How to become a make-up artist
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- specialist courses run by private training providers
You can do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or a degree in specialist make-up techniques like:
- make-up for media and performance
- media make-up artistry
- theatrical, media and special effects make-up
Subjects that show that you are creative and have good communication skills can be useful for getting on to university make-up artistry courses.
These could include:
- art and design
- performing arts
- drama or theatre studies
You'll also need creative talent and a print or online portfolio to demonstrate your skills.
You'll usually need:
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
You could study for a college qualification in:
- theatrical and media make-up
- make-up artistry
Entry requirements for these courses vary.
You could get into this job through:
- a Beauty Therapy Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
- a Hairdressing Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
- a Hair, Wigs, Make-up and Prosthetics Technician Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship
With a qualification in hair or beauty and practical experience you may be able to apply for assistant make-up artist jobs.
You'll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You could start out as a trainee or assistant to a make-up team, or find casual work doing make-up and hair for extras in crowd scenes.
You could also get experience in salon, wedding and events make-up, or through working in cosmetics sales, and build a professional portfolio to demonstrate your skills.
You could volunteer behind the scenes in theatres or amateur dramatic societies.
You can do specialist make-up and beauty courses through private beauty schools.
It's a good idea to get practical experience to put together a portfolio of work to show employers.
- get involved with amateur theatre
- take part in student film, theatre and photography projects
- work at charity or student fashion shows
- work shadow an established make-up artist or photographer
- work in a related area like a department store cosmetics counter, wedding and events make-up
You can find out more about careers in make-up on stage and screen from ScreenSkills.
You can get more information on working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.