How to Become a Makeup Artist on a Budget - QC Makeup Academy

If your bank account isn’t brimming with money, you may think that there’s never a good time to switch careers. But if your current job or situation isn’t making you happy, sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith.

We’re not saying that you should be doing anything blindly, though! You have to educate yourself on all the professional skills that makeup artists ought to have, along with finding ways to stretch your finances for your kit. Keep reading to find out how to become a makeup artist on a budget!

Get professional makeup artist training

While you can learn all your skills from watching NikkieTutorials or Jaclyn Hill, you won’t get the comprehensive training that will allow you to work on clients of all skin conditions or know how to customize their makeup to suit their facial characteristics.

Applying makeup for social media is completely different than doing makeup professionally at a studio or for the runway. How can you get these skills then? If you’re serious about starting a career in makeup artistry, you have to get professional training.

Apprenticing / Becoming a makeup artistry assistant

makeup artist applying makeup to color match client

You may be lucky enough to secure a job assisting an established artist whom you admire and you won’t have to pay out of pocket to train under her. You can apprentice under her and learn her best practices on a variety of different people and get real work experience. The trick is finding someone who is willing to take you under their wing. Busy artists who are working hard to get high-paying gigs probably won’t be disposable to closely guide you on your journey. Especially if you’re a beginner, you may not benefit as much as you would be able to if you had started with a solid foundation.

Choosing a makeup school

A lot of students choose to take makeup courses to beef up their portfolio, expose themselves to a large variety of makeup styles and professional contexts, as well as learn the industry’s best-kept techniques. Students can choose between online and traditional brick-and-mortar institutions. Some students find that a live classroom setting would benefit them, while others choose online education as they may not be in a position to commute to school or work full-time jobs.

It’s true that some schools can run you into massive debt for their makeup programs, but there are affordable options out there! With online makeup courses, you may be able to find some amazing promotions that could cut tuition costs. If you’re serious about getting professional training while sticking to a modest budget, keep your eyes peeled for holiday sales or special flash promotions for makeup courses. You never know what other courses might be bundled up in a promotion—maybe that Special FX course you couldn’t afford is now suddenly within reach!

Building your kit on a budget

cheap makeup artistry kit eyeshadow palette and makeup brush set

Is it possible to cut costs without ditching quality? Absolutely! All you need is to do some research and get creative! Saving money doesn’t have to mean buying poor quality products. Despite the tempting prices, avoid poor quality discount brands that have a reputation for applying poorly and wearing off quickly. You will encounter extremely affordable brands that are good quality, but they’re the exception – not the rule.

That being said, it’s absolutely a myth that all expensive products are better quality than drugstore products. Some drugstore products actually perform better (or at least perform equally well) compared to their high-end counterparts.

Student Discounts!

Another benefit of enrolling in a makeup school? The student discounts! Ideally, you want to have a mix of higher and lower-end beauty products. High-end products can be quite pricy when you’re just starting out, but if you’re a student you can take advantage of some steep makeup discounts.

Remember that professional makeup artists deal with clients who have all different skin types and tones. You’ll need products in a range of shades, so consider palettes rather than individual pieces. Eye shadow, concealer, blush, and lip palettes, for example, can be much more cost effective than buying 12 shades of every single product individually.

Buying quality makeup while only sticking to the essentials and getting creative with other products already in your arsenal can make you a better adapted makeup artist who can think outside the box.

Getting creative

graphic eyeliner creative makeup

Even established MUAs can be thrown curveballs here and there. They may have shown up on set with a specific kit assembled only to be told by the director that the look needs an entire overhaul! So, what can they do? Well, they have to find innovative and creative ways to use the products they already have in new ways. And trust us, there are tons of makeup hacks that experts swear by!

If you’re tight on a budget, you are also in tough circumstances! Purchase products that are multi-purpose. For example, buying a cream foundation palette can be extremely versatile. Compared to pressed powder foundations and liquid foundation, you won’t need to buy multiple bottles or compacts and can achieve the same level of coverage. Invest in a medium-full coverage foundation palette. If you need sheer coverage, simply mix the perfect color on a palette, and then mix with moisturizer to thin it out. Just because you have to stretch out a modest budget doesn’t mean you can’t create some banging looks!

Want to know what to stock your first makeup kit with? Check out our guide to learn how to build your professional makeup kit!

Author Celina Feng

More posts by Celina Feng

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