How to Get a Job as a Mortuary Makeup Artist

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If you get compliments on the way you apply your makeup or you have a gift for giving others tips on how to properly apply their makeup, you can be a professional makeup artist and get paid for your skills. One way you could accomplish this is to become a mortuary makeup artist. This job involves preparing dead bodies for burial by doing things such as applying makeup, doing manicures, fixing hair, dressing the body or reconstructing disfigured faces. While it may sound like a macabre job description, your reward is not only that you get paid well, but you can also bring comfort to bereaved family members by making their deceased loved one look as good as possible.

  • Be certain that you are able to feel comfortable as a mortuary makeup artist. If you have any qualms about being around and handling corpses, it may not be right for you.

  • Take cosmetology classes at a beauty school and learn general makeup techniques as well as how to fix and style hair. You can follow up by going to a mortuary school or community college that offers classes in mortuary science, where you can learn more about how to apply makeup to the dead, restoration airbrushing and other knowledge that will prepare you to work as a mortuary makeup artist.

  • Get your cosmetology license, as you are required to have it posted in the work station of any place you work as a cosmetologist. You must have attended and graduated from a beauty school recognized by your state's Department of Licensing, and you generally have to successfully complete at least 1,600 hours of the required coursework and training for your individual state. You have to take and pass a National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology exam and present proof to the state licensing board you wish to apply to.

  • Work as a conventional makeup artist or cosmetologist first, so you can get more experience and build up your resume.

  • Contact funeral homes in your area, and see if they need anyone to do makeup on the bodies of the deceased. Present them with a professional resume that includes your training, experience and references, as well as photos of people on whom you have done work. It's sometimes better to go in person so that the funeral director knows that you are serious about applying.

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