Makeup Artist Types

makeup artists

Makeup artists are hiding behind every beautiful look. In politics, magazines and even within your own makeup case, as these makeup professionals are both designers and developers of most beauty cosmetics.

Types of Makeup Artists


All major cosmetic brands have makeup artists on staff and many, like Bobbi Brown, have started their own companies. The entry-level position in this career is found at the department store counter or the neighborhood sales lady. Starting with basic beauty and makeup application is the perfect stepping stone to gain experience in this field.


Makeup artists who make it into the world of fashion are busy, sought after professionals. Whether behind the curtain at the runway or doing touchups with magazine photographers, their skills must be up to date with the most current fashion. The artists who succeed in this field have to be particularly creative and edgy to simulate a particular "look".

Body and Face Painting

Art can be displayed on almost any platform, including the human body. Makeup specialists are artists in their own right. Many design and apply body paint from clowns to child face painting. Temporary tattoos have also become extremely popular art form in makeup and a skilled makeup artist can design one to fit your needs.


The world of curtains and lights demand the necessary makeup for both visual and character interest. Theatre makeup requires a particular skill set for a makeup professional. As the audience sits far away from the actors, makeup is necessary to create the look desired by the director and be visible from a long distance. In theatre work, artists must also be skilled in the complete appearance, including wigs and facial hair.


From the fancy new dramatic shows found on TV today, to the basic newscast, makeup artists bring actors to life on the tube. One of the most diverse offerings in the makeup career field, television work is the fastest growing market.

Film and Movies

In addition to the basic makeup applications for the stars on the big screen, makeup experts also create the amazing special effects audiences expect in movies today. Makeup techniques in film require a complete understanding of the whole body to transform the average actor into a werewolf or elderly widow, depending on the needs of the producer. The skill to mystify, trick and re-create are essential.

Personal Services

Artists can be hired to perform special occasion makeup like a wedding or family photo shoot. They also help teach techniques and work with patients who have unusual scars or deformities.

Reasons to Trust a Makeup Artist

While most of us apply makeup each day and have a variety of experience in the subject of cosmetics, a makeup artist is truly a professional. Makeup not only colors and conceals, it can transform your face. As the term artist implies, the application of makeup is a true art form. Different environments, photography, lighting, and skin surfaces, all change the way makeup reacts on your face and body. A makeup specialist possesses expert knowledge on these variations and the tools to create the best face for the situation. These professionals have education and experience to analyze face structure, color palettes, lighting and skin tone. Consider consulting one before your next professional picture session, as their understanding of how photography impacts the look of your face can be invaluable information.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, individual beauty in particular. Before you hire a makeup artist for business or personal services, inspect her work and style. Evaluate her makeup selection and preview photos. Also inspect the work area and equipment. The makeup room should be well ventilated with a mirror, table and washbasin, close by. Temperature and humidity control is important for proper care of the cosmetic materials. The application environment should be completely hygienic to avoid infections. Make sure your makeup technician uses sterilized equipment and does not touch any makeup with her hands or fingers.

Makeup application is a step-by-step process from the first layer of foundation to the final swooshing of lipstick. The makeup artist's goal is to make you look like yourself, only better. The process should be an enhancement, and not a disguise - unless you are in the movies! Trust them to teach you the details of application and remember, it will all wash off when you are done.

Career Opportunities

So you want to become a makeup artist? While it is a professional career, freelancers usually perform it. Most start their career with professional training in theatre, acting, hairdressing, art, and chemistry, or even with specific courses in makeup application. Like many art careers, developing a portfolio is key. Networking and a positive attitude lead to most professionals' success. Artistic talent and people skills are the two most important qualities in a successful makeup specialist.


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Makeup Artist Types