The destination wedding business is bigger and better than ever in Alaska, and that means plenty of career opportunities for the makeup artists that work here. The stunning Alaska backdrops have provided unique and jaw-dropping wedding locales, both for Alaska residents and for those who are willing to travel great distances to say “I do” atop a pristine glacier or on the deck of a towering cruise ship.
From businesses such as Alaska Weddings on Ice to Helicopter Glacier Weddings and popular locales as Taku Glacier Lodge and Mendenhall Glacier, the lucrative wedding industry is sure to provide makeup artists in Alaska with a wealth of professional opportunities for years to come.
Qualifying to Become a Makeup Artist in Alaska
If you want to take advantage of the booming destination wedding industry in Alaska and put your eye for detail and color for work as a skilled artist of makeup, you must ensure you are licensed to do so. And in Alaska, that means earning a license as an esthetician through the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers, which is part of the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. The Board does not offer a makeup artist license; therefore, all makeup artists in Alaska must be licensed as estheticians.
To become an esthetician in Alaska, you must complete a course of esthetics that consists of at least 350 hours of theoretical and practical training. The Board requires the program of esthetics to include the following:
- Skin analysis, cleansing, manipulations, packs, and masks
- Electrical apparatus and modalities, including dermal lights for facials
- Eyebrow arching and hair removal
- Makeup, including skin analysis, complete and corrective makeup, and the application of false eyelashes
You may also complete an apprenticeship of at least 350 hours, provided it has been approved by the Board.
Following an approved course of esthetics study, you will be required to successfully complete a written and practical examination for licensure. The practical examination includes a hands-on assessment of your ability to:
- Give a facial, including massaging, skin and eye care, waxing, and hair removal
- Apply makeup, including applying makeup for both day and night applications.
Both the written and practical examinations required for licensure are scheduled in Fairbanks and Anchorage throughout the year.
Once you have successfully completed all licensure requirements, including completing an Application for Esthetician License, you will be permitted to begin practicing as a licensed esthetician in Alaska. Your Alaska esthetician license must be renewed biennially upon the completion of a renewal application and related renewal fee.
Options for a Career in Makeup Artistry in Alaska
Makeup artists generally work as freelancers or independent contractors, providing their services to any number of industries, from the film and theater industries to the wedding business and spa/salon business. It is also quite common for makeup artists in esthetics or salon practices to work as employees, on a commission basis. Many makeup artists who work out of a spa or esthetics practice also choose to rent booth space.
Just a few of the popular spas/salons and esthetics practices throughout Alaska include:
- Vibe Styling Salon and Day Spa, Eagle River
- Studio 335 Day Spa, Seward
- Selah Salon & Health Spa, Wasilla
- Escape Salon & Spa, Anchorage
Because Alaska remains a popular state for high-end resorts, including ski resorts, makeup artists often enjoy successful careers working out of the salons and spas found there:
- The Spa at Alyeska, Alyeska Resort, Juneau
- Chena Hot Springs Resort, Fairbanks
- Waterfall Resort Alaska, Ketchikan
The cruise ship industry in Alaska is a major force to be reckoned with, and these floating behemoths often include their own pampering salons and spas, making a career in makeup artistry aboard a cruise ship an attractive option for many makeup artists in Alaska. Ports in Ketchikan, Skagway, and Juneau, just to name a few, serve cruise lines such as:
- Celebrity Infinity Cruises
- Noordam Cruises
- Ruby Princess Cruises
- Westerdam Cruises
- Norwegian Pearl Cruises
The film and television industry remains strong in Alaska, with feature-length movies, documentaries, and televisions shows all being filmed here in recent years, thanks, in part, to the state’s stunning scenery and its tax program that was introduced in 2008 to attract movie and TV productions. Today, many reality television shows are filmed in Alaska. Just a few of the production companies working out of Alaska include:
- SprocketHeads, Anchorage
- Alaska Channel
- Evergreen Films, LLC, Anchorage
- Connections Films and Video
- Glacier Productions LLC, Anchorage