How to Become a Professional Makeup Artist – A Step-by-Step Guide

Becoming a professional makeup artist is a dream come true for many beauty enthusiasts. From special occasions to runway shows, there are so many opportunities for a talented makeup artist to make an impact. But how do you turn your passion into a career? This step-by-step guide will show you how to become a professional makeup artist. Whether you want to work in the beauty industry, become an MUA for brides, or make it big in the movie and TV industry, there’s something here for everyone. You’ll learn how to get certified, get the right supplies, develop your portfolio, and find clients. So if you’re ready to make a career out of your love of makeup, let’s get started!

Get Certified and Educated

Simply put, the first step to becoming a professional makeup artist is to get certified. There are lots of different makeup classes in most major cities. Many of these courses can be completed at your own pace, so you can work them into your schedule. If you want to make sure you’re getting the best education possible, then it’s worth it to invest in a quality course. When choosing a course, make sure it’s approved by the Association of Certification Beauty Professionals (ACCBP). This will ensure your course will lead to certification and help you meet the requirements of most employers. It’s also a good idea to choose a course that specializes in the type of makeup artistry you want to do. If you want to do makeup for media, tv and film, for example, make sure the course you pick has a focus on these areas

Acquire the Right Supplies

This might sound like an obvious one, but it’s important. Before you start practicing, you need to make sure you have the right supplies for the job. If you want to do bridal makeup, for example, then you’ll need the right brushes and tools specifically for that type of makeup. Another important part of acquiring the right supplies is finding the right brands. It’s important to use quality makeup. Not only will it last longer, but it will also look better on your clients. Make sure the makeup you’re using is high-quality because cheaper products can give you a false sense of what you’re capable of. It’s also important to find the right brushes. Make sure they’re clean and maintained properly. This will help you avoid bacteria and other harmful germs that can lead to skin infections. If you’re getting started it’s worth checking out a makeup artist starter kit.

Create Your Portfolio

Creating a portfolio is a great way to showcase your skills and build your client base. Plus, clients will be able to refer to it whenever they need to remember your services and the style of makeup you offer. It’s best to create a digital portfolio, so you can easily share it with prospective clients. You can create a digital portfolio on your website or on a site like Dropbox that allows you to share your portfolio with others. Make sure to include samples of your work, a description of the type of makeup you offer, and your contact information so people can hire you. Don’t forget to add a bio and headshot. Your clients will likely want to know more about you, and a bio will help them feel more connected to you.

Connect with Clients

The best way to connect with your clients is to be active online. Make sure you have a presence on social media and that your photos are high quality. This will help you connect with prospective clients and build your client base. You can also build relationships with your clients by joining online makeup artist communities. This can help you connect with other makeup artists and share tips and tricks with one another. You can also use these communities to ask for advice and tips on how to grow your business and gain more clients. You can also reach out to local businesses and wedding planners. If you offer a unique service, there’s a good chance they’ll want to hire you.

Consider Freelancing or Taking on Apprenticeship

It’s important to understand that you won’t get rich right away. Becoming a professional makeup artist takes time and effort. While you’re building your client base, you may want to consider freelancing. This can help you make a little extra money while you build your client base. To find freelance makeup jobs, you can use websites like Freelancer, Upwork, and Fiverr. Although you might not make as much money, you’ll gain valuable experience working with clients and booking jobs. This can help you become a better makeup artist and gain confidence. You can also look for makeup jobs on social media. Join groups like Makeup Artist Network and find local makeup artists to connect with.

Build Your Brand

As your business grows, it’s important to start thinking about branding. This will help you stand out from the competition and become a household name. Start by creating a logo and tagline. It’s also a good idea to create a mission statement or something that describes what you do. You can also set up social media channels. Make sure they’re professional and contain all the information your clients will want to know. You can also start building your website. This can help you showcase your work and gain new clients. You can also use your website to sell your services. There are plenty of online shopping carts designed just for makeup artists.

Market Your Services

One of the best ways to market your services is to network with other makeup artists. You can do this by joining online makeup artist groups. This will allow you to connect with other makeup artists and offer them support as they grow their businesses. You can also offer to do makeup demonstrations at local beauty supply stores. This is a great way to showcase your skills and build your client base. You can also reach out to makeup artists who are better than you. If they are in a different city, see if they would be willing to trade services with you.

Get Licensed

This is a great way to build your business. You’ll be able to work with high-end clients and build your portfolio. The first thing you need to do is make sure you meet the state’s requirements for licensing. This can vary from state to state, so make sure you do your research. Once you know what you need to do, it’s a good idea to start taking jobs. This will help you gain experience and build your portfolio. It will also help you get your name out there and meet other makeup artists. Another great way to get licensed is to partner with an established makeup artist. They can help you get your foot in the door and make connections within the industry.

Network with Other Makeup Artists

As you grow your business, it’s important to reach out to other people in your industry. This can help you learn from their mistakes and get tips on how to improve your business. You can do this by joining online makeup artist groups. This will allow you to connect with other makeup artists and offer them support as they grow their businesses. You can also consider joining a professional makeup artist association. These associations are great for networking and helping you stay up-to-date with industry trends and news.

Keep Up with Trends and Develop Your Skills

Becoming a professional makeup artist is a lifelong journey. It’s important to keep up with trends and develop your skills. You can do this by researching the latest makeup styles and techniques. You can also take advanced courses. This will help you stay up-to-date with new trends and techniques that are being used in the industry. You can also do makeup tutorials on YouTube or another social media platform. This is a great way to showcase your skills and help other beauty fans become better at applying makeup. And don’t forget to keep building your portfolio. This will help you stay motivated and keep your skills sharp.


Becoming a professional makeup artist is a challenging and rewarding career. While it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques, it’s also important to be yourself and do what you love. No two makeup artists are the same, and that’s what makes this industry so special. If you’re passionate about makeup and have the skills, there’s nothing stopping you from becoming a professional makeup artist. Now it’s up to you to make it happen!