A make-up artist is professionally trained and specializes in the application of make-up. There are various career opportunities for those trained in make-up artistry, ranging from assisting a bride on her special day to theatrical make-up application on-set for actors.

The world of make-up has grown exponentially, with celebrity-inspired make-up trends dictating it’s popularity in today’s culture; there has never been a more exciting time to begin your career within this exhilarating industry. Your daily tasks as a make-up artist may include scheduling appointments, maintaining the hygiene and cleanliness of your equipment and creating a rapport with potential customers to expand your client base.

Due to the nature of the role, it is important that make-up artists are aware of the health and safety procedures, as well as hygienic requirements, before embarking on a role in this industry. The Beauty Academy offer a wide range of treatments to assist you in launching into this chosen career.

Personal attributes for this specific career path include a tactful manner, considerable patience and possessing good time-management skills whilst adhering to pressured deadlines.  The ability to work calmly under pressure is essential, as you may be working to a strict deadline during a particular make-up job.  For example, if you are completing the make-up of a client who is appearing on live television, there is a deadline as to when your client’s make-up must be complete to the required standard. You will also need to have good interpersonal skills and be able to communicate in a range of environments, as the majority of your work will be one-on-one situations in various locations. Being able to come up with creative ideas, use initiative and ensure these ideas are refined with an excellent attention to detail are skills you will develop as you train in make-up, and our courses are designed to bring out your creative side.

You will develop all the appropriate technical skills for this career route during your training, covering the basics of hygiene in the workplace, health and safety factors, contraindications, as well as the creative techniques involved in make-up application, working to an industry-required standard.

If you are looking to be self-employed, working as a freelance make-up artist from home and/or mobile, you will need to achieve diploma certification, allowing you to obtain the appropriate Public Liability Insurance to cover you when performing your treatments.   

If you are considering gaining employment within the industry in the future, or looking to eventually open your own premises, it may be in your interest to achieve a Level 2 qualification.

Many make-up artists are self-employed and work on a freelance-basis, using self-promotion, word of mouth and established contacts to secure make-up jobs. Being self-employed enables your working hours to be flexible; you will be able to manage your time to your schedule to an extent, although it is important to be aware that working hours could be over weekends or in the evenings, opposed to a structured 9-5 working day. Working days for make-up artists can be long, for instance, if you are working on a film set, you may be required to stay until filming ends to re-apply make-up on actors/actresses. 

The working life of a make-up artist is diverse, and many within this exciting industry thrive on the excitement of their career; each client and brief is different and allows you to be creative, meet and work with different people all the time, and occasionally have the opportunity to travel abroad as part of the job.

As make-up artists are typically freelance, your working environment will differ, sometimes on a daily-basis, and you will find yourself working in a variety of places including film sets (potentially in different countries), out of vehicles on location, in studio’s or in the comfort of their own home. Often you may be working alone, but you may also work as an assistant to a more senior make-up artist as you begin your career.

You will also need to ensure you maintain an up-to-date knowledge of the industry, as trends in make-up are constantly evolving. To possess this knowledge will keep you relevant and in-demand within the industry, and clients will expect you to know and practice the latest trends as part of make-up application.

Once you have acquired enough experience in the industry, there is the opportunity to specialize in the sector of make-up that most interests you. There is no definitive progression route, and how you naturally evolve in the industry will correlate with your strengths and personal interests. 

You may specialize; or choose to progress with advanced training into:

  • Bridal/special occasion make-up 
  • Make-up concession counter assistant
  • Working on film sets
  • Working on television sets e.g. wounds and special effects for hospital dramas
  • Live music make-up artist
  • Photographic/editorial shoots for publications
  • Television/advertisement make-up 
  • Theatrical make-up

You can progress from a junior make-up artist to a chief make-up artist/make-up designer, as your confidence and portfolio of work grows.

Book your training…

It is important that if you are looking to work freelance as a make-up artist, you hold the required certificates to obtain appropriate public liability insurance to cover you working from home and/or mobile. You will also need to be working to an appropriate level of practice, including hygiene requirements and health and safety factors to avoid incidents. Your make-up artistry training with The Beauty Academy will cover this information, along with all the practical skills. 

Start a portfolio of work…

Work experience and building up your portfolio is as important as gaining the appropriate qualifications. Whilst you are training with The Beauty Academy, you will get the opportunity to photograph your work in the training centre as you learn new skills and techniques, whilst working on other students. You can use these photographs within your portfolio of work to demonstrate your abilities and experience in make-up application. 

Build up your kit…

You will need to begin building up your make-up kit which will come together over time as you acquire more products and learn what products work best for you. There’s a lot of equipment that is vital to have with you during a make-up job, ranging from spare change for car park charges to hand sanitizer. It is important that the products you carry in your kit cover the whole spectrum of clients you may be working on, including appropriate colours (in products such as foundations, eyeshadows, lipsticks) for a range of skin types, as well as skin tones. However, you don’t want to be carrying unnecessary items as make-up artists are expected to carry their kits with them from job to job. You will also need to ensure your kit is organized and clean, as this will reflect your ability and professionalism as a make-up artist.

  • Established 1990: the Original Private Beauty Training School

    I’ve obtained multiple qualifications with The Beauty Academy over the years. It has improved my skills and I have gained confidence. The training is thorough and the course works around you, the tutors are all great! I will definitely book another course to keep up with the beauty industry.

    Sabine St Hilaire

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  • Established 1990: the Original Private Beauty Training School

    I made a last minute decision to attend the ‘dry manicure and gel polish’ course and so glad I did! The tutor (Donnamarie) was so passionate and inspiring that she gave me the confidence I needed. Everything was well explained and the group was small enough get the best out of the day.

    Gemma Hacker

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  • Established 1990: the Original Private Beauty Training School

    I have done a few courses at the Cambridge and London venues and loved all of them. Staff is very friendly and professional at the same time which makes it easy to learn the theory and also the techniques. Teachers pay attention to each student and gives honest advises and support. I highly recommend The Beauty Academy for everyone.

    Ernesta Davailyte

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Our expert team of tutors based across our 10 Training Schools are all qualified to the highest levels, still practising in the industry keeping their skills up to date and with years of industry experience to share with their students. All tutors are friendly and welcoming, making you feel totally at ease whether attending for your very first course or your VTCT qualification assessment days.