Make-Up Artist


physical |

expressive |

work independently |

people orientated |

variety in work tasks |

irregular hours |

prefer working in a team |


apprenticeship |

internship |

entry level |

intermediate |

mid level |

senior |

Business Types: 

film |

music |

performing arts |

What You'll Get?


Most often self-employed either on rolling contracts or daily rates in TV and film. 


Work on a varying shift pattern including very early mornings and working evenings to suit the needs of the client. 


Early careers can expect around £15 - £20 an hour, rising to a daily rate of between £250 - £500 depending on experience and job requirements.

What Would You Do?

Working as a makeup artist requires a lot of time management. If you are part of a team, you will report to the Head Makeup Artist at the start of your shift, if you are working independently, you will report to the director or production manager. 

As a makeup artist, you’ll be responding to a creative brief provided either by the director or the head of makeup. You will be expected to work in a calm, supportive and professional manner with each client, troubleshooting issues by resolving these with the client or speaking to your direct manager. You will be working on a tight schedule to get makeups created in a short time frame, ensuring the client is not stressed and does not feel rushed. You may be working in a studio, a theatre, or in outdoor locations, so must be adaptable and understand how lighting affects makeup. It is important to have an awareness of makeup trends and products.

Tasks and responsibilities:

  • Work independently on interpreting and carrying out makeup design briefs.

  • Work with clients and other team members, professionally and in a calm, organised manner

  • Ensure that you have patch tested each client prior to any makeup being applied.

  • Cleaning brushes and equipment.

What You'll Need?


  • Strong communication skills

  • Artistic design skills

  • Calm demeanour

  • Good organisation skills

  • Ability to work well as part of a team

  • Ability to work independently and under pressure.

Qualifications are required and you will need to have studied makeup artistry at least to a college level. However, if you are looking to enter television/film/professional theatre environment then a degree or equivalent (short private courses) will be required.

What Can You Achieve?

You get to work with a variety of people in many different locations. You may be working on a bride one day and the next you are on a film set, creating monster makeup! As a trainee, you may be cleaning brushes and tidying the makeup area, however this is a fantastic opportunity to watch the professional makeup artists at work and pick up lots of skills and tips. If you are professional in your work - no matter what the job, are pleasant and supportive then often, the head of makeup will remember you and contact you to offer you further work on other projects they are working on. 

Where Do These Jobs Exist?

Find these jobs in many online sites such as SimplyHired, Arts Professional, StarNow, The Stage and Backstage. You can also set up your own Instagram page or Create Britain account, where you can post pictures of your makeup work, adding hashtags to self-promote and let potential employers notice you and your work. Attend Makeup conventions such as IMATS and The Prosthetics Event to network and meet like-minded people. 

How To Apply?

Expect to submit a CV and covering letter explaining how you meet the details outlined in what is needed for the role (person specification) along with examples of your work. This may be in the form of a physical or digital portfolio. You can also send out speculative emails with links to your online portfolio, expressing an interest to work with their company. 

What Else Can You Do?

When starting out and getting together a portfolio, it is worth pursuing ‘Time for Print’ opportunities, where the photographer, model, makeup artist gives up their time for free and each receives the photos for their own use. 

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