An excitingly colourful career as a Makeup Artist

If you are all about beauty and colour, why not consider a thrilling career as a makeup artist? Exciting and creative, makeup artist jobs are found in various industries – from the film and television industry, to the runway, stage and beauty salons.


Today, we take a closer look at what makeup artists do, in which industries they work and, if you are interested in pursuing a career in makeup, some of the make up artist courses available in South Africa.

What does a makeup artist do?

Very simply put, a makeup professional, like a painter, is responsible for taking his or her canvas and transforming it into something breath-taking. From a monster in a horror show to a blushing bride on her big day, a make up artist enhances features to create something truly beautiful (or horrifying).

These professionals work according to briefs from a client. Depending on the field you do choose to specialise in, you will be required to sketch makeup ideas and have an understanding of photographic and film processes, as well as how light plays an effect.

Some professionals active within the entertainment industry are also required to do facial and body castings and moulds to create prosthetics.

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A career in makeup

As a makeup artist, you can have a wonderfully exciting career in the entertainment and fashion industries. Some artists decide to go into the service industry, while others choose to build a flourishing freelance career.

Techniques, Specialisations and Skills

Professionals in the makeup industry apply a wide range of techniques, always upping their skills, testing out new products and even specialising in different fields within makeup.

Some of the skills, specialisations and techniques associated with make up artists include:

– Special Effects
– Airbrushing Techniques
– High Fashion Makeup
– Theatrical and Stage Makeup
– Prosthetics
– High Definition and Light Bending Techniques


Working in the Entertainment Industry

If you are all about glitz and glamour, makeup artist jobs in the entertainment industry is a great choice. Involving everything from television studios to the stage, professionals in this industry can work as part of a team or be self-employed.

Duties here include consulting with all the relevant personnel (from creative directors to your own team members) in order to create a specific look. From making someone look sick or old, to transforming them into a creature to be feared, you will have the opportunity to work with a range of different people as well as makeup techniques.

Working in Fashion

Working with models, you will be in charge of preparing these men and women for everything from a photoshoot and runway appearance, to an appearance in advertisements. These types of makeup jobs can be found at modelling agencies and magazines.

Creative, these professionals have a deep understanding how light and other special effects influence makeup.


A Makeup Artist in the Service Industry

While you might think that the entertainment and fashion industries are the most exciting sectors to work in as a make up artist, working in the service industry can be just as rewarding. Working in the cosmetic service industry, you will have the opportunity to help people – from giving makeovers to giving invaluable advice to men and women.

You will also be able to find a position at spas and beauty salons, having the opportunity to make a bride look stunning on her big day, help women create a beautiful look for everyday work environments and even help in concern to skin consultations and product recommendations.

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Working as a freelancer

One of the great things about makeup artistry is that professionals are able to do what they love on a freelance basis, moving from client to client and being introduced to various work environments – from film, beauty pageants and fashion, to weddings and photoshoots.

Travelling to various locations, freelance professionals in this career build their portfolios over time, gaining clients and their trust along the way.

Make Up Artist Courses

If you would like to pursue makeup artist jobs, you will need to complete a course at a tertiary training institution. South Africa has a range of reputable institutions where you can complete make up artist courses and move on to pursue a successful career.


Tshwane University of Technology

Found in the Faculty of Art, the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) offers the Performing Arts Technology (Entertainment Technology) programme. A three year long programme, you will be introduced to everything from makeup and textile design, to lighting and costumes.

A broad study programme, you will have the opportunity to learn all about sound, studio layout, woodwork techniques, lighting, makeup and more. After successful completion you will be equipped to pursue careers in the television and film industry, sound and recording industries and theatre, to name but a few.

College SA

College SA offers various courses and study programmes if you are interested in pursuing a career as a makeup artist. The College SA Diploma in Make-Up Artistry is a 24 month programme that offers subjects ranging from Professional Salon Skills to Make-Up Application and Lash and Brow Services.

Potchefstroom Academy

If you have an interest in all things beauty, the Potchefstroom Academy offers an NQF Level 4 full-time programme. A year long programme, your subjects will include Massage, Makeup, Facial and Anatomy, to name but a few examples.

After successfully completing this programme, you will have the opportunity to complete an external City & Guilds exam as well.

Another option at Potchefstroom Academy where makeup will form part of your studies includes Beauty Therapy, where you can choose between an NQF Level 6 Advanced Diploma in Somatology or an NQF Level 5 Diploma in Health and Skincare.

Makeup Artist Jobs on Job Mail

Ready to find exciting makeup artist jobs in your area? Job Mail features a range of vacancies within the beauty industry. Some of the make up artist vacancies currently listed includes:

Beauty Therapist

An opportunity at a 5 Star Hotel in the Western Cape is available for a professional with experience in massages, waxing, tinting and makeup. Candidates must be well-spoken, friendly and passionate about what they do.


Beauticians, Hair Stylists, Nail Technicians and M.A.C Make Up Artists

If you are experienced in the field of hairstyling, makeup or nails, a great opportunity is available in Bedfordview, Johannesburg.


Are you already a qualified makeup artist and looking for makeup artist jobs in your area? Register your CV on Job Mail today and kick-off your career by finding a stunning opportunity in the colourful and vibrant world of makeup artistry.

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