The salon industry represents one of the largest employment sectors for makeup artist in Texas.
Trendy neighborhoods from Houston’s Neartown and Montrose to San Antonio’s Uptown Broadway and Austin’s South Congress, Travis Heights, and East Austin, are all home to chic salons and day spas with resident makeup artists.
The theatrical and performing arts is also one of the major industries in which makeup artists can find work, and in Texas this field offer some impressive opportunities:
- Texas employs more makeup artists in the field of theatrical and performing arts than 90 percent of all other states
- Texas offers the fourth-highest average salary among all states for makeup artists working in this field
- Outside of the LA and NYC areas, Houston is the top-paying metropolitan area for makeup artists nationwide
- According to the Texas Workforce Commission, between the years 2012 and 2022, there will be a staggering 25 percent increase in the number of makeup artist jobs in the theatrical and performing arts
The film and television production industries are also large employers of makeup artists, and Texas has long been known for its production studios and motion pictures.
How to Become a Makeup Artist in Texas
As long as you only offer makeup services you do not need to become licensed. Even if you choose not to pursue one of the licenses described below, you will still need formal training through a makeup artist school to refine your skills and learn the techniques required to succeed in the field of makeup artistry. In this case, you may choose a shorter program exclusively dedicated to makeup artistry.
However, if you want to add a competitive edge to your qualifications and offer additional beauty services you can think about any of the following four licenses, all issued by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation:
- Cosmetology Operator License – requires the completion of 1,500 hours of cosmetology education. With this license you can perform all cosmetology services, including esthetics (which includes makeup services), eyelash extensions, manicures/pedicures, hair weaving/braiding, and hair cutting.
- Esthetician License – requires the completion of 750 hours of esthetician education. With this license you can perform services that include makeup application, facials, masks, superfluous hair removal, and aromatherapy.
- Esthetician-Manicurist License – requires the completion of 1,200 hours of esthetician-manicurist education. With this license you can offer all the services of an esthetician, plus the additional services associated with manicures and pedicures.
- Eyelash Extension Specialist License – requires the completion of 320 hours of eyelash extension education. If you hold this license you can offer your clients eyelash extension services.
Once you complete your education you will also need to pass a theory and practical examination in your license area.
Texas Makeup Artist Schools in Texas
If you choose to complete an education program in order to qualify for the licenses described above, you must do this from a cosmetology school that is licensed by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. There are hundreds of approved cosmetology schools throughout Texas, many of which offer the curriculum you must complete to earn any of the four relevant types of licenses that makeup artists often hold. You can find licensed cosmetology schools by conducting a search on the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation’s Data Search webpage.
Aside from the education for an eyelash extension license, the makeup artistry component for the three remaining types of licenses will be relatively similar and include topics like:
- Makeup application techniques
- Makeup blending, shadowing, and highlighting
- Skin care, facials, and masks
- Corrective makeup applications
- Infection control, hygiene, public health, and safety
- Texas cosmetology laws
Career Opportunities for Makeup Artist in Texas
From the film industry to salons, you are sure to find your niche doing what you love as a makeup artist in Texas.
Leading Salons and Spas for Makeup Artists in Texas
Salons and spa positions for makeup artists are likely to prefer or require you to have a license issued by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. You will need to check with each individual employer for the specific hiring requirements.
- Sensia Studio and Japanese Day Spa in Houston
- J Zubire Makeup Artistry in Houston
- Salon Vensé in San Antonio
- Adore makeup boutique and salon in Austin
- Elan Makeup Studio in Dallas
- Salon by milk+honey in Austin
- Lemongrass Salon in Fort Worth
- Selah Salon and Spa in El Paso
Name-Brand Cosmetic Outlets in Texas
Because of Texas’ status as a major cultural and population center, there are many opportunities to pursue makeup artist jobs with major cosmetic companies. The following companies recently placed ads seeking qualified individuals from the makeup and beauty fields:
- Gucci in Dallas
- Benefit Cosmetics in Houston
- Laura Mercier Cosmetics in Houston
- ULTA Salon, Cosmetics and Fragrance in Austin
- Bare Escentuals in Dallas
- Chanel with Neiman Marcus in Dallas
- Macy’s in San Antonio
- Beauty Brands Salon and Spa in Southlake
Theatre and Performing Arts
Texas hosts some of the most renowned theatre and opera companies in the nation. The theatre and performing arts in Texas are particularly attractive for makeup artists, who are projected to see a 25 percent increase in the number of jobs over the coming decade.
- Houston Grand Opera
- Houston Ballet – The fifth-biggest professional ballet company in the nation
- Alley Theatre in Houston – Tony Award-winning indoor theatre in Downtown Houston
- Dallas Opera
- Texas Ballet Theater
- Ballet East Dance Company in Austin
- Fort Worth Opera
- El Paso City Ballet
The Houston Theatre District in its namesake city has the nation’s second-highest number of theatre seats in a concentrated downtown area.
Stage music is also a significant field for makeup artists in Texas, especially in the nation’s live-music capital, Austin, which is home to more live-music venues than Nashville, LA, Las Vegas, or Memphis.
Television and Film Production
Traditionally one of the largest employers of makeup artists, the television and film industries in Texas are vibrant. Major production companies located in-state include:
- Austin Studios
- Fueld Films in Austin
- Ultralite Films
- Detour in Austin
- Sycamore Pictures in Austin
- Mutt Productions
- Core Media Group in San Antonio
Numerous critically-acclaimed movies and television series have been shot in Texas. As a skilled makeup artist you could add your name to the credits of the next major production. Some of Texas’ repertoire includes:
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
- The Lone Ranger
- Spy Kids
- Super Size Me
- Walker, Texas Ranger
Support of Events that Generate Makeup Artistry Business
As the nation’s second-most populous state with metropolitan areas that rank with a similarly high population, it is only natural that Texas and its cities should sponsor some of the biggest events that generate business for makeup artists. These include:
- Bayou City Art Festival in Houston
- Houston Fashion Week
- S.M.A.R.T Fair in San Antonio
- San Antonio Film Festival
- Tejano Music Awards in San Antonio
- The Pin Show – Dallas’ equivalent of a week-long fashion festival
- South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin
- Quentin Tarantino Film Festival in Austin
- Austin Film Festival
- Cine Las Americas International Film Festival in Austin
- Plaza Classic Film Festival in El Paso