Makeup Artist Salary

Most Makeup Artists in the United States are women. The workforce as a whole earns a median of approximately $16.15 per hour. Residence is the main element affecting pay for this group — the company and tenure are driving factors as well. Most Makeup Artists like their work and job satisfaction is high. More than half of professionals in this line of work do not receive benefits; however, nearly two in five report medical coverage and just under one in three claim dental coverage as well. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
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$21,455 - $61,626
(Median)
$21K
$39K
$62K
MEDIAN: $39,328
10%
50%
90%

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$10.12 - $40.19
(Median)
$10
$16
$40
MEDIAN: $16.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Salary
$21,455 - $61,626  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,451  
Commission
$0.00 - $14,795  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$21,535 - $81,657  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 78
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$10.12 - $40.19  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $7.60  
Overtime
$10.90 - $72.07  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,451  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $14,795  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$21,535 - $81,657  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 384
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Job Description for Makeup Artist

Makeup artists use cosmetic products to enhance natural beauty and create attractive looks that meet clients' needs. They work in a number of settings, such as demonstrations at makeup counters and trade shows, high-fashion makeup for runway models, theatrical makeup for film and stage productions, and movie special-effects makeup design. Depending on the makeup artist's niche, they may based in one location (such as a salon or makeup counter) or travel regularly to different locations. Makeup artists may work as freelance professionals or for an employer. Examples of freelance makeup artists' jobs might include a bride's makeup for weddings, actors' makeup for stage production, and models' makeup for fashion photographers print and catalog work. Makeup artists with a single employer might work at a specific salon or makeup counter, among other locations. These professionals may continually expand their clientele and specializations, creating opportunities for career advancement. Makeup artists must be able to adapt to clients' specific needs, such as if they have an allergic reaction to a certain cosmetic or if certain products aren't translating to film or photographing well.

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Makeup Artist Tasks

  • Select makeup shades and products for individuals.
  • Sell makeup and cleansing products, and provide information and advice on cosmetic application.
  • Consult with clients, perform makeup demonstrations, and provide skin care consultations.

Common Career Paths for Makeup Artist


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For Makeup Artists, advancing into a Retail Store Manager role, for which the median salary is $40K, is not common but it does happen. The most common career progression for Makeup Artists leads to becoming a Performance Makeup Artist, where average pay is $40K annually. However, many Makeup Artists also opt to become Retail Store Assistant Managers. Typically, a Retail Store Assistant Manager brings home $32K.

Makeup Artist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Makeup Artist


Leading companies who hire large numbers of Makeup Artists include Sephora Usa, Inc, M.A.C., M.A.C. Cosmetics, Sephora Inc., and Macy's, Inc. M.A.C. Cosmetics does shell out the biggest paychecks — the median in that office is $39K — but the company pay scale is greatly mixed, meaning that workers on the low end may earn only $31K while workers on the upper end may rake in up to $72K.


Pay by Experience Level for Makeup Artist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $32K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $40K. Makeup Artists with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $46K. Folks with more than two decades of experience actually report lower incomes overall; their average comes out to a mere $41K.

Pay Difference by Location


Dallas is home to an above-average pay rate for Makeup Artists, 49 percent higher than the national average. Makeup Artists will also find cushy salaries in New York (+27 percent), San Francisco (+27 percent), Chicago (+15 percent), and Miami (+14 percent). The lowest-paying market is Seattle, which sits 10 percent below the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Houston (8 percent less) and Las Vegas (4 percent less).

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Experience Affects Makeup Artist Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 27%

Late-Career
up arrow 15%

Mid-Career
up arrow 13%

National Average
$36,000


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 70 votes.

Gender

Female
91 %
Male
9 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
29%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 40% dental benefits Dental: 31%
vision benefits Vision: 26% employee benefits None: 57%
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