How Much Does a Makeup Artist Make?

The makeup industry is very vast and refers to the production of a variety of makeup products that consist of creams, powders, foundations, concealers, lipstick, mascaras, and several other facial decorative products produced to enhance skin and facial features.

In fact, the market has witnessed huge growth that is estimated to be worth over $60 billion in 2024. This huge potential for growth means that there is a chance to build a thriving makeup career. However, it all boils down to knowing your art. Although it is learned, having artistic talent will impact on your trade.

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There are several players in this industry that range from hair stylists, product developers, beauty writers, freelance makeup artists, celebrity makeup artists, and theatrical/performance makeup artists. Others include aesthetic makeup artists, dermatologists, tattoo artists, plastic surgeons and cosmetologists among several others.

However, our interest lies in how much these makeup artists make. With the growth witnessed in this industry, it is logical that remuneration will be quite attractive and should measure up to growth. This article will reveal if this assertion is true.

The Makeup Industry and Licensing

It is common knowledge that a business must be licensed before the commencement of operations. In the makeup industry, this requirement applies to salon owners. However the same cannot be said for makeup artists that ply their trade in the theatrical or performance industries. For this group of makeup artists, licensing requirements do not apply.

To become a makeup artist, you do not need to go through formal schooling as it is a technical vocation which can be learned by taking courses in a variety of makeup techniques. However, a vast majority of makeup artists learn the art through on-the-job training. In fact, the requirements for membership of the Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists Guild which itself is a member of the International Alliance of the Theatrical Stage Employees Union does not require formal educational requirements of any sort. However, the experience is used as the major determinant for membership.

There is a downside to how membership requirement for new members is done. This is because there are many makeup artists in the theatrical and performance industries competing for fewer jobs as compared to those in other industries.

What is the Income Range for Makeup Artists?

There are several factors which affect how much makeup artists make. One of such is location. This plays a prominent role in determining their salary. Thus makeup artists who work at entertainment hubs such as California and New York typically earn higher wages. The Bureau of Labour Statistics has revealed that makeup artists in New York earn the highest with an average annual income of $93,390 in 2011. Those in California earned $73,240 per annum.

When compared to the two entertainment hubs, the difference in income of makeup artists in other states/regions pales in comparison. For example, according to Colorado’s Department of Labor and Employment, makeup artists in the state of Colorado earned an average annual income of $25,997.

The Bureau of Labour Statistics has revealed the national mean annual salary for makeup artists for the year 2011 was pegged at $63,710. According to it, the highest earning group (10%) earned at least $120,050 per annum. The mid 50% earned salaries within the $27,740 to $88,550 range while the bottom 10% earned from $20,490 below (all within the same period). This shows us the different scenarios that apply to makeup artists plying their trade in different locations/industries.

Places you can Work as a Makeup Artist

 As a makeup artist, you are not restricted to by a limited choice of where to work. A lot of makeup artists work in a variety of places. As a matter of fact, you can decide to offer your services as an instructor in a makeup school, work at a spa or salon, open a cosmetic store as well as offering freelance makeup services at graduation and family shoot sessions, and bridal and wedding parties. Whichever option you choose, your practice is not restricted in any way. You have the freedom to innovate better ways of offering your services.

What the Future Holds

With a steady climb in revenue, it is only a matter of time before income of makeup artists is improved. There is no gainsaying that the industry generates jobs for millions across the world. Its potentials will only ensure that there is a steady stream of investments. In the same vein, as there are varieties of specializations, there are more opportunities for people to choose a field of specialization they are good at.

Reality Check

It is necessary to state here that passion is a major ingredient for success. Getting into this field for the wrong reasons will spell doom to hopes of earning significant income. However, with the right attitude, passion, and diligence, it will be just a matter of time before you get your big break. Being driven by interest in the trade will sustain a desire to go beyond client expectations. It is worthy to note that the more satisfied your clients are, the more likely it is you would build loyalty among your client base.