Aspiring makeup artist has so many specialisations to choose from!

From advertising to bridal and prosthetics, a makeup artist can either master one or a couple of styles to build a promising career in the field.

After five to six years in the field of makeup, many professionals choose a specialisation that they are proficient at or have a strong network of clients in. The good thing is that you can specialise even in two types of makeup if you have the right training from the right experts and, obviously, an appetite for more knowledge, skills and techniques.

Here, we have listed a few main specialisations that you can master. 


The advertising world has evolved by leaps and bounds. Way back in the 80s, the models were dressed in simple attire and wore just lipstick and kajal in the name of makeup. But today, ads have become more glamorous and dramatic. Advertisers are pumping in huge sums of money to make all the ad film characters either glamorous or realistic, depending on the script and are hiring the best of makeup artists to achieve the desired outcome. Like L’Oreal became the first beauty brand to feature a male in a cosmetic campaign.

Cinematic (TV, movies and ads)

Makeup artists working in the entertainment industry, mostly for television, films and advertising production houses, work on a set location or in a studio painting actors, actresses, dancers and news anchors or on-air personalities’ faces. 

These artists must be knowledgeable about the lights being used on the set and its effects on their subject’s skin, the tinge it gives to their skin and the shadows they cast on the subject’s face. Cinematic artists have to conceptualise their makeup accordingly.

Makeup artists working on TV, movie and ad sets also have to create scars, bruises and moles for actors. They also have to make a 23-year-old look like 60, an Indian look like an American and a South Indian look like a North Indian or make an earthling look like an alien. Character-based makeup is a very crucial aspect of cinematic makeup.

Cinematic makeup artists have to work long and odd hours, depending on the timing of the shoot.


Along with fancy costumes and accessories, the makeup of the models is much talked-about. The looks on the ramp create beauty trends that are followed by lakhs of people around the globe.  

The people who create these looks are professional fashion photographers who work closely with fashion designers and stylists to understand and create the essence of a fashion collection. Their makeup complements the fashion collection. For instance, if the fashion collection is inspired by Gothism, the makeup artist might create a Gothic makeup look (smoky eyeshadow, sharp contour and dark lip shades). 

Fashion makeup artists are also hired by fashion magazines to shoot the eye-catching, attention-grabbing magazine covers and inside spreads. 

They, too, have to work long and odd hours in a highly fast-paced and exciting environment of the world of glamour. But with hard work, comes fame. 

Gucci Westman is one of the world’s top makeup artists who has created some memorable covers for American Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and worked on campaigns for Oscar de la Rena and Estee Lauder. Back home, Namrata Soni is a makeup pro who is best known for creating glamourous (celebrity red carpet) looks for Sonam Kapoor, Disha Patani and Nora Fatehi.

Performance or theatrical

For a Broadway or a dance or theatre artist, apart from costume, makeup plays an important role in portraying a character. Makeup artists have to design the look, based on the time period, setting and story. Usually, the makeup used here is much more colorful, graphic, dense and heavy. 

But it is important to do so as the actors are seen from a distance and once the stage lights fall on them, their skin appears to be washed out and the features not highlighted. So, it is crucial that their makeup is loud.Back in the day, many stage artists used to wear masks for lack of makeup. Some performers who portrayed God painted their faces white. However, with the advancement of technology, performance makeup has replaced these and make the character look more realistic.

Prosthetics (Special effects)  

Prosthetic is the process of lifecasting, sculpting and moulding to create a look that totally transforms the actor. The popular Game of Thrones series used a lot of it to create Night Walkers, their king The Night King and other characters.

A huge part of prosthetic makeup is creating the actual prosthetic pieces to use in the look. These are usually made from foam latex, gelatine, or most commonly, silicone. To apply prosthetic pieces, skin safe glues are used to stick directly onto skin, illustrator makeup palettes are used to add colour, and removers are used to dissolve the adhesives.

A good prosthetic makeup artist is currently in hot demand because fiction films and series are becoming highly popular. Oscar-winning makeup artist Peter King, responsible for the well-known fantasy creature The Orcs in the Lord of the Rings had used a lot of prosthetics makeup. Other incredible works of his popular movies like King Kong, The Hobbit and Pirates of The Caribbean.


Whether it’s a big fat wedding or an intimate wedding, bridal makeup artists are highly sought-after in India. Today, their job includes decking, both, the bride and the groom and not just for the D-day, but also for pre-wedding functions such as sangeet, mehendi, cocktails, poojas, etc. 

These artists usually like to see a bride and groom’s outfits and the event’s venue and its lights (during the day and night) before conceptualising a day look, usually for the pheras, and an evening look, usually for the reception and other evening functions. They also must ensure that their makeup looks good in pictures and videos.

They need to be fully mobile for this type of assignments; must-have an elaborate makeup vanity, a portable mirror and other styling tools, which are travel-friendly and can be carried anywhere in the world.

Makeup artist at retail outlets

Most cosmetic brands such as Bobbi Brown, Maybelline New York, Lakmé Cosmetics and L’Oreal hire makeup artists who work at the brands’ retail outlets in malls, department stores and duty free zones at airports. Their job is to help clients choose the right primer, foundation, eye shadow, rouge or lipstick, and hold makeup demonstration sessions, which are a big hit among consumers. 

PathBreakerZ’s experts think that working behind the counter is one of the best ways to get exposed to a wide range of skin shades and skin types and learn the art of people management.

Team PathBreakerZ
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