June 28, 2024 4 min read

Do you enjoy helping people achieve an outstanding look on different occasions, whether it's a wedding or another significant event in their lives?

What if you could turn this passion for beauty into a lucrative career? Running a business as a makeup artist allows you to unleash your creativity and highlight clients' most outstanding features through the power of makeup.

It’s a fulfilling journey filled with numerous opportunities for  artistic self-expression

Besides, you get to make an impact in people’s lives!

But here’s the thing: most people get stuck when it comes to following their passion, which can also be true when starting a makeup artist business.

You don’t have to have it all figured out – you just have to start, be willing to make mistakes on the way, and continue to push forward despite the challenges you may face.

This is what it means to follow your dream, after all - not giving up even if the road may not be as smooth as you want.

Below, we dive into all the steps you need to take to start your makeup artist business, so read on to learn more about it!


1: Pick a niche 

The makeup field is vast and includes many niches from which you can choose. For instance, you can specialise in prosthetic makeup, beauty makeovers, or makeup for performance arts or entertainment.

However, these broad categories include smaller niches, such as makeup for a specific skin type or child makeup.

So, take the time to reflect on what niche suits you the most, based on your interests and your preferred work environment, and then focus on getting the right training and building your client base. 

2: Acquire a certification 

In order to become a makeup artist, you need to get makeup training to understand cosmetics.

While in some provinces, you will be required to join an accredited beauty school, there aren’t always regulations when it comes to makeup, and you can receive training offline or online, depending on which you prefer the most. If you are an independent learner, watching videos at home and practising your skills may be more suitable.

Also, consider getting a degree in cosmetology – while it is possible to start a career in makeup through self-learning, enrolling in a cosmetology program comes with plenty of benefits, as beauty schools provide structured curriculums, giving students a detailed understanding of makeup, which can ultimately benefit them when applying for senior roles or when  transitioning careers.

3: Gain experience 

Gaining experience is imperative for your career as a makeup artist, and there are various ways to do this, such as practising with family or friends or completing an apprenticeship at a cosmetics shop or a beauty salon.

Another idea is to accompany an established makeup artist at their jobs and understudy them. Remember, even if you acquire a certification in makeup, gaining experience is still one of the most important things to do, so be sure to make it a priority.

As you do this, don’t forget to take pictures of the work you do and build a portfolio along the way. But ask for permission before taking the videos and pictures, as this will help you maintain solid relationships during your understudy. 

4: Set up your makeup business physically

Your workspace will considerably impact the quality of your work, so it’s essential to ensure that your makeup studio will be well-equipped. From choosing the right dressing table to paying attention to lighting, there are many essential elements to consider when setting up the physical space of your makeup business.

But keep in mind to also ensure that the physical location is not only comfortable but also clean so that clients can have a positive experience  - the last thing you’d want is for them to end up tripping and falling because the place is messy and filled with hazards!

If clients get injured at your makeup studio, they could check a How To Sue Guide online and claim compensation, which wouldn’t only affect your finances and reputation, but you

could lose clients forever, impacting your business’s bottom line. So, avoid such consequences by investing time, effort, and money in setting up an outstanding makeup studio.

5: Build your social media presence

Here’s the thing: having a physical makeup studio won't be enough to find clients. You should also focus on building a social media presence, allowing you to showcase your work and reach an audience quicker.

Decide which platform you will use, whether Facebook or Instagram, and be sure to constantly post high-quality pictures of your makeup looks, and consider sharing another type of content as well, such as behind-the-scenes.

And, of course, don’t forget to engage with your audience as much as you can because this is key to building a solid relationship with them. Consider creating a  professional website as well, which will serve as your online portfolio where you can share your story and showcase your work, highlighting your unique style and skills as a makeup artist. 

6: Consider registering your business

Suppose you plan to earn over $30,000 annually. In that case, it’s imperative to register your business, as this will allow you to benefit from government perks such as HST and GST input tax credits and regain the money you spend on tax.

So, be sure to check out the provincial laws to identify the specific requirements for registering your makeup business and whether there are any exceptions you qualify for. As a makeup artist, you can choose a sole proprietorship structure – we recommend choosing a name that’s easy to remember and market and won’t face any legal issues. 

7: Focus on marketing your services

Although helpful, social media is not the only way to market your services, as not all your clients will find you there.

Referrals, word-of-mouth marketing, offline and online ads, and your website can all play a major role in helping you find clients. What matters is to stay professional and deliver quality services, as these elements will draw customers to your makeup studio. 

The bottom line

Now that you know the steps of starting a makeup business, it’s time to take action and pursue a rewarding career in the beauty field! While challenging, this journey will be worth the effort, so embrace your passion and seize all the opportunities to help your business flourish!


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