Makeup Artist Jobs & Salary in India [2023 Update]

The beauty and cosmetics industry in India is witnessing a paradigm shift. It’s no longer a burgeoning sector but an established industry that’s riding the waves of growth and expansion.

Makeup artists are the backbone of this revolution, constantly pushing boundaries with their creativity and skill. They are the changemakers and influencers, bringing a blend of aesthetics and innovation to the table.

In India, makeup artists are gaining prominence across various sectors, including fashion, film, television, weddings, events, and more. The demand for professional makeup artists has grown exponentially, creating a dynamic job market teeming with opportunities.

In this blog, we’ll explore the roles, the process of becoming a makeup artist, diverse career pathways, an analysis of the job market, salaries at different levels, challenges they face, and what the future holds for them.

Let’s dive in-

Understanding the Work of a Makeup Artist

A makeup artist is more than just an individual who applies makeup. They are professionals with a unique blend of artistic skills and technical knowledge, who use their talents to bring about a transformative impact on their clients’ appearances.

The Roles and Responsibilities of Makeup Artists

  1. Artistic Creation: MUAs conceptualize and implement makeup looks that highlight their client’s natural features while meeting specific requirements. This could be anything from creating a natural look for a daytime event to designing dramatic makeup for a fashion show.
  2. Understanding Client Needs: A vital part of a makeup artist’s job is understanding what their clients want. This involves clear communication, interpreting their needs, and then translating those into a look that meets their expectations.
  3. Knowledge of Products: Makeup artists need to be well-versed in a wide array of makeup products, tools, and their applications. They need to know what products work best for different skin types, tones, and facial features.
  4. Skills and Techniques: From contouring and highlighting to eye makeup and lip art, makeup artists need to master various makeup application techniques. They need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques in the industry.
  5. Hygiene and Safety: Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in their working environment, including tools and products, is crucial. They should also be aware of safety guidelines to prevent allergies and infections.
  6. Consultation and Advice: Makeup artists often advise clients on skincare routines, makeup products, and application techniques to use at home. They can also provide recommendations based on the client’s skin type and lifestyle.

Various Specializations in Makeup Industry

  • Bridal Makeup Artists: These artists specialize in creating makeup looks for brides, keeping in mind their outfits, the wedding theme, and personal preferences.
  • Fashion Makeup Artists: Working predominantly with fashion shows or photoshoots, these artists create looks that complement the designer’s clothes and the overall theme of the event.
  • Film and Television Makeup Artists: These artists work with actors, creating looks that align with the characters they’re portraying. This could involve basic makeup or even special effects makeup.
  • Celebrity Makeup Artists: These are artists who typically work with celebrities, often having a specific style that is sought after.
  • Personal Makeup Artists: Some clients hire personal makeup artists who create customized looks for various events and occasions.

Every specialization requires the makeup artist to have a unique skill set and an understanding of the specific industry’s dynamics. But regardless of their specialization, all makeup artists share a common goal – to use their artistry to enhance an individual’s appearance and confidence.

How to Become a Makeup Artist in India?

Becoming a successful makeup artist involves a blend of artistic talent, technical knowledge, and interpersonal skills. While formal education in the field is valuable, gaining practical experience and continually honing your craft is vital. Here is a step-by-step guide to becoming a makeup artist in India:

  • Education: While a basic high school education is a must, you don’t necessarily need a college degree to become a makeup artist. However, having a background in fine arts or fashion can be an advantage.
  • Professional Training: Aspiring makeup artists should consider enrolling in a professional makeup course. Reputed institutions like the Pearl Academy, LakmĂ© Academy, and VLCC Institute offer comprehensive courses on makeup artistry. These courses often cover a wide range of topics, including color theory, makeup techniques, product knowledge, skin care, and more.
  • Certification: Upon completing your training, it’s important to obtain certification. While not mandatory, being a certified makeup artist adds credibility to your profile and can give you an edge in a competitive market.
  • Building a Portfolio: Your portfolio showcases your skills, creativity, and versatility as a makeup artist. It should include high-quality photographs of your best work across different makeup styles. A strong portfolio is crucial when applying for jobs or attracting potential clients.
  • Practical Experience: Theoretical knowledge must be complemented with hands-on experience. Internships, assistant roles, and freelancing gigs can provide you with valuable insights into the industry and help you build networks.
  • Specialization: Once you’ve gained basic experience, you might want to specialize in a particular area, like bridal, fashion, or film makeup. Specialization courses can provide advanced skills and techniques in your chosen area.
  • Continual Learning: Trends in the beauty industry change rapidly. Successful makeup artists stay updated with the latest trends, techniques, and products. Attending workshops, seminars, and beauty expos can help you keep abreast of industry changes.
  • Networking: Building strong relationships within the industry can open up new opportunities. Networking with photographers, event managers, stylists, and other makeup artists can help you grow in your career.

