A Makeup Artist (MUA) is a professional artist that uses mediums applied to your skin to enhance or transform your appearance. They are usually referred to as beauticians or cosmetologists but differs in a way that their specialization runs only in makeup and typically do not offer services like hair or nails.
The art of applying makeup goes back to ancient times, at least 6,000 years ago, where Egyptian Pharaohs employ servants specially trained in using cosmetics to make them appear like the gods. Recently, MUAs are hired to work with actors, politicians, television and movies, and theater productions.
What does an MUA do?
A big shot out to the professionals at MBS Makeup for giving us some ideas for this blog post. Their expertise has given me a unique insight to their world. A makeup artist skillfully transforms a blank canvas (your face) into the character or appearance you desire, usually within an allotted time frame. You might be too familiar with their work to enhance physical features and create a stunning appearance in special occasions like weddings, formal school dances, or fashion shows. But as time evolves, a well-established MUA can also serve as editors and columnists for beauty magazines, experts on panels, have their successful blogs, and write books about makeup implementation.
An MUA may specialize in various types of makeup and application methods including:
-Special Effects MUAs. Also known as theatrical makeup artists, they are professionals who spend long hours transforming a person into the desired appearance or character. Prosthetics are often used, and they tediously work on creating a perfect illusion as the job demands. They typically work hand in hand with the directors to give life to the vision for the actor they want to be portrayed. The pay for this job is very lucrative as the type of work they do is very selective and extensive.
Airbrushing, light bending, and high definition is some of the makeup illusions and application techniques made by special effects MUAs.
-High Fashion MUAs. They are the professionals who specialize in doing makeup in high fashion settings, for instance in the fashion runway, magazines, and video promotions for the fashion industry. They need to be proficient in creating the “perfect look” that will function well in magazine covers and special editions, and in runways. The needs of which in each setting vary. Magazine makeup needs to be subtle, and the MUA has numerous ways to adjust and perfect the look. In contrast, a runway makeup needs to bold (and durable) since it should hold up under the lights and heat.
Fashion makeup artists do not usually earn higher pays and can train in different ways ranging from attending a school specializing in makeup industry or apprenticing with an experienced MUA to learn the tricks of the trade. However, the more established you are in your work, the higher pay you can demand.
-Weddings and other special events MUAs. They are usually makeup artists without professional training but learned the art through experience. Pay for the job depends on the client and the “look” they want to portray. Weddings usually pay higher than other events like formal school dances or company year-end parties.
A makeup artist, often freelance, work in different places. Some have their studios, but most travel to site depending on the type of work required. High fashion MUAs often have the opportunity to travel around the world for photo shoots, just some of the perks accompanied with their jobs.