I have a friend that studies make-up in College and she is already a professional that works with it. What is the name of this professional?

For example, a person that works with architecture is an architect.

  • 1
    Looking at this cosmetology school website I'd say that cosmetologist is a broad definition of this professional, it includes more than make-up in the curriculum, like hair, skin etc. This source lists many careers a cosmetologist could choose, among them, make-up artist.
    – Mr. Mister
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 12:17
  • See also this list of beauty licenses.
    – Davo
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 13:58

6 Answers 6


The usual term is make-up artist or makeup artist. These may be professionals who work with actors in various productions like theater and movies, as well as in the modeling industry. Here is more on this.

They may also be professionals who help "ordinary" people with their makeup, typically working in salons along with hair stylists.

  • However, those are the titles for specialized jobs in their respective industries. They would only limit their description to those titles if context called for it. Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 13:43
  • @can-ned_food I'm not sure of the point you're making.
    – BobRodes
    Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 21:29

From MW:


noun : a person licensed to provide cosmetic treatments to the hair, skin, and nails : one trained in cosmetology : beautician


From the NY State Division of Licensing Services website, emphasis mine:

The practice of "cosmetology" means providing service to the hair, head, face, neck or scalp of a human being, including but not limited to shaving, trimming, and cutting the hair or beard either by hand or mechanical appliances and the application of antiseptics, powders, oils, clays, lotions or applying tonics to the hair, head, or scalp, and in addition includes providing, for a fee or any consideration or exchange, whether direct or indirect, services for the application of dyes, reactive chemicals, or other preparations to alter the color or to straighten, curl, or alter the structure of the hair of a human being. It is the responsibility of licensees to understand the Appearance Enhancement Law.

  • 3
    This sounds like someone making (semi-)permanent changes. The OP uses the word "make-up" which I take to be temporary changes which can be washed off that evening.
    – AndyT
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 8:25
  • Yes, sound like the one who treats (which is broken or need treatment)
    – Mr_Green
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 9:33
  • This word isn't widely used in the UK, as far as I'm aware. (But, hey, I'm a guy who doesn't care about his appearance so my word probably isn't worth a lot, here.) Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 11:53
  • @DavidRicherby - Agreed. "Beautician", as used in that MW definition, is more common in the UK. (And my previous comment applies to "beautician" too.)
    – AndyT
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 14:35
  • I think cosmetologist is a more general term, including hairdresser, makeup artist, manicurist/pedicurist and the like.
    – BobRodes
    Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 21:30

Also from MW we have cosmetician

A person who is professionally trained in the use of cosmetics


It depends on what kind of makeup she applies, and in what context.

Somebody who works with actors and actresses on the set of a movie or TV production, or with models on professional photoshoots, is referred to as a makeup artist.

Somebody who works in a beauty salon with individuals who will wear the makeup in their daily life is referred to as a beautician, cosmetologist or aesthetician.

  • 1
    This is the most complete answer. If you call a makeup artist a beautician or vice versa, they will probably try to explain to you that you used the wrong job title! Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 16:24

A person who works with makeup and specializes in it is a makeup artist.

A cosmetologist usually provides treatment to the skin, scalp and other parts of the body. Some cosmetologists might do makeup as well, I think they also learn to do makeup when studying, but a cosmetologist usually has very little to do with makeup.

Search on Google for Hung Vanngo and Pat McGrath, whom are the two most important makeup artists and I think your friend might be studying to become like them, and see how they're labeled/called. You'll notice they're never called "cosmetologists".

Source: I'm a woman who is very much into makeup and skincare and goes to spas often.


They are usually called makeup artists. In India it's a common practice to call them a Makeup Man.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .