Professional qualifications are an advantage in any industry, and it is no different for make-up artists. It is best to have a certificate in make-up issued by ITEC or CIBTAC - they are both international education organisations which offer qualifications in health and beauty therapies.
Such qualifications typically require 100 hours of training in make-up skills and products, and skin-care knowledge.
Make-up artists are employed at make-up product counters in stores, and are also hired for adverts, weddings, fashion photo shoots, fashion shows and film productions. As a make-up artist builds his or her profile, they will be invited to work on bigger projects. Jobs are often referred by other clients. A make-up artist can also enhance their reputation when working on magazine photo shoots, because their name will be featured in the publications.
Some make-up artists choose to train other budding artists.
Race to the top
Practice makes perfect. A make-up artist should be versatile. They should seize every opportunity to hone their all-round skills. A good way to do this is to focus on people with different face shapes.
A make-up artist has to be a people person - they have to co-ordinate with art directors, models, photographers and many others. They should be patient, listen to others and have excellent communication skills. It is an advantage to have skin-care knowledge because then they can use products that suit their customers best. You not only want to make them look good; you also want them to feel good.
Rewards and benefits
Most make-up artists work on a freelance basis and charge for each job. For example, a whole day of bridal make-up service for a wedding costs up to HK$7,000.
A day in the life
The working hours of a make-up artist depend on the jobs. Doing bridal make-up for a wedding can take from 6am to 10pm.
As for theme park characters' make-up during Halloween, the working day is usually from 11am to 2am. Sometimes the artist has two projects on the same day, such as beauty make-up in the morning, then Halloween at night.
Make-up artists often work as freelancers, so their hours can range anywhere between 6am and 2am
Beauty make-up - this gives a pleasant and clean look for beauty events and weddings.
Daytime make-up - this has a pastel colour tone and creates a bright look.
Evening make-up - the bold colour tone gives the model a sharp and elegant look. It is used for balls or parties.
Smoky eyes - applying make-up around the eye area. It makes the eyes look bigger and sharper.
Interviewee: Ranson Lau, make-up artist from Beauty Tech