I don’t have a makeup bag, I have a makeup artist!

Erika Jayne, Actress

Pros and Cons of Working as a Makeup Artist

advantages and disadvantages of being a makeup artist

You think about becoming a makeup artist?

Make sure to check out the pros and cons of being a makeup artist in this article so that you can avoid any issues that may come along with this career path!

Makeup Artist Job Profile

Job DescriptionMakeup artists apply makeup and make sure that their clients look as best as possible for fancy venues or just for their private lives.
Salary$39,000 per year on average, most makeup artists make between $28,000 and $44,000 per year.
Job SecurityPoor since you will be replaceable pretty easily.
Job SatisfactionGood if you love doing makeup for others.
Work-Life BalanceRather poor since you often have to work on weekends and at nighttime.
Physically / Mentally Demanding?Neither physically nor mentally demanding most of the time.
Future OutlookQuestionable since only the best makeup artists will have a bright future.
RequirementsNo special educational requirements. Finishing high school will often be enough to start a career as a makeup artist.

Advantages of Working as a Makeup Artist

  1. Makeup artists can be creative at work
  2. You can work indoors
  3. Working as a makeup artist is not that stressful
  4. You can avoid heavy physical work
  5. You can avoid classical office work
  6. Makeup artists can meet many famous people
  7. You can build a strong network of influential people
  8. You don’t need a degree for becoming a makeup artist
  9. You can avoid student loan debt
  10. Makeup artists can work self-employed
  11. Makeup artists can start side hustles
  12. You can help out your friends

Makeup artists can be creative at work

One advantage of being a makeup artist is that you can work in a pretty creative manner.

In fact, you will often have lots of freedom regarding how a person should look as long as your clients are happy with the overall picture.

Moreover, every job will be different and you will never be able to repeat the process 1:1.

This means that you will have to develop your skills further every day to stay ahead of the game.

While this can be quite demanding, it also gives you a real challenge and you will barely get bored with what you are doing due to that.

You can work indoors

As a makeup artist, you will also enjoy the privilege of working indoors.

While you may take this for granted, there are still numerous people out there who have to work outdoors under extreme conditions.

Consequently, while other people have to work outdoors during extreme heat or during cold periods of the year, you will be able to enjoy your time at work in a rather cozy environment and can also use our modern technologies to achieve the optimal room temperature so that you can do your job as best as possible.

Working as a makeup artist is not that stressful

Another upside to becoming a makeup artist is that your job will also not be that stressful.

Sure, there may be times when you will have lots of time pressure.

However, most of your workday will be rather relaxed and while many other people suffer from stress at work almost every minute of their workday, you will be able to enjoy many breaks and this will also lead to a state where you really enjoy going to work.

Therefore, working as a makeup artist can also be for you in case you don’t want to be exposed to high stress levels at work all day long but rather want to work in a relaxed manner instead.

You can avoid heavy physical work

By becoming a makeup artist, you will also be able to avoid heavy physical work.

For instance, while many people who work in construction or in other fields have to lift heavy stuff on a regular basis, you will have a rather relaxed job in this regard since the heaviest thing you have to lift at work will be your brush most of the time.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that your work as a makeup artist cannot be mentally demanding.

Yet, you will still not have to stress your body as much as in many other professions and this means that you will also have more energy once you come home from work.

Moreover, your risk of suffering from serious physical health issues also tends to be much lower.

You can avoid classical office work

Another benefit of working as a makeup artist is that you can also avoid classical office work.

Instead of starting at a computer screen all day long, you will be able to work in a hands-on manner and can be really creative.

Moreover, you will see a real end result and the fruits of your labor every day while people who work in office jobs often don’t see any result from their labor at all.

Additionally, you will also be able to avoid those artificial office environments and the strange feeling that comes along with it.

Makeup artists can meet many famous people

If you are really good at what you are doing, you may also be able to meet many famous people along the way.

For instance, you may get booked as a makeup artist for famous events and may be able to meet your favorite celebrities.

This can be pretty exciting and you may also be able to take pictures with the most famous people on earth.

Moreover, if you get jobs for those exclusive events, you will also be able to travel the world for free while still getting paid at the same time.

You can build a strong network of influential people

As mentioned before, you will also be able to meet many famous people if you become a real expert in your field.

Consequently, you will also be able to talk to those famous and influential people and if you are really good at handling people, chances are that you will be able to stay in touch with some of them.

In turn, you can build a really strong network of influential people in the long run and this can greatly help you in various parts of your professional as well as your private life.

Of course, most makeup artists will never get to this stage.

However, chances are still there and if you are willing to work hard to perfect your craft, you may eventually get to this level where you can work for the most famous people on earth and enjoy all the benefits that come along with it.