Becoming a makeup artist requires passion, creativity, and dedication. It’s a journey that involves constant learning and adapting, but for those with a love for beauty and artistry, it can be a deeply rewarding career choice.

Career Pathways for Makeup Artists

The dynamic and diverse nature of the beauty industry offers numerous career opportunities for makeup artists. These career paths can differ based on several factors, including individual interests, skills, experience, and professional training. Here are some potential career pathways:

  1. Salon/Beauty Parlour Makeup Artist: Many makeup artists start their career in a salon or beauty parlour. Here, you can gain hands-on experience in various makeup services, client management, and other salon services.
  2. Bridal Makeup Artist: With the booming wedding industry in India, becoming a bridal makeup artist can be highly lucrative. This role involves creating bespoke looks for brides that align with their outfit, wedding theme, and personal style.
  3. Fashion Makeup Artist: If you have a flair for creative and high-fashion makeup, this could be the path for you. Fashion makeup artists work for fashion shows, photoshoots, and magazine editorials, often collaborating with designers and stylists.
  4. Film/TV Makeup Artist: This role involves creating appropriate looks for actors based on the character and scene requirements. It could range from natural, everyday makeup to complex special effects makeup.
  5. Celebrity Makeup Artist: If you’ve built a strong reputation and network, you could work as a personal makeup artist for celebrities. This involves creating customized looks for various events, shoots, and public appearances.
  6. Cosmetics Brand Representative: Some makeup artists work for cosmetics brands, demonstrating the use of the brand’s products to customers, providing makeup consultations, and conducting workshops or training sessions.
  7. Makeup Educator: With adequate experience and expertise, you can opt to teach at a beauty school or conduct your workshops, sharing your knowledge and skills with budding makeup artists.
  8. Beauty Influencer/Blogger: In the digital age, many makeup artists establish themselves as beauty influencers or bloggers, creating content on platforms like YouTube and Instagram, where they share makeup tutorials, product reviews, and more.
  9. Beauty Consultant: Experienced makeup artists also work as consultants, providing advice on makeup and skincare to individuals or businesses, or even assisting brands in product development.

Each of these career paths has its unique set of challenges and rewards. Choosing the right path depends on your career goals, skill set, and passion. Remember, every successful makeup artist’s journey involves continual learning, adaptation, and an undying passion for their craft.

Job Market for Makeup Artists in India

The job market for makeup artists in India is vibrant and continually expanding. Factors like increasing fashion consciousness, the growth of the media and entertainment industry, and the rise of social media have played a significant role in shaping this market. Let’s break down the various aspects:

  • Geographical Spread: The demand for professional makeup artists is high in metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, and Kolkata, where there are more opportunities in fashion, film, and television. However, the demand in Tier-II and Tier-III cities is also growing, particularly for bridal and event makeup artists.
  • Industry Diversification: The job market is not just limited to beauty salons and film sets. Makeup artists are now finding opportunities in diverse sectors like fashion, media, advertising, weddings, events, and more.
  • Digital Platforms: The rise of social media and digital platforms has created new avenues for makeup artists. Platforms like Instagram and YouTube are popular for sharing makeup tutorials, product reviews, and portfolio pieces, thus widening the job market.
  • Brand Representation: Many cosmetics and skincare brands hire makeup artists as their representatives. In this role, makeup artists demonstrate the use of products, conduct workshops or tutorials, and influence the brand’s sales.
  • Freelancing: The freelancing trend is on the rise, with many makeup artists choosing to work independently. This allows them to work on diverse projects and have control over their work, schedule, and income.
  • Beauty Consultancy: Some experienced makeup artists serve as consultants, advising brands on product development, or offering personalized makeup and skincare advice to clients.
  • Beauty Education: As the demand for professional makeup artists grows, so does the need for quality education in this field. Experienced makeup artists are finding opportunities as educators in beauty schools, or by conducting their workshops and courses.

Salary Overview for Makeup Artists in India

The income of a makeup artist can vary greatly based on several factors, including their skills, experience, location, specialization, and the type of clients they work with. In this section, we will provide a broad overview of the potential earnings for makeup artists in India:

Earnings of MUAs on the basis of Experience

  • Entry-Level Makeup Artists: Freshers who have just completed their makeup course and are starting their career usually earn around INR 15,000 to INR 25,000 per month. This can increase as they gain more experience and establish themselves in the field.
  • Mid-Level Makeup Artists: Makeup artists with 2-5 years of experience in the industry can expect to earn between INR 30,000 to INR 60,000 per month, depending on their clientele and quality of work.
  • Experienced Makeup Artists: Those with over 5 years of experience and a well-established client base can earn upwards of INR 70,000 per month. Some top makeup artists who work with celebrities and high-profile clients can earn significantly higher.

