Career Profile: Makeup Artist

Career Profile: Makeup Artist

by Patrick Start
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Makeup artists; what do they do? Generally, they cater to esthetic needs by doing people’s makeup and hair. Their clientele can vary from brides to working on models for fashion shows, to movie sets. Makeup artists are not only responsible for applying makeup and hairstyles. They are also responsible for the ideas and research involved in the makeup process.[1]

Makeup artists don’t just focus on the face of subjects; they do makeup effects for the whole body. They can create fake cuts, wounds and lacerations that are applied with special make up kits. Gregory Nicotero, makeup artist for AMC’s The Walking Dead explains one of the key features of series:

“One of the signature things in The Walking Dead are the teeth,” explains Nicotero. “For every character that we do, we make custom dentures.

The more you expose their teeth, the more threatening they look.”[2]

Areas of this industry are vast. A Makeup artist may work for news and media outlets, theatrical productions or in the fashion industry. [3]

While some makeup artists work as independent contractors for film and theater companies, some work for production companies and travel on the road. Some even work for politicians and travel with them on foreign trips.[4]

Colleges like Sheridan, offer makeup and special effects programs, which include 40 hours of placement. This course includes lectures on sketching, colour theory and the application of special effects makeup.

Makeup artists are required to be very artistic and have a very good eye for detail. They are well respected in their industry. Some makeup artists can earn up to $30 an hour.

If you enjoy working with people and makeup then this is the career for you!


[1] https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/advice/planning/jobprofiles/Pages/make-upartist.aspx

[2] http://aplus.com/a/Walking-Dead-Zombie-Costumes-Making

[3] http://study.com/make-up_artist.html

[4] http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/04/09/mike-duffy-trial-highlights-stephen-harpers-use-of-makeup-artist.html

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