How to Become a Makeup Artist in 2024 – The Definitive Guide 

Is your ambition to become a makeup artist? 2022 is a great year to start. Many professional make-up artists today are true celebrities, earning high status as they travel the globe, launch their own cosmetics lines and collaborate with some of the biggest names in fashion and film. It doesn’t all start there though. It can take several years to establish yourself in make-up art. Getting there is a mixture of luck, training, hard work, but you have to start somewhere. Look at how the careers of famous makeup artists panned out. 

Is There One Single Formulae for Success in the Makeup Industry?

Unfortunately there isn’t. In our many years of training future makeup artists at Brushstroke in all facets of the make-up industry, we have learned that there is no single path to success. Start with the easy bits. Many professional makeup artists have blogs where you can learn more about techniques and current trends, and that will give you more information about the industry and assist you further in making career decisions. What you can do right now is look at how famous makeup artists have launched their careers and work from there.

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Make up Artist Training

1. Get to Grips with the Makeup Career Ladder

Patrick Ta is one of Hollywood’s top makeup artists and the most sought-after makeup artists for celebrities including Shay Mitchell, Gigi Hadid and Kim Kardashian. But he wasn’t handed this career, instead he climbed up the ladder like everyone else. 

He grew up in a family that wasn’t accustomed to makeup. His dad worked in construction, and his sister and mum didn’t really wear makeup. Growing up he lacked confidence, and living in the closet put up barriers for him. But as he became more comfortable with his sexuality and his aspirations, his passion for makeup began to grow as did finding his ‘authentic self’.

At 17 he moved away from his hometown in Arizona. His roommate worked at MAC and that fueled his obsession with the brand at around age 20. He began working at a makeup counter and learned through experience about the application of makeup to different ages, skin colours and ethnicities. It was Patrick’s obsession with makeup and the transformation it allowed for people that led to the progression of this career. Everything fell it to place from there:

I couldn’t fathom it because I was charging $100 to $200 for a makeup application. My mind didn’t even know people could make what they make or have this life that they have.

But there were other small steps he made as well, and Instagram was one of them.

1. Use Instagram and Connect with Famous Makeup Artists

Instagram started growing in popularity at the same time Patrick’s passion for makeup was growing. This magic combination put his work in the public realm. He shared the work he had done for clients and friends and that in turn grew his clientele. He connected with influencers and offered to do their makeup. Then one day Shay Mitchell started following him, and the rest is history.

“I knew Shay was going to make a huge difference in my career. I am so grateful that she was one of my first celebrity clients because she allowed me to grow with her and then I met Gigi Hadid which took my work to the next level in the world of high fashion”

As time went on his clients grew to include famous names like Adriana Lima, Ariana Grande, Bella Hadid, Chrissy Teigen, Jessica Alba, Joan Smalls, Katy Perry, Kendall Jenner, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Rihanna, Jenna Dewan Tatum, and many others.

Make up Artist Training
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3. Learn Makeup Techniques and Concepts

It is important that you learn and develop formal concepts, and techniques relevant to the creative field of makeup. The hours of training you can get from a makeup course is invaluable. Make-up artistry is a practical profession, so you should consider picking the right training course and makeup school.

A Collection from Brushstroke Makeup Academy Gallery


Zoe Carr

“Can’t thank the Brushstroke team enough for an amazing 9 months. I have loved every minute and can’t wait to take away all the skills and knowledge I have learnt and put them into practice. Lots of love, Zoe”

Katharine Scott

“The 2 Year Make-up and Hair Course has given me the confidence and the skills needed to work as a hair and make-up artist. I have been very lucky with the jobs I have been able to do. I worked as a trainee on Silk (BBC) with Marella Shearer and then went on to work as a trainee for Nick Dudman in his Make-up FX Department at Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. I have also continued to work at Warhorse in the west end covering for the wig mistress; a job that started initially as work experience from Brushstroke. Without the sound teaching and continued support from everyone at Brushstroke, I would not be as confident as I am in my chosen career. All of the teachers, as well as Louise, continue to be supportive; always happy to answer any questions I might have. Once again I would like to say thank you so much for everything!! All the Best, Katharine Scott.”

Fern Wright

“I have loved my time at Brushstroke! It was definitely the best choice I made. I’ve learnt so much here and I thank everyone at Brushstroke for making my 9 months here the best 9 months. Lots of hugs Ferny xxx”

Alix Gardner

“Joining Brushstroke was honestly the best decision I ever made. I have honestly loved every minute of it and all the team at Brushstroke have been amazing! Thank you so much for everything! Lots of love, Alix Gardner xxxx”

Katie Ross

“I have loved the 9-month course – it was such a good decision to join and now I have finally decided what I want to do, all thanks to you! Thanks so much for all your help and support, all the tutors and extra talks have been so great. Going to miss coming to such a lovely bubbly atmosphere every day! Thank you!!! Katie Ross xxx Ps. Extra thanks for all the Black Jacks!”

Serena Barney

“Loved every minute of the 9-month course. I have learned so much from every tutor and can’t wait to put it all to use. Everyone here has been lovely and I’m so sorry to leave. It has gone so fast, I can’t believe it’s over. Huge thank you to all the tutors, students and everyone in the office for what has been an incredible experience. Lots of Lots, Serena xxx”

Nikki Kearns

“Having undertaken the 2 Year Make-Up and Hair course, I now feel I have the confidence, knowledge, basic skills, and understanding to stand me in good stead for a successful future career. Not only has Brushstroke taught me the skills I need to know, but they have also given me an insight into the industry and taught me invaluable information about the industry itself which has already proven so valuable to me at this early stage of my career. I found it to be such a bonus to have tutors who actively work in all areas of the industry, the skills, information, and even stories they had to tell about their work not only made me more motivated to get a successful career after leaving Brushstroke but also, I felt that it helped me to reach a higher standard of work as I felt I could understand the standards the industry would expect of me, also due to great encouragement and constructive criticism. So a massive THANK YOU once again to everyone for giving me such a great time over the past two years, you have really made it possible for me to achieve my goal of being a professional Makeup Artist!! Best Wishes Always, Nikki.”

Top Tips from Brushstroke Makeup Artist Alumni

“Be passionate about your work – and let it shine through all the time.”
Lorna Stimson

Student on 9 month Make-up & Hair ITEC

“practice your skills over and over – that’s how you become proficient and confident.”
Elizabeth Rita

Student on 9 month Make-Up & Hair ITEC