The Broke Girl’s Guide to Free Online Makeup Training - QC Makeup Academy

We’ve all been there – young, broke, and desperately trying to pursue our passion. So how can you make it before the process totally breaks you? It will be challenging, but becoming a makeup artist can be lot easier than you think.

For all the girls out there working a dead-end 9-5 job (and all you part-timers out there), here’s a complete guide on how to learn makeup online for free – or nearly free! Having nothing to lose can be a great motivator at the start of your makeup career, so don’t be afraid to shoot for the stars! Intrigued? Read on!


First things first, you’ll need to set up a budget for how much you’re willing to spend on makeup artist courses. We know – this post is meant to be about free training. However, every professional makeup artist will have costs when they’re just starting out, so it’s important to have an idea on how much you can personally afford to spend.

Using a spreadsheet, or even a simple pen and paper, write down your weekly or monthly income. Then, in a separate column, write down your expenses. And we mean everything! From groceries, to rent, to bills, to gas money – you need a clear view of how much will be left over once all the necessities have been taken care of.

It’s important to remember that living comes first. Once you know your living expenses are settled, then you can invest in makeup training courses. It’s better to wait and save up than to be stuck in a tough financial situation!

Enter sweepstakes

aspiring makeup artist researching makeup school online on laptop

Now this is where you’ll have a chance at getting free makeup artistry training! Makeup academies often host social media contests and student sweepstakes to help fund someone’s training. As an aspiring makeup artist, you know that there’s no such thing as too much training – so be sure to enter!

As a quick example, QC has been hosting a summer school sweepstakes for the past few years. The lucky winner will receive free tuition for a course! If you keep an eye out around big holidays, you’re likely to find some great deals running. This strategy might not be the most beneficial for you as it’s up to chance. But it’s a shot you can take while you’re still saving up!

Watch for discounts

Just like sweepstakes and contests, you should always have your eyes peeled for promotions! Makeup schools offer various discounts to their students and graduates – this can help you in your future career if you ever want advanced training.

If you can only afford one makeup class at the moment, be sure that your makeup academy offers discounts on additional courses for students and grads. Your school should be helping you get the training you need – not running away with your money!

Plus, if you work out the right payment plans with your makeup school, you’ll be able to make small payments that won’t break your budget. This isn’t a discount, per se, but it will definitely make enrolling in an online makeup course way more affordable for you. Because really, who likes spending hundreds of dollars they don’t have at once?

Practice on your own

makeup artist applying mascara on herself

For the girls who really can’t afford any courses right now, there’s still hope! In addition to applying for sweepstakes, start your makeup training by educating yourself. However, you’ll need to proceed with caution!

Many aspiring makeup artists jump the gun when they get started. They log on to YouTube, watch famous beauty vloggers applying makeup, and try to follow the steps. If you’ve had any experience in the industry, you know this is not how becoming a makeup artist works… You need to learn the theory and techniques behind looks so you can create your own from scratch! How will you be able to create fierce new looks if you only know how to copy someone else?

Start by learning the basics. Grab a book on makeup artistry and learn about how color, skin types, and techniques affect the creation of a look. Without knowing the basics, you’ll develop bad habits that will prove hard to break once you enroll in a makeup academy.

And if you think your future tutors will accept bad habits… you’re dreaming.

Look for perks

makeup artist perks include free makeup and discounts from many big makeup brands

Enrolling in an online makeup school is a bigger cost up front – but if you’re able to swing it, check out the perks you’ll be entitled to in the future.

Let’s talk about your starter professional makeup kit. Many schools will offer you a starter kit when you enroll in a makeup course. This is one thing that will save you a lot of money in your courses! Yes, you’ll still need a few extra products – but your upfront cost just dropped A LOT. Plus, receiving makeup discounts from your school will lessen your expenses when you’re building the rest of your makeup kit. And don’t forget that discounts on other courses will help you expand your services!

Another thing to consider: will you receive any help in finding a job? If you’re spending money on training, you need to know it will benefit you! And although landing a job will ultimately be up to you, your school should have some level of support in your search for one. Business training, career advice, and networking platforms are all great support systems for makeup artists just starting out.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in a comment!

Heard the words “Certification” and “License” thrown around a lot but don’t know what they mean? Check out this post to find out the difference between a makeup artist license vs. certification!

Author Katie Deck

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