Become A Makeup Artist for Fashion and Runways

Most makeup artists are inspired by fashion and what happens on the runway. Fashion is where trends are set, classics come and go, and style is made. It is the “glamorous life”. Makeup is usually strong and stylized. Makeup work for fashion consists of runway shows, fashion photography spreads (we call “editorial”), and fashion advertising.

A Typical Day for a Makeup Artist working a Runway Show

An artist would already know what the “look” is prior to a show, either by designing the look with the creative director, designer, or producer, or via the key artist. Artists show up backstage before the show to set up and do quick makeup on the models as they arrive. Models sometimes are coming from other shows and will need to be cleaned or “bumped up”. Last minute touch-ups are done before the models take the stage.

What does a makeup artist do on an Editorial Shoot?
Editorial shoots are heavily styled fashion shoots used as “spreads” and content for magazines. Because they are so styled, it is common for the artist to know the look prior to the shoot. Direction is given by the designer, creative director, or producer. A makeup “look” is usually created and then changed-up slightly from shot to shot. The artist shows up early to get the talent ready and then works on set and makes any changes needed.

Pay Rates
Many fashion shows do not pay or pay very little. Even if they do pay, an artist is usually only at the show a few hours. The allure of fashion and creative outlet is the driving force, not the salary. That being said, some editorial work will pay half-rate and some advertising will pay full rates. Editorial has been able to dictate lower rates for artists because they will typically produce something worthy for that artist’s portfolio.

Insights into the world of fashion and runway industry:

  • Although the most glamorous medium for a makeup artist, this is also the lowest paying.
  • Fashion is most prevalent in big cultural cities, New York, London, Paris, Milan… If this is the kind or work you want to do, you will have to be where the action is.
  • Editorial shoots are great for your portfolio and often an artist will take an editorial job just for the tear sheets. (A tear-sheet refers to the page in the magazine “torn” out).

For more information on career opportunities for makeup artists for fashion and runway, or to register for our next makeup training course, please call 800.531.5092, or e-mail emailto:*protected email*
Please note: The Makeup Training Academy is located in the Dallas metro area.