THEIs makeup your passion and you want to turn it into a job? We will tell you about the schools you can attend, the courses
“Being a makeup artist doesn’t mean you’re passionate about cosmetics.” It seems impossible to separate the two things and yet it is so, he reveals to us Antonio Ciaramella, professional make-up artist, teacher and make-up historian. So let’s start with a reflection. Are you a hoarder who loves to play with makeup and textures, or do you have a true passion that drives you to explore the different uses of makeup when applied with the skills and techniques of a professional?
Once you understand it, you have to understand it what kind of makeup artist do you want to be. “Professional make-up artists then find different job opportunities depending on the field they want to specialize in. And based on that their work kit also changes: a make-up artist working for a cosmetics house or working in fashion they won’t necessarily have the same kit as those who do wedding or film make-up.’
A case. Even in choosing to become a make-up artist you have to be very realistic. “Let’s not let ourselves be diverted from the idea of creativity and art, which in this profession is always associated with technical details. These tricks that are so popular on social media are done to young girls, but they are not what they are asking for paying clients who, by the way, aren’t even that age. When aspiring makeup artists get to the academy, the first part of my job is to make them understand that big difference.”
How to become a make-up artist (even if you discovered your profession late)
It’s never too late to change your life and professional career. If you discovered your true vocation a few years later, there is nothing stopping you from pursuing it training school for professional make-up artists: what you really need to become a good make-up artist is “culture, kit and attitude, which however change according to specialization”.
Even if you don’t yet know which path you want to take, don’t worry. Just like you, there are many other aspiring makeup artists who don’t have clear ideas when they sign up for classes. “Most of them are attracted to cosmetics. And most of them are girls who see cosmetics as a natural evolution, as something that belongs to them because they are connected to their romantic memory as little girls playing with their mothers’ and grandmothers’ makeup,” explains Ciaramella.
Choosing to make it a profession, however, is a very different thing. “To become a makeup artist you need to know history of this profession, knowing its fields – audiovisual, film, television, theater – and having very specific skills. when you choose a field you need to have in-depth knowledge.”
We should also not forget personal skills. “In beauty they are needed painting and drawing skillsbecause the project consists of knowing how to apply the same techniques to a face instead of a canvas, but if you had to choose the special effects, then let’s talk about real sculpting skills that allow us to change the 3D features of people. The former do it with a play of light and dark, the latter with real prosthetics,” explains Ciaramella.
Which school should you go to to become a make-up artist?
“Social media has given this profession a big boost. We used to be very few make-up artists, but we used to be multifaceted, that is, used to working in every field.”
“One academic year is not enough to know what the definitive course will be, because it actually serves to become familiar with the materials, techniques and applications, but there is the personal interest, ability and affinities for one field of work over another. “.
“Visagism was born in the context of beauty schools. Professional make-up, in Italy, was born between the 70s and 80s, when television began to develop dramatically – thanks to private televisions – and consequently the demand for specialized personnel in the beautification of faces. if we talk about cinema and cinematic make-up or characterization, then we go back almost half a century, because in Cinecittà these schools already existed in the 1930s.”
The professional makeup schools as we know them today, they were born from the European Community, thanks to the need to equalize study levels through certificates recognized within the EU.
“Vocational courses have different durations depending on the region you are in: in Lazio they last 500 hours, while in Campania 600, but there are also regions where 300 is enough. The courses can be organized in different ways, such as daily, five days a week which lasts 4 months, but my advice is to attend the ones that involve one day a week instead, so that there is time to internalize and metabolize what you have learned.’
What is taught are technical-cultural and practical topics related to audiovisuals. The program includes the theater module, special effects, hairdressing, beauty, TV and film, wedding and fashion and at the end the professional certificate is issued. At the end of this path you have the basis to be able to choose the professional direction you prefer.
If you don’t want a professional certificate, there are courses that only issue a certificate of attendance, take fewer hours and are more focused, such as beauty or wedding.
Make-up artist: job opportunities
“First of all you have to understand something important, that is if you are willing to work like independent. Beauty is the most sought-after field and also the one with the most competition, but you also need to be able to understand what your niche is, like those who specialize in semi-permanent makeup or tattooing, if we want to boil it down to simpler terms.”
The choice of the field in which to train and specialize obviously depends on many factors and the willingness to move to a city other than one’s own. “In the south, the big business is weddings, so those who want to work in those areas are unlikely to choose film make-up, because the exits are almost nil. In Rome obviously the most popular are film and television, while in Milan beauty for the fashion sector. Those who want to go and work for big cosmetics companies like MAC don’t need a regional certificate, which is useful if they want to explore a wider range of options.”
If we want to talk about the most popular options, the first is to work for cosmetic brands as an employee, while as a freelancer there are weddings, TV, film and fashion.
In addition to the type of employee you want to be, you also need to consider the fact that cinema and fashion have no fixed hours or days off and often lead to living out of a suitcase, so you also need to figure out what you’re willing to sacrifice and what your goals are.
How much does it cost to become a make-up artist?
Like all professional courses, becoming a make-up artist also requires a certain kind of financial investment, which is worth it when you have a certain type of teaching staff. “When teaching a craft, the teaching staff cannot be too young, because like all manual trades, the experience gained over the years is no match for a young person, however talented. And obviously the teacher’s resume counts too. All this has a value that translates into a cost of between 5 and 7 thousand euros for the 500 and 600 euro courses in Rome and Naples and also includes a starter kit with product professionals.’
“Those that give a certificate of attendance are for much fewer hours and cost around 2 thousand euros, but the prices also change depending on the city.”
So a fundamental thing is not to stop at the first academy that appears in Google searches, but to contact schools and ask questions about the teachers, ask if a kit is provided and what it includes – makeup, skincare, brushes? – and which brands. Quality materials are also very expensive and anything not provided must be purchased separately. It is also important to investigate whether the school gives the possibility of practical training and with whom and which companies.
Last but not least, carefully read and study the available courses: once you decide to follow this path, you need to maximize your ROI (return on investment) and determine the most suitable career path for each.
How much does a make-up artist earn?
“In the store, as a salesperson you start from trainees with 400 euros, part-time between 800 and 1000 euros and between 1200 and 1400 euros full-time, but they rarely have a contract as a professional makeup artist. The wedding is a happy island, because if you work you can earn very good money: in north-central Italy a make-up artist earns from 250 to 400 euros per client, while in the south they range from 450 euros and up, reaching almost 1000. In fashion the real profits are made with campaigns and advertisements. TV no longer hires, but only through agencies, and you are paid per day – between 50 and 80 euros – unless you are permanently on a program, but with a contract through the agency. In cinema at the beginning they earn around 150 euros per day while the specialized make-up artists such as those who do special effects are paid much more because the workshop hours are also included. Famous artists who have won The prizes also amount to 1000 euros per day.