Starting a makeup business can be a natural career step for someone with a flair for transforming faces into works of art with cosmetics. Options for entering this field include offering makeup application services or cosmetics sales. To be successful in the cosmetics industry, organization and the ability to find or create opportunities are important.

Things You'll Need

Business identity

Design business cards and brochures. Include images of your most impressive work wherever possible.

Build a portfolio. If you don’t have photographs of your work, ask friends to sit as models and contact your local photography school to see if you can barter with an emerging photographer who might be building a portfolio of his own.

Create a website. Don’t worry if you aren’t computer savvy. There are quite a few online website builders that cater to the novice.

Business supplies

Choose the type makeup you will feature. Mineral makeup is quite popular for a daytime look. If you are focusing on glamorous or theatrical makeup, choose heavily pigmented products for the best results.

Build a professional makeup artist’s kit. Include color cosmetics, such as eye shadows, lipsticks and liners. You also will need brushes. Makeup artist Troy Surratt says high-quality brushes don’t just perform the best, they also make applying makeup a pleasure (see reference 1).

Buy makeup wholesale. If you give makeup classes, you can earn money by selling products to your students.

Market your services

Provide make up services to soon-to be brides. Ask related businesses such as bridal shops, bridal consultants, caterers and party planners to see if they would allow you to leave brochures and business cards for their clients.

Offer makeup workshops to local women’s clubs. Adapt your workshop to the lifestyle of the group. For example, if it is comprised of mature retired women, offer to do “anti-aging” makeovers.

Present your services to theatrical groups. This is a great way of exposing your work and building a portfolio.

Advertise your business on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. Start a Twitter account. These are free avenues where you can broadcast your portfolio of work to a large audience.

Leave business cards and brochures at places where women frequent, such as nail and hair salons, day spas, tanning salons and boutiques.


  • Create a niche. By focusing on the most unique qualities of your business, you can set yourself apart. The makeup business is part of the fashion industry, which is ever changing. Continue to educate yourself by studying magazines and practicing new techniques.

References and Resources