Becoming a makeup artist involves getting training in a cosmetology school, getting on-the-job experience, developing a portfolio and seeking jobs. Makeup artists work in the theatrical and film industries as well as in beauty salons. Some makeup artists specialize in doing makeup for weddings and other special events.
Choosing the right cosmetology school is crucial for anyone seeking a career as a makeup artist. Some schools specialize in film makeup, including special effects makeup, while others mainly train makeup artists to work with still photographers or at beauty salons. Most cosmetology school programs in makeup last about six months.
Some states require general cosmetology certificates for makeup artists, while others allow for specialized licenses. Some states do not require any certification. Anyone wishing to work as a makeup artist should learn what is required in her state.
Aspiring makeup artists should also read books and magazines regarding the profession. Attending makeup trade shows also allows new makeup artists to stay up-to-date on the latest techniques.
Makeup artists wishing to work in theatrical makeup should augment their cosmetology school experience with volunteering at local theaters or with student and small independent film. These volunteer experiences allow a new makeup artist to begin building a resume and a portfolio as well as a network of professional contacts.