19 Pros and Cons of Being a Makeup Artist

Applying makeup can be a lot of fun because you can transform a person’s appearance.

Whether you are a makeup artist for brides, Hollywood stars, or an everyday person, there are pros and cons to the job.

Knowing what you have to look forward to within the job can help you determine if you want to become a professional makeup artist.

Pros of Being a Makeup Artist

Makeup artists can enjoy several perks.

Exploring the pros can help you to learn more about why many people choose to take aesthetic courses and become makeup artists.

1. Enjoy Creativity

There is a significant amount of creativity that comes with being a makeup artist.

You will be able to show off your talents for sculpting, blending, and color matching.

You may even decide to get into special effects makeup, allowing you to get creative as you turn people into various characters using your unique talents and premium makeup products.

2. Work in a Cool Environment

Makeup has a tendency to melt, which means that you will need to work in a cool environment.

This ensures that you are comfortable as you work.

You may find yourself working in studios, spas, department stores, and more.

No matter what, it will be working indoors, which will provide you with long-term comfort.

3. It Is Not a Stressful, Demanding Job

The job of a makeup artist is not going to be too stressful or demanding.

The only lifting you are likely to do is lifting your makeup bag.

In many instances, you will take a break in between each client, allowing you to relax and focus on what the next person needs.

Not having a demanding job, can offer a significant amount of peace.

4. You Avoid the Traditional Office

If sitting in a cubicle, staring at a computer, eight hours a day, five days a week, sounds like a fate worse than death, then being a makeup artist would be perfect.

You will avoid the traditional office environment because you will be going to where people are going to need makeup.

Of course, you can choose what kind of environment you want to work in, but it will never be an office.

5. You Build a Great Network

Over the years, you will have the opportunity to build a great network, which can help to bring you our work and even higher-paying work.

They work with photographers, magazines, theaters, celebrities, and more.

It can help you to rub elbows with several influential people.

The larger your network is, the easier it will be to stay employed.

6. There are Countless Side Jobs

If you are unhappy with the pay that you are earning, there are countless side jobs that you can establish for yourself as a talented makeup artist.

You may want to offer your services to local theaters, haunted houses, theme parks, and more.

You can choose to do face painting at birthday parties and even show people how to apply makeup more successfully for everyday wear.

7. You Avoid a Traditional College Degree (and Debt)

Becoming a makeup artist requires you to get a license in cosmetology.

This is typically a certificate that can be earned in less than two years from a trade school.

It prevents you from having to spend a significant amount of time at a traditional college.

Additionally, because you will not be in school for four years (or more), you can also avoid the debt that is commonly associated with traditional college.

8. You Can Be Self-Employed

You have the opportunity to be self-employed.

This can be highly beneficial because you determine how many hours you want to work a week. You can set the days and times that you work, providing you with a significant amount of flexibility. It’s a sure way for you to have a desirable work-life balance.

9. Your Friends Will Love You

As soon as you show off your skills as a makeup artist, your friends will love you.

They will be contacting you so that you can do their makeup for every occasion – a night out on the town, weddings, and much more.

This will also be a great opportunity for you to try out some of the latest trends and build your portfolio.

10. Be the First to Try New Products

Many makeup artists go on to become social media influencers.

You will have the opportunity to try some of the newest products on the market and give your opinion.

Depending on your social media reach for the company that you work for, you may gain access to certain products before they even hit the market.

11. There are Various Work Environments

You can decide what kind of work environment you want to be a part of.

You may choose to work for a particular makeup provider so that you can introduce people to what the brand has to offer.

You may also choose to do makeup for the theater, for productions, and more.

As you expand your styles, you can even do special effects, which can have you working on movie sets, theme parks, and more.

Cons of Being a Makeup Artist

There are some cons to being a makeup artist, so be sure you know what they are before you take the steps to make this your career.

1. You Will Need a High Level of Training

In addition to the basic training program, you will also need to complete 1,000 hours of instruction at a beauty school.

Above and beyond that, you will need more training for the various services that you want to offer.

Special effects, for example, can require you to get even more training, which can take years to obtain.

2. A Portfolio is a Must

Most places won’t hire you until you can show off a portfolio of what you are capable of accomplishing.

As you build your portfolio, you will have to provide your services for free.

Depending on the kind of position you want, you may need to build your portfolio for months or even years to show off your talent.

3. One Bad Review Can Hurt Your Business

Particularly when you are working for yourself, you will depend on positive reviews to get more business in the community.

All it takes is one bad review to hurt your business.

People may be less likely to trust you, especially if it is for a once-in-a-lifetime event, like providing the makeup for their wedding.

Waiting on reviews to surface online can be extremely stressful, too.

4. Job Opportunities are Limited

The job opportunities are often limited.

Only the most talented makeup artists will be able to achieve high earnings.

Based on where you live, you may have to work in a department store because there are not any filming locations or theaters needing makeup artists.

Some opportunities tend to be seasonal, too, making it difficult to find full-time work.

5. You May Work Nights, Weekends, and Holidays

You will be applying makeup to people on an as-needed basis.

Many times, people are looking for makeup applications for special events.

This may require you to work whenever it is available, including nights, weekends, and holidays.

You may even have to travel to where the work is.

As you start, you will have to work whenever there is an opportunity so that you do not miss out on a paying gig.

6. The Initial Investment is High

Once you decide to become a makeup artist, you will have a relatively high initial investment.

People will assume that you are supplying the makeup – and you will need a large selection to accommodate people of all skin tones.

You will need to buy foundation, eyeshadow, lipsticks, brushes, and more.

The larger the variety, the more services you can offer.

7. Salary Can Vary Dramatically

The salary that you earn can vary dramatically depending on where you are employed and to who you are applying makeup.

The average makeup artist will only earn an annual salary of around $27,000.

Of course, this can be higher if you are working in Hollywood, you offer special effects, or you have several side-hustles going.

It often takes years until you can earn a living wage.

8. Clients Can Be Picky

Everyone has a specific look that they want to achieve.

Not all clients will be able to communicate what they want from you.

As such, even when you have premium skills, you will find that certain clients are nearly impossible to please.

This can lead to people yelling and screaming at you, asking you to redo their makeup, and more.

You will need to practice patience so that you do not become too frustrated.

Pros and Cons of Being a Makeup Artist – Summary Table

Pros of Being a Makeup ArtistCons of Being a Makeup Artist
1. Enjoy Creativity1. You Will Need a High Level of Training
2. Work in a Cool Environment2. A Portfolio is a Must
3. It Is Not a Stressful, Demanding Job3. One Bad Review Can Hurt Your Business
4. You Avoid the Traditional Office4. Job Opportunities are Limited
5. You Build a Great Network5. You May Work Nights, Weekends, and Holidays
6. There are Countless Side Jobs6. The Initial Investment is High
7. You Avoid a Traditional College Degree (and Debt)7. Salary Can Vary Dramatically
8. You Can Be Self-Employed8. Clients Can Be Picky
9. Your Friends Will Love You
10. Be the First to Try New Products
11. There are Various Work Environments

Should You Become a Makeup Artist?

If you are creative and love helping people to look their best, becoming a makeup artist can be a great career.

It will be important for you to have the proper training and a high understanding of the art.

By exploring all of the pros and cons, you can make sure to step into the career with your eyes wide open.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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