Makeup Artist Salary

Most Makeup Artists in the United States are women. The workforce as a whole earns a median of approximately $17.58 per hour. This group's pay is mainly influenced by the particular firm, followed by geography and tenure. Although over a third have medical coverage and around one in four have dental coverage, the larger part claim no health benefits at all. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$14,958 - $97,987
$15K
$40K
$98K
MEDIAN: $40,310
10%
50%
90%

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$10.71 - $48.93
$11
$18
$49
MEDIAN: $17.77
10%
50%
90%

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$0$100K
Salary $14,958 - $97,987
Bonus $4.79 - $9,933
Profit Sharing $501
Commission $0.00 - $6,068
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).
)
$20,660 - $100,635
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 20 Sep 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 108
Hourly Data $0$75
Hourly Rate $10.71 - $48.93
Hourly Tips $0.00 - $8.75
Overtime $7.18 - $75.24
Annual Data $0$100K
Bonus $4.79 - $9,933
Commission $0.00 - $6,068
Profit Sharing $501
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).
)
$20,660 - $100,635
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 20 Sep 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 372

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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

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

Common Career Paths for Makeup Artist


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Many Makeup Artists move into a Retail Store Manager role, which does not lead to a big boost in pay. Retail Store Managers on average bring in a similar salary to Makeup Artists. A Performance Makeup Artist role is the most common promotion for Makeup Artists moving up the ladder, and pay for the position tends to be around the $40K mark. Another typical, albeit less common, transition for Makeup Artists is an Esthetician position, where earnings are usually $31K.

Makeup Artist Job Listings

Popular Employer Salaries for Makeup Artist


Sephora Inc., Sephora Usa, Inc, Estee Lauder Companies Inc, M.A.C., and M.A.C. Cosmetics are among the top companies that take on many Makeup Artists. Self-Employed attracts talent by shelling out the biggest paychecks in the area — the median in that office is $56K. Makeup Artists can also look forward to large paychecks at Nordstrom, Inc. ($49K), Estee Lauder Companies Inc ($42K), and Macy's, Inc. ($39K).

Sephora Inc. employees cannot expect much in terms of compensation — the median salary amounts to only $25K, less than half of the top paying company's rate. Sephora Usa, Inc, M.A.C. Cosmetics, and Saks Fifth Avenue also rank near the bottom for pay, handing out $29K, $34K, and $34K-paychecks on average.

Pay by Experience Level for Makeup Artist

Pay by Experience for a Makeup Artist has a positive trend. An entry-level Makeup Artist with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $33,000 based on 314 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Makeup Artist with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $39,000 based on 128 salaries. An experienced Makeup Artist which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $44,000 based on 97 salaries. A Makeup Artist with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $52,000 based on 44 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $38,220

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For those looking to make money, Makeup Artists in Los Angeles enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 35 percent above the national average. Makeup Artists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Chicago (+25 percent), Las Vegas (+24 percent), San Francisco (+21 percent), and Washington (+19 percent). One of the biggest compensable factors for Makeup Artists is geography, with workers in Austin earning a whopping 37 percent below the national average. Below-median salaries also turn up in Miami and Philadelphia (34 percent lower and 32 percent lower, respectively).

Makeup Artist Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Makeup Artist?

Makeup Artist in Lynchburg:
"Making people happy."
Pros: Making people feel good about themselves.
Cons: When people are rude to me for no reason.

Makeup Artist in Naples:
Pros: Giving confidence to people and making them smile.
Cons: Sales goals.

Makeup Artist in Honolulu:
Pros: Always learning new things. Team environment. Gratis!
Cons: Not consistent schedule late night and early mornings. Scheduled is publish so slow making it hard to plan things in life always working on weekends.

Makeup Artist in San Diego:
"Freelance makeup artist."
Pros: You have control over day and hours work.you pick your clients.
Cons: Can't afford health care, it's hard to get clients to pay your rate, sometimes you work for free to get yourself out there.

Makeup Artist in Houston:
Pros: I love doing makeup, but I hate that I get paid so little and do so many other things and the managers make it stressful on us and ontop of that we don't even work on commission and they pressure us to sell so much!
Cons:

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Makeup Artist

Gender

Female
94 %
Male
6 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 67 votes.
Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
48%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
8%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Makeup Artist Salaries

Late-Career
▲35%

▲16%

▲1%

National Average
$38,000

▼13%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 67 votes.

Gender

Female
94 %
Male
6 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
48%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 34%
dental benefits
Dental: 24%
vision benefits
Vision: 19%
no benefits
None: 65%
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