The makeup artistry industry is one that experience constant growth, evolution and change. If you do a quick Google search for a makeup artist within your area, there are without a doubt at least a handful of results—and millions worldwide.
With so many people pursuing a career in makeup artistry, you’ve got to wonder—why? In this post, we overview the perks of being a makeup artist including benefits such as travel, pay, and glamour. Read on to find out what all the hype is about, and if a career as makeup artist is really all its cracked up to be.
Before we go on, we’d like to point out that makeup artistry is hard work. While it may seem easy enough, not just anyone can pick up a brush and expertly craft a well-shaded, eye shape-appropriate evening look. Not just anyone can line and fill a classic red lip in under a minute with no errors, smudging or color transfer.
Not just anyone can bring out a bride’s natural beauty and magnify it so she looks absolutely stunning in every single wedding photo—from 8am to midnight without a single touch up. While, yes, makeup artistry comes with a lot of perks—you should also have a strong appreciation for the talented men and women who do the job on a daily basis. It takes time, commitment, and constant skill improvement.
Perk One: You get to Play
While the career as a makeup artist is definitely one filled with hard work, it’s also one filled with play and experimentation. What happens when we mix this color with that color? What happens if I move my contour line up just a pinch? Does this setting powder work best with that foundation or this foundation? Part of perfecting your craft includes experimenting with the products you have, products you don’t have, and all the different skin types and tones your clients may have. The classic winged eyeliner and red lip didn’t happen by accident, after all. It took a lot of time, testing, and they eventually gained huge popularity and took their places as classic makeup looks. Who knows—you could discover the next one.
Perk Two: Meeting New People
No matter if you work with brides, theater actors, celebrities, or politicians—you’re bound to meet some amazing people. Sure, you’ll have those typical grumpy clients with whom you’d rather not work again, but you could also make long-lasting friendships and build up a list of loyal, repeat clients. Many of the strongest friendships makeup artists have were formed while in the industry—whether it was at a trade show, conference, or job. Never underestimate the power of meeting new people!
Perk Three: Travel
Many makeup artists are asked to travel for work at least once in their career in makeup artistry, and often their travel costs are reimbursed. This means you might get to travel to places and cities you’ve always wanted to go, without spending a dime to get there. Many makeup artists travel for photo shoots, different advertising campaigns, beauty shows, fashion shows, and many other reasons. You’ll get to experience plenty on your time off, and maybe even pick up a few souvenirs along the way. Plus, it will look fantastic on your resume that you’ve traveled for a job—it means you’re that much more in demand!
Perk Four: Make Your own Schedule
As a makeup artist, you’ll be able to make your own schedule and decide when you want and can take on jobs. If you’re a busy mother or have an existing full time job, you’ll be able to work around it. Most makeup gigs are booked for weekends, which would allow you to work another job during the week—at least when you’re getting started. Makeup artistry is a fairly easy career to make a smooth transition over to from another career, so you wouldn’t be left high and dry and without enough income while you begin.
Perk Five: Makeup Discounts
Who doesn’t love to save money? As a makeup artist, you can apply to countless makeup pro discount programs—including 40% off at MAC. So, you’ll be able to build both your professional kit and your personal makeup collection with high quality products at a serious discount. Score!
Perk Six: Recognition
As a makeup artist, you’ll likely have the opportunity to work on editorial makeup projects. This means you’ll be able to get your name into magazine credits! If a bride submits her photographs to a wedding photo website like Style Me Pretty or The Knot, you can also request that your name be credited there. This will do wonders for your exposure, reach, and portfolio. Plus, who doesn’t like to feel a little famous every once in a while? Well-known makeup artists are often asked to write columns for major magazines, work with companies like Sephora, and even get their own TV shows or television segments. The possibilities are endless, so get your name out there!
Perk Seven: Glamour
Obviously the glamour of being a makeup artist and working in the backstage hustle and bustle is attractive. You might get to work backstage at New York Fashion Week for a major designer, or maybe you’re working on a well-known television show with some of the world’s hottest up and coming actors. Perhaps you’re working for a major advertising company or well-known luxury brand. No matter what you’re doing, you’re sure to feel the excitement and energy all around the room.
This type of glamour isn’t easily accessible in many other careers, but goes hand-in-hand with those within the fashion and beauty industries. It’s a unique trait of having a hands-on career in makeup—you’re able to experience the charisma of others around you!
Perk Eight: Make People Feel Beautiful
For many, this is the best part of working as a makeup artist and the #1 perk. You’ll get to leave your clients with a smile on their face and will get to make people feel beautiful. You’ll be able to take what you know and apply it to any skin tone, maturity, face shape, or skin type and make your client both look and feel incredibly beautiful. Making others feel good will, in turn, make you feel even better. It’s a beautiful cycle—literally and figuratively.
Perk Nine: You’ll Take it to the Bank!
Makeup artistry is an industry that actually pays quite well. You can make a large amount per hour, which will add up to a substantial annual income—especially if you widen your skill set and offer editorial, evening, and other year-round makeup services. Bridal makeup is one of the most well-paying services you’ll offer, but it can sometimes be limited to specific times of year and certain seasons. Many makeup artists have made plenty of money, and some have even become very well known and celebrities in their own rights! If you get to work on the makeup team for a fashion show, television show, or for celebrity clients you’ll be able to charge more, and will also have the opportunity to join an agency that will regularly book you work.
Perk Ten: Career Versatility
As you now know, there is much more to makeup artistry than simply doing one kind of makeup application. The career of a makeup artist is one of great versatility. If you get tired of doing bridal makeup, change it up and pitch your editorial makeup services. There’s always the chance to evolve, change, and switch gears. It’s a thrilling ride that you’re sure to love.
UPDATE: Learn more about MUA benefits with this follow-up on the perks of being a makeup artist!