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Dreaming of all the fun and creative things you could do with cosmetics if you were a professional makeup artist?
The first step to becoming a professional makeup artist is to get the education and get licensed, if applicable in your state. Everyone learns a little differently and has slightly different priorities when it comes to choosing the right college, so we created this handy step-by-step How to Choose a Beauty School checklist to help.
We find that the average student considers 3 to 5 schools before making a final choice, but because makeup is a highly specialized program and not every state offers licensure in this field, the number of options may be smaller. A makeup artist is someone who uses cosmetic techniques and processes to create beauty upon the human body.
Like a fashion makeup artist, the theatrical and film makeup artist learns to work with different lighting conditions, the distance between the stage and the audience, and the requirements determined by digital and high definition cameras. The qualities of a good artist include, but are not limited to: great customer service, creativity, self-motivation, good time management, understanding of art and design, great listener, comfortable making recommendations and offering feedback to clients, arm-hand steadiness and manual dexterity and near vision (ability to see detail up close).
A deep love of cosmetics and passion all the things makeup is capable of is one of the first tell-tale signs of a budding makeup artist. Some people choose to work at a local makeup counter in department stores or pharmacies to get their start in makeup.
A makeup artist certification is not always required depending on your state, but a portfolio is essential.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 data, a makeup artist's salary can range from $18,780 to $115,030 depending on location, level of experience and quality of portfolios. One thing the BLS cannot accurately account for, though, is tips and gratuities earned, so the lowest makeup artist salary on their scale may not be accurate.
Makeup artists can work at salons, spas, retail and department stores, bridal boutiques and so many more types of businesses.
The most common industries makeup artists work in are the motion picture and video industries, personal care services, performing arts companies, television broadcasting, and amusement parks and arcades (seriously!). The top five states with the highest levels of employment for makeup occupations are New York, California, Florida, Texas and Georgia. A day in the life of the makeup artist is tough to pin down, because every day can be totally different for this dynamic and constantly changing profession! Prepare Your Tools -You likely invested in high-quality makeup brushes and tools, as well as quality makeup palettes.
Consult with the Client - Every client’s skin has different needs, and every makeup job is totally custom, the artist should always consult with the client about their challenges, preferences and skin allergies. Do the Makeup - This part could include cleansing the clients’ skin with products selected specifically for their skin types, so you can apply makeup to a freshly cleaned palette (their faces!). Next you should subscribe to the blogs of your favorite makeup artists that consistently inspire you.
You may also want to look into subscriptions to some of the top periodicals for cosmetic artists. Education has and always will be the lifeblood of my brand, both for its ability to empower and inspire.
There's never a dull day when you work as a freelancer because you never know who's going to end up in your makeup chair!
I ALWAYS suggest starting in retail, the shop floor is where you learn those valuable people skills, selling skills (because at the end of the day, you're selling yourself!) and you get to practice your makeup and application skills.
A good makeup artist knows what's happening right now, but a great makeup artist knows what will happen next. How do you ensure you're up to date on all the latest makeup innovations and hot new trends? WIN a FREE Book and T-Shirt! Post your SHEAR MOMENT on our blog and be automatically entered to win.
If you're considering becoming a cosmetics professional, talk to makeup schools about their programs, the cost of tuition at their campus, curriculum and any other questions you have. We advise you to talk to a number of different campuses near you and get all your questions answered, so you can make a confident decision on which makeup college will best meet your needs and set you up for success. It's an important life decision that should be considered with care after comparing your school options. In its simplest form, it enhances a person's appearance, bringing out color and features and hiding or smoothing out flaws, using cosmetic products.

