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Career Paths in Makeup Artistry Film & Television Makeup Artist

Average potential earning | $60K/year

In-demand Careers in Makeup Artistry

The career path for professional makeup artistry is incredibly versatile. The options are endless when you have the right skills and training. From editorial, film & TV, fashion, theatre, special effects, or prosthetics design – you can make your mark anywhere! And once you do, you might even consider building your own brand.


  • Build your portfolio: sometimes, this might mean unpaid work and volunteering, but it’s all for a higher purpose. And practice makes perfect!
  • NETWORK: network, network, network. Get out there and meet people. You never know who will remember you and hire you for a big job!
  • Be professional: as always, be respectful on any job, whether it’s paid or unpaid. Your reputation precedes you. 
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Be yourself: always strive to be your natural, creative, and authentic self!

A makeup artist working in film and TV is integral to breathing life into characters. Whether that means enhancing the natural beauty of a cast of actors or creating a terrifying group of zombies, the goal is transformation. The work of the best makeup artists in film & TV goes unnoticed because it’s believable. The Academy Awards created a category for best makeup and hairstyling for a good reason.

The job of a film and television makeup artist takes years of training and hard work. The first step in this journey is an education in makeup artistry from a reputable school like CMU. Here, you will learn the knowledge and skills required in today’s makeup industry. With help from industry experts, veterans, and professionals, you’ll learn the tricks of the trade, best practices, and current trends. 

Many film and television makeup artists get their start by working as assistants on set. Typically, these opportunities are on low-budget films and TV shows which are great environments for practicing and refining learned skills. Film and TV sets are also great places to form lasting relationships – which is why it’s essential always to be kind and professional. It is also crucial to maintain an up-to-date portfolio of your work to showcase your creativity, skills, and experience.

The job prospects for movie makeup artists will vary depending on location. But the outlook in the U.S. and Canada over the next decade is strong, driven by advancements in makeup, skin and hair treatments, and new media and the Internet are creating new performance markets. Opportunities will present themselves if you have the enthusiasm and dedication to succeed!

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