Makeup Artist


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Service or PersuadingPractical or MechanicalArtistic or CreativeSkill Level 1Skill Level 2


Make-up artists apply make-up to fashion and photographic models; actors and other performers involved in stage, film and television productions; brides; and other clients for special occasions. They may also work for cosmetic companies applying makeup, advising customers about the most suitable Future Growth Static products and selling products. They may be involved in preparing skin for makeup, applying makeup, giving advice about makeup, maintaining makeup during photo/film shoots, and liaising with hairdressers about hairstyles and makeup. They may also use makeup to produce special effects such as ageing or injuries (bruises and scars) or for specialised characters in a movie. They may need to work with wigs, false beards or masks and artificial body parts to create the required look for a character.

ANZSCO description: 399514: Designs and applies make up to actors, presenters and other performing artists.

Alternative names: Makeup Stylist

Specialisations: Bridal Makeup Artist, Fashion Show Makeup Artist, Movie Makeup Artist

Knowledge, skills and attributes

A makeup artist needs:

  • to be creative and artistic
  • to understand bone structure
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • a good eye for colour
  • good communication skills
  • to be able to work under pressure.

Duties and Tasks

Make-up artists may perform the following tasks:Make Up Artist at work

  • prepare the skin for make-up application and remove make-up as required/li>
  • demonstrate cosmetic products to clients
  • instruct clients about make-up application
  • apply a wide variety of professional make-up products
  • design wigs, beards, masks and prosthetics (artificial body parts) and apply them to achieve an appropriate character appearance
  • use make-up to produce effects such as ageing, illness, scars and bruising
  • alter or maintain make-up during productions to ensure the continuity of a performer's appearance
  • advise hairdressers on the hairstyle required for character parts.

Working conditions

Make-up artists usually work indoors and are often required to work long hours with super early starts, in what can be stressful situations. They may also be required to travel to different locations for photo shoots, movie productions or to clients’ homes. Many make-up artists are self-employed. It may be necessary to move interstate or overseas to gain experience and earn a higher income in this competitive industry.

Tools and technologies

Make-up artists need to be creative and have a good understanding about different bone structures. They also need to be proficient with a wide variety of make-up products as well as wigs, beards, masks and prosthetics (artificial body parts) to help enable them create a required appearance.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a make-up artist without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in make-up and skin care, or beauty services.

The Certificate II in Retail Make-Up and Skin Care and the Certificate III in Beauty Services are offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Australia.

You can also complete a traineeship. The retail cosmetic assistant and beautician (make-up artist) traineeships usually take 12 to 18 months to complete. The retail cosmetic assistant traineeship is available as a school-based traineeship.

Did You Know?

Parliament House has a full time makeup artist!

Read about Vicky Hayes and her 24 June 2017

Vicky Hayes

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