I’d be a liar if I said I never thought of the job of a makeup artist as being somewhat glamorous.
Painting some of the most interesting faces, both of nature and otherwise.
Throw in a celebrity or two? I’m thinking this is a dream job.
But when you ask the professionals, it becomes quite clear.
It ain’t as easy as it looks.
What they don’t tell you.
My question was this… What things would I wish I knew before I got started?
I asked this question over the years, and I kept a log of things I found that seemed like a good answer. I don’t have links to where I got each of these from, but they were interesting enough for me to share them with you.
Here are some of the things makeup artists say are tough about being a makeup artist.
- The hours worked are often miserable.
- Very little pay for beginning artists.
- Sometimes bad or cramped working conditions.
- Very little social life when working on films.
- Be ready to work on holidays.
- Traveling with heavy, bulky makeup kits can be a drag.
- You’ll spend a long time on your feet.
- You’ll spend even more time bending over people to apply makeup.
- There are unusual smells and exposure to harmful fumes.
- Your career may start with cleaning, mixing, assisting, and being a gofer (you know – go for this, go for that); you may not immediately dive into creating.
- Low pay (This came up a lot.)
- Tight time constraints.
- Trying to build a name for yourself is grueling.
- There’s a lack of “full-time” opportunities.
- Job length varies, from days to months, with nothing in-between.
- There’s practically no such thing as job security.
- There’s plenty of stress.
- The industry is highly competitive, & there are clearly more artists than there are jobs.
- Your first paid jobs are often for expenses only.
- You may be away from home for long stretches.
As soon as I revisited this list in my notes I just had to share. Many of these are things I would’ve never considered.
Did I miss anything? Leave your wish-you-knew-beforehand in the comments.
Photo courtesy of Ogle School.