You don’t need a degree for becoming a makeup artist

Another advantage to becoming a makeup artist is that you also don’t need to go to college.

Instead, you can become a makeup artist right after finishing high school.

Not only will this save you lots of time, but you can also save significant amounts of money on tuition and other expenses related to college.

Consequently, while many of your friends who go to college will need support from their parents, you can become independent pretty soon.

You can avoid student loan debt

Since you don’t have to go to college for becoming a makeup artist, you can also avoid taking on student loan debt.

In fact, in our current state of the world, many young students take on student loans to finance their degrees.

What they often don’t take into account is the fact that those student loans have to be repaid in the future and repaying those loans can greatly financially constrain people and prevent financial progress.

As a makeup artist, you don’t have to worry about those issues since you don’t have to go to college but can rather make money right after getting your high school diploma.

Makeup artists can work self-employed

You also don’t have to work as an employed makeup artist. If you are an entrepreneurial type of person who rather wants to work self-employed, you can also just start your own makeup artist business. Sure, it will not be easy to compete in this fierce market.

However, if you are willing to work really hard on it and are also humble enough to accept a pretty low salary for the first few years, you may be able to build a serious brand and may be able to harvest the fruits of your labor in the future.

Makeup artists can start side hustles

It is also easy for makeup artists to start side hustles. Since almost every woman out there will be grateful to get makeup tips that make her look better, you can build a huge audience pretty fast if you learn about digital marketing and how it works.

For instance, you could start a YouTube channel or a blog around makeup and can show people how they can use their makeup in a more efficient manner.

You can also give them some secret tips that you have figured out during your makeup artist career and if you are really passionate about this topic, you may be able to make much more money from those channels than from your actual day job.

You can help out your friends

Not only will your knowledge from your job as a makeup artist be beneficial for your professional life, but it can also benefit you in various parts of your private life.

For instance, it will be pretty easy for you to find the best makeup for your own purposes.

Moreover, you can also help out your favorite people in this regard and can show them what makeup fits best to their skin type and so on.

As you can see, there are many advantages that come along with a career as a makeup artist.

However, it is still not all upside and I will also show you the issues that come along with working as a makeup artist in the following chapter so that you get a more realistic picture of what a career as a makeup artist really looks like.

Disadvantages of Being a Makeup Artist

  1. Makeup artists don’t make good money
  2. You will not be able to afford any luxury
  3. Many makeup artists even need a second job to pay their bills
  4. Lack of proper health insurance
  5. Old-age poverty may become an issue
  6. Quite low job security
  7. Makeup artists have a rather low social standing
  8. You sometimes have to work on weekends
  9. You may have to work at nighttime
  10. Teleworking is not possible for makeup artists
  11. Poor promotion options
  12. Short-term contracts are rather common
  13. Clients can be demanding
  14. You will not learn many hard skills
  15. Difficult to switch fields
  16. You need a certain level of talent to be successful as a makeup artist

Makeup artists don’t make good money

One problem with being a makeup artist is that you will simply not be able to make good money from what you are doing. In fact, many makeup artists are barely able to pay their bills.

This can be really frustrating, especially if you see all the famous people you are working for and the money those people make while you will only make the small bucks.

You will not be able to afford any luxury

As a makeup artist, you will also not be able to afford any luxury.

Most makeup artists will never be able to buy a home or afford a fancy car.

Instead, you will most likely have to rent and also drive an old car that may break down anytime soon.

Hence, before becoming a makeup artist, make sure that money and luxury are not important to you since you will otherwise get disappointed with your job pretty soon.

Many makeup artists even need a second job to pay their bills

If you live in expensive regions, you may even need a second job to pay your bills.

In those regions, rents are typically quite high and you will just not be able to afford to pay rent and other basic expenses from your job as a makeup artist.

Instead, you will have to work in multiple jobs while you will still not be able to afford any luxury.

This can be really frustrating and working too many hours can also cause serious health issues in the long run.

Consequently, before you decide for a career as a makeup artist, make sure that you are willing to pay the price for it.

Lack of proper health insurance

Due to your low salary as a makeup artist, you may also not be able to afford proper health insurance.

In turn, you may not be covered in case of medical emergency and may not be able to get proper medical treatment.

Thus, also your life expectancy may be much lower compared to someone who gets the best medical treatment.

Old-age poverty may become an issue

You will also not be able to save enough money for retirement as a makeup artist since you will need to spend almost all of your money on rent and other expenses and there will just not be enough money left to save and invest.

In turn, once you get older and are no longer able to work, you may get into serious financial difficulties and while doctors, lawyers and many other people who earn pretty good money will not have to deal with these issues, you will have a hard time in the last years of your life.

