I want to be a professional makeup artist. I know the job can be hectic, and I’m okay with that.
What I’m not okay with is being a professional makeup artist who doesn’t know makeup.
That won’t fly.
So, what do I need to know to become a professional makeup artist?
How do I become the professional makeup artist that everyone wants to hire?
What should a professional makeup artist be good at?
These are questions I’ve been trying to get answers to.
I dug into professional makeup artists websites and interviews.
What I’ve found is eye opening. When I first said I wanted to be a professional makeup artist, I was talking about makeup effects.
Doing things unseen, gory or fantastic.
The truth is, so many makeup effects schools teach some sort of beauty technique.
I had no idea makeup effects artists studied beauty.
Even more, I didn’t know professional makeup artists were as well rounded as they are.
Beauty and Special Effects Makeup
For a while I hated beauty makeup. Even though I had tons of makeup, played with it all the time, I hated it.
Why? Because I thought it took too much time, and you always look like you’re wearing it.
But I’m learning just how important knowing beauty makeup is to a makeup effects artist.
And just how much I didn’t know about makeup.
I thought about:
- The makeup in movies like Hunger Games and Black Swan were beauty based.
- Avant Garde makeup on the fashion runway can include glued on items like feathers and jewels, maybe even prosthetics.
- Theatrical productions often use makeup from different periods, which is rooted in beauty makeup.
If I stick to my “I’m a professional makeup artist who does horror” campaign, I may never get hired.
But a well rounded artist will find more opportunities to get paid.
Professional Makeup Artists are Masterminds
Listen, I love horror. I love blood and guts and gore. I live for Halloween.
But the truth is I don’t want to be a professional makeup artist who’s tight casted to only one thing.
If someone is looking for a professional makeup artist to do a wedding, or the latest zombie film, or a stage production of The Great Gatsby, I want to be able to say yeah. I can do that.
I’m learning that I have to open up to new things.
That way, no matter what the need, I will be the professional makeup artist who’s able to fulfill it.
A professional makeup artist defined (to me) is:
- Someone who can create anything in makeup.
- Someone who is open to new ideas and willing to try anything in makeup.
- Someone who works well with people.
- Someone who has the skill of bringing a written character to life.
- Someone who has the ability to create new rules in makeup.
- Oh. And gets paid for it.
But getting paid for it isn’t the point.
A professional makeup artist has enough talent to master several areas of makeup whether it’s beauty or prosthetics or out of kit.
You can’t get paid if you don’t have the skills. Skills that can take you many places.