Business: 12 money spinning career options for makeup artists

Yet to find your call? Are you a makeup artist still wondering what career choice pays and which is ideal for you? Then read this.

Makeup by Lips and lashes. Photo credit: Kewwe phtography
Makeup by Lips and lashes.
Photo credit: Kewwe phtography
The makeup industry is expanding every year, generating billions of dollars in revenue worldwide as more and more women embrace makeup. The makeup artiste's challenge is how to stay relevant in the industry, gain more clients and expand his/her limits , the norm is to train as a mua, gather portfolio, put up adverts and wait for the jobs to come to you, but to survive in this enterprising industry requires hard work, honing one's skills, patience and going the extra mile to secure jobs.  If you don't have the capital to set up your own studio, or seeking for means to garner more experience or just wiling to explore different possibilities, there are limitless opportunities available for makeup artists. Some of them are listed below:

1. As independent artist: This is the major choice for most makeup artists, being on their own has its appeal, the ability to dictate one's time, fees and clients, but it is not the only available choice. Infact it may not be the best choice for the beginner makeup artist who is just striking out on his/her own. The lure here is the ability to work from anywhere, but you only have your name to go on with. As stand on your own mua, you have differnt clients needing differnt servies, party goers, birthday girls, bridal shower guests, and the ones who call a makeup artiste anytime a  "putting on makeup" mood strikes them.

2. Weddings: another big hit is to be a makeup artiste for brides to be, imagine if at least once in a month, you secure two wedding contracts, makeup for bride, brides maids, mothers, mothers in law, not to mention sisters, friends, cousins and guest who also need need your service. IT is more than enouhg to get you by, just be sure to take along an assistnt(s)  to help out. And rust, thousands of weddings take place every weekend across the country, Lagos having the highest share.

3. Teaching: You can train on your own or get hired as a trainer in top makeup schools to train other aspiring makeup artistes, you get to earn at the same time impact knowledge into others. You can charge fees based on agreement on current makeup fees,  flexibility of hours and number of students . Check out makeup schools located near you or  professional makeup artists who needs a makeup artist  who can give hands on practicals to train their pupils.Send in your resumes and you might just get lucky.

4. Personal mua to top functionaries: From top female politicians, beauty idols, fashionistas, first ladies, chiefs, wives of  political dignitaries, celebrities, music stars to individuals who have enough money to hire a personal mua, makeup artists are increasingly finding it hard to keep up, as vanity keeps increasing, more individuals want their looks to be on point , therefore more  expertise is needed than the usual "I did it myself" routine, except one wants to be a laughing stock. Once your face gets into a social media post or a printed page, every look is scanned for flaws and comments are passed . To protect their image and uphold their social standing especially those seen as beauty icons, makeup artists are hired and kept on retainer ship to cater, brush, gloss over every wrinkle, freckle and pimple of a known face.

5. Film, Tv and radio: The presenters that we see or hear everyday also need to look good  to the audience, even those who we can not see, need to feel good, it has been proven that makeup, no matter how little gives extra boost of confidence to women, so while the journalist is concentrating on putting up a good show, you can add to her morale by adding  a touch of makeup on her face. Studios actually have makeup artistes on their payroll to do just that. Also muas are needed on music and video sets to enhance the looks of the performing artistes or video vixens to reduce the editing work that will be done. No need letting the sweat show even when the shoot has taken many hours to finish when a brush of powder will cover weary and tired lines on the face, remove sweat , refreshes and make the face look like it just came on set.

6. Red carpet , Models and celebrities: A lot of preparation go on backstage to prepare models, actresses and celebrities for  redcarpets, fashion shows,struts, catwalks , magazine covers, ad shoots, and glamour and a makeup artiste is fully involved in each step, get out your portfolio and submit to a modelling agency or an event organizer today.

7. Beauty parlours/Spa/Medical centers: Working in these places also have advantage as you get to meet more people and learn additional skills, people who visit spas are ready to go all the way out to look good, so after the other services are completed, a final touch of makeup will complement their looks. Makeup can be used to hide a mark, spot or medical scar, it can be permanent or temporary makeup.

8. Funeral homes: Even dead people need to look good at least for the last viewing, only the strong at heart can take this job, but if you can, why not? Ask for funeral parlors around, learn what is required, though  they have their special chemicals to preserve the dead bodies, but your expertise will be needed to give the dead a pleasant face.

9. Beauty research : Lots of beauty companies are annually upgrading their products and carrying out product developments to ensure their products is up to standard, suitable uon their customer's skins and meet the necessary requirements. You can work with such companies to test the product samples on customers, your ability to relate with clients will also help you in getting feedback, gain new insights as to what the customers expects from thir makeup products, why they buy and what they are willing to pay for it.

10. Sales: Brand representatives, network marketers, retail stores beauty reps all have one skill in common, the ability to sell their their products to a potential customer, but talking or showing charts is not enough, the customer wants to know and see how the makeup product will look on her face after application. That is why makeup artistes are employed as brand reps to sell and apply makeup so as to convince the customer on the suitability of the products.

11. Costume and Theatre; You can dare to be different and create unusual looks such as changing one's entire appearance as required by the role you are trying to create. There is one Nigerian who ha been successful in that regards in doing special effects makeup, Hakeeem Onilogbo who can turn a typical black man to white or an albino with his makeup , he also create real like injuries and amazing special fx makeup. I f you dont want to go theatrical, you should consider doing  costume makeup for Halloween, parties, painting children faces and tattoos.
Creative special effects by Hakeem OnilogboCreative special effects by Hakeem Onilogbo
Creative special effects by Hakeem Onilogbo

12.  Beauty writer/ Vlogger/Youtubber: Lots of ladies are eager for beauty knowledge, the ability to apply makeup professionally or passably far outweighs personal costs of data usage, magazine and site subscriptions . Tun your expertise into a gold mine, create video content of your makeup skills showing tips and tricks, if you are shy of the camera, then write as I am doing, spend to beauty magazines or start a blog or  create a ebook on pdf, any option you will get paid, either in form of writing fees, sales of ebooks or from ads that are served on your sites.

One useful tip , to get more jobs, you need to to connect and network with creative people in the same or  related industries, those who deal and work on a daily basis with beauty,entertainment, glamour, fashion and adverts, they include but not limited to photographers, content writers, editors, advertising agents, models, booking agents, actors, musicians, artistes (graphic ,visual or audio), movie producers, video directors , fashion designers. One word of mouth can help you spread your business like wildfire, attain a wider reach than a Instagram/Facebook ad can because it is connects more with the people that need your services.

To succeed as a makeup artiste, you need to;

  • Develop a thick skin to overcome insults, slurs and competition.
  • Be adaptable to changes, an open mind to work with clients and test new products. 
  • Be willing to learn more, evolve and keep up with trends.
  • Human - relation and marketing skills. 
  • Be ready to spend and be spent.