How To Become A Celebrity Makeup Artist

If you're looking to become a makeup artist but don't know where to start, then you're in luck because we have everything you need to know in order to make it!

makeup artist
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When it comes to picking your career, it’s important to do something you love. If makeup is something you love and you want to pursue becoming a celebrity makeup artist but you don’t know where to begin, have no fear. We have all the tips and advice you need to help jumpstart your career in the beauty world. From doing your research to taking classes, being patient, and working hard every day – we pulled together a bunch of tips to help you start your career.

Tips On How To Become A Celebrity Makeup Artist

What better way to get advice on becoming a celeb makeup artist, than hearing from one directly. Fortunately, Gregory Arlt, Director of Makeup Artistry for MAC Cosmetics & Celebrity Makeup Artist, told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY, “I think there are a couple of routes to working with celebrities. For me, it was a word-of-mouth situation where a fashion publicist aligned me with some of her clients who told their celebrity friends, and it took off from there. Another great way is to start assisting a makeup artist with a celebrity clientele. You can learn set etiquette (or as I call it, ‘setiquette’), how to behave around very private people, and perhaps find yourself in your own word-of-mouth scenario. The makeup artist you’re assisting may recommend to their agency to put you on the assistant’s list which can open you up to working with a variety of artists to work with and learn from. Often enough agents book assistants on their own jobs which can lead to bigger opportunities. Figure out exactly what types of people you want to work with and put intention behind it. Lastly, use social media as a tool. Hashtags can lead people to your work and give you exposure.”

Learn & Take Classes

These days, there are a ton of ways to learn your craft. Whether it’s Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube, there are so many videos that are available online for free that can help you learn different skillsets. Plus, if you want to learn even more, there are classes available virtually or in-person at different beauty schools and demos. Just because you know some skills and are good at what you do, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn everything you need to know. You may like the style of makeup that you create but if you get a client that likes something totally different, it’s important that you can achieve the look they want.

Expect To Work For Free

It’s important that you are never too proud to work for free. One of the main ways to get your business rolling is to get your name out there. So, if an opportunity presents itself and you won’t be paid for it, make sure you take it, even though it may seem diminishing that you will not be paid for your work. Even if you start off doing your friends and family’s makeup for free, you can have them tell other people which will get your name out there.

Do Your Research

Make sure you do your research and that you’re always prepared. Find out what brands work with celebrities and hustle to work with the brands. Another way to prepare is by finding out where some celeb makeup artists will be and if they’re doing any meet-ups or in-person classes. By attending these events and learning from them, you will get a leg-up in the business. Also, never be afraid to reach out to people via email or social media and never give up. Sending a simple direct message to a makeup artist can get your name out there and it’s important not to be discouraged if they don’t answer. Keep trying because you never know if someone might answer.

Be Patient

This is perhaps the most important tip if you want to be a professional makeup artist. Chances are, you probably won’t become famous overnight, but if you keep working at it, you just might make it big. Nothing easy comes for free so keep working to achieve your goals and even when times seem tough, never give up and keep working towards your goal.


You won’t immediately start out as a celeb makeup artist but there are different routes you can take to get there. Always make sure you’re hustling every day even if it means taking different jobs that will make you comfortable in the field. Vincent Oquendo, make-up artist to Karlie Kloss, Ashley Graham, and more told Vogue, “I started out in a freelance position at the Stila make-up counter at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York. I bounced between several counters including Dior, Stila, and Yves Saint Laurent, before landing a resident make-up artist position at Bobbi Brown, where I stayed for several years.”

Stay Professional

It’s important to be accomodating, always ask permission and respect privacy. When you’re just starting out, instead of thinking you know what’s best, take a back seat, watch, and learn. Vincent Oquendo, shared with Vogue how he was lucky enough to assist celeb makeup artist, Pat McGrath, when he was just starting out. “I got the opportunity to assist Pat McGrath for the first Fashion’s Night Out runway show in NYC. I had been stalking her agents at Streeters for around two to three years prior with no response. Eventually, I managed to become friends with a few senior members of Pat’s team, one of whom was Renee Garnes, and she recommended me. I don’t remember much about that day but what I do recall is that I worked very hard. I left my ego at the door.”

Build Brand Relationships

Whether it be through social media or attending events, building brand relationships is essential when it comes to becoming a pro. There are different ways you can go about this and one way is by doing makeup tutorials using certain brands to gain exposure. If you tag the brands on social media, it allows the brand to find you and decide if they want to work with you. From there, they can send you different products and even create partnerships that allow you to open doors in your career.

No matter what you do to get to the top, it’s important to remember these key takeaways – be patient and work hard every day. Basically, every celebrity makeup artist will tell you that it’s a long, hard road ahead but the end makes everything worth it. Look at Mario Dedivanovic, Kim Kardashian’s longtime makeup artist. He started off working at a Sephora for years before he made it big. Now, he’s highly sought after by celebs and even has his own cosmetics line, Makeup by Mario. Never give up even when it seems hard, because you can make it big if you work hard and dedicate your life to the career.

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