How to Get Certified as a MAC Makeup Artist - QC Makeup Academy

So you want to work at M.A.C. Cosmetics? Join the club! This brand has some of the most coveted makeup jobs in the industry. It’s a huge career jump for every makeup artist, and it instills a massive dose of confidence when you land that position. But how do you go about becoming a certified makeup artist for M.A.C?

There are a few steps to take note of before you apply for a job with M.A.C. Cosmetics. Stick with us and we’ll show you the best way to become a makeup artist for this adored brand!

bridal makeup artistry career

Get makeup artist training

Here’s the thing, you can’t really get certified as a makeup artist by M.A.C. Cosmetics. Unless you’re an artist who’s already working for the company, there aren’t any open makeup classes offered by M.A.C. for emerging artists. Bummer, right?

Well, there’s actually an advantage to this! This means you get to choose your makeup artist classes. I mean, why wouldn’t this be ideal? You get to customize your training for where you want to go in your makeup career. You won’t waste money taking makeup classes you don’t need.

For example, being a Special FX makeup artist takes different technical skills compared to a bridal makeup artist. You won’t learn how to create realistic blood effects and blend prosthetics in bridal makeup. Take a hard look at your passions. Where do you want to see yourself a decade from now? Orient your makeup training toward a specific career path.

That being said, there are loads of competitive perks with earning your makeup artistry certification. Knowing classic makeup techniques and makeup theory like the back of your hand is an absolute must! Many self-taught makeup artists lack training on makeup hygiene and the common looks actually requested in the professional industry. The bold makeup synonymous with Instagram isn’t what people are actually paying for in the real world!

Once you have your makeup certification (and you’re confident in your professional techniques), you can start applying for makeup jobs!

choosing a lipstick from a sales display

Attend M.A.C. makeup classes

There is a caveat to what we said about M.A.C. not offering classes. There are makeup classes available to members of the M.A.C. Pro and Pro Student programs, but there’s a catch. You have to be either working in the field already or already be studying at a makeup school in order to get a membership. So basically, you need to get your professional makeup certification elsewhere first!

Once you begin your training at a makeup academy, you can apply to the M.A.C. student program with your school and start attending those sessions. These classes will help you decide if working in retail is right for you. You’ll meet other makeup artists at your store, and can find out if this type of makeup work is what you want to do in your career.

Be wary, though – even if these classes are offered to refine your skills, you still need to be at the top of your game when you walk in the door. Especially if you’re planning to apply for a job at M.A.C. in the future!

Speak to employees

Meeting people who are currently working for M.A.C. will give you a glimpse of what it’s like on the inside. When you go shopping for your makeup kit, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with the employees and ask about their working experience. Yes, they may be a little biased—but it’s useful information nonetheless!

professional makeup kit display - get to know a variety of makeup products as a makeup artist

Plus, if you get in touch with a manager or supervisor, they might be able to put in a good word for you if you ever do apply. This isn’t a guaranteed job for anyone, but if the employees already know about your work, then you’re one step ahead of the other candidates.

Update your portfolio

The most important thing to have when you apply is to have a killer makeup resume and portfolio! This is your key to getting hired at M.A.C.—without a strong skillset and the portfolio to prove it, you won’t be landing that position. Make sure the photos in your portfolio are good quality and showcases a variety of your makeup skills!

Build product knowledge

To really impress your potential employer, get to know M.A.C. products personally and stay up-to-date with new product and collection launches. This will show managers that you truly care about working at M.A.C. and that you’ve already put in the effort to become familiar with their products.

This means they’ll be hiring someone who A) is already a certified makeup artist, and B) already knows the products! Once you’re a member of the Pro programs, you’ll also be eligible for discounts (which will save your wallet some heartache). So build your professional makeup kit up with M.A.C. products and learn how to use them!

Looking to become a certified makeup artist? Learn the real differences between M.A.C. and QC Makeup Academy!

