Makeup artistry is a surprisingly diverse profession in which the practitioner specializes in applying cosmetic products to the face and, occasionally, the body, for a variety of purposes. The most usual purpose is to enhance an individuals looks and appearance, either for every day, or for a special occasion, like a wedding or other event. Some makeup artists specialize in applying cosmetic products for performers on stage, screen, or television, sometimes to create a specific character or look, sometimes to enhance the performers own look so they appear their best.
Some makeup artists apply cosmetics to individuals who have been disfigured by illness, injury, or surgery, helping them to look and feel more normal, and enhance their self-esteem. What makeup artists have in common is an artistic and creative talent and eye for color and style. Does this sound like you? If so, a career in one of the many areas in makeup artistry in Iowa may be a great career choice for you!
In Iowa, makeup artists are licensed under the Iowa State Board of Cosmetology. To be eligible to take the exam, you must complete 140 hours of study and be a high school graduate or equivalent. The exam consists of both a theoretical (written) and practical (skills) portion. Upon passing the exam and paying the associated fee, you will be issued your license.
Several places offer makeup artistry programs. Schools of cosmetology, hairdressing, and hairstyling offer programs in makeup application for a variety of settings. Some of the major cosmetics companies offer training in how to apply their particular line of cosmetics. Salons and spas may offer workshops or seminars that local cosmetologists can take. Depending upon the nature and scope of the training you choose, it can last anywhere from a weekend to three or six months, or longer. And some local community colleges may offer programs as part of an associates (two year) degree. In your program, you will get to watch videos of professionals applying makeup for a variety of purposes. You will learn how to select colors and styles to flatter different facial shapes and eye and hair color. You will have a chance to practice applying makeup on each other and eventually live clients. You may also receive training in specialty makeup applications, including makeup for stage, film, and television. And you may learn makeup applications for enhancing the physical appearance of individuals undergoing treatment for disfiguring illnesses, or who have gone through surgery. Other topics that will likely be covered will be client satisfaction, sterilization and sanitation regulations and procedures, and running a successful makeup artistry business.
While Iowa doesnt have an official makeup artist license requirement, you will need to gain some form of licensure in this state to work professionally. The two paths you can choose are cosmetology and esthetician training. If you dont want to worry about learning hair and nail skills, then go with an esthetician program. The hour requirements are 600 for training, compared to 2,100 for cosmetology students. If you earn either of these licenses, youll renew every two years by December 31st for $60.
Makeup artists who apply cosmetics for stage, film, and television, a specialty area, earned an average yearly wage of $47, 200 across the United States in 2013, which was the most recent year for which these statistics are available according to O*Net. Of course, makeup artists who apply cosmetics in spas, salons, and department stores may earn less, especially early in their careers, before they develop a reputation and a following. Growth in the area of stage, film, and television makeup is only expected to grow between 3% and 7% from 2012 to 2022, but the cosmetology industry in general has a brighter outlook. New makeup artists should be able to find jobs within one area of the industry or another fairly easily.
Where you work will depend upon the kind of makeup applications you do. You may work in a department store applying a particular line of makeup in conjunction with selling it to people looking to refresh their style or seeking a complete makeover. In salons and spas, you may apply makeup as the final step after a day of other beauty services, or in preparation for a special occasion. If you have a specialty area, such as makeup for weddings or photo and fashion shoots, you will probably have to travel to the location of the event to practice your craft. And if you apply makeup for stage, film, or television, it is likely that you will have to be on site as well. Some doctors offices or medical facilities may offer the services of makeup artists on site to work with patients who are in need of cosmetic camouflage of scars, to replace loss of facial hair such as eyebrows, or to enhance appearance post surgery or after an injury. Makeup application is always a one-on-one endeavor, unless you are teaching makeup application to a group of people in a class setting. You will have the opportunity to both apply makeup, and teach others how to apply it for themselves. You will have some scheduling flexibility, although you will need to be available when your clients desire your services, such as before big events or a show. Still, it should be possible to work either part or full time, and incorporate your personal life in with your professional career without much difficulty.
Iowa Board of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences
Lucas State Office Building, 5th Floor
321 E. 12th Street Des Moines, IA
Phone Number: 515-281-0254
Fax Number: 515-281-3121
The Iowa State Board of Cosmetology can help you with any additional questions you may have about the licensing process.