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The First Steps To Becoming a Makeup Artist


While anyone may be able to dabble in makeup application, only those with true talent and drive put those skills to use to earn a living as professional makeup artists. Raw skill and determination aren’t the only building blocks of a successful career in the beauty industry, however, as most working makeup professionals attend makeup school to learn the craft, earn credentials, develop a network of potential employers following graduation. That said, starting a career as a makeup artist involves more than just enrolling in a makeup artist school in St. Petersburg, FL.


While school is a great first step, developing a career as a working makeup artist also takes business acumen, a robust network of fellow professionals, and a desire to stay ahead of trends. Keep reading to learn more about some of the first steps you’ll take in your quest to becoming a professional makeup artist.


Enroll in Makeup Courses

Once you’ve determined you have the talent and desire to thrive as a professional makeup artist, the next step is to get a formal education to refine your skills and learn advanced techniques. Your education will provide you with the raw materials you need to master the art of makeup application and design. It will also provide you with concrete credentials that will vouch for your talent in the form of certifications and licenses. In many states, makeup artists must be licensed to work in the field, and an education in makeup school provides you with the most direct route to entering the workforce as a makeup artist. While there may be many makeup courses available in your area, make sure to vet each candidate based on online reviews, testimonials from former students, quality of instruction, and post-graduate job placement.


Build Your Portfolio

One of the most important assets a professional makeup artist relies upon in building business is a quality portfolio. A portfolio is an assemblage of your previous work for clients. In the case of makeup artistry, that means that you’ll want to assemble pictures and testimonials that demonstrate client satisfaction and mastery of the art of makeup design and application. You can begin building your portfolio even before you graduate from makeup courses, though it’s important to include only your best work in the compilation.


Network with Working Professionals

Just because you have the right licenses and certifications doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll land a job upon graduation. Lots of graduates are vying for the same jobs in the beauty industry, so building a robust network of connections in the beauty industry can help you find a position with a great salon when you’re able to start work. Your network should be broad and include other beauty professionals such as nail technicians, hair stylists, and estheticians. You’ll count on them to share news about job leads or salon vacancies in addition to providing recommendations that will help you get hired. One way to build a network is to volunteer at a desirable salon or with a local drama troupe. That will give you a glimpse into the business and help you build your network in two venues where it pays to have solid connections.


Stay on Top of Trends

Your education is important to give you foundational knowledge, but it’s up to the individual makeup artist to continue to develop knowledge after graduation. One way to do this is to routinely read about trends in the makeup industry, including new techniques and products. By keeping up with developments in the industry, you’ll be constantly evolving your knowledge base to meet the needs of a diverse clientele.


While your career as a makeup professional may begin by taking a makeup artist course in St. Petersburg, FL, there are many other critical steps that will determine your success in the field. To learn more about how to initiate a career as a makeup artist, contact Cortiva Institute of Massage and Skin Care School at (800) CORTIVA or (800) 267-8482.

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Cortiva Institute is a network of massage therapy and skin care schools — all united by a common mission and standards that help students, clients and the community thrive.

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