Do you need to go to Makeup School to become a Professional Makeup Artist?
Straight answer – it’s up to you.
This week we’re delving into the world of Self-Taught vs. Makeup School with pros and cons for each type of situation to help you choose which route you’ll choose to become an Asian Bridal Hair & Makeup Artist.
As we discussed in the last article, becoming an Asian Bridal Makeup Artist is not easy and can be expensive. The main cost will be for your training. There are 2 schools of thought on this topic.
There are 2 schools of thought on this topic.
First of all, there is the self-taught route. Makeup Artists can and do teach themselves the basics and figure it out as they go along, practicing on family and friends as well as themselves long before they find clients. Some people have a natural talent for it, and others need a little more refining before they feel confident.
You can do this by reading books by prominent make-up artists like Bobbi Brown, Kevin Aucoin, and Scott Barnes to start with. Now there are a wealth of YouTube videos from prominent Makeup Artists like Wayne Goss, Lisa Eldridge, Zukreat and many others who are willing to show their makeup techniques and recommend products.
Start practicing techniques on yourself and your circle of family & friends. These will be your first clients as well as the ones who take your reputation as a makeup artist further if they like your work. Supplement this with the books and videos, and start taking pictures of your work to post to social media and you’ll be on your way to starting your business.
You could work at a Makeup Counter if you have a natural aptitude for sales. According to anyone who’s ever worked at a makeup counter (don’t quote me on this!), it’s not about the makeup, it’s about selling. If you’re comfortable selling, then this would be an ideal place to start honing your skills, working on different types of people and getting discounts while you’re at it! Find out the specific companies requirements, ask the staff how they feel working for that counter and then go in with confidence.
Makeup School is the other option, and it all depends on where you live and what the requirements are for your particular area before you start practicing. Some States in America require you to have a cosmetology license before you can even begin to practice as a Makeup Artist. Here in the UK, as far as I am aware, you don’t need to go to Makeup School but I would recommend it.
If you know you want to go to Makeup School from a young age, I’m talking 16 – 18 onwards get yourself onto a college or degree level course as soon as possible. Not only will this save you time and money in the long-run it also means you’ll be practicing your craft over a longer period of time, and learning techniques that can be applied across all areas of Makeup.
On the other hand, if like me, you realised much later in life you want to become a Makeup Artist then all hope is not lost! There are many Asian Bridal Hair & Makeup specific courses run by leading makeup artists in the industry but cost a lot of money to get on and only last a week, which I personally don’t think is enough time to really learn a skill. Their certificates also don’t allow you to get Public Liability Insurance which is essential before you start working on the public.
I personally went on 3 Makeup Courses each with differing levels of education before I felt confident enough to start my business. The reason I chose the latter two courses (Beginners Professional Makeup and Asian Bridal Hair & Makeup at the London Makeup School) was because it’s very hard applying Makeup on another person if you don’t know how. We each know the symmetry of our own faces very well, but applying that knowledge to someone with different skin colour, pigmentation or tone takes more skill.
The knowledge of the tutors, proper technique, sanitation and a certificate that allows you to work as a makeup artist is, in my opinion, essential before you set up your business and start working. It’s also a great way to make contacts and some schools will have an aftercare agency to help you find jobs. These particular courses are also accredited so you can get Public Liability Insurance as well as discounts on makeup brands upon completion. Graduate nights to learn from other Makeup Artists and being able to go to open shop events from companies such as MAC is one of the other perks.
Check each school out in person. Ask lots of questions and make sure you’re happy with the course content, level of skills from the tutors, class sizes and aftercare policy before you invest in any kind of makeup course.
My personal advice would be to do it part-time if you can so that you have plenty of time to practice in between classes and it will go in a lot better. If you’re in a hurry to get going, then a 1-week option is a great way to learn the basic skills and then keep practicing. You can always go back to refine your technique or learn other aspects like airbrushing or advanced makeup.
What’s the best way?
That really is up to you, but my advice would be a combination of the two. Start off with practicing on yourself and others, then when you feel confident enough you can go to a reputable Makeup School which provides you with a Certificate that you can use to get Public Liability Insurance in order to start work.
Practice really does make perfect!