Art of Makeup School

Makeup Artistry Career Opportunities

Through a network of industry relationships and collaborations, The Art of Makeup assists student certificate program graduates obtain work and experience in a variety of ways, such as exclusive membership on the AofM Job Board.

Through these referrals, AofM graduates have worked on productions in numerous industry categories such as corporate shoots, indie films, student projects, theater, print, music videos, commercials, fashion shoots, bridal (an esthetics license is also required for bridal makeup work in Oregon), and many other diverse events.

Click below link for examples and photos of AofM graduates at work.

Art of Makeup Industry Collaborations: Putting Graduates to Work!

See also our Student Success Stories blog for actual student profiles, or checkout out our facebook and instagram pages.

Students at work

Attention Northwest Production Community

Makeup Artists Available for your Production Needs

Hire a Makeup Artist! We have many talented Certificate Program graduates well trained in all areas of makeup artistry located throughout Portland and the Northwest. Please fill out our REQUEST A MAKEUP ARTIST TO HIRE FORM or contact us if you are interested in hiring a makeup artist or collaborating with The Art of Makeup School.  You may also call us at: 503-244-1558

Careers in the Makeup Industry

Opportunities for local makeup artists are at an all time high as a result of the growing number of media productions, new legislation’s, and financial/tax incentives set forth to attract even more business to the Pacific Northwest.

With makeup artists essential to the crew of every type of media production, there are more reasons now than ever before to establish a solid need for an educational institution in the Northwest that teaches the craft of makeup artistry. Up and coming burgeoning makeup artists can finally actualize their dreams. Many national media publications have recently been touting the regional production boom. MovieMaker, the nation’s leading resource on the art and business of making movies, recently published their annual list: Top 10 Cities to Be a Moviemaker: 2013. Seattle is #3 and Portland is #5 on the list!

Prior to The Art of Makeup there were no schools in the Northwest exclusively dedicated to makeup artistry. The Art of Makeup is now the only licensed regional educational destination teaching the trade and craft of makeup artistry.

Makeup artistry is a separate profession outside of cosmetology that requires very different training and comes with a different set of professional goals and opportunities. For example, awards given for the makeup artistry profession in the entertainment industry include the Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, and the Golden Globes for Best Makeup. Cosmetology and esthetician schools provide little to no makeup training. Cosmetology school graduates might work in salon, skin care and medical spa environments.

Graduates will leave The Art of Makeup with a competitive advantage as they enter into the career market of professional makeup artistry.

Makeup Artistry Careers

A makeup artist does everything from make Jennifer Lopez look completely flawless to turning Anthony Hopkins into Alfred Hitchcock and transforming Meryl Streep into one of her many Oscar nominated and winning character roles. Makeup artistry is an essential part of the entertainment industry as it helps breathe life into a character by making them more three dimensional.

An actor has a much easier time being able to commit to a role if they truly believe that they have been transformed into the character they are playing. This belief is mandatory for the audience as well. For the audience to believe the story, they need to believe that there is actually a robot under Schwarzenegger’s skin, or that actors look like Hobbits from Middle Earth.

The best makeup artists are those whose work you never really notice, it is a true art form.

There are different jobs in a film/TV makeup department depending on project needs and budget:

  1. Head Makeup Artist: They are in charge of the makeup department. They collaborate with the director and writer to design the look for each actor, apply makeup on principal actors, and hire a team of makeup artists to assist.
  2. Key Makeup Artist: They are in charge of a team of makeup artists working on a production.
  3. Makeup Artist: They work the magic and are part of a team that applies the makeup.
  4. Makeup Assistant: They help the more established makeup artists with extras or on set touch ups for example.
  5. Special FX Artist: They design and create special make up effects using for example makeup products, prosthetics, and latex.

