How to become a Make-up Artist

Make-up artists apply make-up to fashion and photographic models; actors and other performers involved in stage, film and television productions; brides; and other clients for special occasions.

Personal requirements for a Make-up Artist

  • Artistic ability
  • Good colour perception
  • Patient and tactful
  • Good communication skills
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Able to work under pressure

Education & Training for a Make-up Artist

You can work as a make-up artist without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job through experience in beauty salons, cosmetic companies or amateur theatrical companies. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications. You may like to consider a VET qualification. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a make-up artist through a traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.


Duties & Tasks of a Make-up Artist

Make-up artists:

  • Prepare the skin for make-up application and remove make-up as required
  • Demonstrate cosmetic products to clients
  • Instruct clients about make-up application
  • Apply a wide variety of professional make-up products
  • Design wigs, beards, masks and prosthetics (artificial body parts) and apply them to achieve an appropriate character appearance
  • Use make-up to produce effects such as ageing, illness, scars and bruising
  • Alter or maintain make-up during productions to ensure the continuity of a performer's appearance
  • Advise hairdressers on the hairstyle required for character parts.

Tasks

  • Applies and retouches make up during shootings and performances, including special effects make up such as scars and wounds..

Employment Opportunities for a Make-up Artist

Make-up artists are employed in the film, stage and television industries. They may also work on photographic shoots, promotions, fashion parades and in the make-up and cosmetic retailing industry. They are often self-employed and may work on a freelance basis. Competition for jobs is strong, and interstate or overseas experience is often needed to enhance employment opportunities.


Specializations

Make-up Artist

Make-up artists apply make-up to fashion and photographic models; actors and other performers involved in stage, film and television productions; brides; and other clients for special occasions.

  • Average age
    Average age
    28 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Stable
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    97% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    42 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,327
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Medium skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Average unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    30% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    2,500 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 0.8%
    NSW: 35.9%
    NT: 0.3%
    QLD: 19.3%
    SA: 6.0%
    TAS: 0.6%
    VIC: 28.3%
    WA: 8.9%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 6.2%
    20-24: 27.4%
    25-34: 37.9%
    35-44: 17.7%
    45-54: 8.4%
    55-59: 1.4%
    60-64: 0.5%
    65 and Over: 0.6%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 38.1%
    Bachelor degree: 10.4%
    Certificate III/IV: 27.6%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0.8%
    Year 10 and below: 2.7%
    Year 11: 2.3%
    Year 12: 18.1%
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