What do you call someone who studies makeup?

The field of cosmetology and makeup artistry is both diverse and specialized, encompassing a range of skills and knowledge areas. Individuals who pursue careers in this field are often designated as “cosmetologists” or “makeup artists,” though the specific terms used can depend on their professional focus and the context of their work.


A cosmetologist is a professional who is trained in a variety of beauty treatments. This training typically includes makeup application, but it often goes beyond that to encompass skincare, hair care, and sometimes even nail care. Cosmetologists are known for their broad skill set, which allows them to offer a wide range of services to their clients.

The education of a cosmetologist usually involves attending a cosmetology school, which provides both theoretical and practical training. The curriculum often covers topics such as anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and salon management, in addition to the hands-on training in makeup, hair, and skin care. Many countries or regions require cosmetologists to obtain a license to practice, which usually involves passing an exam that tests both their knowledge and practical skills.

In the professional world, cosmetologists may find themselves working in a variety of settings. Many work in beauty salons, but it’s also common to find them in spas, resorts, and on cruise ships. Some cosmetologists choose to operate their own businesses, providing services on a freelance basis. This career path allows for a great deal of flexibility, as cosmetologists can specialize in areas that particularly interest them, such as bridal makeup, theatrical makeup, or skincare.

Makeup Artist

In contrast to cosmetologists, makeup artists focus specifically on makeup application. They are experts in using makeup to enhance or alter an individual’s appearance. Makeup artists must have a deep understanding of different makeup products, tools, and techniques, as well as a keen eye for color and a strong sense of creativity.

Makeup artists often find themselves working in specific industries. In the fashion industry, they may work on photoshoots or fashion shows, creating looks that complement the designer’s vision. In film and television, makeup artists play a critical role in character creation, using makeup to help actors transform into their roles. Theatrical makeup artists specialize in stage makeup, which has its own unique requirements due to the distance between the stage and the audience. Additionally, many makeup artists offer bridal and special event makeup services, helping clients look their best for important occasions.

The path to becoming a makeup artist often involves formal education or certification. Many makeup artists attend specialized makeup schools or participate in training programs. These programs not only teach the technical skills required for makeup application but also often cover other important aspects such as understanding skin types, the principles of light and shadow, and the history of makeup. Some makeup artists also learn through apprenticeships, working under experienced professionals to gain hands-on experience.

Career Prospects and Industry Trends

Both cosmetologists and makeup artists have a range of career prospects. The beauty industry is constantly evolving, with new trends and techniques emerging regularly. Professionals in this field need to stay updated with these trends and continuously hone their skills. Social media has also become a significant platform for makeup artists and cosmetologists to showcase their work and attract clients.

Another important aspect of these careers is the ability to understand and meet client needs. Whether working with a bride on her wedding day or a model in a fashion show, cosmetologists and makeup artists must be able to translate their client’s vision into reality. This requires not only technical skill but also good communication and customer service skills.

Challenges and Rewards

Working as a cosmetologist or makeup artist can be both challenging and rewarding. These professionals often work irregular hours, which may include evenings and weekends, especially when they are starting out or working on special events. There is also a physical aspect to the job, as they spend a lot of time on their feet and need to have a steady hand for precise makeup application.

However, the rewards of a career in cosmetology or makeup artistry can be significant. These professionals have the opportunity to express their creativity and make a tangible impact on their clients’ confidence and self-esteem. Seeing a client’s satisfaction with their appearance can be incredibly gratifying. Additionally, for those with an entrepreneurial spirit, these fields offer the opportunity to start and grow a personal business, providing both financial and personal rewards.

In conclusion, the fields of cosmetology and makeup artistry offer diverse and dynamic career paths. Whether as a broadly skilled cosmetologist or a specialized makeup artist, professionals in this industry play a crucial role in the beauty and fashion sectors. They not only enhance physical beauty but also contribute to the confidence and happiness of their clients, making it a uniquely rewarding profession. With the right training, skills, and passion, a career in makeup and beauty can be both fulfilling and prosperous.

This post was written by a professional at Michele Renee The Studio. Michele Renee The Studio Specializes in airbrush makeup application and hair styles. Based in Tampa, FL, we serve a global client base for weddings, boudoir, corporate, film, television, social events, photo shoots, and more! Click here now to schedule your appointment for your wedding hair and makeup!