Author Katie Deck

More posts by Katie Deck

Join the discussion 25 Comments

  • Barkha says:

    I want to be makeup artist

  • Cynthia Cedillo says:

    I want to be a make-up artist

    • Katie Deck says:

      Hi Cynthia! If you’re looking to start a makeup career, the best way to get into the industry is through proper training and practice. We offer online makeup courses that can teach you all the skills you need to apply a variety of flawless makeup looks – check them out here! Knowing these techniques can really help you in your job search 🙂

      • Poonam says:

        I want to make up artist

        • Sarah-Lynn Seguin says:

          Hi Poonam,

          Well you’ve come to the right place! QC Makeup Academy can get you trained and certified as a professional makeup artist in as little as 3-6 months (sometimes sooner)! If you’d like to learn more about our school, courses, tuitions, certifications, etc. please feel free to visit our website here:

          Our Support Specialist Team is also available 7 days a week to help answer any questions you might have and provide even more information! They can be reached by email at [email protected], via live chat on our website, or by phone. Our phone numbers (based on where you’re located) can be found here:

          All the best,
          The QC Team

  • Valentina Girón says:

    I want to be a makeup artist. Would I be able to be certified if I live in another country? I live in Guatemala City.

  • R.F says:

    I have a make up artist certificate and I really don’t have any plans how i can continue.. i am searching for Practical Trainings or something like this, to have experience and learn more and meet some contacts..

  • I want to be a makeup artist. Would I be able to be certified if I live in another country. I live in the Philippines. Available?????

    • Celina Feng says:

      Hi Triztan! You absolutely can. Choose a reputable program like QC Makeup Academy’s courses to get started. You’re expected to show off your credentials when applying for a MAC membership. Research the courses thoroughly, and remember to ask questions! A great tactic is to ask a local MAC artist and see what they had to do to get certified in your particular region in the Philippines. That way, you’ll know 100% what to expect 🙂 Best of luck! -Celina

  • Trisha says:

    I want to sign up for the makeup program and take up a class if there is any available

  • NEHA says:

    You based in India? I want to be a MAC make up artist.

  • Shadi gholizad says:

    I want to be makeup artist and I want to sighn up for the makeup class how can come to mac classes and get mac certificate.

    • Celina Feng says:

      Hi Shadi, QC will provide you with the full professional training to work within the field as well as tools for success – the rest is up to you and the opportunities available to you locally! We have certainly had QC graduates go on to work at MAC but this is not something we can guarantee! MAC will hire individuals based on more than just having makeup training such as your particular skill set, portfolio, background, previous work experience, etc. I hope this helps! -Celina

  • Shreya soni says:

    Which certificate required for being trainer !

    • Celina Feng says:

      Hi Shreya,
      Thanks for your interest in our school! We do not teach courses on how to become makeup instructors. However, if you’re interested in learning all about applying makeup and professional makeup artistry, you may be interested in this course: Let me know if you have any questions! – Celina, QC Makeup Academy

  • i just discovered your blog and i’m already in love! Thank you for posting so many helpful articles, especially this one which helps break down popular brands that we can trust. I just started working at Sephora so I’m still learning everything in the industry, and this article has made me much more knowledgeable!

  • Angelena Gray says:

    I have been a licensed managing cosmetologist since 1979.

  • mayuri gadekar says:

    What is fees for this course/

  • Gemma Mannering says:

    What I love about QC is the fact that you can train and learn with them from wherever you live this is amazing for the amount of training they give you. Literally not seen anywhere like it. Having a proper certification shows you have done the proper training in classic techniques and hygiene, you clients will want to know you are working in a clean environment and that your products aren’t dirty from using on another client, most self taught makeup artists do not clean their makeup the right way or use the wrong things to clean. This will show to clients that you know what your doing and how to do it the right way. QC go into depth with what to use and how to use it and how to treat your clients. It’s amazing and something I never thought of before joining.

  • Jordan Garcia says:

    This article kind of made me giggle because whenever I start to study the backgrounds of really high profile makeup artists as a blueprint for myself, almost all of them worked for MAC. It’s just funny to me that MAC is THE coveted brand for aspiring artists. This is definitely some good insight on how to make a good first impression. I think these tips can be applied to applying at any makeup brand/store, cosmetics company, etc. That’s great to know that QC really emphasizes these things so their students can be successful! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing Katie! <3

    • Sarah-Lynn Seguin says:

      You’re absolutely right when you say that the tips provided in this article can be applied to ANY cosmetics company or brand/store. Great catch! 🙂 We definitely try our best to show our students the wide variety of career paths at their disposal, so we’re very happy to hear that this article resonated with you. Thanks so much for reading and commenting! xx

      All the best,
      The QC Team

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