Starting Out – Creativity, Confidence and Credentials
If you are serious about having a career as a makeup artist you should have some professional training to give you the skills and creativity you need to succeed in the competitive world of beauty.
Although you may be naturally talented in makeup application, having training will widen your knowledge and teach you about all aspects of working as a makeup artist from hygiene to marketing your business.
If you want to do a specific genre of makeup such as special occasion makeup in order to work freelance, you can choose a course which specialises in that. For those who want to be flexible enough to do theatrical and fashion makeup too, many longer and more in depth courses teach all aspects of makeup application.
A good course will give you the confidence you need to work freelance and overcome challenges. With industry approved qualifications, it will be easier to acquire customers who may ask about your credentials.
Choosing a Course
Always aim for the highest certificate and most renowned course you can in order to set you apart from your peers in this competitive industry.
If you wish to work in a beauty salon or spa, you will need a beauty therapy certificate rather than a makeup certificate. Beauty therapy courses usually take place at colleges with the award of NVQ. Although some salons offer on-the-job training, most will only employ staff who have had training.
There are differing lengths of courses from 1 to 3 day courses, which are great refresher courses for already professional makeup artists, to courses lasting weeks, months or years. Most courses can be done full- or part-time, and in evenings or on Saturdays. Levels vary from certificates and diplomas to degrees. Some of the most renowned courses take place in London, such as at The London School of Beauty and Makeup, but, many colleges throughout the country offer beauty therapy and makeup artistry courses.
All professionally run courses will give you the chance to build up your portfolio and organise a makeup kit – two crucial components of becoming a makeup artist.
If you already have a makeup qualification, or have been working in a salon or shop as a makeup artist, or indeed as a freelancer, doing a day course can be a great way to refresh your skills and learn some new tricks of the trade. You may want to learn a new genre such as party makeup or new skill such as airbrushing if you mainly work as a wedding makeup artist. Some makeup artists do courses in order to completely change direction, i.e. from theatrical makeup to fashion/catwalk makeup, or vice-versa.
The world of makeup is an ever-changing one as new technologies and formulas lead the way to new makeup fashions and application techniques. Successful makeup artists must keep up with the times. Do not be afraid to learn from others or re-train; after all, this can be the perfect way to get some passion back into your work.
At the end of the day, being a qualified makeup artist is all that matters whichever makeup genre you choose to work in. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of makeup training for freelancers is knowing how to market your business and build a customer base; so if you are trying to decide between a number of courses, choose one with business training too.
See also Becoming A Makeup Artist.