2.3 Career opportunities and specialist areas

As you have probably already identified, a career as an MUA has endless creative opportunities. Depending on your preference, you might generalise across a range of areas, or you may choose to specialise – the choice is yours!

Did you know: Because the beauty industry is always growing, there will always be a demand for makeup artists. The beauty industry is expected to grow 8% from 2018 to 2028

For the majority of freelance makeup artists, unless going down a specialist path, bridal makeup will be your bread and butter. There is always going to be a need for bridal makeup artists, and it is a very rewarding career path, both financially and emotionally. Making your bride and her bridal party feel beautiful on the most important day of their lives is a great feeling. Bridal makeup does have a wide scope because each bride will have their own preference in terms of looks and styles they will want you to create. In this course, we will have a strong focus on bridal makeup because if you can master those techniques, you will have a strong foundation to specialise in other areas.

There are numerous career paths for MUAs, and often when you begin practising your craft, you will soon learn which styles bring you the most joy and satisfaction. The table below provides a brief overview of a few specialist areas you might want to consider:

Fashion and editorialGetting yourself booked for your first fashion week or photoshoot is such an exciting feeling! The way you apply makeup for fashion, and editorial shoots are largely dependent on the client and/or creative director.
Stage and screenStage and screen makeup tends to be more exaggerated because of lighting and the looks needing to be seen from the very back seat of the theatre! This style of makeup can be a lot of fun, and you can usually get very creative in your approach.
Special effects (SPFX)Special effects makeup is often used on TV and in movies. If you have ever seen an episode of Greys Anatomy or another hospital drama, all of the gross injuries are actually created by MUAs! Movies such as Avatar, Mrs Doubtfire and Dracula all used SPFX makeup to achieve the desired looks.
Mortuary makeup artistMortuary MUAs prepare loved ones who have passed. The aim here is to make the person look as though they did when they were alive to help preserve their memory. Colour correcting and other techniques are commonly used to help counteract the natural effects the dying process has on a person’s appearance. A role as a mortuary MUA can seem creepy, but it is very rewarding.
Celebrity makeup artistIf you get good enough at your craft, you may begin to build a celebrity client base. All celebrity MUAs once started where you are today, so there is no reason that you cannot aim to build a celebrity clientele if that’s where your passion and talents can take you.
Social media influencerIf you are charming and enjoy being in front of a camera, then a career as a social media influencer might be perfect for you! The online beauty community has done really well, and many influencers have gone on to create their own beauty lines and products. Start by setting up your own Instagram page and consider uploading videos to YouTube regularly.

The opportunities are actually endless! In addition to the specialty areas above, when you become an expert in the field, you may even decide to become an educator in the industry.

If you would like to learn more about career options and specialties, you may like to access the resources linked:

Setting up a Pinterest account or mood boards

All makeup looks are based on some form of inspiration. As you are working your way through this course, you will soon realise that you will start paying more attention to peoples makeup applications, and when you pick up a magazine, you will focus right in on the makeup before anything else!

When you are starting out, you should start creating mood boards to help you save and categorise sources of inspiration. For example, if you were keen to learn 1960s styles, you might create a mood board with a range of images from the 60s, including makeup, colour palettes, fashion and any icons you admire. Back in the day, we used to cut out magazine clippings to create mood boards, but these days we can quickly and easily do this online.

Key phrase | Mood Board: A mood board is a type of visual presentation or ‘collage’ consisting of images, text, and samples of objects in a composition. A successful mood board is one that allows a client or creative team to instantly understand your vision/ concept.

Applications such as Pinterest or Canva are completely free and are super easy to use. You can create mood boards and then upload all of your inspiration pictures. Inspiration can strike at any time, so be sure to take a camera or your camera phone with you when you are out and about. Using mood boards is also an important professional practise because it can help you narrow down ideas for your clients. For example, if you are doing a brides makeup, you could prepare a tailored mood board to demonstrate your ideas – much easier than trying to explain!

If you would like to learn about creating a mood board, access the resources linked:

This site is registered on wpml.org as a development site.