The Make-Up Business

The Fashion Make-up Artist

Mirror, mirror on the wall; lights, camera, make-up.

The fashion make-up artist, as the name implies, works within fashion circles, creating those stunning looks seen in editorials, photoshoots, and runways alike. Fashion make-up is a distinctive field in the make-up artistry industry like wedding make-up, special effects make-up, clinical make-up, etc. The fashion make-up artist is one of several types of make-up artists.

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Fashion make-up artists are famous for their edgy, avant-garde and one-of-a-kind look usually strutting down runways, in fashion shows and photoshoots. These looks complement either the style/themes of the particular events or the vision of the creative director involved. Unlike some of their contemporaries who work alone, fashion make-up artists collaborate with a slew of fashion experts – creative directors, photographers, and designers – to bring an artistic vision to reality.  

Other unique aspects of the life of a fashion make-up artist include:

Work environment

The typical work location of this type of make-up artist revolves around fashion settings. That is magazines, fashion shows, video promotions for fashion, photoshoots and the like. While these activities add variety and excitement to this line of work, the environments where they are performed are usually high-pressured ones and can put a strain on the fashion make-up artist, demanding speed, confidence and skill.


For the fashion make-up artist, there’s no compromise when it comes to resourcefulness as s/he is responsible for a variety of looks in the course of any given fashion-related event.. For instance, it is common knowledge that the runway requires bold, lasting make-up able to withstand harsh lighting, and heat and can also be viewed clearly by the audience. Here, there are no second chances for perfection; once the make-up is done, it’s showtime and the model departs onto the ramp. In the case of editorials, the make-up tends toward delicate and subtlety, and the fashion make-up artist has more leeway to effect adjustments in between shots.

the fashion make-up artist

Is Becoming a Fashion Make-up Artist the Career for you?

Just like any other profession, becoming a fashion make-up artist requires taking certain steps. So if you’re thinking along the path of this type of make-up artist, here are some things to take into consideration.

First, you will need to acquire the general skills of make-up artistry. There exist both hard and soft abilities.

Choose a make-up/beauty school or online courses and get certification in print fashion, fashion runway, photography and high fashion make-up application techniques. These will inspire your creativity and confidence.

Remember, your learning doesn’t end here. It is continuous practice and educating yourself if you want to be recognized as one of the best in the business.

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You’ll also have to focus on trendy looks. After all, nearly all popular fads begin in the fashion industry.

Being original, authentic as a fashion make-up artist is a given. Most designers showcase unique clothing collections and demand that the make-up used on their model highlight and complement the styles accordingly.

Lastly, don’t forget to vigorously promote your work and build a portfolio along the way.

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