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Why Become a MUA?

Posted on December 28 2016

Why Become a MUA?



The make-up artistry industry is one that constantly evolves and expands. If you search Google for a make-up artist in your area, the results are usually in the thousands – and there are millions worldwide.

With so many people now pursuing a career in make-up artistry, you’ve got to wonder – why? In this post, we try to summarise the pro’s (and occasional cons) of being a make-up artist including perks such as international travel, pay, flexibility of hours and of course the glamour! Read on to find out what all the hype is about, and if a career as a make-up artist is really all that it appears to be.

Before we go on, let’s get the cons out of the way and point out that make-up artistry is hard work, often with long and irregular hours. While it may seem easy enough, not just anyone can exert a bride’s natural beauty and augment it so that she looks radiant in every single wedding photo from 8am to midnight without a single touch up. While, yes, make-up artistry comes with a lot of perks – we should also have a strong appreciation for the talented women and men who do the job on a daily basis. It takes time, commitment, sacrifice and constant skill development. Now on to the pro’s, here are our top 10…..


  1. Express your Creativity

While the career of a make-up artist is definitely one filled with hard work, it is also one filled with play, experimentation and creativity. What happens when we mix one colour with another? What happens if I move my contour line slightly? Part of perfecting your craft includes experimenting with the products you have, products you don’t yet have, and all the different skin variations that your clients may have. The classic winged eyeliner and red lip didn’t happen by accident, it took a lot of time, testing, and they then eventually gained huge popularity and took their places as classic make-up looks. Who knows – it could be you who discovers the next one.


  1. Successful Social & Professional Life

If you embark on a make-up career, the people you will meet will vary depending on where you go. If you go into stage make-up, you will meet actors and theatre lovers; if you go into bridal make-up, you’ll meet happy and nervous brides and gushing bridesmaids; if you go into special effects make-up, you’ll meet fantasy enthusiasts. If you go into TV and film, you will at some point meet celebrities. Whatever line of make-up you pursue, you are bound to meet some fascinating people. Many of the strongest friendships make-up artists have were formed whilst in the industry, whether at a trade show, shoot, or working in retail. The people who need make-up artists are usually other artists or creatives who are imagining new and exciting things. Not a bad crowd to be a part of!


  1. Travel the Country…or the World

Most make-up artists are asked to travel for work throughout their career. This means that you may get to travel to places and cities that you’ve always wanted to go to, without spending any money to get there! Make-up artists travel for photo shoots, advertising campaigns, fashion shows and film sets to name just a few. Alternatively, travel could look quite different throughout your career and remain at a local level - maybe you become a successful bridal artist and develop an intimate knowledge of community. Whatever career you embark on, expanding your horizons through travel is definitely one perk that will increase your creativity, experience and ultimately your success.


  1. Learn to run your own business

As a freelance make-up artist, you will usually need to run your own business. (Don’t be intimidated by this). There are some artists who get picked up by agencies or work for well-known brands, however most make-up artists source their own work, make their own schedule, over time becoming business professionals. The advantage of being able to fit work around other commitments is something that not many other careers offer. If you’re a busy parent or have an existing full time job, you’ll be able to work around it. Most make-up jobs are booked for weekends, which would allow you to work a second job during the week – at least whilst you’re getting started. Make-up artistry is a fairly easy career to make a smooth transition over to from another career, allowing you time to build your kit and get your head around the industry. Whilst you are doing this gain as much experience as you can, assist established artists, network, build your portfolio and within time you will know how to negotiate, make deals and develop very beneficial business skills.


  1. Make-up Discounts

Who doesn’t love a bargain? As a make-up artist, a full kit is crucial to your work so it is beneficial to take advantage of the countless make-up pro discount programs – including 35% off at MAC. You’ll be able to build both your professional kit and your personal make-up collection with high quality products at a serious discount!


  1. Recognition

As a professional make-up artist, you’ll most likely have the opportunity to work on editorial make-up projects, one of the best things about this is receiving the make-up imagery in your inbox. This means you’ll be able to get your work published and your name into magazine credits. Similarly, if a bride submits her photographs to a website such as ‘Rock My Wedding’ or ‘Want That Wedding’, you can also request that your name (and website) be credited there. This will do wonders for your exposure and portfolio. Well-known make-up artists are often asked to write columns for major magazines, associate themselves with big brands, and even get their own TV shows or television slots. The possibilities are endless, start local, use Social Media for instant recognition and do as much work as possible to build your portfolio.


  1. The Glamour!

The glamour of being a make-up artist and working backstage in a hive of activity and creative energy is obviously attractive. You may get to work backstage at Fashion Week for a major label, or work on a well-known television show with some of the world’s hottest up and coming actors. Working in retail, although hard work and long days in heels you are surrounded by the latest trends, looks and products. Even working for a major advertising company or luxury brand will come with its own perks. Whatever you’re doing, you are guaranteed to feel the excitement and energy, which will in turn inspire your own work. This type of glamour isn’t easily accessible in many other careers, but goes hand-in-hand with those within the fashion and beauty industries.


  1. Instant Beauty

For a lot of artists, this is the best part of working in the make-up industry and often the reason that they came in to it. Seeing your client’s smile when they look in the mirror for the first time is one of the most rewarding things a make-up artist experiences when starting out. You can take what you know and apply it to any skin tone, maturity, face shape, or skin type and make your client both look and feel incredibly beautiful. Making others feel good will, in turn, make you feel even better. It’s a beautiful cycle – literally and figuratively.


  1. Take it to the Bank

Make-up artistry is an industry that in regards to pay is very competitive. It can offer a high hourly rate, which can add up to a substantial annual income – especially if you widen your skill set, train as often as you can and offer editorial, evening, and other year-round make-up services. Bridal make-up is one of the most well-paying services you’ll offer, but it can sometimes be limited to specific times of year. Many make-up artists have made plenty of money, and some have become well-known within the industry, even celebrities in their own right! The beauty of being a Freelance artist is that you have the opportunity to assert yourself, it is imperative to know the market. If you manage to find a gap in it, you will never be short of work!


  1. Experience Newness!

Many people get bored with their work. They learn their job, know it inside out and every day becomes like the last. If you embark on a career in make-up artistry, that won’t be the case! You will constantly be faced with challenges that will only improve your skills. New faces, new situations, new artists, new products. You will be constantly evolving as an artist in an evolving industry. You will gain skills, learn shortcuts, learn to do things quicker. The career of a make-up artist is one of versatility and interest. If you start your career as a freelance bridal artist, it is not to say that this is what you will do for the rest of your career. There is scope to change direction, market your editorial services expand your skill set, no two days will be the same.




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