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What does a Makeup Artist do?

Makeup artists, sometimes known as beauty therapists, are professional artists whose canvas is the human body. Makeup artists are responsible for applying makeup in a range of contexts. Some work in a beauty and cosmetic setting, but many makeup artists also work in theater and other entertainment settings where prosthetics and makeup are required.


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Working as a Makeup Artist

Depending on their role and experience, there are a wide range of tasks that a makeup artists are responsible for, including:

  • Applying makeup to clients in a range of contexts
  • Helping clients to identify the best makeup for their complexion and desired look
  • Analyzing scripts to establish what makeup will be required to achieve the desired results
  • Working out how much makeup materials will cost and where they can be procured
  • Train apprentices and new makeup artists by sharing knowledge and experience
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How much does a Makeup Artist make in the United States?

Average base salary

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The average salary for a makeup artist is $30.73 per hour in the United States. 1k salaries reported, updated at July 28, 2022.

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Where can a Makeup Artist earn more?

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How much do similar professions get paid in United States?


35,405 job openings

Average $22.83 per hour

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Common questions about for a Makeup Artist

What industries can makeup artists work in?

Makeup artists can work in several different industries:

  • Entertainment industry
  • Personal care services
  • Performing arts companies
  • Hotel and retail industry
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How easy is it to move between roles as a makeup artist?

Given that makeup artists' skills and experience are universal throughout the profession, it is relatively easy for them to move from one role to another in the different industries.

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Can makeup artists work as freelancers?

Yes, makeup artists can work as freelancers. Once they have gained the necessary experience, they can begin working as independent contractors. It is best to gain some industry experience before trying to go it alone.

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