Online Makeup Schools: Expectation vs. Reality - QC Makeup Academy

What better way to welcome 2020 and the new decade than by finally pursuing your dream of becoming a professional makeup artist? We’re very proud of you for taking this step! If you’re reading this, it’s because you’ve either decided you want to enroll in online makeup school, or you’re weighing your options and want to get a better idea of what online makeup school is truly like.

We can help! Below, we’ve debunked 5 of the most common (and completely false) expectations about online makeup school. This way, you can make a completely informed decision and be assured that your hard-earned money will get you hard-earned results!

smiling girl sitting on bed with laptop on lap

Expectation #1: Because it’s cheaper than a brick-and-mortar school, the quality of the education will be lower.

This seems like a no-brainer: if something costs less, it’s usually because it’s not as good. Physical brick-and-mortar makeup schools have a higher tuition rate, so they must be more legit than what you can find online. Perhaps there are no real assignments or tests. The feedback you receive from your instructor is probably just going to be the same generic, pre-recorded response for every student.

Reality: The quality of education is exactly the same (maybe even better!).

The real reason why online makeup schools are less expensive has nothing to do with the actual education being offered. It’s simply because there’s no physical school or campus to run and/or maintain. This means way lower overhead costs factored into your tuition! For many physical schools, these overhead fees are what, in fact, eat up a large portion of the overall price.

Rest assured, a legitimate, accredited online makeup school will provide you with the same quality instructors, the same quality courses and assignments, and the same quality certification upon the completion of your program.

For each course, there will be Units. In each Unit, you will have assignments that’ll require you to videotape/photograph and physical demonstrate the makeup practices and theory you’re being taught. Your instructors – professional working makeup artists – will review each assignment you submit and provide you with detailed, personalized feedback.

Many online makeup tutors actually used to teach in brick-and-mortar school settings. They can attest to the fact that there is very little to no difference between the teachings they provide in-person, versus what they do for you online!

makeup artist wearing smock filled with makeup products/tools

Expectation #2: You won’t actually learn anything, and you’ll be asked to purchase your diploma/certification.

Most online schools are scams in some capacity, right? Even if they provide you with some tools, you can’t actually learn enough to become a professional makeup artist. You can only truly learn makeup by being taught in-person! “Learning” by watching videos? You may as well just be watching a YouTube beauty vlogger. Plus, once you’ve already put in all that hard work and time, that’s probably when they throw a curveball and reveal that you need to pay for your diploma/certification.

Reality: You’ll learn the skills required to become a professional MUA, and receive professionally-recognized certification at no extra cost.

For starters, let’s do away with the idea that online schooling is the same as watching YouTube videos. YouTube videos don’t teach you actual skills, and won’t have a professionally working tutor critiquing your work and providing you with detailed feedback to help you learn, correct yourself, and grow.

Furthermore, most beauty vloggers are demonstrating a look on themselves, often skipping through sections or glossing over which techniques they’re using. In online makeup classes, a model is used in all instructional videos, in order to demonstrate how to apply makeup on a client. The entire purpose of the video is to walk you through the whole process, step-by-step, and thoroughly explain methods so that you can not only replicate “looks” but actually understand the fundamentals behind each look.

Lastly, you have no way of knowing if the YouTube vlogger you’re watching is doing things correctly! As QC executive makeup artist and tutor, Nathan Johnson, points out in his Color Correcting webinar: many of these vloggers don’t teach you the right way to do makeup. As a result, you unknowingly pick up bad habits and then provide mediocre results for your client.

Certified online makeup school tutors properly prepare you to receive your certification upon graduation from your program. This certification will not only boost your confidence as an MUA, but it makes you credible to both employers and clients. It proves to them that you’ve been properly trained, and helps you stand out from the competition.

Importantly: an online makeup school’s diploma/certificate should always be included within the overall cost of your tuition, and not a separate or recurring fee! If an online makeup school tries to spring this expense on you unexpectedly, this is a red flag. That school cannot be trusted.

MUA applying eye makeup to model

Expectation #3: You’ll have scheduled classes, and a short amount of time to complete the course.

In college and University, when you sign up for an online class, you’re provided with a set schedule for when the online class takes place. For some classes, it’s a live feed that all students are viewing at the same time.

So you’ll need need to work your schedule around your classes. If things conflict and you can’t make it? Too bad! Then once those classes are done, you’ll have an exam, which you can either pass or fail. The whole experience will probably be condensed to a few months, at best.

Reality: Online makeup school is all about flexibility!

Legitimate online makeup schools recognize that their students have busy lives, and are often pursuing this education in addition to work and other commitments. Because of this, one of the biggest perks of online makeup school is that everything is done entirely at your convenience.

No need to commute or live in a big, expensive city. No matter where you are, you can get the proper training and receive certification – even from the comfort of your own living room!

You’ll be given ample amount of time to complete the course, starting from the day you enroll. There are no set class times, either; you do your required reading and assignments whenever works for you. So long as you submit your final assignment before the end of your 2-year window, you’re good!

That being said, if you have ample time of your hands, or are just really committed to working super diligently, you can complete your program, graduate, and become certified in as little as 3 months!

professional makeup kit full of products

Expectation #4: It’ll be easy enough that you can bluff your way through the course.

Thanks to everything being done online, you don’t need to read all of your course material. No one’s going to double-check that anyways! The material is probably simple enough that you can just wing it.

Also, with no one physically there to see your work, you can fake it on camera and cut corners when you photograph your assignments. You may be missing one or two things, but your tutor shouldn’t notice.

Reality: If it’s easy, then it’s probably a scam school.

The only thing you should be winging is your eyeliner! But also, if you’re not even serious about putting in 100% effort into your education, why enroll at all? It makes no sense to spend your own money on something you don’t plan to utilize.

That being said, online makeup school should not be easy. It should be challenging and help you grow, like you’d expect from any legitimate education. And don’t fool yourself: your tutor is the expert, not you. If you think you’ll be able to pull a fast one over them, you’re wrong. With the level of scrutiny they give each assignment, there’s very little they ever miss.

Straight up: if your online school feels way too easy, it’s probably not because you’re a genius (though hey, you might be) – more likely, it’s because you just got scammed. We hope you can get your money back.

upclose of beautiful woman wearing makeup, brushing powder brush to cheek

Expectation #5: Even with training, you can’t actually make a serious career out of being an MUA.

At the end of the day, no matter how much you love makeup, most people can’t actually make a career off of it. If they can, it’ll be a part-time, second job at best. There’s no point in investing money and time into something you can’t truly pursue.

Reality: You absolutely can – and many QC graduates DO!

Working as a full-time professional makeup artist can actually be a very comfortable living. Sure, there are plenty of people who admittedly only do it as a hobby or second job, but how else can they grow and build their portfolios? If it’s your dream, the time and effort it takes to establish yourself and your business will be worth it.

All that being said, plenty of online makeup school graduates do go on to turn makeup artistry into their full-time living. QC, for instance, has countless students and graduates that have gone on to be successful within the industry! Many even run their own MUA businesses.

The only thing stopping your dreams from becoming a reality is you. Are YOU willing to take the first step towards your future? Make 2020 your year!

Enroll in QC’s leading online makeup school, and start your MUA certification today!

Author Sarah Seguin

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