As I’ve worked in the cosmetics industry I’ve had the opportunity to work with makeup artists, makeup schools and professional makeup companies; living in Hollywood, California for the last 10 years has increased my exposure to those various companies. Throughout that time I’ve also had the opportunity to learn how to apply the makeup that I’ve been creating for years and even learn some of the fun aspects of makeup artistry including working with latex and silicone FX makeup. I’ve been fortunate in that all the additional knowledge I’ve acquired has been a result of work that I’ve done with these companies
Many of the students I’ve met, haven’t been o two o cosmetics face as fortunate in that they’ve had to pay full price (sometimes upwards of $30,000) for the same knowledge. At the end of their studies they are generally given the opportunity to venture out and apply their new trade for free, maybe if they’re lucky than can get a kit fee (usually around $45) for a day’s worth of work. I’ve heard the term “paying their dues” applied to this over the years, of course the people saying this were the same ones charging the 30 thousand dollars.
I for one have always felt like the new makeup artists are being taken advantage of, perhaps it has more to do with my inner capitalist screaming at the thought of a person giving away their time. The old adage “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free” comes to mind: When you start down the path of giving your services or product away for free, it is incredibly difficult to ever break that cycle. Whereas it may take a little longer for you to be a makeup artist when you charge for your skills, I believe that when we earn payment for our work we carry our heads a little higher and the have more pride in our work in the end gain greater respect from our customers.
That being said, I want to share with you some of the things that I’ve learned that can help you save a lot of money if your interested in learning more about makeup artistry.
A while back I listened to an interview that Denis Leary gave with regards to becoming a filmmaker, his advice was,” If you want to be a filmmaker, take the money you were going to spend on film school, go out, buy a camera and make your movie.” Similar advice can be given for makeup artistry.
With the filmmaking technology ever changing, and with all the needed skills required to be an expert shade matcher and makeup artist, it could seem overwhelming to start pursuing your makeup dreams without having to spend 10’s of thousands of dollars in instruction. However if you have no experience in professional makeup artistry, perhaps one of the best books on the market for self-instruction has to be Richard Corson’s “Stage Makeup”.