Industries where makeup artists find rewarding careers

Opportunities and the various career paths for a professional makeup artist:

Makeup artists collaborate with photographers and models in one of the most broad areas of makeup artistry work. There are thousands of newspapers, magazines, billboards, album covers, company brochures, advertising collateral, posters and catalogs printed annually, and millions of photographs on the web. Fashion makeup artists are also key players in the production of runway shows, pageants, and other special events. Avant-garde and fantasy makeup are applicable techniques used for projects that require experimentation and unique themes.

Since the 1920s, the film industry has grossed more money every year. In 2016, the global box office for all films released in each country around the world reached $38.6 billion, up one percent from 2015. The U.S./Canada box office ($11.4 billion) grew two percent, while the international box office ($27.2 billion) in U.S. dollars held steady compared to 2015, despite the increased strength of the U.S. dollar and slowed growth in China. *

Makeup artists transform actors and background extras into whatever the script demands. They use special makeup effects to simulate injuries, age a character, apply facial hair, tattoos, and bald caps. Membership in the IATSE Union (International Alliance of the Theatrical Stage Employees) offers benefits and helps protect the rights of makeup artists.

This includes newscasts, talk shows, drama series, sitcoms, reality shows, soap operas, game shows, commercials and infomercials. To work on today’s television drama series, like film, a makeup artist must know ‘character makeup’ and be able to simulate injuries and create other effects. There are hundreds of television and production companies filming every day.

Theatrical Makeup:
Stage makeup is used to highlight and contour the actors’ faces in order to make expressions visible to the audience from large distances. This includes emphasizing important facial features.

Special FX Makeup (AKA Special Effects Makeup):
A special effects make-up artist uses wigs, make-up, prosthetics and other tools to create the desired look on a live performer or a special effects prop. This line of work is typically found in the entertainment industry, so special effects make-up artists may be hired by theaters, film and television productions, theme parks, cruise ships or avant-garde fashion designers. The job of a special effects make-up artist can be as simple as aging the face of a young actor or as complicated as creating a never-before-seen alien monster.

Airbrush makeup has recently been popularized by the use of HD and digital photography, where the camera focuses on detail. Liquid foundations that are high in pigment but thin in texture are applied with the airbrush for full coverage without a heavy build-up of product.

Retail cosmetics is a huge international industry. The worldwide cosmetics and perfume industry currently generates $170 billion annually.* Many makeup artists work in a retail store, a salon, a doctor’s office, or makeup studio applying makeup, teaching makeup lessons and selling a cosmetic line. For entrepreneurial artists, the high profit margin offered by many private label cosmetic lines provides a very lucrative avenue of income. Because of a loyal consumer market, the industry remains recession-proof, despite an ailing economy.

Makeup Artists who specializes in Bridal Makeup are always in demand. The wedding market is an enormous year round market, and very profitable. This work involves conducting bridal preview appointments and going on location the day of the wedding- applying makeup on the bride and wedding party. Freelance Artists that do weddings also do makeup for special events, pageants, dance performances, parties, award ceremonies, proms, etc.

Industry Economics

The production and distribution of films and television programs is one of the nation’s most valuable cultural and economic resources. The industry is a major private sector employer across the nation, with salaries above the national average. The industry is a nationwide network of tens of thousands of small businesses, located in every state in the country, the majority of which employ ten people or fewer. The industry is heavily reliant on vendors in other industries all over the country. Each year, film and television production activity takes place in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.*

Northwest industry economics for production and film making.


Oregon continues to be a destination for creative media producers from around the world. From Emmy winning television productions, to Oscar nominated feature films; world class animation to award winning interactive games, Oregon is a brand unto itself. Crew. Cast. Locations. ***

Oregon Film History

Oregon Film Oregon Made

Job Resources in Oregon

Production in Washington

Washington has one of the nation’s most competitive markets for independent film and commercial production. With The Art of Makeup’s convenient location near Vancouver, WA, the opportunities and chances for success are boundless. Washington offers incentive programs nationwide and prides itself on understanding what’s most important to the industry. Washington Filmworks, a non- profit organization, offers funding assistance for qualified in-state expenditures of up to 30% for motion pictures and episodic series with less than six episodes and up to 35% for episodic series with at least six episodes. Funding assistance for commercials is allocated through the Commercial Business Development Plan.

