How can I become a professional make-up artist?

How can I become a professional make-up artist?

How can I become a professional makeup artist?

If you have spent time working behind a beauty counter, applying makeup to cast members in theatre groups, or just have a passion for makeup and creativity – you might be wondering how you become a professional makeup artist. It’s important to know that there’s more to this trade than just earning a degree, so let’s take a look.

Enroll in Cosmetology School

Cosmetology school is where you will earn the skills and techniques needed to be successful in the beauty industry. Many states have certain examinations and licensing requirements that cosmetology school will prepare you for.

You will also learn from beauty professionals with years, some cases decades, of experience to pass down to you. Cosmetology is a great place to network as many of the instructors and schools are well connected in the industry to help with job placement or referrals after you graduate.

Build a visual portfolio

A portfolio allows you to showcase your work to potential clients and employers. Here are some tips for building a strong portfolio:

  • Use both male and female models with different hairstyles, textures, and color
  • Apply different makeup styles and techniques to different skin tones and complexions
  • Take quality photos with proper lighting, this will help show off all the detail in your work
  • Photocopy your diploma from cosmetology school, license, certifications, and references and put them in your portfolio
  • Make sure it is organized in a manner that makes sense with clear sections it can be easily reviewed
  • Put your portfolio online for people to view, make videos showing you in action, and stay up-to-date with current and developing trends

Interact with Clients and Hair Stylists

Word of mouth is a very effective way of getting referrals from your current clients. If they like you and your work, there’s a good chance they will refer others to you. Connect with other hairstylists and beauty bloggers, this will help keep up with trends.

You might even find out about events and competitions that will give you the opportunity to demonstrate your talent and gain more exposure.

Get on social media

Utilizing accounts like Pinterest and Instagram to share images of your work is a great way to get noticed and attract new clients. Sharing your talent on social media can even get your work in front of creatives who work in TV and movies – which could be your next big break!

Keep up with the time

The beauty industry is constantly changing as new trends develop. Stay curious and open to learning about new styles and try to incorporate them into your work. The more experienced and diverse you are, the more clients you can service.


The first step in becoming a successful makeup artist is selecting the school that’s right for you. When choosing a school, pay attention to the resources they offer in comparison to others. Hint: Some will pay for state licensing after graduation!

With hard work and focus, you can develop a very successful career where you could even be able to be your own boss someday!