How to Make Money as a Makeup Artist: 8 Best Methods for a Successful MUA Career

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Do you want to learn how you can make money as a makeup artist? You’ve come to the right place.

The beauty industry is profitable. As a makeup artist, you can live financially free while improving and inspiring other people’s lives. This article takes a look at the different ways to make money as a makeup artist.

But before I proceed, it’s important to see makeup as a career, so it grows in stages just like other professions.

You need to put in the right work and must be dedicated to get the results that you crave.

With that sorted out, let’s proceed to how you can earn as a makeup artist.

Now in this section, I will provide a comprehensive overview of each method you can use to make money as a makeup artist.

At the end of this section, you should be able to pick one or two of these proven methods suitable for you.

1. Offer Makeup Services for Events

Offering your makeup services to other people is the commonest way to make money as a makeup artist. Since most people don’t know how to apply makeup, you can earn huge amounts when you offer such services at events like:

  • Weddings, engagements, and other related events.
  • Prom, graduation, and other school-related events.
  • Photo sessions such as Boudoir, family pictures, and lots more.
  • Parties like birthday parties, girls’ nights out, and other parties that require the service of a makeup artist.
  • Special occasions such as award ceremonies, charity balls, and other related events.
  • Commercial work such as TV shows, music videos, advert agencies, and other related industries.

Your earnings from offering makeup services at events depend on your rates. While stating your fees, consider hidden costs like transportation to the venue, taxes, and other expenses. Once you decide on what your hourly rate would be, then choose your package prices, based on by-person rates or other forms of pricing.

2. Online Booking System

This marketing idea can also help you to make money as a makeup artist. Although it’s not popular, it is perfect for making money as a makeup artist. As a professional, you need to post a convenient booking method on your social media platforms and websites.

An online booking system will help you get more appointments with little effort. So, it’s advisable to incorporate this into your marketing strategies.

3. Teach Others How to Apply Makeup

One of the most lucrative disciplines is teaching. If you are a professional makeup artist and you have a portfolio to prove your expertise, you can make money from teaching people how to apply makeup.

You are free to choose from the type of makeup lessons you want to offer to others. Some of these types of lessons include:

One-On-One Makeup Lessons

In this case, you can either visit your client’s home or meet at your studio.

Group Lessons

This is a form of makeup lesson where you teach a group of people different makeup styles.


Here, you teach those interested in makeup careers all they need to know about the business; such as how they can compute hourly rates and how to choose the best products for their makeup business.

Since these makeup lessons differ, you will charge different fees. Generally, teaching fellow makeup artists costs higher since you will be sharing secrets of the trade with them.

If you have built a reputable brand image in the industry, you can look for opportunities to teach at a local Cosmetology School in your location. This will be a great boost to your portfolio.

SEE: Best Side Hustles for Teachers

4. Produce Makeup

One of the jobs makeup artists do is to work at day spas, hair salons, or at the makeup counter of a local store. If you are fond of testing makeup products and you need affordable ways to gather more experience in the makeup industry, these jobs will help you gain more knowledge and also develop the skills you need.

You can also make money as a makeup artist by producing your makeup line. This may be exclusive to those that have lots of experience and lots of followers. If you are a brand ambassador, you can produce your makeup line.

Although this option will be challenging, the right knowledge and market will help you gain rewards that will exceed other means of making money as a makeup artist.

5. Write Reviews about Makeup

You can also use this method to test makeup and earn from the experiments. You can write makeup reviews for companies and get paid for each review or earn commissions for referrals.

Also, you can post makeup reviews on your site to earn from future revenues. This passive form of income requires you to be patient. If you have huge followers on Instagram, you can share your reviews there and earn more money from commissions.

SEE: How to Make Money Reviewing Products

6. Do Makeup Tutorials on YouTube

You can also create makeup tutorials on YouTube to make money as a makeup artist. This is probably one of the most popular ways of making money as a makeup artist.

YouTube makes billions of dollars every year and this has helped lots of people from different parts of the world to earn millions. Here are some of the ways through which you can earn from your YouTube channel:


The videos you upload to YouTube as an AdSense publisher will have ads that you can earn from whenever your viewers watch them. Although the earning per view maybe a few cents view, these can add up if you have lots of videos on your channel.

Affiliate Marketing

As an affiliate marketer, you will mention the makeup products in your tutorials and then drop a link to the product’s store on the video description. When anyone buys through the link, you will earn a commission. Just like an AdSense ad, you stand a chance of earning higher commissions if you publish lots of videos with affiliate links.

