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How to become a Professional Makeup Artist

If you’ve perfected the smokey eye and can tell what color lipstick would look great on someone based on a quick assessment of their complexion, becoming a makeup artist might be the right career path for you. To build a career in makeup artistry, start by developing your skills through Naturals Makeup Academy , beautician training centre tutorials and practicing on Models, friends and family. Consider enrolling in school to gain formal training, or getting a job at a makeup counter for professional experience. Either way, you’ll need to create a strong network and portfolio to kick start your career in makeup.


STEP 1:

Enroll in a makeup artist school that suits your schedule and budget.

Since makeup artistry is not a licensed profession, states don’t mandate course offerings from makeup artist programs—meaning that the curriculum varies widely between schools. Some schools offer full-time classes that cover all the bases, while others allow you to pick and choose courses that focus on particular industries or skills. These programs also vary widely in cost, with full-time schools being the most expensive.

  • Typically, makeup training programs run 300-600 hours and can be completed in less than 6 months.

  • Going to school is not a requirement for becoming a successful makeup artist. It may give you a boost in a very competitive field, however.


STEP 2:

Earn a degree in cosmetology for a wider range of job prospects.

Enroll in a private cosmetology school or, for a less pricey option, attend a community college with a cosmetology program. With a cosmetology license, you can work in a beauty salon or spa applying makeup, which will give you access to a greater number of jobs.

  • Full cosmetology programs require 1,500-2,000 hours and last 12-24 months.

  • During cosmetology training, you will also learn other beauty services including hair, nail and skin care.


STEP 3:

Find a job at a cosmetics counter to gain professional experience.

Apply for positions at cosmetic stores or pharmacies. You'll have the opportunity to practice your skills on hundreds of people with different complexions, styles, and expectations. Best of all, you'll get paid to practice your skills.

  • Retail experience is helpful for landing jobs in department and beauty stores, since your job will be selling cosmetics in addition to your makeup artistry services.

  • Search for a company that is dedicated to training its employees in applying makeup, rather than focusing entirely on sales.


STEP 4:

Join a local makeup artistry group or attend models to practice a different kind of makeup.

Theater groups—at your school if you’re a student, or in the wider community—are a great place to explore your creativity. You’ll get a chance to practice a different style of makeup, learn to use greasepaint, and work with theatrical lighting.

STEP 5:

Land an internship or apprenticeship with a respected makeup artist.

Find a top makeup artist in your local area whose work you admire and ask if they would be willing to take on an apprentice or intern. Make it clear that you're eager to get real-world experience in the makeup industry.

  • If they can’t commit to an internship, ask if you can shadow them for a day or two. Even a few hours of observation could teach you tons of new techniques.

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