How to Get Started as a Freelance Makeup Artist

As a freelance makeup artist, you get an opportunity to enhance the looks of people by using various makeup materials and techniques. You get plenty of opportunities as a freelance makeup artist, as people from various walks of life wear makeup to look good on special occasions. You may work for models, celebrities or for people attending grand parties or special occasions like award function and weddings.


You can become a freelance makeup artist without obtaining any special qualifications. The only thing needed is knowledge of various makeup techniques and makeup materials and cosmetics. However, it is prudent to join a makeup artist school and complete a basic makeup artist course. Enroll yourself in online makeup courses or makeup training programs for special occasions and get certified. Certification of hair styling or skin care is an added advantage. A number of specific courses in wedding, advertising or film makeup are also available. You can also join a course for special effects makeup to give the required look to film or theater artists.

Getting Started

  • Purchase all the minimum requirements like makeup brushes, makeup case, adjustable makeup chair, good quality beauty products.
  • Start working with people and during your free time, work with an established makeup artist as an assistant to get on-the-job experience.
  • Be punctual for all your assignments with your clients.
  • After gaining some experience, prepare an attention garnering portfolio of your work and send it to event coordinators. Since your work will be observed by lot of people, you can get offers for working as a makeup artist for magazine cover models, music video albums, television artistes, film personalities and other celebrities.
  • Join a certification course or workshop to keep your makeup skills updated. Enroll for additional courses like hair styling or herbal makeover to keep yourself ahead of your competitors.
  • Create a website to promote your achievements so that prospective clients can approach you for your services.
  • Build a reputation for yourself by using only best quality and non-allergenic products to your clients.
  • Apply makeup and also provide your clients with tips and advice on fashion, jewelry, matching outfits and skin care methods.

Pay Scale

As a starter, you can charge about $50 for a simple makeup. The rate can be hiked after you have built a reputation for yourself. As of May 31, 2010, the net pay for makeup artist is between $27,016 and $45,508, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states. Depending on the type of service you provide (magazine model, film personalities, TV anchors, politicians and bridal), the rate varies.

Final Word

As a freelance makeup artist, you can flourish in this business if you are innovative and passionate about the art of makeup. You must have the ability to understand the expectations of your clients and transform their looks so that they would refer you to their acquaintance. Occasional travel also needs to be undertaken, as high profile clients usually prefer to employ the same makeup artist wherever they are.