Our Guide On How To Become A Make-Up Artist & How Much You Can Earn

Dean Laming ACIIBy Dean Laming on February 19th, 2018

There are two ways that you can become a make-up artist. You can get a job working for someone else, or you can become a self-employed make up artist. Working for someone else is easier, but going down the self-employment route means you have the potential to earn a lot more money and the flexibility that self-employment brings.

This article will deal with how you can become a self-employed make-up artist. And doing that is a case of:

  • Getting trained
  • Setting up your business
  • Trading

Getting trained

Hopefully, it goes without saying that you need to know how to apply make-up if you want to become a make-up artist, but if you’re planning to become self-employed, you should also consider taking a course that teaches you how to run a business.

You don’t need a degree in accountancy to run a small business, but you should have a decent grasp of the basic accountancy concepts such as cashflow and the like. You’ll also need to know the legal basics and you’ll need to have an understanding of marketing theory so you can make people aware that your business exists and persuade them to use your services.

Setting up your business

Once you’ve decided you want to become a self-employed make-up artist, there are a few things you need to do before you can start providing make-up services.

First, you’ll need some business equipment. This is more than just buying stock, make-up brushes and so on. You’ll also need a computer to do your business admin, you might need software packages to manage your accounts and you’ll need a phone to communicate with your clients and take bookings.

Second, you’ll need marketing material such as adverts, business cards, flyers and so on. You should also consider a website and think about how you can use social media such as Facebook to promote your new business.

Third, you’ll need to set up a bank account and arrange make-up artist insurance to protect your business against unexpected losses. It’s possible to do your own company accounts each year, but if you don’t feel comfortable doing that or if you’d prefer to delegate that side of things to someone else so you can concentrate on the make-up side of your business, you’ll also need to get yourself an accountant.


You’ll get an amazing buzz once you’ve got your first client, but that doesn’t mean the game is won. Running your own business is an ongoing task.

Marketing is something that you can’t ignore as you need to make sure you have a constant flow of clients. Once you’re up and running, word out mouth will bring some new clients to you, but you’ll still need to make sure people remember that you’re open for business.

Similarly, if you don’t keep on top of the paperwork, it will bite you sooner rather than later. You need to make sure that any invoices you’ve sent get settled. You need to make sure that you keep on top of any bills that you need to pay. And you need to make sure that you keep good records to make it easier to do your end-of-year accounts and tax return.

How much can you earn?

One advantage of working for yourself is the fact that unlike an employee on a salary, if you’re self-employed, usually the harder you work, the more you earn. However, bear in mind that you’re not earning when you’re doing the admin tasks or buying stock. You need to factor this in when you’re doing your pricing.

As a general rule of thumb, for someone providing services, the hourly rate they charge should be whatever they want as their annual income divided by a thousand. What this means is that if you want to be earning the average UK salary of around £25,000, you need to be charging an hourly rate of around £25.

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