How Do I Become a Makeup Artist?

If you enjoy doing your own makeup or that of others, you may consider turning this interest into a career. Professional makeup artists find work everywhere, from bridal parties to movie sets.

How Do You Become A Makeup Artist?

How do You Become a Makeup Artist? There is more than one way to become a professional makeup artist. Proper schooling can help you learn many techniques and current trends. You can also learn a lot from working at a beauty store or salon in an entry-level position.

Now that you know there is a lot to learn, it is important to consider the many educational opportunities you can choose from. It is best to learn from a variety of sources. This helps you find out what kind of makeup you’re interested in and allows you to prepare to work with a more diverse clientele.

Do I Have to Go to School to Become a Makeup Artist?

You do not have to go to school to become a makeup artist. However, proper education and training may help you find a job easier. If you must compete with many other applicants, a good educational background can make your resume stand out.

  • You may also like to apply for an internship to gain job experience.
  • Schools often help you get internships and letters of recommendation.
  • Many businesses only hire trained interns that have attended a school.

When you get close to finishing your school program, take the time to talk to a school counselor about jobs. Some programs offer career assistance for their students. You may get advice, help with your resume, or a letter of recommendation.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Makeup Artist?

After you graduate from high school, you can apply for cosmetology classes. It takes about 8- 12 months to become a makeup artist. You need a cosmetology license in the state you plan to work in.

You must have a high school diploma or GED to attend cosmetology school, in most cases. The process can take up to two (2) years if you must attend school part-time. You may also need to spend time doing an internship or working an entry-level job.

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Makeup Artist?

Cosmetology schools cost an average of $7,000 to $17,000. These private schools may have some financial assistance or scholarships, however, expect to pay for your tuition up front. Many people work and attend school part-time. This can help you finish school with minimal debt.

If you want to pursue a more traditional education while working on your cosmetology license, you may have more expenses – but you may also be more well-rounded. Some community colleges offer cosmetology classes and complete programs.

At a community college, you can get your associates degree in two years if you attend school full-time. Talk to a school counselor about using some of your cosmetology classes as electives for your associate degree so you can accomplish all your educational goals efficiently.

The average cost of a 2-year degree is about $3,500 each year. Private colleges may cost more. At a community college, you may find scholarships and grants to help lower the cost of your training.

Are There Internships for Makeup Artists?

You can find many internship opportunities to help you with your career. Ask a teacher or advisor at your school to help you find an internship that suits you. You may have specific interests, such as theatrical makeup, for example. Perhaps a local theatre group offers a well-known scholarship.

Many beauty salons also offer internships for aspiring makeup and hair artists. You may need to fill out an application and attend an interview. Be sure to prepare by making good grades throughout your months in cosmetology school.

You may also need a letter of recommendation from a teacher, a friend, or someone you work with. If you attend school, get someone experienced to help you with the application. This can give you a better chance of winning the internship.

Makeup Artist Preparation and Opportunities Before College

Many people show an interest in makeup artistry early in their lives. It is never too early to start learning. Kids may start out by practicing on their dolls, friends, or family members. Many high schools now offer a variety of electives. Cosmetology is one of these, in some cases.

Some cities also have specialty high schools for kids that already show an interest in a specific career path. These early experiences give students an opportunity to start learning proper techniques before they get to a cosmetology school. This can contribute to their success.

Kids may also become interested in makeup because they have a family member or family friend that works in the industry. Growing up with a mentor can also help young people develop makeup skills to prepare for a career. Here are some tips for honing you skills early on.

Practice on Everyone

When you have an interest in becoming a professional makeup artist, you need to practice often. If you have a lot of experience and talent, you may find that your friends begin to ask you to do their makeup.

You can practice by helping friends get ready for school dances or giving makeovers. Practice a lot of different looks, as well. For example, you can practice a day look by doing someone’s makeup for a job interview. You can practice special effects makeup for a costume party and evening makeup for dances or dates. Most people are happy to lend their faces to get their makeup done for free when they have a special occasion to attend.

Social Media and Online Videos

It is easier now than ever before to learn new things. You can look anything up online. Makeup tutorials are very popular. Find a few different makeup artists on social media and follow them. You can also look at YouTube videos of people preparing for special occasions.

Social media can also help you promote yourself. Start your own social media page or YouTube channel to show off your talents. This is a good way to gain interest from people that can help you with your career. You can also reference your pages or channel when you turn in resumes. This gives people a way to view your work and style.


Your school may help you form your portfolio. If you start working with makeup as a kid or teen, however, take pictures of your best work. Use these to start your portfolio. You can take this to a cosmetology school when you apply, or to a job interview.

When you begin working on friends and family, they may also like to see previous work you have done. They may find a look in your portfolio they want you to try on them, as well.

On-the-Job Experiences

You do not need to graduate from cosmetology school to work with makeup. Many teens can get jobs at a beauty supply store or salon. You won’t work on people’s faces with entry-level positions, but you can begin learning about the industry.

You can learn about all the different makeup brands and watch makeup artists in action. Show initiative by asking questions and staying after your shift to observe the makeup artists. You can gain a lot of experience by simply spending time in the proper environment.

The Tools of the Trade: Your Makeup Supplies

All artists need the right resources and tools before getting started.
Start gathering your tools of the trade. Read articles about the best tools and start your collection as soon as you can. Special brushes and high-quality makeup can get expensive. It takes time to collect everything you need.

Do some research before you attend school to find out what tools you need for classes. This way you can financially prepare for the purchase. Even if you have a year or two left of high school, you can visit the school, get an application, and ask questions.

It is better to have a very good set of basic tools than to purchase low-quality items. A big collection of low-quality brushes and makeup can hinder your success. Choose your items wisely.


It is exciting to start your education and career as a makeup artist. Many people that have these careers begin showing interest early in their lives. You can get a lot of experience before you ever go to cosmetology school.

Spend time with an experienced artist, watch online tutorials, and get job beauty salon or beauty supply store. There are many great cosmetology schools and internships to help you start your career after high school, as well.