How to Become a Make-Up Artist

Become a Make-Up Artist

In our review of different careers, we take a look at how to become a make-up artist.  We also look at what skills and attributes you need to become a make-up artist.

What Does a Make-up Artist Do?

A make-up artist applies makeup and styles hair for people who are working in front of an audience or camera in theatre, film or TV.

As a make-up artist, it would be your job to create the look your client needs.  This might range from creating a simple look using not much more than a bit of face powder, to applying special effects and prosthetics.

Your day to day duties as a make-up artist might include things such as doing the initial make up and then standing by in case a touch up is needed, planning and researching make up suitable for future jobs, styling hair, taking photos so that you can keep the look the same over long periods of filming, using special effects to completely change someone's appearance. 

Your working hours as a make-up artist will vary.  The hours are likely to be long and irregular  and you may also be required to travel and stay away from home.

Is Becoming a Make-up Artist Right For Me?

The following skills and attributes are important for any make-up artist to have:

  • The ability to make conversation with anyone
  • A steady hand and creative flair
  • The ability to concentrate on a task for prolonged periods
  • Excellent teamwork skills
  • Punctuality and reliability
  • The ability to work under pressure

How Much Can a Make-up Artist Earn?

A make-up artist usually works freelance and will get paid per job.  As a make-up artist you could expect to earn approximately £20 an hour, but of course, this will depend on skills and experience.

What Qualifications Do I Need To Become a Make-up Artist?

To become a make-up artist you need an excellent portfolio of work.  You would benefit by completing a qualification such as Level 3 Diploma in Theatrical, Special Effects, Hair and Media Make-up.