How To Become a Makeup Artist : A Step-By-Step Guide

How To Become a Makeup Artist : A Step-By-Step Guide

Have you grown up admiring actors and actresses wondering how they look so young and good? Have you ever thought whether that it’s natural or not? Well.. By now most of you must have figured it out that it’s artificial beauty which is the mystery behind their glossy and young appearance. But what happens behind the scenes?  This article deals in how to become a makeup artist.

A makeup artist is one who helps them look as they appear on our TV screens. They are the ones who make everyone’s face whether it’s the zombies from Resident Evil or the Dinosaurs in Jurassic World! They give life to movies by turning plain, bland characters into dynamic and interesting personalities without having the need to undergo plastic surgery. But, as interesting as it sounds, a makeup artist’s job in no way is less challenging than any other job. It involves patience, artistic skills, and a sharp mind. The most notable makeup artists include Gucci Westman and Pat McGrath among many others. So, let’s see what goes into the making of a successful makeup artist.


A makeup artist requires numerous skills. To start with, he/she requires a good creativity and imagination. Without this he wouldn’t be able to visualize and create new faces. It’s what sets him/her apart from the masses. A makeup artist with a good imagination is regarded highly of and is sure to be successful in his/her career.

The second is good communication skills. This is quite essential as every time its not possible to do every work and show it to the clients. This because the job can sometimes be very tedious and time taking. So, a makeup artist can save a lot of time if he/she is proficient in English or the native language and can communicate his ideas well to his/her clients in a clear and concise way.

The third is good stamina, concentration and patience. A good stamina helps a makeup artist to work with very few or no breaks and lets him/her complete the task in time. The stamina helps him/her endure the tediousness of the work. Concentration is another key factor in deciding the success of a makeup artist. If he/she has a good concentration, it takes lesser time and also has a lower margin of error. The elimination of errors is what sets a good makeup artist apart from the other makeup artists. Finally, patience is very crucial to a makeup artist as he/she has to work for long hours, sometimes without breaks so that the job is done on time. Patience of a makeup artist is very important in deciding his/her success in this field.

Another skill required for makeup artists is the ability to work under pressure. There are very few independent makeup artists and especially when a person enters this field, he/she has to work under someone as an assistant or an intern. Here, they are sub ordinates and hence have to follow whatever the higher ups say. They are sometimes overloaded with a lot of work with very less time at hand. But, this should not let the makeup artist crumble under the pressure and he/she should try his/her best to complete it.

Last but not the least, a good makeup artist has a good eye for detail. He/she should be able to pinpoint even the most minor flaws in makeups and should be able to tell what could be done to rectify the flaws. A good makeup artist always ensures that his/her clients get no chance to complain and that his services are hailed by everyone. He/she has to keep in mind that not a handful of people but the whole globe may be watching the show where his clients would be appearing and that its possible for even a minor flaw to be detected by the audience.

an makeup artist doing makeup of a lady



Networking is much obvious, but you can’t take it lightly. You need to make a valuable connection by investing some time to expand your network. You need to make connections with designers, photographers, beauty bloggers, YouTubers, cosmetics proprietors, and makeup school teachers. Networking with these peoples can open job prospects in fashion shows, photo shoots, media marketing, and editorial firms.

One of the biggest challenges makeup artists find in their career is marketing themselves. Marketing your work is equally important as brushing up your professional skills. It is exceedingly important to understand the value of marketing. You need to spend a certain amount of time in making some crucial marketing strategies. Once you start marketing yourself in a right way, then your career will start rewarding you better.

Personal website

Online presence is tremendously important in this digital world. You can lose a fair number of clients and even lose to your rivals if your site is not present on the Internet. The Internet is a necessary piece of daily life, and an online portfolio can work as your online resume. A professionally designed website with a catchy name can do wonders on the internet.

Social media

Another great source of networking is social media. You can post your work on Facebook, or you can make YouTube makeup tutorial videos to expand your reach. There is a pool of clients on social media nowadays, and every artist finds most of their work by connecting through social media. Don’t forget to reply or give feedback to any of your prominent clients.

In addition to your enthusiasm, a professional makeup portfolio is another key element of a successful career. We recommend choosing your very best makeup work and build an online portfolio. A digital portfolio is easy to share both on your website and tablet as you go out and meet potential clients, and will show them what you’re made of.


A makeup artist portfolio is a collection of photographs that display a makeup artist’s best work. The artist then uses those photographs market herself to others, attract new clients, and get more work.

