Becoming a professional makeup artist
Makeup artistry began with the use of natural sourced ingredients and powders which were applied on the face, primarily to reduce oiliness and open pores, and to provide a flawless appearance for prospective brides. The industry grew slowly in India with companies like Lakme bringing forth a host of colors for the Indian customer to choose from, and with the subsequent growth of the fashion industry, a market for artists was born. Today a qualified make up artist can easily earn up to 50,000 INR a month during peak season, while investing less than half that amount in a course which is tailored for budding makeup artists.
Professional Makeup training academies are run by qualified makeup artists who teach techniques, help with building a professional kit, and also provide certificates to those who successfully complete the course. A certified makeup artist will possess the credibility and training required for them to pursue an artistry careers in a variety of ways, each with its own benefits and earning potential.
Fashion makeup is popular and has medium earning potential for a budding makeup artist. Newspapers, and fashion magazines often require the services of an artist, and generally pay between 1000-3000 INR per model. Initially the payment could be slightly lower, but will still ensure healthy monthly earnings. For this line of makeup artistry, a makeup artist’s kit should have a variety of skin imperfection concealers and bright colors available; it is not necessary to carry too many products for these shoots.
Conceptual makeup for hi-end magazines and productions requires a more advanced kit, and allows the artist to charge more per shoot. The artist should have knowledge of avante garde fashion looks and the ability to replicate them on a model using their own products. These jobs are well paying but require advanced skills.
Corporate makeup is part of a general grooming course for budding business women and also aspiring models, flight attendants and those in the hospitality industry. In these cases, a makeup artist is hired to train groups of women and can earn between 10-20,000 INR for 4 training sessions, depending on their credibility.
Portfolio make up involves a tie-up with a modeling agency or a photographer who will then offer a contract to an aspiring model or actor wherein 8-15,000 INR can be earned for the portfolio.
Television and theatre makeup are options which could pay 1500 INR onwards per day for advanced artists, although there are some compromises to be made by the artist, which involve inconvenient timings, the boredom of sitting idle while a shot is finalized, and the inability to create different looks for the character. However for those looking to earn a consistent income from makeup artistry, this is the job to take. It is mandatory for the artist to have an advanced kit full of products suited to the lighting of the stage and the arc lights. Sometimes it is also required to have special effects make up handy, and a separate training course might also be needed in order to develop those specific skills.
Bridal makeup is by far the most lucrative of all of the above options, the only glaring disadvantage [in the Indian context] being that weddings are seasonal, which means that there are lucrative earning seasons, and off-seasons. However, an artist can charge 8,000 INR onwards for bridals, and additional amounts for others. The kit needs to be customized according to the type of wedding, and have a host of embellishments and shades to choose from. The makeup artist is often expected to triple their duties, i.e. make up artistry, hair styling and sari draping. Needless to say, the artist should also charge for this!
Prerequisites for becoming a successful professional makeup artist are as follows; you must have an eye for detail, an interest in fashion and makeup trends, a steady hand, a make up kit containing quality products which are skin-friendly, and a list of ancillary businesses to network with for projects. A professional makeup course can cost between 12-18,000 INR but will be earned back within a few months of starting out.