Make-up Artist Types

Category: , / 3/20/2011
(Photo: Vancouver Film School)
So you think you want to be a make-up artist, but where do you start?  Read on for some common roles for professionals.

  • Cosmetic salesperson - Many great artists hone their skills on clients by starting out at a cosmetics counter or store.  Some stores, such as MAC, even offer training.
  • Face painter - Although commonly associated with children's parties and fairs, face painting can be a lucrative side job that requires artistic skills.
  • Bridal make-up artist - There is a demand for bridal makeup in almost all major cities, making it a good choice for those located outside of the biggest metropolitan areas.
  • Print/editorial make-up artist - From senior photos to fashion magazines, print media offers a variety of opportunities for make-up artists.
  • Film/TV make-up artist - Almost all featured actors need makeup in order to look good on camera.  Knowledge of basic bruise or costume makeup is useful in this field.
  • Costume make-up artist - Most visible at Halloween, these artists use face paint, Spirit Gum, and other products to create fantastical looks from fairies to zombies.
  • Special Effects make-up artist - Similar to costume make-up artists, Special Effects generally deals with monsters, dramatic ageing, and other transformations.  The skills usually are learned through extensive training.
Many professionals may have skills in several of these areas; some roles are more lucrative and/or consistent than others.

Thinking about going pro? Check out my book, The Mercenary Makeup Artist: Breaking into the Business with Style.

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