The number of areas where a make-up artist is needed is almost too numerous to mention. Make-up artists work for the film and television industry, production companies and companies from the fashion industry. And of course, the other sector where make-up artist tasks are performed appears to be different sorts of beauty salons and centers. Large hotels and cruise liners also use services of professional make-up artists. Most of the film and TV make-up artists are freelancers and they work only for specific film productions or television series.
In the fashion industry make-up artists are also usually employed on a project-by-project basis. Full time and long term contracts are pretty rare for this sector of make up and only highly professional make-up artists get such contracts at the big TV studios in Hollywood. Other make-up artists work as consultants for cosmetic companies - they instruct about make-up application and sell product lines of the cosmetic company.
The major film or TV show make-up artist tasks are to prepare skin for make-up, apply the make-up and maintain or alter it during the show or photo shoot. In many cases the make-up artist also gives the hairdresser different pieces of advice to achieve the complete look of the actor or performer. Make-up artists also work in a close collaboration with the film director and designer.
To perform all the make-up artist tasks you need to have certain personal qualities. The main quality is creativity as creative imagination helps to achieve better results in make-up especially for the films and shows where different special effects are used. For the make-up artist it is also very important to be able to transfer the artistic vision of the film director to the various members of the cast. And of course it is pretty hard to apply make-up if the person in the make-up artist's chair does not feel comfortable - so good communicative skills are also necessary.
Competition in the sector of make-up artists' job is very fierce so in order to get a position you need to be a highly qualified specialist. That is why a full time course is needed for the make-up artist. These days you can find many different schools that offer courses for the make-up artist and these courses can vary greatly so check out each school and college for the programs that are offered. A typical make-up artist program includes such courses as general makeup, beauty therapy and, in many cases, hairdressing. Different medical courses are also usually offered for the make up artist as long as they need to provide a proper skin care.
There are different qualifications for the make-up artist tasks. For example, for the hair and make-up artists there are professional qualifications at levels 2, 3 and 4. These qualifications are a must for the make-up artist who wants to work for the bigger film or television companies in Hollywood.
As long as most of the make-up artists work as freelancers there is no hourly wage and they are paid on a per-project basis. Professional make up artist can make about $20,000 a year. But this number depends on the experience and reputation the make-up artist has.