“I’ve come to believe that there are two kinds of people – People who are born talented and the others who strive very hard to learn and master an art” – Ambika Pillai, Make Up Artist,
India Lights, Camera, Action!
There are very few vocations that involve elevated degrees of imagination, skill, recreation, and lots of money. Welcome to the world of makeup! Can you imagine using your creativity to make people look good? Living in a world where looking good has become a need rather than a luxury, being a make up artist is indeed the career of your dreams!
A make-up artist’s life is diverse, exciting and challenging at all times. He/She is intrinsically plugged-in to crucial and memorable events of people’s lives, from weddings to Award functions. Being a makeup artist involves working with people all the time and in the process meeting new faces, making new friends and establishing professional contacts.
Nature of Job:
Make up artists can work alone (freelance), as an assistant to a senior artist or as part of a team.
They can work in a variety of settings such as Advertisements, Magazines, Modeling agencies, Movies, Music Videos, Runway shows, Salons, Television, Theatre.
Timings might vary based on the need of the hour, from 3AM in the morning to get a model ready for a shoot or an easy 10AM slot where work is only for a couple of hours. There are definitely no fixed timings. The tediousness of the job is forgotten when there are celebrities and designers to rub shoulders with.
In short being a makeup artist is definitely not ho-hum.
Make up artists must be aesthetic in nature and must possess highly formulated senses of hue and form. Out-of-the box thinking and initiative are extremely important attributes. They must also be keen to experiment with ideas. They must be adaptable to atypical working hours and be, devoted to their work. Make up artists are required to be cheerful and patient as sometimes their clients can be difficult or crude. Owing to their long hours of work, they must always be electropositive and charged.
Anybody can become a make up artist with the right amount of enthusiasm, commitment and of course aptitude for color and design. Apart from obtaining a formal qualification, a makeup school/academy provides the expertise and specialist knowledge required to excel in the domain. They also open up ample job opportunities. There are plenty of makeup academies world over, some of the best ones being:
Joe Blasco Makeup School, Westmore Academy – USA,
Delamar Academy – UK,
Pearl Academy of Fashion, Blossom Kochhar’s Pivot Point, VLCC, International Finishing Academy – India.
Industry experience is critical to becoming a professional make up artist. Part-time jobs, whether paid or unpaid, gives the a chance to work with professional makeup and increase practical know-how.
Since makeup and fashion change with time, a make-up artist should continuously read and stay in touch with the latest in make-up products, styles, techniques, and update his knowledge as much as possible.
A make up artist has the flexibility to serve in the industry at different points of time in his/her career. This is an indicator of professional development and growth upon which remuneration depends. A makeup artist as mentioned earlier can either work for an organization or as an independent entity, each varying in skills, work hours and salary.
In India, a newcomer would have to go through the initial struggle of establishing contacts and setting a firm foothold in the industry. The first year of internship might not be lucrative. But consequently in about 3-5 years one can earn about INR 30,000 – 40,000 per month. Professionals usually charge about INR 8,000 – 15,000 per sitting. But with experience and established repute, the figure doesn’t stop there.
In short, this is one career in which there is no set boundary in scope for learning or earning. This profession is recommended for only those who’ve got the ambition to succeed, the ability to persevere, and the aptitude to take on a challenge and survive.