Career as a Makeup Artist – Beautify Your Career Today!

8 minute read
Career as a Makeup Artist

“Life as we know, is not perfect, but your brows can be, right?” Makeup is not, as often believed, about making you look plastic. It is, rather about accentuating one’s natural beauty. It is an underappreciated art form that is finally getting the recognition it deserves. A makeup artist helps bring one’s beauty to the fore. From advising what products to use to decking you up for your special events, a makeup artist helps you with all your grooming needs. There are numerous ways one can go about one education and subsequent career as a makeup artist. With Makeup Artist Jobs increasing more than ever and colleges coming up that will groom you for the same, a successful career as a makeup artist is now a realisable dream.

Why Should You Pursue a Career as a Makeup Artist?

Being a make-up artist is so much more than simply learning how to make a make-up smile. Your interest in the makeup industry can lead you to a very promising career, if the world of YouTube beauty gurus has unexpectedly introduced you to something you find interesting, you know someone who loves becoming a makeup artist, or you are just interested in the work. Before becoming a makeup artist, you should consider various factors, but here are five reasons why it’s a perfect career path.

  • Flexible Schedule
  • Abundant opportunities to be creative
  • Interaction with interesting people
  • Great discounts on makeup supplies
  • Impacting people

Career as a Makeup Artist

While the common notion is that a career as a makeup artist is associated with movie stars, it is not always the case. A makeup artist has the liberty to choose the kind of work he/she wants to do or choose to be a freelancer. As a freelancer, the makeup artist has the liberty to take up opportunities as they come along. They can take up independent assignments like bridal makeup, etc. or work with high-end salons or wellness centres. They have the opportunity to advertise themselves through their own methods.     

Celebrity Artist

Makeup artist
Credit: Pinterest

A career as a makeup artist can also take shape of work in the special effects department of a movie, TV series or theatre or the fashion industry. This includes the entire process starting from basic makeup to body painting, etc. There can also be different sections in the makeup department for the same movie or TV series or fashion show, like one unit for wigs and prosthetics and another unit for basic makeup like contouring, highlighting, skin smoothing, etc. They might have the opportunity to be associated with a particular celebrity or model depending on their abilities and expertise. 

Cosmetology Operator 

They also have the career prospect of working as cosmetology operator. This is a wider category. A cosmetology operator provides facilities for personal grooming like skincare, haircare, nail care, etc. 

Beauty Consultant

makeup artist
Credit: Pinterest

Another opportunity in a career as a makeup artist is to work as a beauty consultant. These people help others with less knowledge or experience to understand products that help their skin as well as advise them on what products suit their skin type, tone, etc. The consultants can work as freelancer or work with high-end cosmetic companies. 


Other possibilities in a career as a makeup artist include working as an aesthetician taking care of skin, hair or other problems of customers. This option is not to be confused with dermatologists. Dermatologists require a medical education while aestheticians do not need it. They usually work in parlours and spas. Also, working as a clerk in a department store as a product advisor or a beauty instructor for schools that deal with this, are other openings.  

It is always to be kept in mind that a license is a must to take up any opportunity in your career as a makeup artist.  

Educational Qualifications

A Makeup Artist Job has an important role at the educational qualifications required. Here is what you should know in the field:

  • It is a misconception that a career as a makeup artist does not need a proper degree or educational qualifications. To begin with, a high school degree is a must. There are no specifications in the subjects to be studied during high school. After high school, there are plenty of options to explore. 
  • One can get a certificate in cosmetology to begin their career as a makeup artist. This course can also be taken online at the comfort of your home. It can last up to a year. Candidates can also opt for a Cosmetology Associate Degree that can be completed in two years or more, depending on the duration. This opens doors for a whole host of opportunities.
  • To work in the entertainment or fashion industry, a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre is a must. There is a need to understand the basics of the named industries prior to starting a career as a makeup artist in the entertainment or fashion industry. 
  • There are various online courses to learn from such as nail technician courses or courses for cosmetology instructors. Moreover, other degrees such as permanent cosmetics, makeup, and tattooing can be learnt to have appropriate skills to build a successful career as a makeup artist. 
  • Lastly, learning from experience is also an option to explore. Although to be able to do that, the candidate requires 1000 hours of study in the classroom or workplace, learning the tricks of the trade.

Indian Colleges Offering Makeup Courses

  • Lakme Academy, Mumbai
  • LTA School of Beauty, Mumbai
  • Lakme Academy, Kanpur
  • Lakme Academy, Ahmedabad
  • VLCC Institute of Beauty and Nutrition
  • Orane International School of Beauty and Wellness, Mohali

Foreign Colleges Offering Makeup Courses

There are various colleges out there that offer courses that can solidify your career as a makeup artist- colleges that are really polished and provide a good framework of subjects to learn from. Some of these colleges include:

  • Empire Beauty School in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
  • Pivot Point Academy Beauty School in Chicago 
  • Hollywood Institute of Beauty in Hollywood, Los Angeles
  • Aveda Institute in West Chester, Ohio
  • East Mississippi Community College in Scooba, Mississippi
  • Southern Careers Institute Corpus Christi in Austin, Texas.
  • Paul Mitchell Schools in Orlando, Florida
  • The Sassoon Academy in Santa Monica, California
  • Tricoci University in Bridgeview Illinois
  • The Ogle School in Dallas, Texas 

