A career in professional makeup artistry is trending right now. So many makeup junkies want to break into the industry. Some are born to be artists; others have enough potential to develop their skills and succeed as a pro. Let’s be honest, though: not everyone has what it takes. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but knowing when to cut your losses and move on can save you a lot of time. Not to mention money and emotional distress!

If you’re considering a career in makeup artistry, read this post before shelling out thousands of dollars on makeup in the name of your dream. We’re serving up some hard truths—listen up!

1.      You don’t have a passion for makeup

no passion for a career in makeup

You’d think this would be obvious, but you’d be surprised. Many people want to enter the makeup industry just to make a quick buck. The saturation of makeup artists on YouTube and Instagram who’ve found success in sponsorships and cross-promotions make it seem like an easy journey. However, it’s actually incredibly hard to get there. Because of over-saturation, it’s harder to stand out from the variety of gurus and personalities on these platforms.

Many MUAs spend years on YouTube just to climb to 30,000 subscribers. And this success still may not be enough for them to live solely off of YouTube’s paycheck. But guess what? If you truly have a passion for makeup, nothing is too difficult to prevent you from enjoying what you do. The grind isn’t for the faint of heart. But if you love makeup, at least you’re practicing your craft while you climb the ladder of success.

2.      You think makeup artistry doesn’t involve a startup cost

All those online makeup gurus you see with their free high-end makeup? Yeah, good luck securing any of those press packages if you don’t have a large online following.

Just like any occupation, you’re going to need to invest in your career. That means paying for a makeup course to get professionally certified. After that, you’ll need to finance a business license along with all the makeup you need for a versatile, professional makeup kit. Your own personal tools won’t cut it. They only suit your features. What about all the different clients who walk through the door? The initial start-up cost can be huge, but there are ways you can save some money without sacrificing a quality education and makeup kit.

Consider taking a makeup course that includes a starter kit that has everything (or close to everything) you need to complete your training. The best part of enrolling in schools that provide kits? The products are specifically selected to help you with your practical assignments. The makeup you receive is exactly what you need! For more savings, take your makeup artistry education online and look for promotions to get a comprehensive education for less!

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startup cost for professional makeup kit

3.      You hate people

Being personable with your clients is just the tip of the iceberg. Just like hairdressers, makeup artists provide a technical service while becoming everybody’s confidant. If you don’t have the patience to listen to your clients, how on earth are you going to provide good service?

Even the most difficult clients deserve your attention. Constantly communicating with your client ensures that both parties don’t waste their time. Just because you think that smoky cat-eye suits your client doesn’t mean they agree. Working with diverse clients is part of the job. Everyone has a different preference for how they like to look. If you can’t listen well and be empathetic, you’ll crash and burn.

And don’t forget about all the networking you need to do. You can’t avoid it! Securing makeup discounts, loyal clients, and meaningful connections with others in your local biz can only be done with a firm handshake and a warm smile.

4.      You crave structure

Are you the type of person who always shows up late to doctor’s appointments? If you need structure and struggle with staying organized… sorry to say this, but you’ll  fail as a freelancer. Being your own boss and working weird hours is part of the job. The whiplash of working a 4 hour day followed by a 13 hour day is normal. But if you value an 8-hour work schedule, then makeup artistry is not for you!

You need to have a great sense of organization! Otherwise, the business aspect of this career could blindside you. To book clients, you need to schedule them with the appropriate amount of time for each appointment. If you’re booking back-to-back appointments, you’ll need to factor in travel time and costs as well as time to sanitize your tools. Don’t forget about all the overhead that comes with being a business owner!

certified makeup artist who wants structure

Dropping the ball on any of these things can lead to some serious consequences. From clients who are angry about your late service to those who may contract an eye infection from your appointment. These aspects of the job are as important as your artistry, so get your act together!

5.      Details aren’t your thing

What’s the difference between a novice and an expert? The amount of time, care, and attention they put into their craft. Simply having all the tools isn’t enough. You need to practice how to use each product in the best way possible. Here’s an example: You’ve managed to get your hands on Champagne Pop, but do you know where to put it? It’s not just the cheekbones! How about the Cupid’s bow, the bridge of the nose, under the brow, and the lower center of the forehead? Even then, you’d need to adjust the highlight location depending on your model’s complexion and features.

Training your eye and making sure that you’re continuously learning is how you become competitive. Take the time to study how light interacts with people’s different features. Don’t be fooled by the dark and heavy full-coverage Instagram makeup trends. These looks are heavily photoshopped to work for the Instagram camera. They don’t translate well into real life. Your portfolio should reflect makeup looks you’ll actually see in the industry. You’ll also want it to be an accurate reflection of your skill. If details aren’t your thing, then you really shouldn’t become a makeup artist!

Do you have other reasons we didn’t cover? Let us know!

Finished the article and think you want to continue your MUA education? Here are 5 perks of attending an online makeup school!