Do you love expressing your creativity through makeup? Then becoming a makeup artist might be a great choice for you! Professional makeup artists use their skills to alter people’s appearances with cosmetics. Keep reading to learn all the steps you need to take to become a makeup artist.
Let’s Get Started!
Research Cosmetology Schools
Once you’ve decided that you want to become a makeup artist, the first step is to find a great cosmetology school to attend. Search online for different cosmetology schools in your area, then look at their websites and social media pages.
While researching each school, make sure to look at the specific program you’d be interested in taking. Some beauty schools include makeup artistry as part of their cosmetology or esthetics programs, while others offer it as a standalone program. The program that’s right for you depends on your unique lifestyle and goals, so don’t be afraid to be picky! Narrow your choices down to a few of your favorite beauty schools and programs, then move on to the next step.
Schedule tours of all the beauty schools you’re interested in attending. This is an important step because it will allow you to see each school’s campus, meet some of their staff and current students, and get a feel for their culture. During each tour, you can ask the staff any questions you have about the school, the program you’re interested in, or the application process.
We’d recommend bringing a pencil and paper (or typing notes in your phone’s notepad app) for each tour. If you quickly write down what you like or dislike about each school, it will help you keep track, so it’s easier to compare your choices later on.
Enroll in a Program with a Makeup Course
After you’ve taken tours of a few beauty schools, it’s time to decide which one to attend! Compare your options, then choose your favorite beauty school and apply for their cosmetology or esthetics. Typically, makeup isn’t a stand-alone program and is combined with other programs. This is an advantage because you’ll be given the opportunity to expand your skills and knowledge.
The application process will be different depending on which school you choose, so make sure to follow their specific instructions and reach out to their admissions team if you have any questions.
We’d also recommend taking the time to check if you qualify for financial aid*. Qualifying for financial aid or scholarships can make it much easier to pay for beauty school. To get started, fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form or ask the financial advisor at your school for guidance.
Build Your Portfolio and Brand
While you’re attending cosmetology school, get a head start on building your portfolio and brand. Your portfolio can be physical or digital, but digital portfolios are becoming much more popular. To set up your portfolio, create a new social media page that’s specifically dedicated to your makeup artistry. Set the profile to public, take high-quality photos that show off your makeup skills, then regularly share those photos on your portfolio to bring attention to your work.
Creating and updating your portfolio is a big part of attracting clientele, but it’s also important to work on building your brand. Branding is the conscious effort to portray and market your unique value to the world. To start building your brand, consider creating a website that displays your passions, values, and professional background. Use your website to explain to potential clients why you chose to become a makeup artist and why they should choose you for their makeup needs.
As you’re building your portfolio and brand, think about what specific areas of makeup you want to specialize in. For example, do you want to do makeup for weddings, special effects makeup for movies, or fashion styling for models? These are important things to consider.
Make Professional Connections
As you’re attending beauty school, try your best to build professional connections. Network with your classmates, clients in the student salon*, instructors, and other people in the beauty industry. A great way to network with people in the industry is to attend beauty events in your community, so try giving that a shot if you have time! You never know what kind of exciting opportunities these connections can lead to later on.
Pass the State Exam, if Needed
Depending on the type of beauty school program you’ve completed, you may need to pass a state exam to become licensed in practicing your craft. For example, if you’ve earned a makeup certification as part of cosmetologist or esthetician training, you’ll need to be licensed in the state of California to perform a full range of services on a professional level. Makeup artists serving the entertainment industry, working in a retail environment, or practicing makeup artistry without compensation can go directly from beauty school to seeking professional opportunities.
Start Your Makeup Education at Salon Success Academy
The team here at Salon Success Academy can teach you what it takes to apply stunning makeup. We have six convenient locations across Southern California, making it easy to choose a campus that fits your lifestyle. Contact us for details about our MUD Makeup Program today! We also offer cosmetologist and esthetician training programs that incorporate the Make-up Designory Beauty Essentials certification, so you can find the education that fits your goals.
*Financial Aid is available to those who qualify.
*All services provided by students under the supervision of licensed professionals.