Makeup Artist Profession Explaining

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Makeup Artist


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This paper explains the profession of makeup artistry in depth and sheds light to its pros and cons along with explaining my interest in the field.



Since the dawn of civilization, one has always perceived of occupations that would give satisfaction. With passing time, occupations have changed a long way. Today the glamour world is one of the important aspects of the urbane society and the industry has a lot to offer with its own array of jobs. In this world there are jobs right for the top notch models to the directors, the technicians, to the camera crew, the photographers and even the event co-coordinators. But there is a job that actually is very responsible for the glamour industry to work; in fact it can be called the lifeline of the industry as without it, glamour won’t be glamour. This job along with being the oxygen of the glamour world also personally lights up my desire for an occupation and is known as ‘makeup artistry’.

The basic definition of this job is to make people look good. This job needs a lot of patience and creative endurance to do different kinds of make up on people of different genres and walks of life. It all supposedly begain around the 1930, when this make up artistry began to be recognized as before those cosmetics were scarce, and actors would spend huge amount of time before being made up. The man behind the industry can be considered “Cecil Holland”, who was credited as the man of a thousand faces, and was highly recognized then. Makeup artists are never in the limelight and that is why the basic impression of them never exists. People when they look onscreen or when they see ramp shows, they always admire the beautiful models or their dress






designers, but nobody actually thinks about the makeup done on these models. For the other people to look gorgeous, makeup artists work long hard hours and never get appreciated from a viewer audience. This is a job of working for the fame of others but largely no will know about you. If you have done excellent work or even the routine good work, the viewer audience will never say a word in appreciation, but if somehow the makeup messes up, then there will be large crowd to criticize and say that the makeup artists hasn’t done justice with his subject. The impression that I have for the job is very simple; it is basically a job that works more for others fame and name than yours. But this is an occupation that I have adored for a very long time as, for me it would not only give me my bread and butter but it would give me immense satisfaction to completely involve myself in a creative field of my liking. This job though it might look simple is actually not of what it is basically presumed to be. This job requires a lot of creative talent and very high efficiency to survive in the business. The following excerpt will give insights about the makeup industry:

‘This business is extremely competitive, so never become complacent. Work is definitely affected by your contact and will increase gradually as you meet more people and they get to know you. Being a makeup artist is not just about doing make-up. You should emotionally boost the model/singer/actress and help prepare them for being in front of the







camera. If they feel comfortable they look better. Face massages can help as they

improve circulation in the skin and release stressed muscles- a relaxed model will give

more to the camera and will naturally glow. You should always be aware of what is going on and anticipate things, just because you have finished the makeup, do not assume that your day is over’ (Penny Delamar).


What can be understood from the excerpt is this job is not just a simple makeup of glamour world artists, but rather it also comprises of touching the person on their emotional chord. What I would do to them, with my touch with my talk would eventually help them give them their best. If we have to take for instance of famous models, then there is a whole of generation that follow these people and their designers to understand what is best in fashion. These models are pretty, but what makes them into divas are their dresses and more importantly their makeup. This job is how much ever sidelined it might seem is a very important job when it comes to fashion and television. People who are into these lines know the value of a makeup artist, as it is the makeup that makes or breaks a person on screen or on ramp.

This fascinating job has many facets and many tasks can be performed in it. A make up artist is required for lots of scenarios and jobs. They are required in photo shoots, for ad commercials, for fashion shows, theatre, saloons and spas, music videos




and live shows. Makeup artists are also indispensable for the movie and television

industry. When we see movies which are epics or fantasy, makeup artists are required to give the characters the exact look of the earlier era or the fantasized era. Movies like ‘Troy’ and ‘Gladiator’ had a vital unit of makeup artists who were responsible to get the desired facial look of the previous time. Another fascinating part of the makeup program is its time. The directors tend to give full justice on time to the makeup artists, but more often than not, there is still a lot to do and one has to manage it in quick time. The following will explain the average time required by a makeup artist to do certain tasks:

‘Straight corrective makeup, with tidy hair: man 15 minutes

Straight corrective makeup, with tidy hair: woman 15 minutes

Beauty makeup and hair: man 30 minutes

Beauty makeup and hair: woman 1 hour and 30 minutes

Period makeup and hair using facial hair: man 1 hour

Period makeup and hair using wig: woman 1 hour 30 minutes

Fantasy makeup using wig: man 1 hour

Fantasy makeup using wig: woman 1 hour and 30 minutes

Black eye, bruise, simple cut: 15 minutes

Ageing makeup using bald cap, wig and old age stipple 1 hour 30 minutes

Ageing makeup using bald cap, wig and prosthetics 2-3 hours’

(Penny Delamar).


