Forums > Hair, Makeup & Styling > How hard is it to become a MUA from no experience?

Model

Kimmi Fox

Posts: 81

London, England, United Kingdom

Having no experience aside from doing your own make up, and friends, is it exceptionally hard to break into the industry without qualifications?

It's been something I've always wanted to do.

Oct 26 12 03:28 pm Link

Photographer

Ken Marcus Studios

Posts: 8492

Los Angeles, California, US

Learn whatever you can
Practice as much as you can
Do TF photoshoots to gain experience
Build a great portfolio
Meet the right photographers


Give yourself a few years to get good

Be lucky


KM

Oct 26 12 03:31 pm Link

Photographer

Kev Lawson

Posts: 7857

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Ken Marcus Studios wrote:
Learn whatever you can
Practice as much as you can
Do TF photoshoots to gain experience
Build a great portfolio
Meet the right photographers


Give yourself a few years to get good

Be lucky


KM

^ this... and probably take some cosmetology courses (centered around makeup)

Oct 26 12 03:58 pm Link

Photographer

Oscar Partida

Posts: 732

Palm Springs, California, US

it is very Possible...do it !
Instead of spending 13k a year on Cosmetology school learn from Workshops & Youtube (Gossmakeup has great tutorials)

Invest in workshops all around the country by great MUA's example ChaosMakeup travels around the country giving workshops for around 400 dlls

If you love it,then Invest in a Beauty Academy with reputation
tony&guy,Sassoon etc

Oct 26 12 04:23 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Carmen Make up and Hair

Posts: 321

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Anything is possible if you're willing to work at it, but nothing that is 'easy' is usually worth it..

Oct 26 12 05:46 pm Link

Makeup Artist

SianRJJ

Posts: 179

Sheffield, England, United Kingdom

Youtube is a good way to learn techniques etc., however, without formal qualifications that include a make up component you will have a hard time getting insurance.

Sian

Oct 26 12 05:52 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Makeup Hair by Dani B

Posts: 746

Los Angeles, California, US

Possible: yes.

But not likely until you've put in years of practice and apprenticeship.

Oct 26 12 09:20 pm Link

Model

Kimmi Fox

Posts: 81

London, England, United Kingdom

Oscar Partida wrote:
it is very Possible...do it !
Instead of spending 13k a year on Cosmetology school learn from Workshops & Youtube (Gossmakeup has great tutorials)

Invest in workshops all around the country by great MUA's example ChaosMakeup travels around the country giving workshops for around 400 dlls

If you love it,then Invest in a Beauty Academy with reputation
tony&guy,Sassoon etc

This is great advice, thank you.

Oct 27 12 02:13 am Link

Model

Kimmi Fox

Posts: 81

London, England, United Kingdom

Yeah, it's about between 300-400 pounds for a course leading to a qualification. I just wanted to know if that's the only way to get into it.

But it's definitely something i'm going to try my hardest to break into, and i'm going to practice daily.

Oct 27 12 02:14 am Link

Makeup Artist

Crystal Rose Make up

Posts: 486

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Having experience, skills, training and talent is just one part of the job.

I find networking, people skills and good business managment plays a bigger part. All the quilifications in the world won't get you any where if you can't sell yourself.

If you can combine the two and add a bit of luck to that you should do fine ,along with the hard work. smile

Oct 27 12 03:23 am Link

Makeup Artist

Lindsey Goldstein

Posts: 87

Freehold, New Jersey, US

To be honest, how easy it can be depends on what you want out of it in my experience. First off qualifications such as school is not really a requirement to be an artist. Most of the well respected artists I know of, never went to makeup school. Some were art majors. That being said if a class is something you will enjoy and learn from, by all means do it. What really matters is that you have talent, an eye for color, face shapes etc.

There's so many different avenues in makeup. If you want to gain some experience I would start in the retail world. A lot of makeup lines will train you and these jobs shouldn't be hard to get if you have experience applying makeup and can do a good makeup application in your interview. This is also a good segway into bridal makeup, you meet a lot of brides at the counter.

If you're looking to be an editorial artist, in my opinion that is very hard. You have to really commit, collaborate with photographers to build your port and take every opportunity you can get. And it certainly helps if you live in a metro area where the opportunities are more of. Anything is possible, it depends on your talent and how bad you want it!

Oct 27 12 02:37 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Ms BSK

Posts: 886

Brooklyn, New York, US

It's doable. That is what I am doing. I have put in years of dedication. Thousands into product and training. I will assist every chance that I get. Am I the next Dick Page - no, but I love it and I wouldn't do anything else in the world.

Manage your expectations, a good dose of luck and put in the work - you can do this.

Oct 27 12 05:51 pm Link

Model

Sandra Vixen

Posts: 1014

Los Angeles, California, US

Or you can find a great MUA that you like (one established with a great port) and hire that MUA to teach you (give you lessons). Learn straight from the pro.

Oct 27 12 07:45 pm Link

Model

Kimmi Fox

Posts: 81

London, England, United Kingdom

Thanks guys.

I am going to apply for jobs at make up counters in department stores, I'm hoping that would be a good starting point.