Qualified in-state expenditures include resident labor including fringe as well as goods and services provided by Washington based businesses. **

Northwest Regional State-by-State Film & Television
Economic Contributions


Economic Impact of the Industry
2017: The motion picture and television industry is responsible for 6,860 direct jobs and $269.95 million in wages in Oregon, including both production and distribution-related jobs. 2,884 of the jobs are production related.*

Movie & TV Production Spotlight
2014-2015: Movies include Homecoming, Green Room, Brothers in Law, and Cabin Fever. TV series include Grimm, Portlandia, The Librarians and Significant Mother.*

Production Incentive:
Oregon’s incentives to production include rebates on 20% of a production’s Oregon-based goods and services and additional cash rebate of up to 16.2% of wages paid to production personnel. The annual cap on rebates is $7.5M per fiscal year.*


Economic Impact of the Industry
2017: The motion picture and television industry is responsible for 8,476 direct jobs and $353.19 million in wages in Washington, including both production and distribution-related jobs. 2,759 of the jobs are production-related. *

Movie & TV Production Spotlight
2014-2015: Movies include Captain Fantastic. TV series include Z Nation, The Legend of Mick Dodge, Rugged Justice, Dr. Oakley: Yukon Vet and Treehouse Masters..*

Production Incentive:

Washington’s designated production-assistance organization, Washington FilmWorks, offers funding assistance of up to 35% of total in-state qualified expenditures (including labor and talent who are Washington state residents) to commercial, television and feature film productions. The production company must meet certain in-state spending thresholds.*

History of Major Productions Filmed on Location in Washington State


Economic Impact of the Industry
2017: The motion picture and television industry is responsible for 1,068 direct jobs and $33.32 million in wages in Alaska, including both production and distribution-related jobs. 114 of the jobs are production related*

Movie & TV Production Spotlight
2014-2015: TV series include Mountain Men, Alaska Monsters, Gold Rush, Life Below Zero, Alaska: The Last Frontier, Bering Sea Gold and Buying Alaska.*

Production Incentive:
The Alaska Film Production Tax Credit Program was discontinued in 2015. The program involved a transferable tax credit equal to 30% of in-state qualified production expenditures (including payroll for services performed in Alaska) for film, television, video, and commercial productions, as well as credits for hiring Alaska residents, filming in rural areas, and productions between October 1- March 30.


Economic Impact of the Industry
2017: The motion picture and television industry is responsible for 2,019 direct jobs and $61.52 million in wages in Idaho, including both production and distribution-related jobs. 230 of the jobs are production-related.*

Movie & TV Production Spotlight
2012-2013: During the course of 2012 and 2013, 2 movies filmed in the state. Movies include American Romance and An Unkindness of Ravens. TV Show includes Blog Cabin.*

Production Incentive:
Idaho provides for a rebate of the 6% sales tax on tangible personal property when $200,000 is spent on a wide variety of qualifying expenses. Idaho’s Motion Media Rebate Program was passed on March 25, 2008, offering a 20% rebate for qualifying productions on all goods and services purchased in Idaho if at least $200,000 is spent in Idaho and at least 20% of crew is Idaho residents.*

* Most recent data reported online by The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). The MPAA serves as the voice and advocate of the American motion picture, home video and television industries in the United States.
** Source: Washington FilmWorks
*** Source: Oregon Governor’s Office of Film & Television


* Fashion

* Film

* Television

* Indie

* Theatrical & Stage

* Special FX

* Airbrushing

* Advertising

* Bridal

* Retail

* Media

* Cosplay

* Live Action Role-Play

* Moulage