How to become a professional makeup artist?

by Greta

If you are thinking about a career in makeup artistry, probably you are asking yourself from where I should begin. Well, firstly it requires passion for art and entire industry of it. It’s a field for everyone who can develop their skills all the time. Successful professionals should be creative and outstanding from the others. It’s completely up to you.

The most important feature of a good makeup artist is the possibility to observe. You can learn a lot just by noticing looks. Try to study the faces and style of women in magazines, movies or search some images in the internet. It’s the cheapest way to get some knowledge about makeup. Also it will help you to create your own style as a makeup artist. Each artist has his signature.

For a makeup artist some formal training should also be essential thing. For example you can take some intensive module to few days or weeks or three years of full-time study. It depends on your skills and the aspect of makeup you want to work in. I suggest to begin from passing some short courses, just to get know all the basic about makeup. It would make easier for you to decide are you really willing to get in this business.

When you made some improvement on your skills try to find ways how to gain experience. For instance look for assistant job with established artist. Obviously you will get a little or no pay, but it would help to develop effective work habits, as etiquette skills needful to attract and keep clients. Also it gives you an opportunity to see the practical aspects of the job that can’t be taught in the classroom.

Next step for a makeup artist is to build a portfolio. It’s a book in which you keep photographs of all your work as a makeup artist. A portfolio is going to be showed to potential clients, so it needs to make a brilliant first impression. It may cost a lot to have professional photographs taken of your work. In place of it you should look for a photographer, stylist and model, who are also building their portfolios. The shoot will be done for free and you will also gain some experience in working in a group. Carry it everywhere in case of each possibility.

Beginning artists tend to have a big problem breaking into the business. It is happening because of poor knowledge about products and techniques. The best way to get better with these aspects is to practice doing makeup on as many faces as possible. Apply makeup on your friends and family until you feel what does and doesn’t work on different face shapes, skin tones and ages. Keep in mind that in your early career experience is more important than pay.

Successful makeup artist should keep looking for ways to improve all the time. Beauty industry has a tendency to change day after day. Desire is perhaps the strongest factor of success. The inspiration for ideas is all around you. A good artist is secure enough to accept fresh ideas and always improves his skills.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Devon Martinez March 18, 2012 at 2:02 am

Im 15 and I want to be a makeup artist, so badly, its my passion and i wont settle for anything else, the only thing that is stopping me is the reason that my mom and I are on a extremely low budget, we dont have any spending money. So i dont have the privilage to practice and expieriment with different products and people. My mom doesnt take me seriously, she thinks that this is just a phase, she never gives me a chance to show her what ive learned or how to improve what im doing wrong. And my question is how to fix this problem?


Contessa Albro August 6, 2012 at 2:52 am

Just gets some girls with a huge veriety of makeup so you can experiement and do thier makeup. Take some pictures and make a portfolio to show your mom. She might take you seriously after she sees how good you are.


ScreamingMute September 5, 2012 at 6:45 pm

What I think is a good idea is that you practice on people, not on models since you can’t afford that, but try on friends(female and male, if you can find any) and family. The best way to show your talent is to make your magic on your own face first (if you’re male, give yourself a clean&simple look, so others can tell the difference yet not really) show that you have skills and know what you’re doing, not only for male make up but for females too. You can even try and get your mom to allow you to make her make up one weekend, if you may. She can always wash it off, but just try and learn, ask her what she didn’t like and what you did wrong, so you’ll learn from it and see what you can do better to improve.
As for products there’s not really any need for an expensive pile of makeup, but you do need to invest in a variety of brushes & makeup primers. I think brushes like flat stiff brush, stiff dome brush soft dome brush, pencil brush, stippling brush, angled brush, contour brush, highlighter brush is a must have, yet to each their own. Different brushes will give you different looks based on how you use them.(especially for the eyes) Try and save up for brushes at least and get the 8 brushes I’ve named earlier.
As for improvement you’ll probably need other people, families and friends are a great help, if they gave you their genuine criticism. tell them to be honest, even if the truth hurts, it’s the best way to learn.
and make up in real life and in pictures are always different, on pictures it would not be as vibrant as in real life and it tends to look washed out. So best to know what looks good and what does not depending in real life and in pictures.

