Difference Between Makeup Artist and Cosmetologist (With Table)

Purpose of using makeup is to enhance the facial features of a person. Makeup highlights the good features of the face and corrects the not-so-good features. Cosmetologist advices clients on skin, hair, nails, etc. Cosmetology is a field in which relevant education qualification is compulsory. Both makeup artist and cosmetology are different from each other. Cosmetology is a broader field and generally more job opportunities is available.
Further is the detailed differentiation between makeup artist and cosmetologist.

Makeup Artist vs Cosmetologist

The main difference between makeup artist and cosmetologist is the job they perform. Makeup artist is someone who is expert in applying makeup. On the other hand cosmetologist is someone who deals with hair, skin and nails.

Makeup artist is a professionally expert who is skilled in applying makeup. The demand for makeup artist is rising day by day. May it be some fashion show, concert, or wedding makeup artist are needed everywhere. Someone who is good in communication and is equally skilled in apply makeup, is preferred by clients. There is no certain criteria or educational requirement to become a makeup artist.

Cosmetologist who has relevant educational degree in this field. They study skin, hair and nails. Cosmetologist helps the clients with skin type/hair type and which product to use. Cosmetologist have more job opportunities at higher pay. Cosmetologist has scope of working with dermatologist. They identify the type of product which will suit the clients individually. They do not compromise on quality of product and treatment offered by them to the clients.

Comparison Table Between Makeup Artist and Cosmetologist

Parameters of
Makeup ArtistCosmetologist
MeaningMakeup artist is a person who does someone’s makeup and get paid in return.Cosmetologist is a person who has relevant educational degree in cosmetology
Job opportunitiesComparatively lesser job opportunities are availableMany job opportunities are available
Education qualificationNot mandatoryMandatory
EligibilityNot requiredEducational degree is a must and also the age should be 16 or above

What is Makeup Artist?

Makeup artist is a person who is excellently skilled in doing makeup and get paid in return. Doing makeup involves applying foundation, conceal, etc. with utmost finishing. Makeup has the ability to transform and improve someone’s face. Makeup artist use desires makeup to highlight the good features of face and to improve the unappealing features and imperfections.

Demand of makeup artist is increasing day by day. Makeup artist is needed for doing makeup of models in fashion show, television and movie stars, brides, people doing various types of shows and in many more places. There main job is to make the models presentable and photogenic. Hiring expert and professional makeup artist is on the expensive side. Some makeup artist used there skills and turned their job into brands. There are many famous brands started by makeup artist.

Becoming a makeup artist is all about having great skills. It is not necessary to do any formal course to become a makeup artist. But if someone has completed any course as a makeup artist, it increases their chance to get a job at higher pay. Professional makeup artist prefers certain brands that are of better quality like MAC, Dior, etc. These brands are on the expensive side but a lot better than the average cosmetic products. Famous makeup artist are: Huda Kattan( She is the founder of cosmetic brand Huda Beauty), Pat McGrath( Vouge magazine gave her the title of most influential makeup artist), etc.

What is Cosmetologist?

Cosmetologist is a person who is proficient in field of skincare, makeup, and haircare. Cosmetology is a broader field. A person needs to do some course or get a degree related to cosmology. They deal with all beauty problems related to hair, skin, nail, etc. Job of cosmetologist also include advising the client about hair treatment, skin treatment, makeup, etc. They deal with problems like acne, pigmentation, premature greying of hair etc.

There are certain criteria to become a cosmetologist. Appropriate education degree is mandatory. Also a person should be 16 years or above to qualify for a cosmetologist. A professional degree holder in this field have a opportunity to work with dermatologist or skin specialists. A person with good communication and expertise skills is preferred by the clients. Cosmetologist study different skin types, hair types and treatment required for treating different skin and hair related issues. Cosmetologist also include hairdressers and manicurist. There are many hairdresser famous around the world.

A good cosmetologist is someone who understands the problem of clients and tell them best possible way to treat and solve the issue. Cosmetologist have more career opportunities open for them at higher pay. Famous cosmetologist are: Vidal Sassoon ( He is a British hairdresser and have trademark of hair styling-wedge bob), Sally Hershberger( She is popular around the world and known for setting trends), etc.

Main Differences Between Makeup Artist and Cosmetologist

  1. Makeup artist is someone whose job is to do someone’s makeup and get paid in return. While cosmetologist is someone who has a relevant educational degree in cosmetology.
  2. Makeup artists have limited job opportunities. While cosmetologist have more scope and job opportunities.
  3. Education is not mandatory for becoming a makeup artist. While cosmetologist need to have appropriate educational degree.
  4. Anyone with skills of doing makeup can become a makeup artist. While to become cosmetologist a person needs to have a degree and must be 16 years or above.
  5. Makeup artist is limited to doing makeup and so the scope is narrower. While a cosmetologist can be a hairstylist, makeup artist, manicurist and many more.


The conclusion can be drawn that both makeup artist and cosmetologist are different field. Being a makeup artist means having expertise in applying makeup. Cosmetologist involves hairstyling, skincare and even nails stylist. Makeup artist has comparatively less job opportunities. Makeup artist are paid less compared to cosmetologist. Also, cosmetologist can work as skin specialist after some training.


  1. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/mono/10.4324/9781315514178/makeup-artist-handbook-gretchen-davis-mindy-hall
  2. http://eprints.undip.ac.id/57870/1/cap-iii-proceedings-cultural-engineering.pdf#page=111