Cosmetic or fashion artists range from the clerk at the store makeup counter to the artist who prepares fashion models for photo shoots. This person enhances an actor's features to emphasize the character he or she plays in performance art. At its most creative, special effects artists create fantasy creatures, the illusion of blood and gore, imaginative sci-fi creatures, characters from eras gone by, and so much more. If you like to experiment with different cosmetic looks and to try them out on yourself and your friends, you may discover a real knack for applying makeup professionally. You can also join theater groups at school or in the community and learn to work with greasepaint and theatrical lighting. Take high-quality pictures of your work as you go from project to project throughout school and beyond, keep in touch with people you've work with and shamelessly ask for testimonials and referrals, and be open to working with new experts, products and techniques as opportunities arise. The median salary for makeup artists is $60,830 before tips – one of the highest of any of the beauty professions on this site (BLS, 2015).
Many makeup professionals are freelance because the work is so portable, and choose to market themselves as specialists in weddings and special events, mortuary makeup, photo shoots, runway models, film and television, live theater, and special effects, among others. The top three metro areas with the highest levels of employment are Los Angeles metro, New York City metro, and Las Vegas metro (BLS, 2015).
One day you may be doing makeup backstage at a runway fashion show, and the next day you could be doing makeup for a bride and her bridal, party.
The appointment generally begins with the client consultation, where you will ask a number of questions to learn what the client wants you to do with their makeup. You may apply primers, foundations, concealers , powders, blushes, eyeshadows, eyeliners, lip liners, lipsticks and a number of other cosmetic products specific to the client’s requests, the event the makeup is for, and their skin types. When the appointment is complete, every makeup artist should tell the client about the various services they offer and offer suggestions for other events that could use great makeup that the client may not have thought of.
Also let them know about any upcoming specials or promotions, and inform them of any referral discounts you offer if they send friends and family to you for makeovers. There are many very talented artists that have skyrocketed to celebrity status by doing up-close and personal makeup tutorial videos and bringing cosmetic skills and advice to the people. Look for titles like Make-up Artist Magazine and Beauty Etc., but also consumer-level beauty publications like Allure. Their talent, skill, hard work and dedication has made them some of the most famous makeup professionals on the scene. My passion lies in making sure both aspiring makeup artists and my customers have access to the right techniques, and tools (literally and figuratively) to succeed in today's competitive market. I've met and worked with women from all walks of life, and it's my responsibility as the artist to read their social queues, adjust my attitude and make them feel comfortable interacting with me. Not only do you need to be all over what's happening in the industry, but you need to know the trends AND be the trendsetter. Set aside an hour or two a day to browse your favorite websites, mags and blogs for the most recent beauty and fashion news. As the founder, president, CEO, head of creative and sole employee, it is up to YOU to market yourself and promote your work.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube play a huge part in helping you build your business.
Feel free to join the discussion by leaving comments, and stay updated by subscribing to the RSS feed.
Beauty Schools Directory has assembled the answers to many of the most common questions about the salary, job outlook, career options and other information about makeup artists to help you decide if this is the right career path for you.
At its most extreme, makeup artistry creates imaginative characters and special effects for films, television, photography and theater. The artist knows how to make the subject look her or his best, and understands the different effects required by lighting and digital photography.
Young actors can be made to look old, older actors to look younger, creative characters can be created from nothing, and the makeup can change as the character changes in the course of the story. This field is often regarded as one of the most creative and lucrative areas of makeup, but it can also be one of the most challenging to break into.
If this is your passion, there are makeup artist schools which offer classes in all the different kinds of fashion makeup. This type of makeup artistry is very creative, and the artist learns to concoct a character's appearance as part of the director's vision.

People skills are essential, and it helps to maintain a reputation of working well with demanding actors, directors, photographers and brides. This is because many makeup artists offer their services part-time or work locally in salons and retail stores, but on the other end of the scale, there are world-famous celebrity artists who work in film and television that command higher salaries. Iif you do wedding makeup, the client is the bride, but if you do theatrical makeup, the director may be your client, or a fashion show client may be the designer. The goal is for every client to leave feeling beautiful, comfortable and confident in their makeup look. Instagram and Pinterest are also highly visual, and great sources of fresh inspiration for professional cosmeticians. As a self taught makeup artist, I have experienced the ups and downs of the ever-changing beauty industry, which is why I created my very own Makeup Academy -- to educate, prepare and inspire the next generation of creatives.
After all, doing someone's makeup is a physical, intimate experience and I always want my clients to feel safe and confident in my hands. After all, your clients are a lot more likely to pick up the phone and make that next appointment if they know you'll be clueing them into the latest looks and helping them find the hottest new brands and products.
If you have the budget to travel, major cosmetic conferences are another great way to explore what's next in the world of makeup. The fashion artist also works with designers to create a certain look for the model, such as emphasizing lip shape or cheekbones. Still other states don’t regulate makeup artistry at all (but even in those states, getting advanced training in makeup artistry is highly recommended to be successful in this field). You can learn this art on the job, and you can also take classes at colleges with theatrical programs. A day in the life of the makeup professional can vary wildly based on what specialty you work in and what’s on your itinerary that day, but there are a few standards that apply across the board.
Be sure that your brushes and supplies have been properly cleaned and sanitized for the safety of your clients. It may seem like all you need to become a working artist is a well stocked kit and some makeup know-how, but that assumption can be the first step to failure. Even better, they'll be more inclined to talk positively about you, and that's something money just can't buy.
Upload a few photos you are proud of and continue to add and change images as your skills evolve.
Customers these days want and expect instant access, and the sooner you embrace the digital world, the faster you can acquire more work. Thanks to digital cameras, makeup artists are increasingly in demand for weddings, fashion shoots, fashion shows, corporate headshot photography, and other special events that will be photographed or recorded.
Makeup training programs typically run 300 to 600 hours depending on your state, and take less than 6 months to complete.
Makeup artist schools provide professional-level expertise for the beginner, which saves the trouble and time of learning everything by trial and error. Be sure you have everything you need to get through the day seamlessly, that your brush belt is fully stocked, and that you have your sanitation canister at the ready for used brushes. This time can also be used to get to know your client on a more personal level, because building a personal relationship with your clients leads to customer retention and referrals! Here are a few tips I like to share with my academy students across the globe to help them jump start their careers. Keeping your portfolio up to date with fresh imagery demonstrates that you are active, engaged, and in demand. Full cosmetology programs, on the other hand, tend to be 1500 to 2000 hours depending on your state.
Check our list of 2015 state makeup artist license requirements to find out your state's regulations.

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