trained and you start working, high-profile clients will refer you if they like your work, so growing and improving is the best way to insure continued success!


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