Written by Sarah Jones
Last Updated

If you are interested in beauty and artistry and looking for a career that combines both sets of interests then you might be thinking about becoming a make-up artist, either working for fashion, the theatre, television, or even in a department store. 

There are many different types of make-up artists, whether employed by someone or working for yourself but you need to work hard and get trained and qualified to become successful, just like any other career. 

When starting out in this type of career you need to look at several different areas, to get you going. Firstly, gaining professional qualifications, secondly, gaining experience to build up a portfolio, and third, building your network. 

Here are some examples of the types of make-up artist courses you could undertake:


Level 3 Diploma in Make-Up Artistry

This is a basic course with no entry requirements and would cover areas like how to apply make-up, fashion beauty, airbrush products, and how to promote your services. It would also enhance your knowledge of human anatomy, client health and safety, and the use of equipment.

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Level 3 Diploma in Production Arts

This kind of qualification would be perfect for learning all the make-up skills to work within the theatre and performing arts, including special effects make-up. 


Level 3 Diploma in Fashion and Specialist Make-Up

This course would be perfect if you are looking to travel around the world as part of the fashion and beauty industry and would show you how to apply make-up for use under the cameras. 


You need to check out what courses are available at your local colleges and find the perfect course to start you on the career that you are looking for. 

The next stage is to practice your skills to help you get better, but also to build up your portfolio which will be needed when you apply for jobs, to show off your skills and style. You need a print one to take with you and an online one you can share with people. 

Check this out if you’re an aspiring make-up artist: Best Foundation – 2020 Reviews

Your portfolio needs to clearly demonstrate all of the different styles of make-up you can do and should be created using professional photographs and have a professional look and feel if you want to be taken seriously. 

With your training and portfolio in hand, you need to make sure you also have the right personality for this job as it involves working very closely with people, who might be demanding and possibly even rude to you sometimes. 

You need to be able to communicate effectively with clients and maintain a professional, polite, and tactful demeanor no matter what they throw at you. 

You are likely to be on your feet most of the time and might well have to work anti-social hours at weekends and evenings, so you will need to have a good level of stamina and patience so as not to get too tired or overwhelmed. 

You need to be good at listening to what the client wants, and interpreting that into a look that really suits them, as what they say they want, might not always be what they actually want in reality. A lot of the skills will be around communicating with the client. 

It is important that you are focused and have good attention to detail as no bride wants mistakes in her make-up on her wedding day. You need to remain professional and focused at all times. You need to keep up to date with the latest trends and products. 


How to Work as a Make-Up Artist

Once you have your skills, your qualifications and your portfolio, you can start to look for work, and again there are various options. You could go for an internship with a major company although these are often low paid or even unpaid. 

Many make-up artists work freelance so they might be working on a film set one day and for a bridal party the next day, so there is a lot of freedom and opportunity to be creative within this type of career. 

If you prefer to be employed then you could get a role in a spa, or beauty salon, dealing with regular customers who come in for special occasions or to learn from you so they can practice the same skills at home. 

Outside of the beauty work itself, you might also need to learn how to run and organize your business if you are freelance, how to market yourself, how to talk to clients, how to give make-up lessons, keeping up to date with products and techniques, so there really is a lot to learn. 

Being a make-up artist is an exciting, creative career full of opportunities. If you like working with people, being artistic, and using the latest beauty products and techniques it could be your perfect job.


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