SEE: Proven Strategies to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing


Here, you can partner with makeup brands and promote their products on your videos. This will earn you a specific amount per video. This method of making money is not for beginners because brands will go for channels that have lots of subscribers.

Direct Selling

You can implement this method if you have your makeup line or other makeup-related products. In this case, you will sell the products directly by displaying them in your YouTube videos.

Promote Your Business

You will not make money directly from this method but your business will gain huge exposure from your YouTube videos. This will help you in landing lots of jobs at events, contracts for agencies, and other opportunities that require the service of a makeup artist.

SEE: How to Make Money on YouTube

7. Work with Quality Models

A good way to make lots of money as a makeup artist is to work with quality models. The industry you operate in will determine the type of models to find. For instance, if you want to operate in the high fashion industry, then you should look for high-fashion models.

Also, you should find commercial models if you want to offer commercial work while you need to look for brides that can model for you if you want to offer bridal makeup services. Just because you have a beautiful friend does not mean she will portray the kind of image your portfolio needs.

8. Invest in Paid Traffic to Your Social Media Platform

By investing in paid traffic, you will be able to create more awareness for your work and your recognition will increase. This will not only help you grow online, but you will also be relevant offline.

You cannot depend on only organic traffic if you want to grow as a makeup artist. This is because social media networks do not show your message to 10 percent of your followers. So to make money as a makeup artist, you need to focus on investing in growing your business.

SEE: How to Make Money With Your Social Media Followers

How to Increase Your Income as a Makeup Artist

Most makeup artists rely on ‘word-of-mouth.’ Although we live in the digital age, makeup artists believe in how effective face-to-face networking is. This form of marketing is effective since it promotes intimacy and personal contact.

Thus, as a makeup artist, you need to build your business on trust and personal contact. This is how you can encourage clients to work with you since people prefer those they can trust and are comfortable with. Once you have developed a personal relationship with your clients, you will have an upper hand over those that clients are not comfortable with.

As effective as word-of-mouth is, don’t ignore the power of social media. You need to be out there by having an active Instagram and Facebook account and posting regularly on these platforms. Lots of makeup artists get jobs and inquiries through their social media platforms.

When you post regularly on your social media account, you will constantly be in your clients’ minds. As a result, they will get in touch with you for additional work and opportunities.

SEE: Best Social Media Management Tools

How Much Can You Earn as a Makeup Artist?

There are no limits to how much you can make as a makeup artist. You can have different sources that you can earn from simultaneously. For instance, you can earn simultaneously from selling courses, teaching courses, and also from your YouTube videos.

Do you know how high your earnings can be and that some of these sources (such as the sale of courses and YouTube views) can be passive? Once you set these up, you will be able to make profits instantly.

SEE: How to Make Money with Online Courses


How can you promote yourself as a makeup artist?

As a makeup artist, you can promote your services through the following methods:

  • Create an attractive makeup artist website.
  • Build a great makeup portfolio.
  • Create a makeup face charts catalog for your makeup brand.
  • Get an internet-based booking system.
  • Promote your business through your social media accounts.

Is makeup artistry a great career?

Yes, it is. You can start as a makeup artist without any investment. Once you grow your brand and build your presence, you can become an influencer in your industry. With this, you will be able to accept jobs from different types of clients.

You are free to work with models, brides, events, and celebrities.

How long does it take to become a professional makeup artist?

It can take you about one or two months to complete a standalone course in makeup artistry. It will take you about eight months to become a licensed cosmetologist if you study on a full-time basis. If you want to study part-time, you could spend up to two years.


As shown in this article, you don’t need to be tied down by a 9 to 5 job if you are a makeup artist. Mixing and matching the opportunities discussed in this post will help you to make money as a makeup artist.

Since there’s no limit to your earning potential, all you need to do to earn as a makeup artist is to get the skills that you need for your business to succeed. Think of what you want to earn and come up with plans that will help you earn it. With the right attitude and investment in skills that will help you realize your dreams and goals, the sky is your limit.

Always know that makeup is an art, and while it’s priceless to help others boost their self-esteem and happiness, you deserve to be paid what you’re worth. So I recommend opting for quick-cash methods like teaching makeup and doing makeup for events if you want to start making money as a makeup artist.

If you want to earn through passive methods, then I recommend doing makeup tutorials in your YouTube videos or writing makeup reviews. These methods will help you to be financially free within a year or two.

If you are looking for other ways to make money, check out this guide on how you can make money by selling online.

Thanks for reading.