Oct 28 12 09:31 am Link

Photographer

M Pandolfo Photography

Posts: 12116

Tampa, Florida, US

Kimmi Fox wrote:
Thanks guys.

I am going to apply for jobs at make up counters in department stores, I'm hoping that would be a good starting point.

It's a good starting point for a retail sales career. Not in makeup artistry.

Oct 28 12 09:40 am Link

Photographer

Carlos Occidental

Posts: 10546

Glendora, California, US

this school has an 18 month program. 
http://www.ei.edu/

Oct 28 12 10:45 am Link

Makeup Artist

Lindsey Goldstein

Posts: 87

Freehold, New Jersey, US

Michael Pandolfo wrote:

It's a good starting point for a retail sales career. Not in makeup artistry.

I have to disagree completely with this. Some very famous makeup artists worked at retail counters, to quote Patti Dubroff who is a major artist featured in Vogue etc and a well know celebrity artist "The first step to becoming a makeup artist is to work at the counter. That's how I got my start—working at Yves Saint Laurent at Bergdorf's—it's an easy entryway into the world of beauty. So many counters and brands need ambassadors and you can learn makeup and technique on the job."

Also working at a counter gives you real world experience. Makeup isn't just about doing editorials, in fact editorials are often not that high paying. It's more for credentials. You want to be well rounded as an artist, and that means knowing how to handle your clients. Retail is great experience for that. And you'll be surprised by the opportunities that can come from working at the counter.

Oct 28 12 01:44 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Ms BSK

Posts: 886

Brooklyn, New York, US

Michael's post isn't completely wrong. I think the counter can be a great experience for the artist that is looking to work on more faces. You will get a range of skin tones and ages that is simply invaluable. It is important to bear in mind that the counter is about sales. The sales goals and target products are set by a manager and that information is coming from the corporate office. There are many artists who worked at the counter there are countless artists that went there to get started and got stuck. If you are freelance at a counter you have more flexibility but there are so many people who can not make the leap from the counter to freelancing outside of it because of the money and more importantly the inflexible scheduling demands of the counter.

I would say to anyone that wants to work retail go in with a goal and timeline for when you want to make the transition.

Oct 28 12 10:19 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Davis W

Posts: 1272

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This is a very anti school forum. There is a strong bias here against going to any kind of school. Its because people are cheap and lazy as a rule and makeup has no regulations so any dingbat can find paid work if they are cute, agreeable and own some MAC products.

None of the artists I know who are working taught themselves. Those who have are terrible and fall apart completely when confronted with anything beyond bridal makeup, which is pathetically easy.

Oct 28 12 10:52 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Ms BSK

Posts: 886

Brooklyn, New York, US

Well tell us how you really feel Davis. I personally take offense to your unfounded and antidotal statements. I am neither cheap nor lazy. Stop it with the broad strokes painting everyone one color or another. You went to school and it worked for you at that time in your life. There are oodles of successful, working artists who didn't and that works for them. Point. Blank. Period.

OP: This particular part of the debate has been hashed time and time again. School or no school it up to each one of us to find our way down the path that works for who we are, how we live our lives and how we learn. Is it possible to become a MUA with no starting experience. Absolutely none of us were born with a brush in our hands.

Oct 29 12 04:27 pm Link

Hair Stylist

Angel Graves

Posts: 2358

Fort Collins, Colorado, US

As an instructor I will tell you hands down school is not everyone's venue to success in the beauty industry and it's foolish to think how Belinda learns or how I learn will be 100% successful for 100% of the people.

That said, I've done both school and assist/apprentice and I'm still learning new stuff almost 20 yrs into this!  I sometimes learn more in a TF shoot than I might have in a week of traditional instruction and there's just no substitute for seeing things in action for me to get excited about it and go back and research it later. 

My best advice is to consider how you retain and comprehend best and focus your learning there to make sure this is for you. There's a lot tied up in proper kits and insurance etc and maybe you won't enjoy it once you're not as free to be creative who knows right?  Make sure you test drive the concept before you buy into anything too deeply wink

Just my .02

Oct 29 12 04:56 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Denise

Posts: 1915

Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Davis W wrote:
This is a very anti school forum. There is a strong bias here against going to any kind of school. Its because people are cheap and lazy as a rule and makeup has no regulations so any dingbat can find paid work if they are cute, agreeable and own some MAC products.

None of the artists I know who are working taught themselves. Those who have are terrible and fall apart completely when confronted with anything beyond bridal makeup, which is pathetically easy.

???WTF Davis, and you wonder why people take issue with your posts sometimes??

Oct 30 12 12:28 am Link

Hair Stylist

Angel Graves

Posts: 2358

Fort Collins, Colorado, US

Davis W wrote:
This is a very anti school forum. There is a strong bias here against going to any kind of school. Its because people are cheap and lazy as a rule and makeup has no regulations so any dingbat can find paid work if they are cute, agreeable and own some MAC products.

None of the artists I know who are working taught themselves. Those who have are terrible and fall apart completely when confronted with anything beyond bridal makeup, which is pathetically easy.

