Makeup Artist Salaries in Hawaii

While Hawaii has long been a place where movies and TV shows have been filmed, the industry has dramatically increased in recent years and proven to be recession proof. This is good news for makeup artists who are critical to the success of such productions.

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The success of the series LOST brought renewed attention to Hawaii as a place to film. In addition to its lush tropical backdrop, Hawaii’s scenery is versatile and allows producers to film scenes that look like they were shot in other countries.

Another key industry for makeup artists in Hawaii is the wedding industry. The number of destination weddings has been growing in popularity, and Hawaii is one of the top three destinations outside of the US for American travelers to get married in according to a 2012 study by the XO Group, Inc.

Makeup artists fall under the category of personal appearance workers. The Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reports that these types of jobs are expected to increase by 1.6% a year between 2012 and 2022. Half of these positions should come from growth requiring more of these workers, while the other half should come from the need to replace retiring professionals.

Breaking Down Makeup Artist Salaries in Hawaii

The starting salaries for different types of makeup artist positions are available from the employment site It averages the salaries offered over the course of the previous year.

In January 2015, the average starting salary offered for makeup artists in Hawaii was $25,000, although those in Honolulu, Pearl City, and Hilo started at $28,000 a year.

Makeup artists who possess additional skills generally commanded higher starting salaries. For instance, those with a skincare specialty license made 12% more.

Micro artists are specialized makeup artists that use an acupuncture needle to permanently alter people’s looks without causing the side effects of permanent tattooing. They earned 2.6 times more than designated makeup artists and had an average starting salary of $66,000.

Makeup artists in Hawaii usually take home much more money than these figures would suggest, because it does not account for the tips that they frequently receive from their clients.

Different types of makeup artist jobs have radically different salaries. For instance, a professional who works at a retail counter applying makeup is likely to make a fraction of the money that a performance makeup artist would make. Experience is a major factor in this difference, since makeup artists for TV and the movies need to be highly skilled to be able to create a number of different types of looks.