Make-Up Technician: How to Become a Make-Up Technician

Published Sep 10, 2009

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If you have a passion for style and beauty and are interested in using principles of color and chemistry to help people look their best, you might want to consider a career as a Make-Up Technician. For this career, individuals must complete an accredited training program and obtain state licensure, among various other requirements. Read on to learn about what's required to become a licensed Make-Up Technician.

Make-Up Technician Career Summary

Make-Up Technicians can have careers as regular or permanent make-up artists, cosmetologists, estheticians and theatrical make-up specialists. Make-up Technicians generally work at beauty salons, spas, make-up counters in department stores and behind the scenes in the entertainment industry. Creating and maintaining a client base is an important part of a successful career for a Make-Up Technician, since many salon, spa, freelance and department store make-up artists earn tips and commission.

An esthetician's job duties include analyzing colors and skin tone, applying and selling make-up, and providing customer service. Performance make-up artists utilize theatrical, dramatic cosmetic techniques and application to help actors and other entertainers look their best in photographs or onscreen.

Education Required to Become a Make-Up Technician

Those interested in becoming a licensed Make-Up Technician must complete a post-secondary education program in esthetics, cosmetology or permanent make-up. Over 12,000 programs in make-up artistry are currently accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences (NACCAS), www.naccas.org.

NACCAS-accredited Make-Up Technician programs don't typically offer any degrees, but they teach students relevant skills in face shape and skin tone, skin care chemistry and physiology, cosmetic product analysis, make-up retailing and salon business practices. Course topics include everyday cosmetic application, wedding and special occasion make-up, salon health and safety, facials, eyelash application and more. Upon completion of a program, students will be able to recommend and apply make-up for special events, movies, TV and fashion photography.

Job Training and Certifications Required to Become a Make-Up Technician

Eligibility requirements for licensure or certification as a Make-Up Technician differ from state to state, but most states mandate Make-Up Technicians to complete an accredited post-secondary cosmetology, esthetics or permanent make-up training program before being eligible for licensing. Accredited cosmetology and esthetics programs generally include 600 hours of applied and theoretical education. In addition to state requirements, many individual salons, spas and make-up departments in the retail and entertainment industries compel all of their employees to be state-licensed Make-Up Technicians.

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