One of the most intriguing aspects of this industry can be considered the fact that one gets to meet a lot of varied people and most of which can be high profile celebrities and stars. This is only possible in this line, where one can actually do makeup for a big Hollywood stars, interact with them and get highly paid for it. This is not an unskilled job and the amount of creativity and patience to work on someone for so long requires exuberant stamina and the willingness and love for the work. The involvement of makeup artists with people right from politicians, actors, models and even normal people adds the necessary spark to the job.

Since it is a highly professional job, it is best to take high courses on it from repute centers. To actually enter this line, one needs a real good eye in understanding basic makeup. What the professional course will do is teach the commercial part of it, but if one is not so interested then this line is not at all good for them. There are different subjective course like electives in normal schools. Here one can choose to gain expertise in the fields, which can either be for production houses or for fashion shows and shoots or the general makeup techniques. There are lots of academies in the United States of America, but like every university that is carefully chosen, these schools should also be chosen on the same lines. There will be varied courses which might last from 6 months to the novice level to the complete professional ones which would last 2 years or more. More and less the requirements revolve around a high school diploma, good artistic skills

and an eye for detail. When entering the makeup artist professional schools, one must find out about the working experience of the teachers, as this field is constantly updated





with new techniques, these new trends must be known to the faculty before embarking skills on students. Moreover it is very important to find out if the curriculum is up to date and has the latest additions to it. The school should also be selected on the basis that eventually it will help its students in getting job assistance along with teaching marketing skills to its students. The rest is more and less like the usual school hunting, where discussions with current and past students is mandatory or finding out the size and infrastructure of the institute before enrolling in it. However there are fair amount of shares of skeptics who say that going to these professional schools don’t help and this can be assessed by the following:

‘Attending school will not give you a better chance at getting a job, in fact I have worked
with many wonderful artists over the years and I really know only know a couple that
have had any formal training. The reality is that once you are out in the real world, very
few people care that you went to school and in fact most clients will never even ask.
What you learn in school should come in handy on the job and at some of the schools there is a good chance that classes will be cancelled if the enrollment isn’t large enough, or if the teacher gets a good job offer. In most cases the school will offer the class at a later date so you can make it up, but a few students found this to be very bothersome’ (Mary Erickson).




Being a makeup artist one has to have a good access of the language. If someone is working in the United States of America or Great Britain, there has to be a decent command of English. The proficiency is not accounted, but the understanding of the language is necessary to interact with the director or event co-coordinator.  If someone is working in France, then it becomes mandatory for the artist to learn conversational French in order to reach and interact with his clients. It is always good for a make up artist to have conversational knowledge of at least 2 languages apart from his own.

This gives the adequacy and flexibility to the artist to even travel and approach people of different countries or for that matter even converse with clients of different birth of origin to talk freely to them.  The pay scale like any other profession in the beginning isn’t something one can be proud of, but once an individual gets a minute amount of handy experience and if one is good with their work, then they start climbing the ladder too fast. A makeup artist is normally paid from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars a day and even beyond. Artist used for photo shoots are paid less but they get hands on experience, and makeup artists of big celebrities have real fat pay

cheques. The scope for this line is endless and the amount of money one can earn too is unimaginable. This job is actually not time bound but assignment bound so if supposedly

shoots are going in from morning till evening, the artist has to be there all the time. The





job of the artists is never done until a full pack up is done. There can be a lot of traveling involved when working with film crews, as if the requirement of the script is to shoot the film in certain part of the world, the entire film unit which also includes the makeup artists are taken to those places. From a traveling point of view, makeup artists have lots of scope of seeing new places. Frankly any female who is any kind of job always finds a bit of hassle when she has a small baby to look after and because of the work load she can’t give in much time. In this job scenario, this problem still exists and this job being not time bound, it creates more problems for mothers with very small children or with dependent elderly. There is a lot that can be done in this field, which I ultimately am going to pursue. Earlier if compared makeup artists only used to work under certain production houses, today there is a lot of scope for freelancing, which I ultimately aim to be, along with opening my own sets of franchised salons. As an individual with acute interest in this field, I initially thought the job was monotonous nature, but over the periods of time, I started understanding the fascinating facets of this industry. I truly believe being a makeup artist is my true calling not only because of interest I have in this field but also due to the array of avenues it opens up to me right from servicing weddings to Hollywood stars.








Works Cited

1)     Penny Delamar, “The Complete Make-up Artist: Working in Film, Fashion, Television and Theatre”, 2002, Northwestern University press

2)    Mary Erickson, “Makeup Schools”,
3)     Vincent J-R. Kehoe, “The Technique of the Professional Make-Up Artist”, 1995, Focal press

4)     Wendy York,” Makeup Artist Salary” ,












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Makeup Artist Profession Explaining. (2017, Mar 27). Retrieved from

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