I don’t know if that would help, but I wish you the best and good luck Devon.


juana wendell December 26, 2012 at 2:27 am

You are very young and you can be very successful if you really have passion for it your Mom should become a Mary Kay consultant. Not only you can start practicing, you can learn more about it and both of you make a better living.
Best wishes,
Juana W


Olanrewaju October 26, 2012 at 6:50 am

Thank you for this great site, keep on the good work. You need not go GAGA. This is you and you are on the way to been the best. Where also developing a site to educate professionals and train the potential watch out for a particular post directed at the make-up artist.


Steve Schellert October 26, 2012 at 7:24 am

This is a very well written post..! Like your web lay out. Really eye pleasing. Not sure being a male I would have much of an opportunity to practice with make up.
Steve Schellert


Chris B November 9, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Hey very cool website and nicely put together too. :)
Don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Michelle Phan, but she is an incredible make up artist.
If you put some of her videos up on your site here you will likely increase your traffic and search results. Hope this is of help to you. :)
Check her out here:


Sumeetha November 17, 2012 at 7:58 am

Interesting post. You can also give information about the different courses that one should study to be a professional make up person.


Dom November 17, 2012 at 11:04 pm

I have a strong passion to become a professional MUA and I’ve been looking around for the perfect school but all the schools in my area require me to take up cosmetology as well. So my question is, are there any schools specifically for makeup only or do you think taking cosmetology is a good idea for a career in makeup?


Greta November 18, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Of course there are special schools for makeup but mostly in every school cosmetology is a part of it. Because it gives you important knowledge and makes you a better makeup artist as you can understand this range from the basics. So don’t be afraid of learning more, it will only be a benefit for you.


fangfang January 4, 2013 at 2:21 pm

I am very interesting about make up and I am thinking of work in this industry as well.
However, I had watched huge amount videos about make up. I feel that the “make up” is not only put the product on my face. It is also require I can draw well such as doing the creative look.

Not sure if it relates I never go to the drawing class or not, but I am not good on drawing and not very good on creative new look either. The only thing I am doing the most is copying other’s look from video when I find the good one.

Do you think that I should looking forward work in makeup area still or it is only can be the hobby for me?

Kind Regards,


Zainub January 9, 2013 at 3:05 pm

im 15, turning 16,and i really really wanna become a makeup artist, but at the same time, i also want to become a psychologist. i cant makeup my mind…can someone suggest any ideas on what i should do?? thnxx…p.s. people say i have good taste in art, but im still not quite sure….


Lanice King February 3, 2013 at 5:23 am

Hi, I’m also 15 going on 16 and I too want to be a makeup artist. My main career option is to be a fashion designer. Make up, hair and fashion all connect as one so it is a great option for me. If you are truly dedicated to perusing makeup artistry, then I think you should go for it. Since you are having a hard deciding which career to choose, I think you should go for psychology and do makeup as a side job. I hope this helped. :)


Trinity Brown January 20, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Hi , my name is trinity brown im a 15 years old girl and I want to be a make up artist but I also want to be a model . My mom says I dont have the model body , I dont have no stomach but I have wide hipes and im only 5’1 . She said ill Be best at being a makeup artist because all I do is makeup my friends . I been doing makeup since I was 10 its got to the point that I dont go no where without it on . Can anyone help me with this ?


Dayna February 21, 2013 at 10:46 am

Hiya, I really want to become a makeup artist it’s my dream job for the future.
I’m 16 currently studying beauty in college I have 2 more years to go, I hope it gives me good experience for being one.
I really need to know how I get to become a makeup artist please help me you seem to know a lot.


happiness February 27, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Hello,my name is happiness am 17,nd I want 2 be a professional makeup artist,a supper model,nd also a desighner,buh am sturding english in d university,nd I’ll need 2 knw more abt makeup dough I do makeup my frends buh am nt really gud @ it


Ayinlade Abigeal March 14, 2013 at 7:58 pm

i’m 21 and I have a great passion for makeup,but m financially challenged, I can’t gather enough money for brushes, and I don’t really have an experienced makeup artist besides me to put me through, though I’ve learn’t some makeup basic in school but that’s not enough………………………….pls advice me


Nooria March 29, 2013 at 7:10 pm

I love to be an make up artist, how I can get that job?


Mrs.P.Woods September 22, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Hey i am a full time worker & a full time Mother of two(9 &1) but makeup is my life and i can’t sleep without thinking about all the different things i can do wit Makeup. I really am trying to get in the door as master makeup artist,my makeup is breath taking. Can someone give me advice on the next step should take


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