Quite low job security

Another disadvantage of working as a makeup artist is that you will also have pretty low job security.

In fact, you will be replaceable pretty easily and if someone comes along who is better than you and is also willing at a lower price, chances are that you get fired without prior notice.

Therefore, becoming a makeup artist may also not be the right way to go for you in case job security is really important to you and you want to plan your life way ahead in the future.

Makeup artists have a rather low social standing

You will also have a pretty low social status as a makeup artist.

While your clients may appreciate your work, many other people in society may rather belittle what you are doing for a living and may also try to bring you down in this regard.

Consequently, make sure that you are also able to deal with those snarky comments in an emotionally healthy manner.

You sometimes have to work on weekends

Another downside to a career as a makeup artist is that you may also have to work on weekends on a regular basis.

Big events usually take place during Saturdays and Sundays and if you really want to do the makeup for the most famous people on our planet, you will also have to make the commitment to work during those rather unpleasant times.

This also means that you will be away from home quite often and that you are not able to make nice weekend trips or to spend enough quality time with your family.

You may have to work at nighttime

You also have to be pretty flexible as a makeup artist. Quite often, you will just not have a standard workweek.

Instead, you will have to adjust to the schedule of your clients and this implies that you sometimes also have to work in the evening or even at nighttime and you should make sure that you are ok with this before you decide for a career in the makeup artist world.

Teleworking is not possible for makeup artists

You will also have to be present at work in person as a makeup artist.

While many other people are able to work remotely and can therefore manage their professional and private life at the same time much better, you as a makeup artist will just not be able to use your time as efficiently.

Moreover, you will also have to commute your work and may also get stuck in traffic jams while many other people who can work from home can save lots of money on gas and can also sleep longer.

Poor promotion options

You should also not expect great promotion opportunities as a makeup artist.

Yes, if you are lucky and also really good at what you are doing, you may get to a stage where you can work for pretty famous people.

However, most makeup artists will still never get to this level and will rather do the same work for many years or even decades without the hope of getting promoted anytime soon.

Short-term contracts are rather common

Many makeup artists also only get short-term contracts and can never be sure that they get new jobs after their contracts expire.

Consequently, as a makeup artist, you will have to deal with constant high levels of insecurity regarding where and for whom you will be able to work in the future and this insecurity may even translate into mental health issues in the long run.

Clients can be demanding

While many of your clients will appreciate your work, others can also be quite difficult and demanding.

In fact, some people can just not be happy and will often try to bring you down to cover their own insecurities.

Thus, make sure that you are willing to deal with these people before you go for a career in the makeup industry.

You will not learn many hard skills

While you will learn a lot about makeup, you will just not learn many other valuable skills as a makeup artist.

Quite often, you will also not learn any digital skills that are pretty important to compete in numerous fields right now.

Difficult to switch fields

Due to a lack of hard skills, many makeup artists also have a pretty difficult time switching fields.

This means that many makeup artists also get stuck in their jobs without any prospects of getting out of this industry anytime soon.

You need a certain level of talent to be successful as a makeup artist

Last but not least, you also need a certain level of talent to succeed in the makeup business in the long run.

If you don’t have a certain level of creativity, your clients will just not be happy with your work and will not recommend you to their connections.

In the long run, you will therefore also not get enough jobs and may even become unemployed.

Top 10 Being a Makeup Artist Pros & Cons – Summary List

Being a Makeup Artist ProsBeing a Makeup Artist Cons
Makeup artists can be creative at workMakeup artists don’t make good money
You can work for famous peopleYou may need a second job
Your work will be rather relaxedOld-age poverty may become an issue
Makeup artists can work indoorsLack of proper health insurance
You can avoid office workShort-term contracts are quite common
You can avoid heavy physical workAlmost no job security at all
You can help out your friendsClients can be difficult
Makeup artists can start side hustlesMakeup artists often work on weekends
You can work self-employedYou may have to work at nighttime
You don’t need a college degreePoor promotion options

Should You Become A Makeup Artist?

Now that you know all the advantages and disadvantages of being a makeup artist, it is on you to decide whether you still want to go for a career in this field or if you rather want to go for different job options instead.

You still want to become a makeup artist? Make sure to also get detailed information on the salary, future outlook, duties, working hours, work-life balance, educational requirements and job satisfaction of makeup artists.

Also make sure to check out the following articles to get more information on different job options:

Advantages and disadvantages of becoming a haircutter

Advantages and disadvantages of becoming a fitness trainer

Advantages and disadvantages of becoming a treasurer

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Make-up_artist

https://www.statista.com/statistics/752844/industries-with-the-highest-levels-of-employment-of-makeup-artists-us/

Own research and interviews.

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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