List of Online Courses

With the pandemic in situation, online courses have become very popular. There are several online courses available for Makeup artists as well. Here are some of the top online courses you can do:

Skills Required

If you are looking forward to creating a milestone in the makeup industry, the below-stated skills will definitely help you in your career- 

Makeup artists
Credit: Lifesfinewhine
  • Creativity and artistic abilities 
  • A keen eye for details 
  • Fluent communication skills 
  • Good colour perception
  • Ability to work for long hours and during odd hours
  • Customer service skills 
  • Business sense 
  • Charming and outspoken personality 
  • Time management

High Paying Jobs as a Makeup Artist

While the Makeup industry has been highly popular, there are still many misconceptions that the field does not pay much. So, let’s break this stereotype down and check out the top jobs for Makeup Artist:

CareerAnnual Salary
Theatrical Makeup Artist$20,000 (INR 14,50,000) to $1,07,000(INR 80,00,000)
Special FX Makeup Artist$75000 (INR 55,00,000)
Freelance Makeup Artist49500 (INR 37,00,000)
Beauty Writer51000 (INR 38,00,000)
Credit: KoolKanya

Now that we have understood in detail the insights of a career as a makeup artist, let us quickly go through some popular Makeup Artist Jobs:

  • Bridal Makeup Artist 
  • Freelance Makeup Artist
  • Print Makeup Artist 
  • Salon and Spa Makeup Artist 
  • Celebrity Makeup Artist 
  • Stage and Theatre Makeup Artist
  • Runway Makeup Artist
  • Sales Representative of Makeup Brand 
  • Beauty Bogger or vlogger
  • Educator

Average Salary 

The average salary basis differs in the profession of the makeup artist as compared to any other job profile. If you are working independently as a freelance makeup artist, you may earn a salary per session or per makeup. There is no fixed for set charges that you can ask for, but you can definitely put forward your estimated amount as per your past experiences and portfolio. Those who are new in the industry and are certified tend to earn 25-35k per session or makeup. Candidates shall note that their basic cost for makeup is likely to increase with experience. 

Makeup Influencers

Now, let’s check out some of the most famous Makeup Influencers of the world and India:

Huda Katten

Huda Kattan
Credit: Emirates Women

Even if you were not a makeup artist, you would know her. The business mogul and the biggest Makeup Influencer has the most in-demand makeup brand, Huda Beauty. Her social media platform has a staggering 48.1 Million Followers. 

Nikki de Jager

Nikkie De Jager Of 'NikkieTutorials' Just Came Out As Transgender
Credit: Women’s Health

Known for her channel nikkietutorials, she is one of the most famous Makeup artists on Youtube. Her makeup shows several transformations and does not stop at general makeup but also shows creative makeup. She has made Grinch looks, Halloween makeup, etc.

Credit: NikkieTutorials

Sandhya Shekhar

Sandhya Shekhar
Credit: Grazia

The amazing talent of Sandhya Shekhar has been showcased on many famous actors including Deepika Padukone. Her signature look of matte, clean base look makes her one of the most sought-after makeup artists in India.

Credit: Birdy Num Num Podcast

Mickey Contractor

Mickey Contractor | Outlook India Magazine
Credit: Outlook India

The famous Celebrity Artist Mickey Contractor has worked with celebrities like Kareena Kapoor Khan, Kajol and Priyanka Chopra. He believes in a simple yet elegant look that is very classic and timeless. He has also worked with famous makeup brands including MAC Cosmetics.

Credit: MAC Cosmetics
What is the average salary of a makeup artist?

Makeup artists earn earn a salary per session or per makeup. hose who are new in the industry and are certified tend to earn 25-35k per session or makeup.

What are the skills required to be a makeup artist?

The following are the skills required to become a makeup artist:
Creativity and artistic abilities 
A keen eye for details 
Fluent communication skills 
Good colour perception

What are the top reasons to become a makeup artist?

The following are the top reasons to become a makeup artist:
Flexible Schedule.
Abundant opportunities to be creative.
Interaction with interesting people.
Great discounts on makeup supplies.
Impacting people.

Life is too short to be filled with regrets. When we do something we love, there is no need to ‘work’ for a living. So, go ahead and follow your dream. We, here at Leverage Edu are listening and ready to make your dream a reality. 

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  1. There are many opportunities for a career as a makeup artist. As you mentioned, it is a field to apply creativity with the freedom to choose the kind of work. Certification is a great way to start a career in this field, but the real learning comes with experience.

    Thank you for mentioning the need for a license before doing any work.

    1. Hi Manojnatha,
      We are glad that you liked our blog. We hope that the insights mentioned in the blog are helping you in establishing a career as a makeup artist.

  2. Becoming a makeup artist is a creative career that has a wide array of possibilities. Successful artists use designing and creative skills, experimentation, and various makeup products to create stunning & beautiful looks. I order to become a successful makeup artist one must keep up with the latest fashion trends and products.
    The information that you have shared with us through this article will be very helpful for someone looking up to becoming a successful makeup artist. Thank you for listing every small detail together and sharing it with us.

  3. Great information provided. Beauty makes a person more confident and looking presentable in front of everyone is essential. The information you provided makes it easier to choose the best profession for me. The tricks you mentioned in your blog are helpful for me to choose the best academy in my current location too.