Many of us have earliest childhood memories of dressing up in our mom’s clothes, using her fascinating bindis, lipsticks and maang tikas, prancing about the house draped in her sarees and enjoying ourselves to the fullest!
The world is obsessed with different notions of beauty since the beginning of time. If you are someone who is obsessed with the art of enhancing appearances, it might be a tell-tale sign to consider becoming a make-up artist as a serious career aspiration.
Read on to find out more about the job!
The earliest traces of cosmetics used to enhance facial features was found about 6000 years ago in Egypt and Greece. These products were used to combat problems such as signs of ageing like wrinkles, baldness and to treat scars and burns. Geishas in Japan used to wear lipsticks made of crushed flower petals and Kohl was used in Egypt and Rome to line eyelids and make the eyes centre of attraction. However, during the early 1900s, makeup was regarded as a sinful way of concealing one’s true identity and was mostly used by “ladies of the night, those involved in cabaret and the white and black screen folks. From using papier poudré to illuminate the nose (this was when the phrase “powdering one’s nose” was born) to the modern day liquid and cream foundations, we have come a long way in increasing a woman’s confidence when she needs it.
- Fashion or cosmetic artist
- Film makeup artist
- theatrical makeup artist
- Makeup blogger
In addition to these, a lot of other fields are also available for a makeup artist to choose to work. They are hired at salons, spas, retail and department stores, bridal boutiques and so many more types of businesses. Many makeup professionals are freelance because the work is so portable and choose to market themselves as specialists in weddings and special events, mortuary makeup, photo shoots, runway models, film and television, live theatre, and special effects, among others.
Courses and exams
There are a wide variety of courses offered in a lot of institutes throughout the country. There is no dearth of good courses after which you can either work for retail chains or for yourself. A lot of makeup artists are self-taught and do very well with time and practice. YouTube tutorials and makeup blogs are the way to go if you are unwilling to invest in a course. But it is advisable to learn the proper techniques and invest in learning through courses as it is the way to go for building a better client base. A large clientele is ultimately the key to a successful career.
Some of the institutes offering courses in this line of work are given below-
- Shahnaz Herbal Women’s World International
- VLCC Institute of Beauty, Health and Management
- International Polytechnic for Women
- Dharmambal Government Polytechnic for Women
- Pivot Point Beauty School
- Lakme training academy
- Ambika Pillai, Delhi
- Vidya Tikari, Delhi
- Fat-mu pro makeup
- Christine Valmy international academy of beauty
Being certification courses, these courses can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months depending on the requirements of the course you enrol in. Hands-on practice is the much more important factor in this field. The more you practice, the better you get.
The life of a makeup artist is dynamic and constantly changing. No two days are alike. One day you could be working backstage for a spring themed fashion photo shoot and the next day you could be working on a beautiful bride for her wedding day to make her look radiant and glowing. The job description can vary from theatre play makeup, school dances and many other opportunities. The possibilities of getting work are endless and depends on how good you are in thinking creatively and assimilating the requirements of the client simultaneously.
- It is a flexible and portable job that can also work without any kind of permanent setup at one place. You can work at the clients’ home or workspace without having to invest yourself in getting any space for offices.
- The more creative and original you get, the better you are. This is one field in which you need not curb your individuality. You can create your signature style and make it worth their while!
- It is not a boring white collared 9 to 5 job and does not require sitting for hours with books in front of you.
- You can directly start working without any prior training. You can join an academy which has a contract prior to joining to assimilate all the candidates into their companies after training them in the work.
- The work is very diversified and never becomes stale and repetitive.
- It can be difficult to break into the scene if you are a newly trained artist without any clientele. It might take a lot of struggle period to start earning decent money.
- The pay may not be stable as the money depends on the number of assignments you are getting on a regular basis. This can lead to a rough time in the worst-case scenario.
- The competition is increasing every day and the people only want to splurge on the best so you have to consistently be on your toes and there is no time to relax.
- While working on large scale assignments, the timings can be tough and lead to working continuously for days together.
- Film makeup artists in India used to be primarily a male-dominated profession until now. Slowly the scene is changing and females are breaking into the industry with time.
For most of the time, the life of a makeup artist is pretty lax and not very demanding. The amount of money you make depends on how good you become and also your networking skills as in any business-oriented profession.
The competition is specific cities like Mumbai can be fierce and hence it is advisable to do some other work on the side to keep the money flowing and paying the bills.
There is no fixed timing for this job and depends totally on the nature of the assignment you are working on. Sometimes your day may end only in 3-4 hours and sometimes it may stretch into 12-hour shifts.
Salary and growth
Growth in this industry depends largely on the clients you acquire and the kind of requirements they have. So, you have to have good marketing skills along with good makeup skills. The better reputation you have, the better the money flowing into your pocket will be.
- A lot of patience is required to work with tricky clients and to make them feel comfortable in your presence.
- Good communication skills are essential in this field.
- Creativity is perhaps the most important trait you need to possess.
- Hardworking. (This is the requirement for every field of course! Get off your asses!)