Note: These are approximate figures and actual earnings can vary. Here’s a rough breakdown in table format:

Experience LevelApproximate Monthly Earnings
Entry-Level (0-2 years)INR 15,000 – INR 25,000
Mid-Level (2-5 years)INR 30,000 – INR 60,000
Experienced (5+ years)INR 70,000 and above

Earnings On the Basis of Other Factors

  • Freelancers vs. Salaried Employees: Freelance makeup artists often have the potential to earn more as they can set their rates. However, their income might fluctuate based on the number of bookings they have.
  • Geographical Location: Makeup artists in metro cities tend to earn more due to higher demand and clients’ willingness to pay more for quality services.
  • Special Events: Makeup artists often charge higher rates for special events like weddings. Some top bridal makeup artists can earn a hefty amount for a single booking.
  • Brand Collaborations and Endorsements: If a makeup artist gains significant popularity, especially on social media, they might get opportunities for brand collaborations, product endorsements, or paid content, which can supplement their income.

Challenges in the Makeup Artist Profession

While the makeup artist profession offers many opportunities, it also comes with its set of challenges. Recognizing these challenges can help aspiring makeup artists prepare better for their journey ahead. Here are some potential hurdles in this field:

  1. Keeping Up with Trends: The beauty industry is ever-evolving, with new trends, techniques, and products emerging frequently. Makeup artists need to stay updated and continually upgrade their skills, which can be demanding.
  2. Competition: With the rise in interest in makeup artistry as a profession, the field has become highly competitive. Standing out and creating a unique style or niche for oneself can be challenging.
  3. Irregular Work Hours: Makeup artists often have to work during weekends or holidays when events are usually scheduled. The work hours can be long and irregular, especially for freelancers.
  4. Building a Client Base: For freelance makeup artists and those starting their salon, building a steady client base requires time and effort. It involves marketing your services, maintaining high service quality, and fostering strong client relationships.
  5. Financial Instability: Especially in the early stages of their career, makeup artists may face financial instability. Freelancers might have periods without bookings, and salaried makeup artists often start with relatively low pay.
  6. Physical Demands: The job can be physically demanding as it often involves standing for long hours. Eye strain from detailed work and potential skin reactions from constant exposure to makeup products are also common occupational hazards.
  7. Keeping Up with Technology: With the rise of digital platforms, makeup artists are now expected to be tech-savvy. They need to know how to promote their work on social media, create engaging content, and in some cases, even edit their photos or videos.
  8. Investment in High-Quality Products: Makeup artists need to continually invest in high-quality, professional makeup products and tools. This can be expensive, especially for those just starting their career.

Being aware of these challenges can help aspiring makeup artists make an informed decision about their career. Despite the hurdles, many find this profession deeply rewarding and fulfilling. It’s a career that allows for creativity, offers numerous opportunities, and at its core, has the ability to enhance people’s confidence and transform their perceptions of beauty.

Future of Makeup Artist Jobs in India

The future of makeup artist jobs in India looks promising. The beauty industry in India is projected to grow significantly over the next few years, fuelled by factors like increased consumer spending, a rise in lifestyle awareness, digital influence, and innovations in beauty and cosmetic products. Here are some trends that hint at a bright future for makeup artists in the country:

  1. Increasing Demand: The demand for professional makeup artists is increasing not just in metro cities but also in Tier-II and Tier-III cities. This growth is fueled by the rise of the middle class, increased disposable income, and greater emphasis on personal grooming and appearance.
  2. Bridal Makeup: With Indian weddings becoming more lavish, the demand for bridal makeup artists is booming. Brides today are willing to invest in professional makeup artists to look their best on their special day.
  3. Digital Influence: Social media platforms have opened new avenues for makeup artists to showcase their work, attract clients, and monetize their skills. As digital consumption continues to grow, this trend is likely to intensify.
  4. Personalized Services: As customers become more informed, the demand for personalized makeup and beauty services is increasing. Makeup artists who can offer tailored services based on individual skin type, preferences, and needs will have a competitive edge.
  5. Special Effects Makeup: With the growth of the media and entertainment industry, there’s an increasing demand for special effects makeup artists. This trend is likely to continue with the expansion of the film, television, and theatre industry.
  6. Sustainability and Clean Beauty: With rising awareness about sustainability and the impact of products on the skin, makeup artists specializing in clean and sustainable beauty practices are likely to be in demand.
  7. Education and Training: As the demand for skilled makeup artists grows, so does the need for quality education in this field. There will be ample opportunities for experienced makeup artists to become educators or conduct their workshops.