To the OP:
This is one person's opinion and should be taken with a grain on salt.  Not one person who is a bridal artist would appreciate this statement or support it.

Some people just need to be contrary and poke someone to stir up a pot...
How is this helpful?  As a veteran in the industry, you could make better choices sad Is this how you motivated students?

Oct 30 12 06:36 am Link

Model

Kimmi Fox

Posts: 81

London, England, United Kingdom

It's fine smile

I've heard plenty of how some MUA have started out, some through school, some through counters, others through studying an artist.

And as for being lazy and tight, lazy: no. Tight: no. I just don't have 400 pound I can shell out right now, so why the fuck not earn while I learn, at a counter, save my money up for school and learn some things along the way until then.

At no point have I said I'm anti school, was just WONDERING if there are any other alterview ways of getting into it if you can't afford such things and want to take your passion further without letting something like money stop you.

Oct 30 12 01:23 pm Link

Photographer

Oscar Partida

Posts: 732

Palm Springs, California, US

Davis W wrote:
This is a very anti school forum. There is a strong bias here against going to any kind of school. Its because people are cheap and lazy as a rule and makeup has no regulations so any dingbat can find paid work if they are cute, agreeable and own some MAC products.

None of the artists I know who are working taught themselves. Those who have are terrible and fall apart completely when confronted with anything beyond bridal makeup, which is pathetically easy.

I am Pro-education...but Anti-scams

btw if you can and want to go to beauty school ,thats cool..i am just saying it is not the only way and it doesnt mean that it will make you a success story

Oct 30 12 01:41 pm Link

Model

Kimmi Fox

Posts: 81

London, England, United Kingdom

Oscar Partida wrote:

I am Pro-education...but Anti-scams

btw if you can and want to go to beauty school ,thats cool..i am just saying it is not the only way and it doesnt mean that it will make you a success story

Exactly! I've heard about some who have gone to school for it and unfortunately don't land a single job from it afterwards. If I could afford it, I would, but in the meanwhile counters would be a good way for me I think, I dont see why Davis has a stick up his arse about people who would like to explore other avenues.

Oct 30 12 02:12 pm Link

Makeup Artist

MA YE

Posts: 39

New York, New York, US

The only advice I can give is that I went to esthetics school, then one of the best/ most expensive/ etc/ etc make up schools in NYC, and have been freelancing, attempting to assist, etc, in the NYC area for about 5 years... and I'm not making a living off of (and in turn wouldn't say I've 'broken into the industry') doing make up. The percentage of people who attempt and actually 'break into' this industry is extremely small and it takes an extraordinarily long (like 10 years) amount of time to see any results from your hard work. But, anything is possible, right?

Nov 02 12 10:58 am Link

Model

Kimmi Fox

Posts: 81

London, England, United Kingdom

MA YE wrote:
The only advice I can give is that I went to esthetics school, then one of the best/ most expensive/ etc/ etc make up schools in NYC, and have been freelancing, attempting to assist, etc, in the NYC area for about 5 years... and I'm not making a living off of (and in turn wouldn't say I've 'broken into the industry') doing make up. The percentage of people who attempt and actually 'break into' this industry is extremely small and it takes an extraordinarily long (like 10 years) amount of time to see any results from your hard work. But, anything is possible, right?

I'd happily pursue my dream for 10 years, even longer smile

But if i don't try, then i'll never know what could of been.

Nov 02 12 11:08 am Link

Makeup Artist

Jaime Criel Makeup

Posts: 149

New York, New York, US

I recommend working a counter for an artistry line or Sephora. Sephora doesn't pay as much as other counter lines, but it's unbelievable the amount of education in artistry and skin care you get working there because every line comes to the store to educate. And you get a ton of gratis. Start freelancing on your days off and start building relationships with photographers. Eventually you will begin learning the industry and will build relationships and skills enough to make a living as a freelance makeup artist.

Nov 02 12 06:03 pm Link

Photographer

I M N Photography

Posts: 2342

New York, New York, US

Kimmi Fox wrote:
Having no experience aside from doing your own make up, and friends, is it exceptionally hard to break into the industry without qualifications?

It's been something I've always wanted to do.

Get technical training, especially if you aren't sure about how to process color, and need a look at the industry "from the inside."

No easy route. The best folks with whom I've worked have all had to spend a lot of time practicing before they got proficient (both informal or formal training).

About the best piece of advice I can offer is:

Once you can handle the technical aspect, get CREATIVE. Creativity will help you land the types of jobs that will be lucrative.

Jaime Criel Makeup wrote:
I recommend working a counter for an artistry line or Sephora. Sephora doesn't pay as much as other counter lines, but it's unbelievable the amount of education in artistry and skin care you get working there because every line comes to the store to educate. And you get a ton of gratis. Start freelancing on your days off and start building relationships with photographers. Eventually you will begin learning the industry and will build relationships and skills enough to make a living as a freelance makeup artist.

Best advice here.

Nov 02 12 06:15 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Andrew James Makeup

Posts: 335

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

im not going to lie yes it is hard its a lot of work you need to be good at makeup but business as well
but its totally worth it and i would never give it up for anything

Nov 02 12 08:33 pm Link