Alternative Careers: How To Become A Make-up Consultant In India

. 9 min read . Written by Prerna Prakash
Alternative Careers: How To Become A Make-up Consultant In India

In Alternative Careers, Kool Kanya explores unique and lesser-known fields to give you insight into the less obvious, more adventurous world of livelihoods! In this guide, we’re discussing how to become a Make-up Consultant.

If you were all about that kajal-life back in high school, chances are that you have an intricate relationship with make-up as an adult now! We have all come a long way from simple mascara to fancy eyeshadow palettes. 

If you feel like you want to step into the world of make-up as a career, or if you’re thinking of taking a step-up in your job as a make-up artist, one of the best options to consider is going into the consultation business becoming a make-up consultant. 

The world of make-up has blown up in the last decade. With world-famous YouTubers and burgeoning Insta stars getting into the field, everyone wants a piece of the make-up industry. If you are interested in working with make-up but don’t want to step into the over-saturated parts of the industry, there is still a little bit of hope for you in the shape of becoming a make-up consultant! You can take this up as an alternate career choice.

We spoke with Shireen Parhee, a make-up guru who has recently ventured into the world of make-up consulting. She has some expert advice and important information for all the aspiring make-up consultants. 

So, if you are tired of the saturated beauty market but still want to be a part of the industry, make-up consulting can be a great side hustle, and eventually lead to a full-time career option as well!

Table Of Contents

What Is Make-up Consultation

Who Can Become A Make-Up Consultant

What Do You Need To Become A Make-up Consultant in India

How Can You Become A Make-up Consultant In India?

How Much Does A Make-Up Consultant Earn?

What Is Make-up Consultation

Make-up consultants help their customers select make-up and skincare products that suit their needs. They might also teach the client the right application techniques.  

Shireen Parhee, a pandemic-born make-up consultant, says that a lot of people do not know much about make-up, even if they are interested in it. From matching shades to knowledge about base make-up, people often don’t know how it all works. 

According to Shireen, 

“It’s one thing to take your friends along with you, but if you take someone along who understands how makeup works—base make-up, the whole shebang—it really helps.”

While most make-up consultants worked in-person before the pandemic, many have been shifting their businesses online to incorporate all the setbacks that social distancing has brought with itself. The clientele usually includes make-up novices, brides to be and anyone who’s keen on making an informed decision before buying a whole bunch of products.

“Makeup is expensive, so you don’t want to buy something that doesn’t work for you,” as Shireen says. 

Who Can Become A Make-Up Consultant?

Usually, make-up consultants are either experienced enthusiasts or trained artists who take up this career after they’ve mastered the art and science of applying make-up. To be a successful make-up artist and take up consultancy as an alternate career option, you should know how to apply make-up not only on your own face, but to others’ faces as well.

Many make-up consultants come from the conventional salon or bridal make-up background. As one would expect, that seems to be a smart career trajectory as the clientele is quite similar. 

There are also many self-taught make-up content creators trying to push the envelope further. 

With the internet becoming an important resource, and social media platforms also giving birth to make-up trends–and ultimately, make-up artists–it is no surprise that many people are teaching themselves the art of make-up. Many freelance artists and young professionals are also choosing to wander into the world of make-up consultation.

In 2020, a lot of people who are not able to manage consultation in-persona have also shifted to working online. Being a make-up consultant online might not be ideal, but it is definitely doable. It also creates a lot of job opportunities for people in the make-up industry. 

What Do You Need To Become A Make-up Consultant in India?

There are a few prerequisites to becoming a make-up consultant. 

Be Interested In Make-up

You need to have a knack and interest in make-up applications. Without interest, you cannot really make a make in any field, and that is especially true in a fluid field like make-up art. Trends change daily and the idea of good make-up is subject to different perspectives. 

To be successful, you need to be on top of the game, and that is not possible if you do not have an affinity for the art.

Know Your Stuff

Make-up might be seen by popular media as frivolous, but there is a lot of knowledge and science that goes into the art. Any aspiring make-up consultant needs to learn about the different aspects of make-up itself. You need to have in-depth knowledge of bone structures, skin-tones, and product chemistry. 

Develop Customer Service Skills 

This profession requires a lot of patience and great customer service skills. Consultation means that you work with your clients on a personal level. 

According to Shireen, “You’ll require a lot of patience to listen to your clients’ needs and demands and deliver under that.”

Your clients can consult you about small things like the colour of your eyeshadow or ask you about important points like the correct application of base make-up and more. 