The future of makeup artist jobs in India is highly promising, with a slew of opportunities in various sectors. The growth of the beauty and cosmetics industry, the rise of digital platforms, and increased consumer awareness are factors contributing to the increasing demand for skilled makeup artists.

With the right skills, perseverance, and a deep-seated passion for makeup, you can carve a successful and satisfying career as a makeup artist in India. This profession does not only provide a lucrative career path but also allows for a personal connection and satisfaction that comes with helping others feel confident and beautiful.

And remember, the world is your canvas – you just need to pick up your brush and create your masterpiece.

Frequently Asked Question

Is Makeup as a profession recognized in India?

Yes, in today’s time, it is very much recognized and respected. And if you have a knack for it, you can thrive in this profession in India. 

Do I need a degree to earn well in Makeup?

If we talk about a career in India, then no, you won’t need a degree. Skills and experience will show their magic, but if you are planning to take your passion abroad, a recognized certification is mandatory almost everywhere in the world

How much can I earn as a makeup artist in India?

The earnings of a makeup artist can vary greatly based on factors such as their skills, experience, location, specialization, and the type of clients they work with.

Founder of Cosmup Academy Kelly has 10+ years in the beauty industry working with the biggest brands in the world.

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Celyn Shinglai

Makeup Artist, Givenchy

I’ve always been a clumsy person when it comes to makeup. It seemed like every time I so much as touched an eyeshadow, it was going all over my face – let alone trying to use brushes! But with the help of Cosmup Academy’s Makeup Course, I’m finally getting the hang of it. With step-by-step guidance and qualified teachers to help me along the way, I’m now confidently applying makeup on my own. 

Sonam k.

Makeup Artist, Flipkart

Before Cosmup Academy, I thought makeup was too hard to learn. But once I started the course, it was such an easy and fun journey! The teachers are supportive and knowledgeable. Not to mention how effective the course is – I now feel confident whenever I do my makeup! The best part? It’s affordable too, which makes it even more worth it. Do yourself a favour and give this course a try!

Pooja Rajput

Freelance Makeup Artist

I was really skeptical when I first heard about Cosmup Academy’s makeup course. It seemed like a pricey commitment that I wasn’t sure would be worth it. But having now taken the course, I can confidently say that it was one of the best investments I’ve ever made! The instructors were incredibly knowledgeable and experienced, and the skills I learned in the class ended up being far more valuable than I expected. Now that I’m finished with the course, I know I can do more than just recreate looks from a tutorial online — I have the skills to truly create my own unique looks!

Gaurav Manchanda

Studio manager, Mama Earth

An incredible journey of self-expression! – When I decided to take the Makeup Course of Cosmup Academy, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Little did I know that it would be an incredible journey of self-expression, experimentation and friendship. The faculty are incredibly knowledgeable and inspiring – they taught me the tricks and techniques of makeup application, but also encouraged my own creativity and style. Before completing the course, I was hesitant to try something daring or new; but now, I’m brimming with confidence and ideas!

Chon R.C.

Makeup Artist @ Makeup Forever Inc.

I’m a huge makeup lover and always wanted to make my own cosmetics. This course at Cosmup Academy was a perfect way to start! Even as a total beginner, the teachers helped me understand every step of the process, from mixing colours and finding the right texture to creating interesting shapes. I was amazed at how quickly I learned and now I can create custom products that look amazing! What I love most about this course is that it made me feel confident in my skills, which means I can tackle even the most complicated makeup looks with ease.

Rekha Verma

Owner, Damini Beauty Parlor

I can’t express enough how grateful I am to Cosmup Academy. The comprehensive curriculum and the hands-on approach were incredibly helpful in developing my Marketing and Makeup skills, due to which I was able to start my own beauty salon, ‘Damini Beauty Parlor‘ which has been thriving. Kelly Gomez, my instructor, was always available to answer any questions I had and provided helpful feedback. 

Diana Tondon

Senior Makeup Artist, Health&glow

I signed up for the Makeup Course at Cosmup Academy last year. I never thought I had what it took to be a makeup artist, but their course helped me find my inner power. The instructors are knowledgeable and patient, teaching me tricks and techniques I never even heard of before. After only one month I felt so comfortable with makeup that people were asking me to do their special occasions! The best part is that although I can now confidently call myself a makeup artist, the journey doesn’t end there. With the help of the resources provided by the academy, I am constantly learning new things and further perfecting my art.

Rekha Verma

Owner, Damini Beauty Parlour

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