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Makeup Artistry School

Career Opportunities as a Makeup Artist | CMU College

By August 23, 2022September 6th, 2022No Comments

Artist: Jaye Falcion

The makeup artistry industry offers a significant amount of flexibility regarding career options. As a result, individuals who are choosing to pursue an education in makeup artistry can learn a variety of skills to help them prepare for the multitude of career options post-graduation. 

Do you have a strong interest in the art of makeup application but are unsure of the various career paths available to makeup artists? In today’s blog post, we are going to go over just a few of the career paths available to those who pursue an education in makeup artistry.

Makeup Artistry Career Paths

The field of makeup artistry offers a wealth of professional options, so regardless of where your interest in makeup lies, there is a career path that will speak to you.

Each makeup artistry career path is fascinating in its own way. The variety of fields in the makeup industry truly does speak to the interest and skills of each individual. Below are just a few of the career paths that one can pursue after gaining an education in makeup artistry.

Film & Television

One of the many career opportunities in makeup artistry includes doing makeup for film and television. In this role, you will often work on the sets of movies, TV series, and commercials as a celebrity makeup artist. You’ll apply makeup naturally in most situations.

Most job tasks within this role will include making actors resemble the character they’ll be playing. Sometimes makeup artists in this role may be required to complete specialized aging or character applications. 

A makeup artist working in the television and movie world, you might get the chance to collaborate with celebrities as your media portfolio grows.

If you dream of working behind the scenes on the small or the big screen, the Film & Television Makeup Artist Career Path might be a great career option.

Special Effects Makeup Artistry

Professional digital effects makeup artists use special effects to bring fiction to life through the application of specialized digital techniques and prosthetics. They are at the heart of the entertainment industry.

Professionals in this role can also design and apply makeup looks for a wide variety of performers and entertainers at live theaters and on film and TV sets.

These makeup artists touch up performer makeup throughout filming and production. They simulate genuine wounds, age, and other features through the application of innovative special effects. In addition, they also create looks that are specific to different historical eras.

Makeup artists who focus on special effects can work directly on individuals, as we’ve already discussed, or with a software program that helps them create special effects looks. Individuals interested in this specific aspect of makeup artistry would be required to take courses where they learn to build out the many facets of a fantastical character. 

CMU graduate and film makeup artist, Jaye Falcioni on the set of the Netflix show, V Wars.

Theatrical Makeup

Makeup for the theater and stage is another popular subfield of specialty makeup. Makeup artists specializing in producing dramatic looks that stand out on stage or in the movies may also recognized as “special effects” makeup artists, where they create realistic makeup that bring a character to life on stage.

Many theatrical makeup artists also work with special effects makeup to achieve more advanced looks on their subjects.

Artists within this industry should have a significant amount of experience and be multi-talented to be selected for theatrical makeup jobs. They need to be able to apply different kinds of makeup to produce a variety of looks.

Print Makeup Artist

Artists that specialize in providing their services for use in printed publications, such as magazines, catalogs, and other printed media, are known as print makeup artists.

To achieve the ideal appearance, these makeup artists collaborate closely with fashion designers, models, and photographers.

For a makeup artist to be considered for a position in print, they need to have an impressive portfolio and several years of expertise. Enrolling in a makeup school will put you on the right path as a successful print makeup artist. This course of education will cover topics like colours that translate well to print and techniques that work well with the lighting used to capture photos.

A fashion and editorial makeup career path is perfect for anyone who wants to work in the beauty industry.

Bridal Makeup Artist

Makeup artists that specialize in bridal work are trained to create stunning looks for brides both on the day of their weddings and during bridal photoshoots. This task will often require a handful of appointments to determine which approach the bride wants to go in. 

When it comes to bridal makeup, professional makeup artists must be skilled in a few different areas. Given that brides are going to be one-on-one with their guests, the finished product needs to look great up close and personal. That being said, brides are also heavily photographed on their big day, so the makeup look also needs to translate well through the lens of a camera and video camera. 

