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Changing Careers: Becoming a Makeup Artist as a Second Career

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Are you in a stable career but looking for a change? Maybe you’re looking to follow your passion in life, or maybe you’re close to retirement and thinking about how you’re going to fill your days moving forward?

If you’re passionate about makeup and love working with people, then odds are that a career as a makeup artist is a great choice for you!

But changing careers can be a tricky situation, especially if you’re currently in a stable full-time job. The key is to plan ahead and make the change gradually. And you’re in luck! Since makeup artistry is such a flexible profession, you can take your time and ease into the career without taking too many risks. You’ll want to follow these basic steps:

  1. Don’t quit your job (yet!)

  2. Get educated

  3. Freelance part-time

  4. Quit your job and start your new career!

Let’s break it down.

applying lipstick makeup

1. Don’t quit your job (yet)

It can be so tempting to follow your dream, and quit your current job to become a full-time makeup artist. If you do, odds are that you’ll regret your impulsiveness when you have trouble finding clients and your bills start piling up.

Remember, it takes time to start a new career, and you’re very lucky to be able to keep your current job (ahem, and your current income) while you’re setting up your new career.

If you’re currently unemployed and don’t have many savings, it’s worth considering taking on a job temporarily while you’re starting your makeup artistry career. Working jobs that are customer service or retail oriented are actually excellent practice for some of those “soft skills” that will come in handy as a professional makeup artist.

2. Enroll in makeup training courses

makeup education

Despite popular belief, professional makeup artists aren’t made on Instagram. If you want the best shot at being a successful professional makeup artist, that means taking the time to learn the fundamentals properly from a makeup school.

Lucky for you, now you can easily do an online makeup program like QC’s Master Makeup Artistry Course that will get you on the right track from the very beginning. These programs are totally flexible so you can get educated and start honing your skills while still keeping that precious day job.

Depending on your time commitment, makeup artistry training can take anywhere from 3 months to 2 years. For reference, the average student in the QC’s Master Makeup Artistry course takes about 3 to 6 months to get certified.

3. Freelance part-time

makeup pro

The flexibility of makeup artistry means you can start taking on a few makeup clients during your “off hours”. If your current day job is a regular 9-5 job, that makes it even easier since most makeup clients will want you available on evenings or weekends anyway!

You’ll probably find that it’s slow going at first. You might get a few clients per week. But as you build your business and your brand, and as word-of-mouth starts to get around, more clients will trickle in. The business training portion of your makeup artistry course will also give you some great tips on how to build up your freelance makeup business.

Once you get to the point where you’re having to turn clients away as a part-time MUA, it’s time to do what you’ve been dreaming about!

4. Quit your job and be a professional makeup artist!

Makeup Freelance

If you follow these steps, by the time you quit your day job, you’ll already have a thriving makeup artistry career that produces decent income and makes you happy. Now it’s time to reap the benefits of all your hard work with a long and fruitful makeup artistry career!

Do you have more tips on how to start a second career as a makeup artist? Let us know in the comments below!

QC Graduate Veronika Kelle, started her makeup artistry career after 15 years of managing her own model agency. Check out her story here!