From Cosmetology School to the Red Carpet: Becoming a Celebrity Makeup Artist

Celebrity makeup artists are cosmetologists that work with big screen names as well as other people in the entertainment industry. They work with news anchors, reporters, radio personalities, famous authors, regional celebrities, beauty pageant winners, public speakers, politicians, and many other types of people who are often in a public spotlight. Being a celebrity is hard work and they are usually more than willing to pay someone else to help them maintain the public appeal they’ve worked so hard to earn.

Cosmetology students who are interested in a high-profile job as a celebrity makeup artist may find this a challenge that feels insurmountable. However, with the rise of the internet and more people than ever vying for the spotlight on major television contests, the need for great makeup artists that know their stuff is more important than ever. To the cosmetologists that have already made it to the big-time, it was an uphill battle well worth the struggle. Not only are they exposed to some pretty famous personalities, they also get backstage passes to all sorts of events and get paid top dollar for their services.

So, what does it take to make it?

First, you have to spend some time learning how to become one of the greats, and then you have to spend some time on the bottom of the ladder.

Becoming a celebrity makeup artist is a dream job that starts with a very well-manicured education at an accredited cosmetology school. Celebrities expect (and are willing to pay for) the very best in cosmetologists because their personal image, on the red carpet or off, is a critical part of their success. People expect them to keep up a certain standard in personal appearance.

While fashion designers and stylists keep up with their clothes and hair, your job is to keep their face and complexion looking fantastic at any given moment in time. (Inside Tip: Choosing a well-known cosmetology school is a good first step in making it as a celebrity makeup artist.)

The second step we mentioned was putting in some time at the bottom. Very few cosmetology school graduates become celebrity makeup artists right out of school. (Unless they are already “in the know” with an industry already, that is.) More likely, you will spend time working in a related field where you get some much needed practice on live clients. During this time, it is important to look for understudy and internship opportunities.

While working at a salon and working for free as an intern might not sound appealing, it takes dedication and sacrifice to make it to the big time as a celebrity makeup artist. Internships can help you network with the right people; people who may one day get you into that dream job.

So, to recap: Becoming a celebrity makeup artist takes a lot of work and dedication. The first step is to enroll and graduate from a good cosmetology school that is recognized by the industry in which you wish to work. The second step will lead you directly to the face of a celebrity if you surround yourself with the right people.