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For makeup artists, the face is their canvas and cosmetics are their medium. Film and television, including special effects, runway and wedding photography provide a wide range of opportunities for the aspiring makeup artist. But really, can makeup be a solid career choice for an aspiring creative?

According to Payscale, the annual salary for makeup artists in Toronto, Ontario ranges from $28,527 to $82,836 with an average salary of $40,000. Other areas of Ontario would provide a smaller range of opportunities and lower salary averages. Indeed reports that the average Ontario hourly wage is $24.26 (not a bad salary doing something you love) while the average Toronto hourly wage is $48.96. Retail sales of health and personal care stores in Canada from 2012 to 2017 reached 46.69 billion CAD. These figures suggest there is a huge market for skilled makeup artists in the current economic climate.

What is Involved in a Career as a Makeup Artist?

Makeup artists use makeup techniques and processes to enhance the beauty of the human body. Their work can encompass any of the following:

  • Enhancing a person’s appearance;
  • Bringing out natural colour in a person’s appearance;
  • Hiding or reducing the impact of flaws;
  • Creating fictional characters or special effects for films, television or theatre.

Makeup artists fall within one of two categories:

  1. Cosmetic or fashion artists working in roles from a clerk at a store makeup counter to the preparation of fashion models for photo shoots.
    • They understand how to make their subject look his/her best;
    • They have an extensive understanding of different effects needed in light and digital photography;
    • These makeup artists are in high demand in a number of venues including weddings, fashion shows, headshot photography.
  2. Theatrical and film makeup artists work with actors to enhance features in creating memorable characters. This category of makeup artists are at the most extreme and cutting edge of the industry.
    • Young actors can be made to look old and vice versa;
    • They may create changing looks for an actor as the story line progresses;
    • They learn to work with a vast array of different lighting conditions;
    • They must be able to create characters that can be recognized by the audience no matter how far from the stage they are seated;
    • They must learn to adapt their techniques to the differing requirements of digital and high definition cameras.
    • At their most extreme, makeup artists create never before seen fantasy creatures, sci-fi creatures and the illusion of blood and gore.

Both categories of makeup artistry can be profitable and provide great career challenges. Theatrical and film makeup artistry is considered the most lucrative but is also the hardest to break into.

Qualities and Skill Requirements for any Successful Makeup Artist

Many skills can be acquired through a strong college program in makeup artistry but natural talent and people skills are a must in this industry. All makeup artists should have native talent in the following:

  • Great customer service skills
  • Creativity
  • Self-motivation
  • Great time-management skills
  • Excellent understanding of basic and advanced art and design principles
  • Great listening skills
  • Being comfortable making recommendations
  • Being able to offer feedback in a tactful manner
  • Arm/hand steadiness
  • Manual dexterity

Naturally having these skills to some degree is a must.  All of these skills can be improved upon through college training and apprenticeships.

Do you have the natural talent required to become a successful makeup artist? A career in makeup artistry offers many stimulating and profitable career options. If you are naturally artistic and relish the chance to use your skills with cosmetics in theatre, film or fashion then a career as a makeup artist might just be your dream job.

Learn More at Eden College

Looking for superior training as a makeup artist? Earn a Makeup Artistry Diploma at Eden College where you can get the proper knowledge and skills to begin this promising career!

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