Find your new direction

  • 1300 76 2221
  • Australian owned and operated since 2008
start make up business

Start a Business as a Make-Up Artist: 5 Steps

Wondering how to become a make-up artist? If you’re creative, ambitious and enjoy the beauty services industry why not start your own business as a make-up artist? Whether you want to work full-time, part-time, freelance or work from home, starting a business as a make-up artist gives you the flexibility to choose your work hours.


  1. Education and Skill Development

You can work as a make-up artist without formal qualifications, but entry into this occupation is improved with an education in make-up artistry. A make-up artist job description: the use of cosmetic products to enhance natural beauty and create attractive looks that meet clients’ needs.

So how much do make-up artist’s earn? Indeed reports that the average salary for a Make-up Artist is $47,796 per year in Australia. Similarly, Payscale reports between $39,000 and 70,000 per year.


Training and Creative Skill

To be a make-up artist you’ll need creative talent, steady hands, excellent interpersonal communication skills and an education in make-up artistry. You can study to be a make-up artist in Australia online. If you’re looking for an online make-up artist course to get started in the industry, you can enrol in a course, such as Introduction to Make-up.



Do you have the technical skills you need to set up your own business as a make-up artist? In the online and social media business landscape, you’ll need a strong online presence to market yourself as a freelance make-up artist. There are few people who pull out the Yellow Pages for services these days, so upskill in social media, content marketing and have a basic understanding of SEO, so your website, blogs and online videos attract the most views, conversions and customers.

Australian Online Courses offers short, online professional development courses in social media marketing. Take a look at the Certificate of Social Media and Engagement or Certificate of Social Media Marketing.



A career as a make-up artist requires skills in make-up artistry, which you can acquire through a training course, such as Introduction to Make-up. If you want to establish your own business you’ll also need business skills. Australian Online Courses offers flexible, online courses in the area of business management, including the Certificate of Small Business (Start Up) and Certificate of Small Business Management.



Are you an organised person? If you work for yourself, you need to manage your time well to keep your customers happy and to make a profit. You can read more about time management in 6 Ways to Make Every Second Count. Time is precious when you’re a business owner, so you may benefit from a Time Management course to give you the skills to keep up with a busy schedule.


  1. Create Your Make-up Toolbox

When you become a professional make-up artist, you’ll need to ensure you have a well-stocked professional make-up kit. It’s an expensive initial investment, but necessary to ensure you’re prepared for any client in any situation.


Skin Prep

Cleansing wipes or water

Eye make-up remover

Hydrating spritz

Quality moisturiser



Primers (to suit different skin types)

Concealers (5-10 shades or an all-in-one palette)

Foundations (in a wide variety of shades or palette)

Blushes (in a wide variety of shades or a palette)

Bronzers (in a wide variety of shades or a palette)

Highlighters (in a wide variety of shades or a palette)

Finishing powder

Setting spray



Eyeshadows (a comprehensive palette to suit different complexions)

Lipstick (wide variety of universally flattering colours)



Brow products


Other Tools

Disposable lip and mascara wands

Alcohol wipes


Cotton rounds


Comprehensive make-up brushes – kit



In addition to your make-up kit, you’ll need other equipment to set yourself up as a professional make-up artist; these include:


A hardcopy portfolio

Good quality camera

Laptop or desktop computer


  1. Find Your Niche or Offer All Services

If you specialise in a make-up technique you can become the go-to expert. You might want to be a bridal make-up artist for weddings. This means you can charge extra and you’ll be in demand. It also allows you to focus on what you’re good at and what you enjoy. Don’t like wedding make-up? Don’t do it. Your focus might include being a make-up artist for film, television or theatre, glamour shoots, corporate headshots or clinical make-up (for dermatology or plastics departments within hospitals).

Or perhaps you’d rather offer all make-up services, so you capture a larger section of the market and improve in all areas of make-up artistry. It’s up to you but decide before you set up your business, so you send a consistent message to your potential clientele.


  1. Create Your Portfolio

A portfolio consisting of between 20 to 30 faces demonstrating your work on different skin tones, hair and eye colour, as well as different age groups is essential to launch your make-up artistry business. Most clients will be happy to pose for a photograph for your portfolio, but you may need to ask friends and family to be models at first until you build your client base.


  1. Build Your Clientele

So, you’re all set up to launch your business as a make-up artist: what now? Where do make-up artists work? You need to find your ideal customers and either go to them or work from home. The first step, after you’ve created your portfolio, via hardcopy, on your website – using blogs or videos, is to approach other businesses or venues that require the services of a make-up artist. These include:

  • Events and wedding venues
  • Wedding planners
  • Hair salons/spas
  • Family, friends and acquaintances
  • Film, television and theatre
  • Corporate
  • Hospitals – dermatology/plastics department

This is a great way to directly market your services, either via phone call, visiting in person, sending an email with links to your website or connecting on social media.


Australian Online Courses

If you’re serious about turning a passion into a business, enrol today in professional development course, such as Introduction to Make-up with Australian Online Courses. To give your business the best chance of success, consider a small business and social media marketing course. All courses are flexible in delivery and industry-approved. Simply visit us online or contact one of our friendly Learning Consultants today on 1300 762 221.

Introduction to Make-up

Certificate of Small Business – Start-Up

Certificate of Small Business Management

Certificate of Social Media and Engagement

Certificate of Social Media Marketing