Infographic: 4 Career Paths for the Modern Make-Up Artist

Makeup is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world! What market researchers are calling “the beauty boom” or “the beauty blogger effect” has caused the makeup industry to generate over $350 billion in profits last year alone. The widespread success and popularity of makeup is shining a spotlight on a range of exciting employment opportunities for those interested in pursuing beauty full-time. Makeup artist training can provide you with the cutting-edge theoretical and practical knowledge you need to succeed in this fast-paced field. With lessons on how makeup is used for beauty, bridal, fashion, film, television and much more, you can truly find fulfilling employment in any makeup career of your choosing. But how do you know which makeup industry career is right for you? According to experts working in the field, the key is to follow your passion. Whether you love to make women look and feel their best or enjoy coming up with creative looks no one has seen before, there will be opportunities awaiting you once you graduate from makeup artist school. To learn what the various career paths are all about, check out the infographic below: 

IBI Infographic MUA Career Options4 Career Paths for the Modern Make-Up Artist

1. Freelance Makeup Artist

Freelance make-up artists (MUAs) use their talent, creativity and expert makeup skills to prepare clients for special occasions, like:
  • weddings
  • proms
  • photo shoots
  • awards ceremonies
  • beauty pageants
Job Duties:
  • Travel to wherever their services are needed
  • Maintain well-stocked professional makeup kits
  • Market themselves online via web portfolios and social media
  • Meet with clients, earn trust and positive reviews
  • Develop skills and networks at professional MUA events
Salary: $11,000 – $33,000 per year ♥ Tips received from a freelance MUA’s clients can make up a significant part of their earnings.

2. Entertainment Industry Makeup Artist

These professionals work in special effects, using expert techniques and prosthetics to bring fantasy to life. They may also create and apply makeup looks onto a wide range of performers and entertainers at:
  • Live Theatres
  • Film/TV sets
  • Theme Parks
Job Duties:
  • ‘Touch up’ performer makeup during filming and production
  • Apply realistic wounds/aging/creative special effects makeup
  • Produce makeup looks specific to historical periods
Salary: $20,000 – $67,580 per year “Doing makeup for entertainment is one of the most fun & rewarding jobs out there!” -Malia Miglino, MUA

3. Fashion Industry Makeup Artists

These makeup professionals use their artistic skills to prepare models for the camera or the runway, in collaboration with stylists, designers, and fashion visionaries. Find them at:
  • Photo shoots
  • Runway shows and fashion weeks
  • Beauty Industry Events
Job Duties:
  • Apply on-trend commercial makeup looks
  • Create avant-garde editorial makeup looks
  • Execute a fashion designer’s aesthetic vision
Salary: $14.71 – $40 per hour ♥ Beauty trends, like fashion trends, often start on the runway.

4. Beauty Industry Service Careers

Many make-up artists work full-time in the cosmetics service industry, as the friendly faces at the frontlines of the beauty industry connecting customers with the right makeup products at:
  • Cosmetics Stores
  • Beauty Expos
  • Salons, Spas and Resorts
Job Duties:
  • Giving makeovers
  • Demonstrating application techniques
  • Selling makeup products
Salary: $12.24 – $16 per hour ♥ Elizabeth Arden coined the term ‘makeover’ as a service first offered by her salons in 1906. The salaries of all these jobs vary based on:
  • the size and reputation of your business
  • the size of your established client base
  • whether you’re on a commission or compensation basis
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A very interesting and valuable experience. I learnt a lot and my Instructor was always ready to answer my questions. By the end of my course and clinical internship, I had a lot of experience and I liked how it enabled me to interact with all kinds of clients through the practical work.
Medical Aesthetics Diploma Graduate
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