4 Must-Haves for Studying at Online Makeup Schools - QC Makeup Academy

Remember when you were a little kid,  it was almost September, and school was about to start again? This meant new clothes, new kicks, and new stationary! Every course had its own color-coordinated binder, dividers, and writing tools. It was an exciting time because new study materials meant an amazing first day leading to an even better school year!

How can you achieve that feeling of preparedness when taking an online course? If you have ambitions for makeup artistry, you’re going to want to invest in some good equipment and study tools to make sure you succeed. We’re not saying that physical materials will instantly afford you success, but having the right tools can certainly help you navigate your courses!

Here is our list of must-haves for studying at online makeup schools!


free makeup kit online schooling

Easily our most favorite item on this list and the most important—makeup! If your online course doesn’t provide you with a makeup kit, make a run for it! Starting a career is hard enough without having to find the funds to buy professional palettes! You want to make sure that you’re receiving quality products that can last you throughout your training and after you’ve graduated, too! Kits are an expensive investment, so you don’t want to buy low-quality items only to throw them all out when you’re finally a pro.

For your makeup kit, you’re going to need various palettes for the lips, eyes, and face along with application tools. If you’re taking an airbrush course, you’ll need an airbrush machine with airbrush makeup. If you’re taking a special FX course, you’ll need prosthetics, special paints, and application tools as well.

No two artists have the same kit, but make sure that you’re not sticking to only one brand for all your needs. Yes, MAC makes good products, but you never know when you’ll stumble upon a Holy Grail product from an indie brand—keep your eyes open!


Create an honest study schedule. It’s easy to be overly ambitious in the New Year and believe you’re suddenly going to be the most efficient version of yourself ever! While it is possible for you to jump into the course and stick to a hectic schedule, for most students it’s not realistic.

However, That doesn’t mean you should shirk all schedules and planning! Keep an agenda or digital calendar to manage your list of other priorities. This will allow you to set aside a few hours a week for your course, and ensure it doesn’t get pushed back indefinitely. Break down those hours further in a study plan to make tackling each individual task and assignment even easier!

You’re the only one who knows your study ethic and energy level. Don’t schedule in a 4 hour study session after working a straight 9-hour shift for your job! Keeping a tight schedule often helps motivate students, but you’re not doing any favors for yourself if you’re not being honest!


learning makeup online

If you didn’t already know you needed this… thank goodness you checked this post before beginning! While it’s intuitive to need some sort of computer to complete an online course, with the recent increased use in smartphones, we’ve had inquiries about just using phones!

The thing is, a good online makeup course will provide you with online texts and written assignments, on top of videos and makeup application evaluations. Imagine reading a 24-page PDF file on your iPhone. Sure, it makes your course more portable and convenient to access, but it also limits your ability to study! Imagine wanting to having your text open when completing an answer sheet—you can’t!

On top of simply owning a computer, you’ll also need these following programs:

PDF editor

Your course texts, guides, and supplementary downloads are likely in PDF format! This way, you won’t accidentally delete information off the page with a slip of the finger. Some assignments might come as PDFs with form fields to allow you to fill them out using an editor. How else will you fill out that face chart?

Office suite

Whatever assignments or texts that don’t come in the form of PDFs will come as Word documents. Remember working on these in high school and college? This famed document editor is your best way to complete assignments. For note taking, OneNote allows you to flag, highlight, comment, and sort notes as you make your way through all your units.

Media player

If your course provides you with DVDs, you can choose to watch your instructional videos on a DVD player. But it’s more likely that you don’t own a DVD player these days, so ensuring your videos are also available online is key. These videos will feature your instructor demonstrating all the techniques describe in the texts, so if you’re a visual learner, this is where all the concepts come together. Make sure you have a flash player or offline media player that can play mp4’s!


good makeup photography requires a good camera

Take note! It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting your course or you’re a seasoned vet—taking good photos is absolutely necessary! We get that you may not want to buy a thousand dollar camera before you even submit your first assignment—especially if you’re still finding out if doing makeup professionally is right for you.

That being said, it’s absolutely no excuse to take bad photos! If your photos are blurry with poor lighting, how can your tutor possibly see all the hard work you’ve put into the look? Borrow a camera from a friend or buy a DSLR camera if you’re able to. These types of cameras are much more customizable in their settings than a digital camera.

If you don’t have a camera on hand, you can also use your phone camera—so long as the camera is good quality and hasn’t suffered a lot of wear-and-tear. Avoid selfies! Not only is this unprofessional, but the front camera of your phone takes lower-quality photos and often distorts the face!

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Did we miss something? Help us expand our list with a comment below!

The study tools aren’t the only thing different for virtual learning. Check out this post for more differences between online makeup schools and brick-and-mortar schools!

Author Celina Feng

More posts by Celina Feng

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