The photos usually focus on the makeup work the artist has done on a client or series of clients. That could mean headshots or close-ups of eyes, lips, noses, and so on, but it also could be full-body editorial photos from a photo shoot, pictures of a bride and groom, etc.

There are a bunch of reasons, but here are the most relevant:

It’s proof that you know what you’re doing. Because there are no makeup artist licenses (at least at the time we wrote this article), employers can’t always be sure that a makeup artist has been trained and knows what he or she is doing. If you have a portfolio and it’s full of incredible shots, people will know that your are the real deal.

It allows you to showcase different looks and styles. As a makeup artist , every single client you work with will require a different look—and require a different skillset from you. A portfolio lets you show employers that you are well-versed in many different types of makeup. We’ll get into this a little bit later.

It gives you control over where your career goes. Because you can control the images you put in your portfolio, it allows you to get new work and direct your career. For instance, let’ say you’ve only done bridal work, but you want to get into editorial shoots. You can hire a model and a photographer, have the photographer take pictures of your work on the model, and then stock your portfolio with the editorial photos. Creating a makeup artist portfolio with a new focus will allow you to present yourself to employers as an editorial makeup artist , and get different kinds of work. We discuss how to find models and photographers below.

The truth is that the beauty industry can be pretty brutal, and people make judgments about you and your work almost instantly. You need a collection of your most impressive photos so that when people make their “one-second analysis” of your work, they know that you are capable and PROFESSIONAL.


We know that you want to land your dream job (and we’re sure you will!), but as a newly certified makeup artist, you still have a lot to learn about the work environment. While makeup artist courses undoubtedly taught you skills and knowledge, you still need to get your feet wet and gain some real-world experience.

Becoming an assistant to an established makeup artist will allow you to gain experience while also building a strong relationship with a mentor. This relationship is key, as the clients that you help this artist work on might even refer you to others if they admire your work!

How to work on set as an assistant makeup artist?

Join professional organizations

It’s no surprise that many makeup junkies want to become a makeup artist – it’s an extremely exciting and lucrative industry. Because of the huge community of makeup professionals out there, many associations are available to join for a yearly fee.


As mentioned earlier, an outgoing, friendly personality is essential to a successful career in makeup. One of the best ways to build your network is simply to meet as many people as possible, no matter what situation you’re in! For example, if you’re working as an assistant on a photo shoot, spend some time getting to know the crew, and making yourself known among the group of professionals.

Get to know each and every client that walks through that makeup artist’s door, and always be your pleasant, outgoing self. Being a kind and genuine person is extremely important, and will stand out to people just as much as your makeup qualifications! You never know when a job opportunity will arise, or who is currently hiring a makeup artist, so always be as professional and pleasant as possible!


a tool kit which is very important for a makeup artist

If you’ve been following along with our blogs you’ve learned the best ways to start building your brand and step into the pro makeup industry. Now while all of that is incredibly important, you certainly are not going to get far without the right kit.

Important things to consider when building the Holy Grail of makeup kits is Quality, Multifunction, and Sanitation.


Not everything in your kit is going to be able to have a variety of functions, but the more items you have that can serve different purposes the better. This will help streamline your kit, save space and reduce weight.

makeup brush, eye shadow brush and highlight brush

Examples of this would be brushes that can be used on eyes or lips, shadows that can be used wet or dry, or even lip color that doubles as a blush. It’s really up to you and your imagination as to how you can use items in different ways.


Remember that you’re going to use this kit on many different people and not just yourself. You must keep not only your brushes and tools clean, but also your makeup.

It’s important to not just choose disinfecting sprays and easily cleanable packaged products, but also disposable items. Never double dip into your tubes of mascara or lip color.


Now that you’re certified, it’s time to build your network. Turning your training into practical work experience does not happen overnight! You’ll need to exude confidence, be outgoing, and exercise patience. Attitude is everything as you get started, and we cannot stress this enough. We’re sure that one of your reasons for becoming a makeup artist was your love of people and socializing, and this is vital as you begin to network.

an image showing networking

In addition to your enthusiasm, a professional makeup portfolio is another key element of a successful career. We recommend choosing your very best makeup work and build an online portfolio. A digital portfolio is easy to share both on your website and tablet as you go out and meet potential clients, and will show them what you’re made of.

So, the work of a makeup artist, though it looks cool and easy, isn’t quite so. But who said the other jobs are easy?! So, if you have the above qualities then you’re good to go while if you don’t possess the above you still have a lot of time to gain on your skills and go ahead and become a good makeup artist.