Home Beauty Can You Be A Self-Taught Makeup Artist?

Can You Be A Self-Taught Makeup Artist?

by Jenny

Working as a professional makeup artist can become a fulfilling career for those with love for makeup. If you are one of them, you may be wondering how you can become a makeup artist. Can you teach yourself the skills and techniques of a professional makeup artist? What do you have to do to become a self-taught makeup artist? Do you need a makeup license?

I will give you some ideas on how you can learn makeup artistry by yourself. I will also guide you on how to become a professional in this industry.

Becoming a Self-Taught Makeup Artist

Sure, you can become a makeup artist by learning the skills yourself. However, you have to face reality. Most self-taught makeup artists can never reach the skills and techniques that few famous ones attained. Becoming successful in makeup artistry requires a solid foundation that you can later build upon. If you have a weak foundation, you will have a hard time advancing in this challenging field.

Here I will outline the different ways on how you can become a makeup artist through self-learning.

Acquire the Basic Skills

You can learn the basic skills in applying makeup through Instagram or YouTube video tutorials. You can even learn from magazines and other printed materials. However, if you don’t apply them in real life, you will not gain the proper experience.

Also, it’s important to understand that in video tutorials, some makeup artists use ideal lights, filters, and video editing software. That will make their work look gorgeous, but they will rarely look the same in real life. You will then need to make some adjustments. And how to counteract those effects can become a real challenge.

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Hands-On Practice

You will not be learning enough if you are only watching tutorials and taking notes. You need to have hands-on practice on actual skin. Don’t settle with practicing on your skin, either. You need to practice on others too. You can make yourself look good with the right makeup products. But the real task is if you can work on different skin types and skin colors.

Are you planning on becoming a professional makeup artist? Then you need to know how to apply the makeup look that will suit any client. You will just be limiting yourself if you will only work on people who look like you. Start practicing on the faces of family and friends. And then, you can move on to other subjects with different skin profiles.

Practice in Poor Lighting

What can look good on YouTube may not necessarily look great in real life. Since you won’t be able to apply makeup in ideal lighting always, then you’ll need to be prepared. The techniques you will learn online may look cakey or too powdery once applied in real life. Practice your craft in the lighting that will reflect the real-world scenario.

Study the Techniques of Famous Makeup Artists

One of the most important abilities to have is your capacity to level up your skills. If you can’t upgrade your skills, you will have a hard time succeeding as a freelance makeup artist. So it’s important that you study the work of famous makeup artists. These professionals are always upgrading their skills and techniques to be always in-demand. If you notice a creative makeup look that inspires you, track the name of that makeup artist who did it. Research about this makeup artist and delve more into the techniques and styles that are used.


Boost your visibility in this competitive industry by volunteering your services. Before you can command a high-earning service, you need to inform people that you’re a makeup artist. You may work for free or even get a nominal fee for some makeup gigs. It’s the hard part of starting out. But if you keep a professional attitude in everything that you do, you will no doubt establish a respectable reputation.

Work in Makeup Counters

Many makeup artists find their first steps in the makeup counters. Working as a makeup counter artist can get you the needed experience with different skin types. You will be expected to meet different types of people. It will become a learning experience as much as a paying job. The work you do here can also become a great addition to your makeup portfolio. Your portfolio can be in print or posted on your makeup artist website.

Work as an Assistant Makeup Artist

There are many professional makeup artists who are working in fashion, film, theater, and other fields. Some of them invite beginner makeup artists to become their assistants. Working under the supervision of these experts can give you an invaluable experience. You can learn new ways to apply makeup techniques and convey your artistry better.

Are You Ready to Become a Professional MUA?

Now you’ve learned various ways to become a self-taught makeup artist, do you think you are ready? If you’re only doing the things mentioned above, you will have a hard time reaching success. What you will learn by yourself through free video tutorials can’t compare to the teachings from a reputable makeup school. Most of the teachings from a makeup school are geared toward shaping you to become a successful professional makeup artist. Besides, you’re better off being taught new skills and teachings rather than learn them by yourself.

  1. The Importance of Color Theory

It isn’t just about mixing different colors to get your desired shade. In a makeup school you will learn the importance of the Color Wheel as the foundation of makeup. You will be taught the importance of knowing the right colors to mix. You will acquire a working knowledge of different color undertones. Matching foundation can be time-consuming because you will be trying to find the perfect match. With the guidance of experts in a makeup school, you’ll learn to properly color-match your client’s skin tone.  

  1. Sanitation

Apart from your amazing skills and techniques, as a professional makeup artist, this must be your number priority as a makeup artist. Your tools will be in contact with different clients. So it’s important that you master sanitation best practices in order to avoid passing along bacteria. If you are extremely cautious with proper sanitation, this would not be a problem. Most importantly, you can only learn thorough and proper sanitation practices from makeup schools.

  1. Proper Client Communication

No YouTube video tutorial will teach you the importance of proper client communication. This is essential in bringing to life every need of the client. Without proper communication, you will have a hard time delivering a satisfactory and creative makeup output. This can lead to client dissatisfaction. Ultimately, you will have a reputation for offering a service that will not be desirable to potential clients. In makeup school, you will be taught proper communication. You will learn how to handle different types of clients from various backgrounds.

  1. Networking

In this industry, networking with other professionals in similar fields is also important for success. You can acquire this in a makeup school where you will be learning with fellow students. Your beauty instructors will be experienced professionals. So they will also be in contact with other professionals that they can refer you to. You can easily build your network and gain referrals quickly.

  1. Curriculum for Professional Practice

Makeup courses from beauty schools are guided by a curriculum that is geared towards professional makeup artistry. This is very beneficial for you. The curriculum will be a checklist of things that you must learn before your actual practice. It’s a useful way to ensure that you get a thorough education in makeup artistry.

Some states require a makeup artist license, and the curriculum in reputable makeup institutions can be of great help. One of the requirements is to pass a licensure exam. Instructors in a makeup school can guide you to pass so you can successfully obtain your makeup artist license.

  1. Business Foundation

Lessons on how to become a certified makeup artist should not end with professional skills and techniques. The best makeup schools also offer additional training on business foundations. This will come in handy for anyone who wants to practice professionally. Whether you plan on becoming a freelance makeup artist or launch a business after graduation.

No YouTube tutorial will guide you on the right process to set up your own freelance makeup artistry business. If you depend on video tutorials online, you will end up “groping in the dark” when you start working. Not so with makeup schools. They offer experts who have the experience in setting up their own businesses or practice as a freelance makeup artist.

  1. Advertising

Another important lesson that you will only learn from makeup schools is how you can advertise your service. You will learn proper ways to build your portfolio, design your own appealing makeup artist website, and so much more. This can include how you can make an effective freelance makeup artist resume. This will help you feature your best abilities to stand out in your resume.

Start the Proper Way

If you want to become a makeup artist and practice professionally, then I recommend that you do it properly. If you can’t find time for classroom-based learning, then you may want to check out our Online Experience. It will teach you everything you need on the skills and techniques of a professional makeup artist.

That’s not all. You’ll also learn useful knowledge of business foundation and proper client communication. The best part is it’s a self-paced learning course. So you have the power to learn as you please. It offers the same teachings from my In-Person Experience. So you will never have to worry about honing your skills through hands-on experience. You will be guided by experienced beauty instructors through practical homework and exams. You can check out the course here. Sign up today and receive time-limited bonuses.



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