October 18, 2022

Building Your Career as a Makeup Artist: Halloween Haunts


Special Effects (FX) makeup artistry is an amazing career full of exciting opportunities. With special effects makeup, you can bring imagination to life through brush techniques and advanced skills. However, building your career as a makeup artist may not be as easy as it seems. Knowing which opportunities you should pursue to practice your craft and build a career is important. Halloween is an excellent opportunity to showcase your talent, find clients, and build your reputation. Here’s how to maximize Halloween haunts for your professional makeup career!

What does a special effects makeup artist do?

A special effects makeup artist is different from a cosmetologist. Traditional beauty schools deal with basic beauty techniques, makeup applications, color matching, skincare, and hair styling. Makeup is often barely touched on in lieu of hairstyling. Special effects makeup artists are trained at SFX makeup schools and often have advanced prosthetics and body painting skills.

Special effects makeup, however, focuses on more advanced skills, including:

  • Highlighting
  • Contouring HD and film makeup
  • Teen makeup
  • Time periods
  • Tattoo covers
  • Dynamic eye makeup
  • Editorial makeup
  • Avant-garde
  • Fantasy makeup
  • Trends
  • Rhinestones
  • Airbrush
  • And more!

By choosing a career in special effects makeup, you open yourself up to many different opportunities, especially if you develop a specialized skill like body painting, character creation, or prosthetics. These skills will help you build your career as a makeup artist.

Building Your Career as a Makeup Artist

To work on your career, you must learn to take advantage of every opportunity you’re given. For those who have recently graduated from their training at a makeup institution, you may need to focus on smaller gigs while you build your brand and make a name for yourself. Thankfully, Halloween is a great time to do that! Here are some ideas.

Halloween Haunted Houses

During the pumpkin season, haunted houses pop up all over the place, and it’s easy to see the difference between mediocre and professional ones. Some houses have their employees don simple costumes, which may scare kids, but it isn’t really the fear-driven vibe that more adult scare parks go for. 

A cheap cape and white face paint don’t make someone a vampire, but good special effects makeup can drastically transform someone from a mere human to a blood-sucking immortal!

To build your career as a makeup artist, consider reaching out to theme parks and haunted houses in your area and discuss the benefits of having a special effects makeup professional do some touch up on their employees. Some simple brush techniques can make all the difference in the fear factor of a haunted house as you help make fear a reality.

Corporate Parties

Another great way to utilize your services as a professional makeup artist is to hire yourself out to corporate parties. Some companies pay to have a professional makeup artist assist with their employee’s costumes as a way to make things a little more intense during the holidays. 

Consider reaching out to local businesses and asking them how they plan to celebrate Halloween with their team. A corporate party is a great way to showcase your skills and network.

Costume Contests

Costume contests are one of the best parts of Halloween. People put in time, money, and effort to transform themselves into varying characters and creatures for a day. There’s no limit to the options from pirates to fairies to aliens.

As people enter contests, it’s important to understand that hiring a makeup professional will give a realistic look that a simple mask or “off-the-rack” costume could ever hope to provide. Hiring yourself out to help bring people’s ideas to life is a perfect way to build your career as a special effects makeup artist.

There are many opportunities to grow yourself in the makeup industry, so always be on the lookout for how you can use the season to show off your talent and find clients. 

How can LMI help?

Teaching the art and science of makeup artistry to the next generation of makeup and special effects artists since 2010, the L Makeup Institute offers classes covering all styles of makeup artistry in Las Vegas and Dallas. There are thousands of cosmetology schools, but only a handful of schools like L Makeup Institute, that focus exclusively on preparing you to work as a professional makeup artist immediately upon graduating. Discover why LMI is well known in the MUA community as producing talented, well-rounded, and sought-after graduates.

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