Is Going to Beauty School for Make-Up Artistry Important?
Should you go to beauty school or get on the job experience instead? Read what professional make-up artists think about makeup schools and the value of educations vs real life experience.
The following are the “best of the best”: the most diverse, educational, informative and inspiring answers compiled from my 100 professional make-up artist interviews.
Q: Do you think going to school for make-up artistry is important to excel in the business later on?
In my opinion, I don’t feel you can teach real Artists to do certain things. Some things are just natural and more hands on..
Depending on the school and the quality of teaching, yes. Apprenticeship is good too.
I think that if you have the ability and the talent to do so then you can become a successful MUA without Schooling.
However I must say that Blanche teaches you about Professionalism and they definitely fine tune your skills to the T. They also lead you in the right direction in terms of meeting the write people in the industry. My experience at Blanche was memorable!
It’s definitely a promising start. What happens later on in a person’s career is entirely determined by their focus. Passion can be lost, it’s not surprising to find talents/artists who does a 180 in their lives. From cosmetic to law, it happens sometimes.
i think it does have an upside. it gives you a taster for what challenges you may have to face in life. but on the other hand, i have been doing make up since i was about 4 years old! its just in me and i had a lot of knowledge before i did my course anyway, which i think helped me in my course.
I hope so as it has given me strong foundations to expand my skills upon.
I don’t think that it is absolutely ‘necessary’, but I do feel like I learned a LOT from the experience and it gave me a lot of experience and contacts. I think I probably gained the confidence to just go out there and do it, more than anything else from my school.
Most of the skills of makeup artistry I feel can be self taught, but it also depends on the person. Going to school for makeup artistry definitely gives you a leg up in getting work, and can be an easier way to learn the skills instead of teaching yourself. I personally am looking into schools and classes that would broaden my makeup knowledge and skills.
Although some companies prefer to see a cosmetology diploma, I don’t think it is necessary to go far in the industry without one if you are freelancing. The most important factors in excelling in this career is networking and having a great portfolio.
Yes I think education is important, no matter what type of business you pursue
I don’t think school is necessary, for i believe the school will teach its own technique and their idea of the best way to apply, or best product. Learning it yourself gives the ability to develop own technique and broaden up makeup knowledge. This way you have your own opinion, instead of just agreeing with what the teacher recommends.
It is very important. It is good to know what type of chemicals products contain, it would be a lot easier that way for when it comes to working on some one who might be allergic to some of the stuff in the product. You also get the knowledge of how to hide flaws as well as to know how to work with people’s eye shapes and bone structures.
No, I was going to spend $10k on make up school after I got my Esthetics license, but several instructors and fellow artists told me what I knew already, practice/life will be your best teacher.
If one wants to follow a career in make-up artistry, it’s obviously very important
I think if its the right school for your personality then yes..if its a school that teaches you the business side of being a makeup artist then its truly worth it..but I don’t feel its absolutely a must to attend school for this trade.
A school is only as good as the instructors’ portfolio and ‘working’ resume – so not necessarily. I think a business background is more important. You’re either an artist or you’re not.
I think you can definitely make it on your own, but I personally feel more confident in those who have attended school because their work is closely critiqued and directed, something you can not get from attending seminars and watching youtube videos.
I think I can be a really good base for knowledge and knowing where to start, but if you have enough passion and drive you can do anything you put your mind to, just look at what Kevin Aucoin did in his lifetime!
No. Going to school is optional in our business. Art is a talent that you either have it or you don’t. However, knowledge is power and the more you know, the better your chances to succeed.
Yes for the basics but to see others working it makes you understand how to do it!!!
Yes and no. If your just in to beauty glamour makeup then just a bunch of practice on friends and family and clients will get you were you need to be as well as reading makeup books and watching Youtube. They have small three four day classes that can give you great info about the industry and teach tricks of the trade and are very cost effective. However, if u want to learn special effects then yes attend a school that can teach you that.
