Does the variety of make-up that you see in the departmental store enthrall you? Do you love giving make-up suggestions to your near and dear ones? Do you love keeping in touch with the latest trends in make-up? If your answer to these questions is 'Yes', if you have an inherent passion for applying make-up and a flair for it, then a career as a make-up artist might be just the right choice for you. And that is what this article is all about.

What it involves

The most important prerequisite for the profession of a make-up artist is a lot of creativity and imaginative power. This would help the artist in visualizing what style would look good on a certain person, and in developing new styles. A careful eye for detail and concentration would also be prerequisites in this profession. A passion for make-up and an interest in traditional as well as contemporary make-up styles is very crucial.

Good communication and networking skills would be other must-have qualities, especially if one plans to work freelance. A good business sense and diplomacy would also help to a significant extent. Punctuality and reliability, a highly professional attitude in other words, would be a must to build up a reputation as an artist.

Becoming a make-up artist involves long hours of work in studios as well as in outdoor locations. This makes it essential for the artist to have the ability to work under pressure, as well a high degree of physical and mental fitness.

As is the case with any career, the initial days involve a lot of struggle. To cope up with this, it is necessary for the artist to have a lot of patience and strong determination.

The profession of a make-up artist might require him or her to travel on occasions or frequently. Hence, one of the prerequisites of this profession is a willingness to travel. In case sufficient client base is not available within the area in which the make-up artist plans to operate, traveling would become inevitable.

How to go about it

Before going about beginning a career as a professional make-up artist, it would be advisable to undertake thorough research about the field. It is necessary to undertake a careful study of the particular geographical area in which the person intends to establish himself or herself. This would give a fair idea of the level of competition that would be involved, as well as the client base in that area.

The pay that a make-up artist would get depends largely upon his or her skill, as well as on the type of clientele. Research would help in getting an idea of the financial possibilities in the area.

It would be advisable for a potential make-up artist to prepare a portfolio, containing a few samples of his or her work. This portfolio would be of great help to a beginner in securing work, if showcased at strategic locations.

One important decision to be taken by a potential make-up artist is whether to go for a freelance job or join an employer. Both these forms have their own benefits and pitfalls, and the decision would ultimately depend upon the liking of the individual. Joining an employer would comparatively involve less risk, but afford comparatively less freedom to the employee. On the other hand, working freelance would allow for greater flexibility, but the risk involved would also be greater.

In case the make-up artist decides to work under an employer, there are several alternatives available, such as beauty parlours, cosmetic companies, advertising agencies, film production companies, magazines, or fashion designers, among others.