Be Inclusive 

You should be an inclusive, understanding, and sensitive individual to successfully navigate your way through to be a successful make-up consultant. You will have to understand not only your clients’ needs but also the correct way of translating their needs into actionable reality.

“A make-up consultant should be inclusive and sensitive to their clients’ needs. They shouldn’t be forcing a light skin product to a dark-toned person and vice versa,” says Shireen.

Cleanliness Is Paramount

As a make-up practitioner, hygiene should be important to you! Especially in this post-Covid era, hygiene is a big issue. Make-up requires one to touch faces, and come in close contact with clients. It is important, thus, to be hygienic and clean. 

The most important thing to remember, when it comes to being a make-up consultant is that your client’s needs are of utmost importance and nothing should come in the way of that. 

How Can You Become A Make-up Consultant In India?

There are many ways to make a mark in your field. You could start at the beginning, or bivouac your way through the vast fields of make-up. Here is how you can become a make-up consultant in india. 

Learn the Basics

Learn the basics of make-up. Traditionally, artists would go to an institute but these days people are honing their skills by watching tutorials on social media. You can choose your own way of doing things. There are many online courses that one can take part in during the lockdown. You could check if your local parlors are holding sessions or are open to teaching you the basics. 

Another great way to learn the art without having to sacrifice safety is by taking to the internet. There are thousands of beauty vloggers, YouTubers, and Instagrammers. You can follow them and practice on yourself until you’re confident about your skills as a budding make-up artist. Make sure, you don’t take the learning part of the process for granted just because it an alternate career path and not a traditional one.


Practice makes perfect, and that is especially true for something like make-up. Any artist can corroborate the fact that if you do something enough time, you will not only develop the skill, but also the confidence you need to pull off the artwork as a make-up consultant. Practice make-up on yourself and on others around you to bring up your level of self-confidence as well as polish your skills, newly acquired or not. 

Get Work

Get a job in make-up application or start your own brand, and work till you’re confident with a good clientele. You can also start at a junior position, as an intern or apprentice, and learn on the job. Not only does this impact your resume in a positive way, it will also give you the real-world experience that you need to get into consultation. 

Personal Consultation

Start consulting with regular clients to kick start your make-up consultation. You do not have to start off your career with a bang. Small time consultations often are great practice for later life. They also become a stepping stone into networking and finding lifelong clients. Personal consultations on a smaller scale are a great way to start off. 

Create an image 

Create some noise about your work on social media or through word of mouth. Let people see your work and know what you’re doing. Instagram is a great platform to broadcast your brand and talk about your experience as a make-up consultant. One you create brand recognition, it will be easier to acquire and retain potential clients. 

Never stop learning 

The best way to be the best is to never stop learning and growing. Keep learning and researching as you go. Being a competitive market, there’s always a new product or brand launch happening and you should be aware of that.

Exceptionally good make-up artists go on to consult right in the first year of starting out. You can  follow these steps and gain some experience before you delve into consulting, but never dismiss your intuition! If you’re a fast and intuitive learner, you could always follow your heart and reach your goals sooner than expected.

How Much Does A Make-Up Consultant Earn?

For a group online consultation or workshop about make-up application techniques, a consultant can charge anywhere from Rs. 500 to Rs.1500 per session and per participant. 

If you’re taking one on one online sessions for both make-up selection and application, you could charge Rs. 4,000 for four to five sessions that usually last for an hour each.

If you’re meeting for a consultation in person and going to stores, then Rs. 4000 to Rs.5000 is the ideal amount that you should be charging. An in-person consultation usually lasts for three to four hours and requires you to explore make-up stores, usually in a mall. 

According to Shireen Parhee, “Lighting in the stores is very deceptive. Most of the time what will look good in a store will not translate when you get back home.”

In an in-person consultation, you’re expected to help with choosing the make-up, determining the perfect products for your client’s skin type, etc. 

These prices can go upwards depending on your demand, experience and popularity in the market as a make-up consultant.

Make-up consultants can work in collaboration with brands and stores or work independently too. Some of them even go on to start their own cosmetics brand.

Make-up consultation is an up-and-coming profession which is attracting many people, young and old. If you are just starting out, you could explore before settling in on the consultation as an alternate career choice. 

You can learn how to become a successful freelance makeup artist here

If you have been working as a make-up artist for a while, you should definitely try to get your foot in the door of make-up consultation! And, if you’re tired with your regular job and are looking for alternate career options, then becoming a make-up consultant is an option you can navigate.

With all this in mind, and all the information we have put together in this guide, we hope you will venture into the world of alternate career paths armed with the knowledge and skills to succeed!

Additional contribution: Shayri Bhattacharya

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