I do believe in having some sort of formal training as a structure that will open doors and bring a verity of opportunities in the Beauty Industry. Training is not required if you are an independent artist. If you aspire to work in beauty salon or spa then formal training is required by law. I personally think that having an education behind the skill is a great resume builder.
Definitely as they teach you the basic skills that are a must if you want to succeed in the industry.
Depending on the level that you want to take it to, yes. If you want to teach, I think school would be beneficial. But the thing about makeup is everyone has a different technique that works for them. To be successful or a well known makeup artist does not matter on what certificate or diploma you have, but rather your skill and your craft.
I think not but, there is opinion that to excel one must have attended a school or belong to a professional body and not doing so is poorly viewed.
Oh yes definitely!!! I have heard numerous answers from people asking why I did it. To be honest”Why Not?” Getting additional education is very important. Even though I do know how to do make up, going to school helped reassure me what i was doing was the correct way. Going to school helps you figure out what to do for a portfolio,music videos,movie production etc. It definitely pays off.
Education is always an asset. If the funds were available I would love to attend the Makeup Designory in New York or the London Makeup Academy.
I think school is a great way to meet people and help refine your skill, but some of the most famous make-up artists never went to school and taught themselves. I definitely needed school and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I do, you get to learn so many new techniques, and you get to learn from other artists such as yourself.
School is great to have a solid background to share with clients but over all you either have it or you don’t!
Some of the most successful makeup artists never attended school and the majority of the girls I attended school with- just didn’t have it. Natural skill, passion and an eye for detail is hard to teach
While I have never had any formal training outside of the basic artist certification at M.A.C. Cosmetics which primarily focuses on product knowledge as opposed to technique and application, I do feel that at some point attending an artistry course or two can only catapult my artistic growth.
I think it is. Even if you have a natural talent, it does look better if you are certified by a makeup artistry school.
No. I don’t think going to school is important to excel, because if you are passionate about it, there are too many resources available to enhance oneself on the art–that is, if you already have the skill. However, it may help from a business marketing perspective.
To learn about hygienic working and the basics, yes. But in order to be an ARTIST I think you must be born as an artist. It´s all about the talent and nobody can teach you this
Yes, because there are some basic elements a person needs to know and get critiqued on. The rest can be trial and error.
I think that a good school definitely helps, there are a lot of courses out there that are just in it to make money. Ensure that you choose a school with a good after care system, as it is only in assisting Make-Up Artists on jobs that you truly get an insight into the real world of Make-Up Artistry.
I think having a license isn’t a bad thing, but most of your makeup skill will come with experience. Still after 15 years I am still learning something new every day. Decide where it is you want to work too…you can’t work in a salon without a license (at least in PA) but you can work at cosmetics counters and freelance. Check your cities laws and decide what is best for you.
Yes, I will further my career as an artist more hands down on things the better I will be … I will be taking eyelash extensions classes and FX.
I believe attending a makeup school or classes will often show you some very helpful hints. It never hurts to have schooling behind you.
We feel any type of education is important. Although, we are both professional and successful MUA’s without any formal schooling for Makeup Artistry. As long as you put 110% of effort into your work, you will always be successful.
Not really… However, I think it’s important for aspiring makeup artists to find some method of learning… whether practicing on friends, becoming an assistant for someone, paying for an education, reading books on your craft and replicating the techniques on family and friends…you should always keep an open mind…
I’ve been doing this for 6 years and I’m still learning every single time I apply a look… and while I was in school I was told something very wise… “as a makeup artist, the day you stop learning is the day you need to get out of the business”… and I agree. You can’t excel with only one set of skills.
I don’t think so. I think there are many ways to learn. Practice, read books and more practice. Many people gain experience working for a cosmetic line in retail. I am sure school is very beneficial, but you can get training others ways as well.
I think perseverance, humbleness, and an open mind is way more important than going to a makeup school. Do not afraid to practice til it hurts and take constructive criticism to be successful!
YES – trends change, new techniques are born and makeup itself is forever evolving.
I think it gave me more confidence and taught me lots of little tips about the make-up world to help me along.
