Want to make your passion for makeup your paycheck? Good news: it’s possible! There are a lot of great career paths you can pursue in the makeup industry that can be rewarding and exciting. If you’re a makeup junkie, there are a couple different ways you can turn it into a career.
woman getting her makeup done by a professional

Cosmetology School

Yep. Cosmetology school is much more comprehensive than most people know. The stereotype is that people who go to cosmetology school only learn how to cut, color, and style hair. While these things are taught in almost every cosmetology program, you can also learn about other things. For example, at College of Hair Design, you can learn about doing nails, salon business, and makeup artistry.

Esthetics School

Esthetics is another route you can take to becoming a makeup pro. Estheticians are the ones who give facials and body treatments and have a lot of knowledge and expertise in making skin shine. Many beauty schools have an esthetics program that include makeup artistry as an integral part of the curriculum, so if your goal is become a makeup professional, graduating from an esthetics program is a great way to get there.

makeup artist being creative

Esthetics or Cosmetology?

Which program is better if you want to build a career as a makeup artist? It depends on what you want to learn during your time in school. Both programs are going to cover makeup, but each is going to offer a different set of topics that you can learn in addition. Here are some of the focal points of each program:


  • Hair styling
  • Perms
  • Hair coloring
  • Salon business


  • Microdermabrasion
  • Facials
  • Waxing
  • Exfoliation

Cosmetology will give you skills that are more focused on hair and style while esthetics will focus more on skin care. So, when you are deciding on which program you want to enroll in to learn makeup, you will have to ask yourself which you more interested in and which skill set you think will help you find the job of your dreams.

Do I Have to Go to School?

There are plenty of people who are good at makeup that didn’t go to school to learn what they know, but if you want to make a career out of it going to school is a must. People who hire and pay makeup artists want to know that they have the skills and experience to accomplish the task at hand. Also, there are important aspects of being a makeup professional that you probably won’t learn anywhere else. Examples of this include:

  • How to do makeup for specific face shapes
  • What kinds of products to use for certain skin colors and complexions
  • Recognizing allergic reactions to makeup products

There are some really important topics when it comes to makeup that you simply won’t find anywhere other than a good cosmetology or esthetics program.

makeup model being photographed

Building Credibility

What else do you need to do after you have gone through school and honed your makeup skills? Start building your credibility as makeup professional. Here are some ways you can do that:

  • Portfolio: Creating a strong portfolio is key in becoming a makeup professional. A portfolio is just a collection of work that you have done. Always take pictures of what you create and add it to your portfolio. You can use this to show to potential employers or clients to help convince them that you are the one for the job.
  • Network: Start building your network of professionals now. Make connections with hair stylists, other makeup professionals, photographers, videographers, creative directors, product representatives, and anyone else that may need a makeup pro at some point. Give them your portfolio so when they have a job that requires a makeup pro, you will be the first person that comes to their minds. Building a strong network is one of the best ways to get work as a makeup professional
  • Social Media: This is a great way to get the word out to your friends that you are a makeup pro. Occasionally post pictures of some of your best work. By doing this, people will think of you when they need a makeup artist for a wedding or special event. This a quick and easy way to find some work as a makeup professional.

Doing these things will help you find work and start building momentum as a big leauge makeup professional.

Getting Started

Now that you know a little bit more about becoming a makeup professional, what’s holding you back? Contact us and we can help you get started on your path to becoming a professional makeup artist. Today is a great day to begin working toward your dream career! We can’t wait to answer your questions!

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Cosmetology Video

CollegeOfHairDesign_Cosmetology_Sept2019_30 from College Of Hair Design on Vimeo.

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