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5 Makeup Artist Career Options

Makeup artistry is a very versatile career and the path you choose will depend on what you like to do with makeup. The main paths are:

  • Bridal and Special Occasions
  • Models and Fashion
  • Film, TV and Special Effects
  • Theater

Bridal and Special Occasions

Many people hire someone to do their makeup for many special occasions, including:

  • Wedding
  • Prom
  • Homecoming
  • Quinceañera
  • Sweet sixteen
  • Celebrity events

If you like to make people pretty, but your interests tend toward natural looks more than really “out-there” trends, this may be the career path for you. You will work with a lot of people, from brides to homecoming queens.

Models and Fashion Career Options

If you want to work in the fashion world, there are a number of places you may be at home:

  • Photo shoots
  • Runway shows
  • Magazine covers

Working on photo shoots can take you all over the world to shoot on location in glamorous places like Rio de Janeiro or Venice. Magazine covers are perfect if you want to work with celebrities. Runway shows mean travel to New York, Milan, Paris and London and require speed since you have less than five minutes to apply a look to each model.

Film, TV and Special Effects

A makeup artist who pursues career options in film and special effects will likely spend most of his or her time on movie sets. This could include travel opportunities to the various locations for films or working in just once place on a TV show. Makeup looks must reflect the character each actor is portraying.

For some films and TV shows, special effects are needed. For example, if a character is in a car accident or a fight, someone must apply fake cuts and bruises. If you like Halloween makeup, you could become a special effects makeup artist. Music videos, documentaries and advertising also may require the services of a makeup artist.


Theater makeup comes with a different set of challenges from those a film makeup artist may encounter. Often working in theater requires specialized training, especially in prosthetics, working with theater lighting and other special effects.

Other Makeup Artist Career options

There are other career paths available, like working at a makeup counter at Dillard’s or Macy’s. Working in a store like this could also be a great way to get experience working with a lot of different people and faces. Customer service is good thing to have a background in, especially if you want a career path that involves working with celebrities.

If you have a passion for makeup and are dedicated to your education, you should be able to find something you like. There are a lot of makeup artist career options and you should be able to find something that suits you.

2 thoughts on “5 Makeup Artist Career Options

  1. I’m interested in enrolling in avenue five and I would like a little more information about the process and how long the schooling is before I’m certified to work.

    1. If you are interested in enrolling, please complete one of the contact forms on our website or schedule an appointment with our admissions department so that you can visit the campus. Depending on the program you enroll in, and your schedule, you could graduate in approximately 6-18 months.

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