Makeup Artists

Makeup Artist Applies Cosmetics

Makeup artists prepare actors for performances on stage and before cameras. They read scripts and consult with directors, producers, and technicians to design makeup effects for each individual character. They apply makeup and prosthetics and build and style wigs. They also create special makeup effects. Others are employed in the fashion industry. Approximately 3,060 theatrical and performance makeup artists work in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Makeup Designers
Duties Apply makeup to models and actors before performances on stage and before cameras; design makeups and special applications to enhance or alter a performer's appearance
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities exist in all regions, with most demand in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
  • Some Postsecondary Training
School Subjects
  • Art
  • Art History
  • Theater/Dance
Experience Experience as an assistant or volunteer
Personality Traits
  • Artistic
  • Creative
  • Hands On
  • Drawing/Design
  • Interpersonal
  • Performance
  • Music
  • and Acting
Certification or Licensing None
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Fair
Outlook Much Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Head of Makeup Department or Owner of Makeup Art Business
  • Makeup Artist
  • Assistant to Makeup Artist