Can You Deliver Face? How to Become a Makeup Artist and What Jobs You’ll Find

Brock Wackerle

Have you been dreaming of a future in makeup artistry? Maybe you’ve seen all of those beautiful influencers and beauty gurus on Youtube and you want to learn the tricks of the trade. 

But do you know how to become a makeup artist?

Sure, you can be self-taught, but let’s face it: most self-taught makeup artists aren’t going to reach the level of skill of those few that rose to fame. Don’t you want to have a solid foundation that you can later build upon? How can you bring your self-teaching to the next level? 

If you want to know how to become a professional makeup artist so that you can get work and clients outside of social media you’re in the right place. We’ll give you the rundown on how to get started and the awesome jobs that you might find once you’re done. 

Keep reading to learn more. 

Getting Started

There are a few options when it comes to getting a career started in makeup artistry, but they all involve seeking some kind of help.

You can definitely start out in cosmetology school. Some schools allow high school juniors and seniors to begin taking classes so that they’re on the right track when they graduate and go out into the world as baby makeup artists. 

These schools often teach the basic necessary skills for makeup applications for different purposes. Stage makeup looks different from everyday makeup, and everyday makeup looks different than wedding makeup. 

How to become a makeup artist

You can’t learn a steady hand and a creative mind, but you can learn to apply skills in a safe setting where everyone starts on the same basic level.

You may be able to bypass cosmetology school (though you may still need a license). Self-taught artists are valuable, but they rarely start off working alone.

This is a great time to try to find someone to apprentice under. In this industry (and all industries) networking is key. Finding the right person can teach you some important skills and open doors up for you in the future. 

Get Hands-On

You might be able to learn the basics of your makeup artistry from magazines, Instagram, and Youtube, but if you’re not applying them you won’t gain much at all. 

How to become a makeup artist


These artists are working with ideal light, filters, and photoshop. Their work is gorgeous, but it rarely looks the same in real life. This means that you’re going to have to do a few things to counteract that.

Practice on Skin

This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised. You aren’t learning enough if you’re only watching and taking notes.

How to become a makeup artist

These things are important, but you need to be practicing on skin, and not just your own. Anyone can make themself look good with the right products, but can you work on different skin types and colors? 

Part of being a successful makeup artist is being flexible enough to suit whatever client you have. If you can only work on people who look like you you’re really limiting yourself.

Practice in Bad Lighting

In the real world, not everyone has a ring light or the perfect natural lighting on them at all times.

makeup bad lighting

What looks good in Youtube conditions can often look cakey and powdery once you go out into the world.

You need to be practicing in the lighting that’s realistic to the occasion, not just the lighting that makes your work look good. 

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Can you do a razor-sharp wing, a perfect matte pout, and the smoothest high-coverage foundation look in the world?

That’s awesome, but what else can you do?

Repeating the same styles over and over again has value. You’ll become really good at them. But not everyone looks good with the same kind of makeup. If you want to work professionally, you need to know how to expand your services. 

Try a few “natural” looks that go over well at weddings. Maybe try some really “out there” looks if you’re thinking about going for the runway or special effects clients. When doing this it’s great to have a mentor who knows the ropes. 

You’ll have fun and learn a few things while you’re at it. 

Get Licensed

Not all states, areas, or even jobs require a license or certification for their makeup artists.

That said, some do.

Look into the details of the jobs that you want and the area that you live in to see the goals that you need to meet. It doesn’t hurt to get licensed, but check first to make sure that you’re actually doing what you need to do in your state

Finding Work

Once you’ve completed your training, it’s time to find work.

There are plenty of jobs available to the new makeup artist. Let’s talk about a few common ones.

Makeup Counters

This is plenty of artists’ first step on their career journey. Working at a makeup counter or in a beauty store (like Sephora) is a great way to get your foot in the door and experiment with your skills.

You’ll be working on many different kinds of people, so this is just as much a learning experience as it is a job.

Film, Stage, and TV

Many makeup artists work in the film and television industries. Most of them won’t end up in Hollywood, but your local TV stations need makeup artists for news personalities and guests. You can also look for makeup artist gigs for traveling performances or the theatre in your own town.

Don’t gloss over these positions. Just because it isn’t Hollywood doesn’t mean that it isn’t valuable. 

How to become a makeup artist


Working freelance has a lot of benefits. You’re free to work in the styles that you like and you have the flexibility to work when and where you want.

You do need to seek out and retain your own clients, though, which can be a struggle for those who aren’t social media savvy

Some artists choose to work in salons while being freelance (like renting a chair) but others choose to travel with their kits. As a freelancer, you have to track your clients and give them an experience that they won’t forget. There’s helpful software that can keep you on track when you’re working on your own. 

Now You Know How to Become a Makeup Artist: Are You Ready?

Whether you’re going to try to teach yourself or you’re looking into cosmetology school, there are plenty of things to consider when figuring out how to become a makeup artist that actually gets to work in the industry.

The key thing to remember is that you need to practice, and not just on yourself. Practice and networking are the most important parts of getting started with your makeup artistry.

Your future is bright, you just have to get started.

To learn more about your potential future in the beauty world, or to check out some of our helpful software, visit our site.

Brock Wackerle
Share this blog
  • Recent Articles

  • .