6 Reasons To Become A Makeup Artist

Whether you’re that friend who does everyone’s makeup before a party, or you love picking apart celeb looks from the red carpet, you’ve probably thought about a career as a makeup artist. Becoming a makeup artist is an amazing career option that turns your passion into profession, but just why is it so special?

We spoke to BAFTA and RTS-winning makeup designer Jacqueline Fowler, to ask why she loves working in the industry, and why she decided to follow a career in makeup artistry.

Jacqueline has a wealth of knowledge and has worked on epic TV dramas including ‘Poldark’, ‘Gunpowder’ and the upcoming mini-series, ‘Les Misérables’.

She decided to re-train as a makeup artist after working as a hairdresser “There wasn’t as much choice or information around back then, so makeup artistry was kind of an accidentally discovery which is rare but I knew I had to re-train and change career.”

Since then, Jacqueline’s work has seen her travel the world, win some of the most recognised awards in the industry and work with some amazing people.

So, if you’re thinking about becoming a makeup artist, here’s her top 6 reasons why you should…

1. You get to be creative

Makeup artists are always creating. From brand-new looks for an editorial fashion shoot, to re-imagining classic characters for film or TV, makeup artists are always using their creativity to inspire their designs or come up with new ways of doing things.

That means makeup artists need to be creative and have an eye for detail, something Jacqueline said inspired her to follow a career in the industry – “I love creating but I was a bit lost. I was working as a qualified hairdresser for many years so becoming a makeup designer seemed like the natural next step.”

Working in makeup and hair for TV and film means Jacqueline has designed looks for a range of characters – from Victorian governesses to hardened gang members.

With so many opportunities in the industry, each project lets you be creative in a new and fun way.

2. You travel the world

Jacqueline counts filming ‘The Crimson Petal and the White’ as one of the highlights of her career.  “The series was shot in London, Manchester and Canada” – which meant Jacqueline got to travel to the filming locations.

As a makeup artist you get to visit some incredible places. Whether you’re working in theatrical makeup and touring famous theatres in different cities, visiting a castle as the backdrop to a fashion shoot, or filming the next blockbuster in a scenic location abroad, most artists get to travel in their career.

And they get to travel for free! As it’s part of the job, and get to do what they love while they see the world.

3. You get to work with some amazing people

There’s so much variety for makeup artists, and often it means working with a huge variety of people. One day you might be on backstage with models at a fashion show, the next you might be working with directors and other makeup artists on a film set.

And this team environment can be a huge benefit. Jacqueline says “being part of a team on a great project is really special.” Often, the makeup team is very big and working long days means you become close quickly, so as a makeup artist, you’re sure to make life-long friends.

4. You’re always learning new things

Training as a makeup artist doesn’t mean sitting in a lecture hall. It requires hands-on training so you get to grips with the latest techniques and products, which means you’re always learning.

Jacqueline says when training as a makeup artist “you will never stop learning. Every module on your course brings something new and you soon discover your strengths and weaknesses.”

And once you’re working, you have to learn new things depending on the project. “Research is paramount for a makeup and hair designer” explains Jacqueline. You might have to read up on period makeup, or learn about men’s facial hair styles to design a look that’s accurate for the project.

This means makeup artists never stop learning new and exciting things.

5. Makeup artists are in high demand

Once you’ve trained as a makeup artist, there’s plenty of opportunity for work in TV and film, theatre and fashion as well as events and advertising. Some even go on to become a personal makeup artist.

Properly skilled artists will always be needed, and Jacqueline explains that hair and makeup training courses “offer so much opportunity and potential for school leavers.”

There’s always new projects in different areas to try your hand at.

6. It’s unlike any other job

Finally, being a makeup artist is a job unlike any other. “It’s a very inspiring and rewarding career” explains Jacqueline. With so much opportunity, the chance to meet new people and travel the world, you definitely won’t be stuck at a desk.

Plus, not many people can show off their talent in the way makeup artists can. Each project gives you the chance to create something that you’re really proud of and displays your creativity.

Becoming a makeup artist is hard work, but with the right attitude, it’s such a rewarding career. From getting to unleash your creativity and travelling to meeting interesting people and always learning new things, it’s no wonder it’s such an attractive career.

The first step though, is getting in some essential training and practice. At The Iver Makeup Academy you’ll learn from working makeup, hair and SFX artists and get hands-on experience in hair and makeup artistry. If you’re keen to get started, take a look at how you can fund your training.

Meet the Author
Liz Tagg


A highly talented and award-winning makeup artist, Liz has over 30 years of experience working in the film and television industry. A professionally trained makeup artist and hair designer, Liz’s career highlights include BAFTA and Emmy award nominations, as well as a recurring position as a member of the BAFTA jury.

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