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How To Become A Certified Makeup Artist

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As a certified makeup artist you could find yourself a job in the entertainment or the beauty industry. External appearances are important in today’s world and professionals with advanced skills in makeup and use of cosmetics are much in demand in beauty salons, entertainment production companies, and beauty retail business stores. A licensed makeup artist can also be self-employed. However, makeup artists should be equipped with a cosmetologist license if the employer so requires.


Makeup Artist – The Job


As a makeup artist, you use cosmetics and techniques to create beauty on the human body. Appropriate use of cosmetics enhances color and features of a person and hides flaws. Makeup is also used to create characters of imagination as well as add to special effects in theater and films. There are two main types of makeup artists: the first type is cosmetic and fashion artists who are employed at cosmetic counters in stores or those that work on models for photo-shoots and pageants and the second type is the theatrical or film makeup artists who fashion a character’s appearance to suit the role he/she dons in a film/theater production or create characters of imagination/science-fiction/fantasy. The film makeup artists have a creative and lucrative career.


How To Become A Certified Makeup Artist


The first step to becoming a certified makeup artist is to receive education in an appropriate institution. The requirements to becoming a certified makeup artist vary by the state. It is important to be aware of the state’s license requirements for makeup artists depending on where you intend to do your work. Whereas some states have a license where you are restricted to specialize in this singular field, other states provide a bundled certification for cosmetology. There are few states where there are no regulations whatsoever to become a makeup artist. However, a certification/license is recommended to become successful in the field.


Makeup Artists – Courses Offered


Informal makeup training programs are courses that run to durations of 300 to 600 hours and they can be completed in about 6 months’ time. Full-fledged cosmetology courses, on the other hand, have durations between 1500 and 2000 hours that takes any time between 1 and 2 years to complete. The durations also vary by the state. Some of the main topics that are usually taught in these courses include steps to apply makeup, makeup tools and supplies, specialty makeup, and creation of special effects through makeup in addition to many other related topics.


Cosmetology Programs


You can opt for cosmetology associate degree programs conducted in community colleges. The courses that are taught in such courses include application of makeup, hair cutting and styling, nail care and hair care, and skin care. Associated subjects that are included are bacteriology, business skills, sanitation practices and regulations. Many differently structured beauty programs tailored according to industry demands are offered by privately owned finishing/grooming beauty schools.


Degree in Theater


Programs that offer bachelor’s degree in theater also include courses in makeup and beauty. Students learn courses that teach basic application of makeup as well as creation of special effects using makeup suited to the film industry.


Online Certificate Courses in Makeup


Online certificate courses are offered by independent associations and institutions that train you to be a makeup artist. Online makeup school are designed to be of the self-learning type without any intervention from training faculty. Faculty assisted training is also available. These courses are most suited to individuals who are already working another job or are unable to attend regular courses in makeup due to other factors. The duration of such courses may range from a six weeks to a few months.




Though licensing requirements vary by the state, candidates are required to pass out from a cosmetology course offered by an approved institution and clear a skills assessment program to obtain the license. Possession of a license can help them to take up the career of a professional makeup artist.


For obtaining a cosmetology license that is stipulated for doing specific beauty jobs (in certain states), it is necessary that the candidate should possess a high-school diploma and a post-secondary training in beauty care. They must have also cleared an approved cosmetology examination.


Many employers would want a specific amount of experience for the makeup artist before offering a professional job in the field. Many courses offer internship opportunities and you can also try for an assistant’s job in beauty stores, spas, or salons to hone your makeup skills.


Continuing education for makeup artists can be obtained through workshops that reputed makeup school nyc and salons typically conduct from time to time. Workshops are perhaps the best way to learn and improve specific skills and makeup application techniques.


Skills Required


The key skills that you require for becoming a makeup artist include being highly creative, being customer oriented and being able to manage time effectively. You need to be familiar with the basic principles of beauty, skin care and hair styling as well as adept at using the tools of the trade to your advantage. As a professional makeup artist, you must be ready to work irregular hours as well as during weekends. The job requires a good amount of physical stamina, as you may need to spend long hours standing up.


People skills are essential and it is important to maintain a reputation of working with demanding actors, photographers, brides and well-known directors.


Practical Tips


Some practical tips to make your mark as a makeup artist of repute include practicing on many different people with different skin types, skin color, and ages; using the right set of tools is important; working as an assistant with well-known makeup artists to hone your skills and for valuable advice; finding your niche in the field; creating and maintaining a portfolio with all the work done (avant garde, beauty, bridal, etc.); and publicizing your work in the industry that you want to work in.


Job Outlook and Salary


According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the mean income of makeup artists across industries is about $45000. The bureau has also projected that employment of cosmetologists and makeup artists is due to increase by about 13 percent between the years 2012 and 2022.