Job Description of a
Makeup Artist

What does a professional makeup artist do?

Makeup artists may work for film sets, fashion designers, in a salon, with brides, or with everyday clients – every specialization is a different journey. It’s possible to specialize in many fields, but building your makeup artistry skills is key to becoming a reputable artist.

Learn about career options for professional makeup artists

Professional makeup artists are responsible for creating unique makeup looks and inspiring confidence in their clients

Creativity is the one variable across all makeup artistry professions. Each individual look has a purpose, and it is the artist’s job to achieve the desired effect using makeup. Makeup artists temporarily alter the outward appearance of their clients to create the desired outcome, and work with client requests to create new looks.

Many makeup artists also expand their services to include hairstyling, fashion styling, and skincare. These require additional training or possibly a license, but each skill acquired will boost your makeup artist salary!

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Makeup Artist Job Opportunities

A makeup artist can specialize in one or multiple areas, since there are varying fields within the makeup industry that all have different applications and techniques.

These makeup artist job opportunities include:

Applying performance and theatre makeup for makeup artists


TV and Film
Special FX
How to apply editorial makeup

Fashion Makeup

Runway Editorial High Fashion
Learn to apply beauty makeup with online makeup courses

Beauty Makeup

Cosmetic companies Spas and Salons Makeup Counters
How to apply glamour makeup

Glamour Makeup

Celebrity Galas and Events Prom Photoshoots
Learn to apply professional bridal makeup with QC Makeup Academy

Bridal Makeup

Bridal Parties Luxury Brides Destination Brides
Learn to apply airbrush makeup as a professional makeup artist

Airbrush Makeup

Bridal Glamour Editorial Photoshoots

Find more job opportunities for makeup artists on the Beauty Buzz!

Working Conditions for Makeup Artists

As a makeup artist, your primary role is to apply makeup to clients to create a desired look. Your makeup application may be more or less intense depending on your client’s needs and your makeup specialization.

Job opportunities for makeup artists
  • Most makeup artists work in an energetic and fast-paced environment, so physical endurance is an important aspect of a makeup artist’s career. Practicing muscular strength and endurance will prevent discomfort or injury while on the job.

  • Meeting new people and working with clients is a constant in your makeup career. Building your interpersonal skills will advance your client list!

  • Makeup artists work with clients to develop unique makeup looks—your creativity will open doors in the makeup industry!

Find out what it’s like to apply makeup live on TV!

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Average Makeup Artist Salary

Is there money in makeup artistry?

Absolutely! With proper industry training and experience, your salary as a professional makeup artist has the potential to keep moving up.

Learn about a makeup artist salary
Enroll in QC Makeup Academy professional makeup training courses
Makeup artistry at QC's online makeup school
  • A makeup artist’s salary depends on education, experience, and field specialization. The average starting salary for a makeup artist working on a steady hourly wage is between $27,000 and $35,000 USD.

  • A freelance makeup artist’s salary depends on how many clients and contracts he or she works on. The hourly rate of a freelance makeup artist depends on personal pricing, experience, makeup training, and location.

  • Working as a film and television makeup artist can provide an annual salary of about $60,000 to $90,000 USD.

  • Makeup artists working for fashion designers, cosmetic brands, and celebrity makeup artists all have potential to make $100,000 USD +.

Your Makeup Artistry Career Path

For a general idea on how a makeup artist gains experience, follow this sample career path of a freelance makeup artist:

Enroll in QC Makeup Academy's professional online makeup classes

Years 1-2: Working as an assistant makeup artist to a more experienced makeup professional. Separate jobs and projects can improve a makeup artist’s skills and experience with clients.

Years 3-5: Working as a freelance makeup artist to build your reputation and brand name. Continue to build a personal client list for your makeup business.

Years 6-8: Working as a senior freelance makeup artist, employing other makeup artists for your business.

Years 9+: Employing more makeup artists and assistants or intermediate makeup artists. Working for cosmetics brands or taking on preferred projects and makeup clients.

Start Your Makeup Career Today

How can QC’s online makeup school help you?

QC Makeup Academy has helped countless students and graduates gain professional makeup training to start their careers. From exclusive business training and hands-on assignments, you learn all the details and skills of makeup artistry under the instruction of a well-known professional makeup artist.

Start a career in makeup artistry with QCs online makeup training courses
five stars
“I am enrolled in the master & pro makeup so far so good they have templates for the assignments which is handy and get all booklets sent to you so no printing, there is a forum you can chat to others about your course and also a Facebook group for everyone enrolled so you are not alone.
After I have finished the master I will go into finishing the pro and will be enrolling into hair styling and airbrushing and amazing affordable payment plans even for a mum of 2 on a parenting payment!
Thanks QC for being so flexible and just amazing ! You are so much better than the rest!”

– Katie-Anne Hustler

Read over 200 student reviews like this one on QC’s Facebook Page!

As a QC graduate, you have access to your online resources for life. QC provides you with a certificate demonstrating your professional training which will boost your career and salary.

Gain industry contacts by networking with students on the Student Forum and on QC’s social media platforms!

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