Makeup services provided by a bridal makeup artist are not only for the bride. There are many instances where a bridal makeup artist will also be hired to do makeup for bridesmaids and other members of the bridal party. 

Celebrity Makeup Artist

Makeup artists who wish to advance their careers seek opportunities to collaborate with well-known public figures.

These artists can perform a wide range of makeup applications, from those used for everyday occasions to those used for high-profile events. 

Considering that most celebrities use the services of a single makeup artist for all of their looks, becoming a celebrity makeup artist might result in greater career security.

Beauty Brand Makeup Artist

Makeup artists for beauty brands are independent experts collaborating with cosmetics companies to produce marketing content such as tutorials, product demos, and other types of videos.

They may also be asked to give in-store demos and provide consumers with makeup consultations. 

Makeup artists working for beauty brands typically have extensive knowledge of beauty products and procedures. They must also be able to create aesthetically pleasing and current looks.

Freelance Makeup Artist

There are several job opportunities available to individuals interested in becoming a freelance makeup artist. Many people who work as freelance makeup artists decide to launch their own cosmetics companies or start their own makeup artistry business as a whole.

Because you are your own employer in these instances, you can choose to specialize in whatever markets you want. These range from bridal to special effects makeup to the fashion industry.

When you work as a freelance makeup artist, you have the flexibility to accept new contract work as it becomes available. It’s an occupation that offers the most leeway in terms of scheduling.

Runway Makeup Artist

Work as a runway makeup artist can be fast paced and stressful at times, but the work is exciting and engaging. A perfect role for someone who thrives on an upbeat environment.

You will apply cosmetics to models, so they look their best in a particular designer’s collection. If you are the key makeup artist, you may also have the opportunity to design the cosmetics concept.

These cosmetic applications will impact the trends that will emerge for the future season. Prepare yourself to develop daring, intriguing, or at the very least, controversial looks.

Beauty Writer

If you enjoy makeup and writing, one of the best makeup careers for you may be as a beauty writer. Work for a magazine or beauty company writing blogs or testing and reviewing cosmetics.

One nice thing about this career path is that you can start writing on the side while you pursue one of the other makeup-related professions. As you establish and expand your reputation, you can devote more of your professional time to writing.

CMU graduate and fashion editorial makeup artist, Vittorio Masecchia working on Gigi Hadid for Elle Canada.

Advantages of Being A Professional Makeup Artist

Working as a professional makeup artist comes with some great benefits. For many, these advantages make makeup artistry a dream career.

Showcase Your Creativity

Most makeup artists are extremely creative, and becoming a makeup artist is a way to not only practice a skill that they enjoy but also to utilize their creative minds on a daily basis. 

No matter what kind of makeup effects you like, you can find a way to make a living doing it. In the field of makeup, there are many specialties that will fit your style of creativity perfectly, no matter what it is. For instance, you might be interested in special effects for movies and TV shows. You might want to do models’ makeup for photo shoots. Or, you could switch to doing makeup for weddings and help brides get ready for one of the most important days of their lives.

No matter what it is, you can show off your creativity the way you’ve always wanted to.

Constantly Meeting People

Another perk to being a makeup artist is that you always meet new people. As a beginner makeup artist, you probably won’t meet famous people every day, but everyone has a story. Even the people from your own city will have interesting things to say.

Also, if you decide to become a more visible makeup artist, you might meet famous people and models. Again, the choices you make and the people you meet as a makeup artist are all up to you.

Try a Variety of Products

You must always have top-notch supplies on hand if you want to be a truly outstanding makeup artist. That typically entails having a wide range of makeup, including a wide range of colours, products, and tools.

Many businesses provide a professional discount you can take advantage of if you’re a professional makeup artist in order to help offset the cost of buying all these cosmetics.

Consequently, this reduces your business expenses, which makes it much easier for you to earn a profit with your enterprise. Another perk to this setup is that you’re able to try various products without having to break the bank. 

Skills Makeup Artist Need to Master

Even before using a sponge or brush, a makeup artist needs to acquire essential makeup skills. They need the ability to analyze a client’s skin type, including colour, sensitivity, and condition. The kind and colours of makeup to apply are determined by these factors.

