Have you always wanted to become a makeup artist in a warm climate with a buzzing business community? Look no further than Brisbane, Australia – sunny and sophisticated, this city is the third most populous city in the country behind Sydney and Melbourne, and an amazing location to jumpstart your makeup career.
So how do you get started in this exciting city? Read on for a full guide to starting your career as a makeup artist in Brisbane, including the best neighborhoods, makeup artists to follow, and what salary to expect!
Where to Work in Brisbane
Location: Fortitude Valley
Preferred Makeup Jobs: Freelance makeup artists, mobile makeup artists
Industries: Entertainment, Salon and Spa
Preferred Makeup Style: Bridal, creative and everyday makeup
Steeped in history, Fortitude Valley was Australia’s first entertainment district, and many of its original buildings stand proudly alongside modern ones. The streets are filled with offbeat cafes and restaurants, and aspiring makeup artists who start their career in Fortitude Valley can expect young, street-smart clientele. If bridal makeup is your specialty, or you love to stretch your creative muscles, this location will allow you to thrive.
This Brisbane neighborhood is also home to Chinatown, which adds even more of an urban feel to the area!
Location: City Center
Preferred Makeup Jobs: Beauty counter makeup artists, freelance makeup artists
Industries: Entertainment, Retail, Salon and Spa
Preferred Makeup Style: Everyday wear, high-end and bridal makeup
Entertainment, culture, and scenic views abound in the heart of Brisbane City. Among the museums, botanical gardens and historical monuments lies Australia’s most popular pedestrian mall, Queen Street Mall, which is an important location for certified makeup artists to be aware of.
This shopping center is home to more than 700 shops including various high-end makeup stores where beauty professionals can jumpstart their careers. If you love the idea of working behind a beauty counter, you’ll enjoy the amount of tourists that come to major makeup retailers in the heart of Brisbane for advice on the latest products. On average, this shopping center receives over 26 million visitors each year, so you’ll certainly be busy putting your professional makeup training to use in one of the salons or retail stores.
Preferred Makeup Jobs: Freelance makeup artists, beauty counter makeup artists
Industries: Retail, Salon and Spa
Preferred Makeup Style: Every day wear, bridal makeup
Just 2 kilometres away from Brisbane’s buzzing city center lies Paddington, which is a totally charming inner suburb made up of ridges, hills, and charming older homes. Although known for its residential feel, Paddington is highly unique in that many houses along Caxton Street have been converted into shops (and salons!), creating a boutique-like environment.
Starting a makeup artistry business in this thriving boutique community is desirable for many freelance makeup artists. With the city only a short distance away, Paddington is an excellent location to hone your professional makeup skills while meeting new people and soaking up the Australian sunshine. Think about it – many clients will love the convenience of being able to hire a local makeup artist who is actually based in their neighborhood!
Preferred Makeup Jobs: Freelance makeup artists, mobile makeup artists
Industries: Retail, Entertainment
Preferred Makeup Style: Creative, everyday makeup
Creative and trendy, Teneriffe is one of Brisbane’s oldest suburbs. In order to become a makeup artist on these riverside streets, a flair for the creative is key! Because of its small size, and proximity to the shoreline, Teneriffe’s residents are an outdoorsy bunch who like having services (such as makeup artists) nearby. If you decide to start your career as a makeup artist in this urban area, you’ll be able to get to know the majority of your clients on a personal level, as many of them will be regulars.
Be sure to have those colorful palettes at the ready, as well as helpful beauty tips, which will keep those creative clients coming back!
Location: West End
Preferred Makeup Jobs: Freelance makeup artists, mobile makeup artists, beauty counter makeup artists
Industries: Salon and Spa, Entertainment
Preferred Makeup Style: Bridal, everyday, high-end makeup
If you’ve always imagined your career as a makeup artist to be artistic and dynamic, Brisbane’s West End suburb is the place for you. While the other neighborhoods on this list share commonalities, the West End is in a class all its own! Art is a huge pastime in this neighborhood, and galleries can be found at every turn – you’ll get some unique makeup ideas just by walking down the street!
As many artists (and art students) live in the West End, you can expect a youthful clientele with a generally modest income. Much of the population’s shopping is done at weekend markets that bring both grocers, designers and artists out to network and sell their services. One way to get your name out there is by attending events at the local art galleries and making regular appearances at the markets – you never know who will be looking for a certified makeup artist for an upcoming wedding or event, so keep those business cards handy!
Brisbane Makeup Artists You Should Be Following
With over 11 years in the beauty industry, Mandi Anastasis is a mobile makeup artist specializing in wedding and bridal makeup. Founder of The Blush Clique, a professional mobile makeup service based in Brisbane, Mandi is constantly on the move creating makeup looks for editorial, weddings, and special occasions.
Her Instagram account features glowing makeup finishes that are so bright, they rival the Australian sun!
Although Napoleon himself is from Sydney, his makeup brand has locations all over Australia and New Zealand, with many concentrated in the Brisbane area. As a leading Australian makeup artist, Napoleon focuses on high-fashion makeup looks and has launched both a makeup academy and a manual to help fans recreate those looks, and become makeup artists themselves. Be sure to follow his Instagram feed for a closer look at his gorgeous products, makeup looks, and hot new makeup trends!
As an Australian model and actress, Emma Chen knows a thing or two about makeup artistry! Based in sunny Brisbane, Emma lends her makeup expertise to fashion boutiques, high-end magazine editorials, special events, and more. Her Instagram is an absolutely gorgeous, quintessentially Australian collection of fresh, glowing skin, wavy hair, and dramatic eyes.
She also offers “Look and Learn” workshops in which she recreates an intricate makeup look for her audience. Be sure to follow Emma for total beauty inspiration and check out one of her workshops if you end up in Brisbane!
Not only does freelance makeup artist Erin Stuart (Erin Stuart Styles) offer a number of different makeup services, including bridal makeup, special occasions, and photo shoots, she’s also fully trained in hair styling. She can offer full packages to her many clients in both Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast!
Following Erin on Facebook and Instagram will allow her beautifully crafted makeup and hair designs to make their way into your feed every day, providing you with serious inspiration. One huge advantage of being located on the Sunshine Coast is that each look Erin creates is sun-kissed and glowing!
When it comes to creating a gorgeous smoky eye and goddess-like skin, Louismarie Lelo is an expert. Based in Brisbane and working out of a private studio, Louismarie maintains a social media personality full of looks that will have any makeup artist swooning (and also following ASAP!). Taking a look at the feedback she receives from thrilled clients is a testament to how hard she works, and an inspiration to all emerging makeup artists!
Follow Louismarie on Instagram for a guaranteed daily dose of gorgeous!
An MUA’s Salary in Brisbane
The average makeup artist salary in Brisbane, Australia is $47,000 per year. Of course, this amount is dependent on a number of different factors, one of which is the level of education and experience under your belt. Obtaining a makeup artist certification will demonstrate to employers and clients that you have both the knowledge and skills to create a variety of professional makeup looks. Having both basic and advanced techniques to show off will build your makeup career on solid ground!
If you’re just beginning your career as a makeup artist, your salary will reflect your level of experience. This will result in an entry-level salary, but that’s nothing to worry about – it will increase as you improve your skill set and work with a variety of different clients. Another factor to keep in mind is the location that you decide to work in. Our list of the best Brisbane neighborhoods is a great place to start, but know that each area offers different salaries based on the people that live there.
Sunny and busy Brisbane is a wonderful location for any aspiring makeup artist! With professional makeup training and a positive attitude, this area of Australia is yours to discover and succeed in!