How Do You Become A Makeup Artist?

15th August 2022

How Do You Become A Makeup Artist?
Georgia Carter

Georgia Carter

How on earth do you become a makeup artist and what are the tricks of the trade to become a professional, well-known one? Have you got a passion for all the latest makeup trends or do you dream of working on a film set doing the A-list celeb’s makeup? Do you want to know who the best black makeup artists are, and have you been obsessed with hair & makeup forever and see it becoming a career? Then keep reading to find out more.  

What Is A Makeup Artist? 

A makeup artist, or MUA – for short – are the ones who keep everybody on a film or tv set or on a fashion shoot/runway looking their best. You can also become a bridal makeup artist. The list of makeup artist jobs is endless. There can be celebrity makeup artists or those who work for commercials and fashion shoots – which could involve celebs of course. You will use makeup to conceal, tint, and in brief alter a person’s face to highlight their best features. MUAs can also work on the whole body, not just the face. For example, Tegan Taylor was the MUA for Avatar and using a blend of computer technology and makeup, she was able to use pigments with phospherant qualities so that these could be picked up easily by the cameras.  

Typically, you will work as a freelance makeup artist and the settings in which you can work are so varied. Finding your niche and working towards a specific portfolio will help you in the long run, as people will start to rely on your skills. 

Cosmetology Course

MUAs may have gone to a makeup artist school and taken a course in Cosmetology, where they will learn about the application of beauty treatment. This in general includes; hairstyling, skin care, cosmetics, manicures/pedicures, non-permanent hair removal such as waxing and sugaring, and permanent hair removal processes such as electrology and intense pulsed light. But you can also find a course which is tailored more to just makeup. 

Top Tips To Follow As A MUA

  • Practice makes perfect – in your own time, practice and play with techniques  
  • Enroll on makeup courses – by going on a cosmetology course, you can get a makeup artist certification  
  • Understand lighting and your surroundings on each project 
  • Create your own portfolio to send on to potential clients 
  • Research time periods – you may want to work as a MUA in costume dramas, but this will also be useful to have the knowledge/skills on your CV
  • Keep up with current trends – this is vital as you always want to be ahead of the curve
  • Create a professional online presence – so many MUAs now have a social media presence 
  • Make sure your brushes are clean – when you work on a project, this is essential 
  • Networking with people in the industry – keep making connections with others in the industry as you never know they may give you your next job
  • Apprenticeship – these can be valuable as you can learn on the job and acquire the skills needed to take on larger, more professional roles

Famous Makeup Artists 

  • Bobbi Brown 
  • Lisa Eldridge
  • Gucci Westman
  • Pat McGrath
  • Mary Greenwell 
  • Matthew VanLeeuwen
  • Mario Deivanovic
  • Allan Avendano 

Makeup Artist Salary 

As a professional makeup artist, the salary you can expect to earn varies depending on your experience and reputability. So for example, if you put into Google, ‘Bobbi Brown makeup artist’, you will see she has a net worth of $50 million and she has a ‘Bobbi Brown Pro Artist’ you can book an appointment with around the UK to do your makeup and have a constitution with. A bridal look appointment is £50 or an hour.  

On average, in the US, you may earn anything between $40,000 and $70,000 per year and in the UK between £25,000 and £40,000 per year. MUAs luckily earn a lot of money, so make those connections and get yourself out there. 

Now, in terms of a film makeup artist, in the US, they can earn anything between $74,000 and $92,000 per year. If you want to become a celebrity makeup artist, then you can find yourself earning anything between $60,000 and $86,000 per year. Think of all those red carpets and press junkets actors have to do – someone needs to help them get ready. 

Celebrities Doing Their Own Makeup 

It has been known that some actors and celebs do their own makeup – well some of the time anyway. They chose to not use a hair and makeup artist and create their own makeup looks for the red carpet or any event where they may be snapped by the paparazzi. Here are just a few examples: 

  • Kate Winslet
  • Kate Middleton
  • Gwen Stafani
  • Olivia Palermo 
  • Diane Kruger
  • Blake Lively
  • Meghan Markle 
  • Zendaya 
  • Jameela Jamil 

Where Can I Find A Black Makeup Artist Near Me? 

It is very important to say that makeup has come a long way in creating a more diverse production line. However, there have been many times where the MUA doesn’t completely understand the correct way in which someone who has a different skin color would want to have their makeup done, or they don’t use the right makeup. 

There are names that are used by pretty big celebs like Viola Davis or Chrissy Teigan and here are some for you. 

Autumn Moultrie is the makeup artist for Viola Davis and is based out in Los Angeles and Sir John has worked with the likes of Chrissy Teigan, Beyonce, Serena Williams to name just a few. 

Ashunta Sheriff has done the makeup for Taraji P. Henson, Sam Fine works for Naomi Campbell, Pat McGrath as the beauty editor-at-large for British Vogue, she has worked for countless celebs, such as Edward Enninful for his debut issue and also Gigi Hadid. 

Someone like Camara Aunique has worked on red carpet looks for the likes of Angela Bassett in the past. 

Moshoodat Sanni is the MUA behind the First Lady of Ghana’s makeup and uses very bright and bold colors. AJ Crimson’s client list includes Naturi Naughton and people trust her to create flawless looks. Sheika Dailey is the mastermind behind the looks of Zendaya, Nicki Minaj, and Kelly Rowland and her clients are not afraid of bright, colorful makeup. 

It has to be said, once you have found someone who knows what you need to make you feel like a superwoman or superman, then you will have that connection – a friend – for life. 

In Conclusion

There are so many opportunities in being a makeup artist and you will get to work with some incredible people along the way. Hone and practice your craft and remember you will never stop learning. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art’. You are an artist, so get out there and paint those faces. 

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