Face Shape, Skin Analysis, & Skin Prep

If you want to meet the expectations of your clients, facial analysis is a crucial tool. In addition to following the latest trends, they will want you to match their personality and style. Therefore as a professional makeup artist, you need to be able to recommend a pleasing makeup look for each client.

In aesthetics, “facial analysis” refers to methods to accentuate beauty through makeup. It includes makeup products and application methods, the impact of colour on hair, and the shape of the haircut or hairstyle.

Techniques for facial analysis accentuate what is attractive in our faces and conceal what is not. It is not intended to change who your client is; rather, by looking at their facial features, it is intended to highlight their already attractive features.

Colour Corrective Techniques

Enabling clients to create an illusion using the magic of makeup to boost their self-confidence is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a makeup artist. This includes colour correction, corrective makeup techniques, facial balancing, camouflaging, and disguising scars, burns, tattoos, and sunburns on the body.

Like any art form, concealing or camouflaging flaws in the skin requires patience and experience. Acne, scars, burns, vitiligo, pigmentation, rosacea, age spots, birthmarks, and dark under-eye bags are some of the most frequently covered-up or camouflaged skin conditions.

Colour Blending

For a makeup artist, precision and extensive blending are two key components in the art of concealing imperfections. Corrective makeup gives the appearance of balance and proportion. It does this by using light and dark hues and tones to draw attention to and define features;

Lighter colours always appear closer and darker shades appear farther away. You can give the appearance of shape by placing dark and light shades next to one another in the proper setting.

A feature will be highlighted (in a light shade) and minimized (in a dark shade) through contouring. A dark colour will pull an object back to the foreground, while a light colour will move it forward. Shadows produced by contouring will assist define specific areas.


Makeup artists need to practice good hygiene while working in their industry. Without good hygiene practices, makeup items may become contaminated, lose potency, and the customer may develop skin allergies.

Not only that, but keep in mind that your client will judge you based on how you behave. No matter how skilled and experienced you are as a makeup artist, people will always notice how clean your vanity and products are.

Poor hygiene practices may unintentionally give your customer the wrong impression, and as a result, they may opt never to seek you again for other jobs.

Colour Matching

Colour matching is a crucial part of a job in the makeup artistry industry. Essentially, colour matching is the process of finding the right colors and shades to compliment an individual while also creating the perfect look. 

Skin tones vary in warmth and colour, so before you get started on your makeup look, it’s crucial to determine these factors for the individual you’re doing makeup for. The same goes for makeup products like foundation or concealer. To truly provide a seamless look that leaves the makeup looking natural, colour matching products are a must.

Consider CMU College For Your Education

With an understanding of the career opportunities available to those interested in makeup artistry, it’s time to find the right school to start an education and, ultimately, career. CMU College has been dedicated to teaching individuals who are passionate about makeup artistry the skills and techniques they need to succeed in the industry since 1987. 

Our team of award-winning instructors at CMU have taught more than 5,000 makeup artists the skills they need to pursue a career as a makeup artist in the film & television industry, theatre, digital and special effects, and the like. As the only school that offers all eight disciplines of makeup industry, CMU is a great school to consider when pursuing an education in makeup artistry.

Whether you’re certain which discipline you’d like to pursue or you’re more interested in a robust education that works through all disciplines, we have a program for you. Learn more about the college and discover the various makeup artistry programs that can help you achieve your career goals.

Enroll in a Makeup Artistry Course at CMU

How can you gain these essential makeup artistry skills? One of the best ways is to sign up for makeup artistry classes that allow you to get hands-on experience with some of the most crucial lessons in the industry. A certificate or diploma in makeup artistry will not only advance your skill set but will also build your portfolio for potential clients and employers.

Students can earn a certificate, diploma, or degree in their field of expertise by enrolling in one of the many courses and programs offered at CMU College.

A cosmetics program can prepare you for expertise in the field if you’re a highly creative individual who enjoys working with others. Contact CMU College to begin your own path to being a makeup artist.