I do! It give you an idea of what you will be doing and it teaches you other techniques. I think if you have the natural talent you can only make it better by going to school.
I think some sort of formal training is helpful. Not only do you learn about the theory behind face and eye shapes, colour harmony and the correct use of products, but you also learn about things like occupational health & safety, skin disorders, how to run a makeup business and so on.
I don’t think it’s mandatory, I know many colleagues who are highly talented and have actually taught me a few tricks and they’re totally self-taught themselves but are very passionate about it and have lots of experience in the industry.
But I do think it takes a lot more and harder work to prove yourself in the industry if you’re self taught, one of the advantages of attending school is that it provides you your first contacts and support, I do think that it’s very important to choose carefully the best school possible that will lead you in the beginning of your new career not just teach you the basic stuff and provide some experience but also showcase your capabilities (provide you a book).
I’ve also realised that artists who have attended school usually have a clear working “system” while self taught artists tend to be more messy and less “systematic” when working.
I don’t believe school is for everyone, many famous makeup artists were self taught. It’s about hard work and being humble to start from the bottom and work up to your goals.
Knowledge is power, however, if you have the passion and natural talent anything is possible!! If you cant attend a school due to certain life circumstances you have all the knowledge you need from educating yourself with books!
I do believe it helps, but some things are better learned from experience as well.
I’m totally sure that going to school is the best thing to do, there is a lot of method that you can’t define you’re not being an hair stylist without learn techniques it’s the same thing with make up artist.
Yes, there are many techniques that you learn in a classroom that you can not learn on your own. Such as corrective makeup techniques and special effects.
Yes, because there are a lot of tips and techniques that you can learn from others who have a ton of experience and that can help you better master your skill.
Not necessarily, it wont hurt your resume but there are a lot of schools out there that just want your money. I would research it extensively!! You might as well go for a full degree in Cosmetology and get the entire package. Practice is most important though because, schools can teach you technique but you have to put your own spin on it.
Yes and no. I think it’s important to train so you can learn techniques and all about products and materials as they change and update all the time now, and having that knowledge I think technically makes you better. Plus, you learn from tutors who already work in the industry. On the other side,you can’t do the job with imagination and some kind of creativity, and I think that is something that going to makeup school can’t give you.
Personally I don’t believe schooling is necessary to make it in the industry where you want to go. If your art is great and its self taught, that takes far more work than going to a class. Yes, schooling is important to learn new techniques but for those who cannot attend dues to financial reasons, its hard. Those who teach themselves and really take the time to study others and practice their talent have respect from me.
Not really, unless its specifics like SFX MakeUp. I believe make up is ART and you either got the talent or you don’t, besides most of the greats were self-taught.
Yes, definitely in the future I want to attend school. But the present economy and my financial situation is making it difficult.
No, but I think it allows for better networking. I was not an MUA student– the talent came naturally, but classes are useful when it comes to demos, and (as I said) networking. I prefer seminars.
I think this depends on the person. I have real passion for makeup application, but feel that school is not right for me; at least right now.
Seriously not really, unless its specifics like SFX MakeUp and things like that, but most of the greats were self-taught.
Most definitely, truthfully you can have the best make up on earth but if you have crappy skin under that then where does that make up get you? I believe make up artists should be well rounded so going to school can definitely help you land more opportunities.
Absolutely you always need to know your basics and then tend to develop your own style.
I don’t think so! I think it depends on the artist! Look at Kevin Aucoin he was self taught! He’s an inspiration!
I think going to school for makeup artistry could be fun and exciting, but there are vast ways to gain valuable experience. I started working for major brand and they gave me hands on training and awesome tools.
I think that it would be wise to go to a makeup school if yo do not have experience in makeup and if you want to excel your skills. Some clients feel more safe to work with a makeup artist that has their license or certificate. I do not believe you have to go to a school. I myself have never been to a makeup school but have learned so much on my own and by asking questions and most importantly practicing.
