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Makeup Artist

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What Do Makeup Artist Do?

Position Description Apply makeup to performers to reflect period, setting, and situation of their role.

Life As a Makeup Artist: What Do They Do?

  • Examine sketches, photographs, and plaster models to obtain desired character image depiction.
  • Alter or maintain makeup during productions as necessary to compensate for lighting changes or to achieve continuity of effect.
  • Write makeup sheets and take photos to document specific looks and the products used to achieve the looks.
  • Cleanse and tone the skin to prepare it for makeup application.
  • Apply makeup to enhance or alter the appearance of people appearing in productions such as movies.
  • Demonstrate products to clients, and provide instruction in makeup application.

Makeup Artist Skills

Makeup Artists state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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  • Makeup Artist
  • Body Make-Up Artist

Job Demand for Makeup Artists

In the United States, there were 4,800 jobs for Makeup Artist in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 12.5% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 600 new jobs for Makeup Artist by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 600 job openings in this field each year.


The states with the most job growth for Makeup Artist are North Carolina, Nevada, and District of Columbia. Watch out if you plan on working in Washington, Indiana, or California. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Makeup Artists Salary

Makeup Artists make between $22,460 and $130,710 a year.


Makeup Artists who work in District of Columbia, Tennessee, or California, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Makeup Artists in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
California $79,820
District of Columbia $84,320
Florida $63,950
Georgia $58,100
Hawaii $47,720
Louisiana $35,720
Nevada $37,340
New York $77,030
Tennessee $88,090
Texas $42,550

What Tools do Makeup Artists Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Makeup Artists may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • Web browser software
  • Email software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Facebook
  • Intuit QuickBooks
  • Twitter
  • Appointment scheduling software
  • Blogging software
  • Instagram
  • Client databases

Becoming a Makeup Artist

Individuals working as a Makeup Artist have obtained the following education levels:


How many years of work experience do I need?


Who Employs Makeup Artists?


The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.


Similar Careers

Those interested in being a Makeup Artist may also be interested in:


Image Credit: Tiffany Bumgardner via Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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