Makeup School: 
The Best of the Best

Going to a specialized makeup school will give you enormous credibility for professional level beauty career jobs.

As in the hair industry, there is a wide range of focus for the professional make up artist.

  • Classic make up to enhance the everyday look
  • Film & TV make up
  • Fashion make up for photography, runways
  • Character make up
  • 3D make up
  • Theatrical make up
  • Special Effects make up
  • Prosthetic make up
  • Body make up
  • Airbrush make up
  • Skin Care and make up 
  • Wedding make up

Makeup School Education 

Relative to cosmetology school, makeup school is a new and growing business.  We have talked a lot on Cosmetologist Life about "specializing" skills to market yourself and grow a beauty career beyond average.

Becoming a professional make up artist is a highly specialized field.  The schools for this niche are not plentiful.  Unless you live in a major metropolitan area you will have a hard time finding a makeup school to attend.

It can be costly, too.  But here is the major obstacle, if you are fortunate enough to live near one. 

Makeup school is not recognized as formal education, unlike cosmetology school, esthetician school and nail school.  These are accredited schools and as such lead to diplomas which lead a student to state licensing.  Students are able to qualify for Student Loans or Pell Grants to pay for their tuition to cosmetology, nail and esthetician school.

Make up school does not qualify for student loans!

The cost of make up school runs the gamut from a few hundred dollars for one course to thousands for a specific program.  Upon completion you are awarded a certificate of completion.

So how could you pay for
Makeup School?

Some of the schools offer a third party financing option.  This means you take out a loan from the third party at a relatively high interest rate, and the loan will most likely cover only a portion of your tuition.  The school would require a down payment up front.

Another thing to consider is that student loans give you 6 months from your graduation date to begin repayment.  It's my understanding with a third party loan you have to start making payments immediately, which may be difficult if you don't have a job yet.

If you don't have a support system that will pay your tuition and/or you don't have any credit or bad credit, it could be really hard to fund your school.

And honestly, you would graduate with only a certificate and the beginnings of a portfolio.  It's great knowledge, great courses, but let's stop and think a minute.

Food for thought about
Going to Makeup School

To me, makeup school sounds completely awesome!  For someone who loves the beauty industry, who wouldn't want to go to school and learn the tricks to transform people into swans?

So I totally understand your enthusiasm.

Before you drop your head and feel defeated, let's have a heart to heart talk.  I'm on your side and want your dreams to come true.

You want to be a professional makeup artist with a beauty career that people would die for?  Ok, we can go at this another way.

I'm going to keep this real.  If you go to makeup school without any other beauty training, you will finish in about 3 months and have a certificate from the school. Then you will have to start your beauty career somewhere as a professional make up artist.  Ask yourself this question.  Do you have what it takes to pound the pavement, market yourself, make contacts, go hungry a little bit until you get a name made, and work your tail off doing crappy little jobs until you get your big break? Oh, and do you have a way to pay for makeup school and support yourself while you go?

If you do, by all means, go for it!  I wish you all the luck in the world.

Very few of us are actually capable of making all of that happen, though. 

So let's try a more sound approach to becoming a           Professional Make Up Artist!

  1. Go to an accredited Esthetician School first. Depending on your state, you could be done within 6 months. (Check out hour requirements for your state.)
  2. Esthetician schools qualify for student loans so financing your education shouldn't be a problem.  You may even qualify for a Pell Grant which would pay your tuition outright.
  3. After you graduate from esthetician school and pass your state board exam you will be a licensed esthetician.  This means you will be legal to have a beauty career in skin care and make up artistry.  In esthetician school you will learn make up, but not the very specialized types like 3D, special effects, prosthetics.
  4. Once you are a licensed esthetician you will be employable!  Since you are making money and supporting yourself now, you can start taking specialized make up courses and paying for them yourself!  It is called continuing education.

Building Any Beauty Career Takes Time

I'm your buddy, and I'm here to tell you that no matter which direction your beauty career goes it will take time to develop.

No one graduates and starts making $100,000 their first year out.  It just isn't realistic.  You can definitely make a plan to get there! But it takes work, patience and time.

I want you to be able to go to Make Up School.  It's a wonderful opportunity to learn awesome stuff! But I want you to be able to support yourself too.  I hate seeing my young professionals go hungry!

Becoming a licensed esthetician first, then taking additional classes is a much smarter plan to build a solid career foundation.

Plus it gives your resume more credibility.  If I am hiring for a theatrics make up position and I have 2 applicants from the same Makeup School, but one is a licensed esthetician, I'm going to hire the licensed applicant. Why?  Education and credibility.´╗┐

Want a Sample of the Big Time School?

Check out  This awesome school is in Los Angeles, CA and I would love to go there myself!  #1, I don't live anywhere close to LA, and #2 those professional make up artist jobs are not available where I do live, so I'll stick with hair.

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