Classes and schooling can always prove helpful in the industry to keep up on the latest techniques and trends. However, I feel that personal passion and creativity are more important than schooling, since there is truly no right or wrong way to apply makeup. To me it is all about bringing out people’s inner beauty in the way that is best suited for them.
It gives you a great foundation to build on. If your a go getter and want to take the time to research and and learn on your own more power to you. I have worked with many self taught great make up artist. We have learned from each other.
I can’t say that it’s necessary. There are many self taught makeup artists out there that are determined to keep up to date with the latest techniques and newest innovations. I am one of those artists. Going to school for makeup artistry might help jump start a career but keeping up with it is key.
A smoky eye is a smoky eye, but the layering that helps it last longer, or the airbrush that will help you be precise and able to create new designs is something new that needs to be learned.
I’m always looking to learn new things, be it by taking a class here and there, reading magazines and trying to replicate my favorite photos. School can only help, but I don’t know that it’s better.
It just depends on which direction you take. If as a makeup artist you want to work on set with special effects for example you would find it needed, but if you know that is not the route you want to take than it is not necessary. Like any industry there are always advances being made. By attending classes you will always succeed.
I think education is VERY important in all fields.
I think going to school for makeup artistry can be very beneficial if you are looking to specialize in film or special fx. There are many shams on the internet for promises for work and kit start up that don’t deliver. Just do research if you are going to invest. You may also find many text books online with amazing techniques guidelines if you aren’t near schools for makeup or desire to teach yourself.
Yes, for the basics…you need to have a strong foundation to build a career on. If you know the basics, you will soar to the top with your artistic and creative eye. If you are an artist, you can create anything. Many times I’ve been on a shoot thinking, “how am I gonna do this?”, and then I tell myself, “You’re an artist, think of it as sculpting, contouring, shading, painting”.
A teacher once told me, the more you know, the more you are worth. In today’s market, that is so true, but going to school does not necessarily guarantee you a job…it’s all about your work.
I think it is always best to get your foot in when you have an opportunity. School is a very good tool to have on your belt. Because I am self taught I am trying to get in now, and attend school as soon as possible.
I believe that going to school helps you to get started with a basic understanding of makeup, it does help to have that credential when you are applying for jobs or memberships. Makeup classes however are very expensive, and I believe that you learn the most from just practicing like crazy. My mentor told me that it takes about a hundred faces before you can get enough experience to start your career as a makeup artist.
Yes! It’s great to go to school to learn the business of makeup artistry. It will get you further in the networking game.
It is because you learn so much more about different industries from people that have been there. And you can always go back to ask questions on things that you might need help with.
Skill wise; no. Either you have the gift, or you don’t. However, I do believe the schools will help you with the business aspect of makeup-artistry. How to promote yourself, setting up a portfolio, what different clients will be looking for, etc. Things in that nature.
It can be helpful, especially for those who do not have as much natural talent, but it is not necessary.
I think that to be a safe and sanitary makeup artist, it is important. I see safe artists coming from a background with school. Talent comes from practice. School can teach you faster then learning on your own.
I think going to school for business would be important because this is a business. If you want to get into the industry most people like myself go to work under an established artist or at a makeup counter. Going to a school to me is a waste of time and money. But that’s just my opinion. I would never fault anyone for wanting to gain knowledge
Yes I very much think it is, you should never stop learning. This is an ever changing and enhancing field.
It depends on what area of the field you are interested in. If you want to to waxing, permanent makeup, eyelash tinting, etc. you need to go to school and get a license. If you just want to do makeup artistry (as I do), than school is not necessary; you can get the training you need through hands-on experience and by being an apprentice to other artists.
Most famous makeup artists in Hollywood–including my idol, the late Kevyn Aucoin–were self-taught.
Yes, however, only in the case of Special Effects Make Up Artistry.
Not always…if you have talent…on the job training can’t be taught
I think talent is the most important, business savvy is learned later on.
Yes I think it helps, But I found the best way to learn is on the job assisting other amazingly talented Make up Artists and learning from them 1st hand.
Not at all. Its better to just assist another artist and learn out on the field.