Make-Up Courses That Will Boost Your Career

The cosmetic industry moves around 20 billion dollar each year, we can all agree that is big number! If you want to start earning a portion of that huge dollar amount studying a make-up and qualifying as a make-up artist is the best way to do it. Being a make-up artist means techniques and processes to create beauty upon the human body and can be a hugely rewarding and creative job.

Once you have qualified you can specialise more and branch out into cosmetic, fashion or even special effects make-up artistry. The qualities of a good artist should include great customer service, creativity, self-motivation, good time management, understanding of art and design, great listener, comfortable making recommendations and offering feedback to clients and steady hand.

Does that sound like you? If so, perhaps becoming a certified make-up artist is the right path for you. In this article we are going to discuss a few key concepts and introduce you to the background of make-up artistry to give you a helping hand before you even register for your make-up course. Have a look at these topics:

  1. Working for yourself
  2. The history of make-up
  3. Start training
  4. Choosing a course
  5. Tips on funding your new make-up business

Working For Yourself

A deep love of cosmetics and passion all the things make-up is capable of is one of the first tell-tale signs of a budding make-up artist. If you like to experiment with different cosmetic looks and to try them out on yourself and your friends, you may discover a real knack for applying make-up professionally. If this is your passion, there are make-up artist schools which offer classes in all the different kinds of fashion make-up.

A make-up artist certification is not always required depending on your state, but a portfolio is essential. Take high-quality pictures of your work as you go from project to project throughout school and beyond, keep in touch with people you’ve work with and shamelessly ask for testimonials and referrals, and be open to working with new experts, products and techniques as opportunities arise.

People skills are essential, and it helps to maintain a reputation of working well with demanding actors, directors, photographers and brides.

Where Did It All Begin? Make-Up Through The Ages

European Middle Ages

In the period of the European Middle Ages, pale skin was a sign of wealth and 6th century women sought drastic and bizarre methods to achieve the pale look by bleeding themselves, however in contrast to that Spanish prostitutes wore pink make-up.

But in the 13th century wealthy and prosperous women donned pink lipstick as proof that they could afford faux make-up.

Italian Renaissance

During the Italian Renaissance Lead paint was used to lighten the face.  Unbeknownst to them at the time, lead paint is hazardous and very harmful to the wearer and can cause many illnesses.  In the 17th Century a popular face powder Aqua Tofana got its name from its creator Signora Guilia Tofana, who instructed the female wearers only to apply the make-up when their husbands are around.

The powder was made from Arsenic and it is interesting to know that this powder was created for women to rid themselves from their husbands, should they find themselves in a loveless or trapped in a marriage.  Research Guilia Tofana for more interesting facts of the powder and how it was used.

Regency Era

In the Regency Era, the most cherished and important item was rouge.  This was used by everyone male and female.   During this era white skin signified a life of leisure [no hard labor].

In order to maintain the pale complexion, women wore bonnets, covered all visible parts of their bodies with whiteners and blemish removers and carried their parasols with them everywhere. During the reign of Charles II, heavy make-up began to surface as a means to contradict the unhealthy pale appearance from being inside the house due to illness epidemics.

Unfortunately some of these make-ups and remedies for a pale complexion were lethal.  The most dangerous beauty make-ups during this period were white lead and mercury.  Not only do they ruin the skin but it also caused hair loss, stomach problems and could even cause death.

These dangers only became known trough the death of the courtesan Kitty Fisher, but that did not stop the majority of women using these deadly whiteners.

In other civilizations, like China, if a commoner were caught wearing nail polish in public, they were executed for it was only a privilege for the rich to wear.  If you were living in Japan, and if you were of nobility, you were then forbidden to walk in public if you did not have a full body cosmetic treatment.

So thank the fashionable Cleopatra for starting the winged/cat eyeliner look and the smoky, heavy lids.


During the 1800’s, even when women knew that belladonna was poisonous, they would use it to make their eyes appear more luminous.  Make-up were made by local pharmacist, known as apothecaries in England, and most common ingredients used were mercury and nitric acid and hair dye was made from coal tar, which is now illegal to use in hair dyes.

Back in the 1800’s Victorians hated make-up and associated it use with prostitutes and actresses because many of the Victorians considered them one and the same.  Any sign that hints that you tampered with your natural colour would be frowned upon.

A woman would pluck her eyebrows, use castor oil in her eyelashes and use rice powder to dust her face.  They did not use lipstick but a clear; water substance wax (pomade) would be applied to the lips for a shine. Some of the products contained a dye to discreetly enhance natural lip colour.

Interesting to know that men also wore make-up until the 1850’s.  George IV spent a fortune on cold creams, powders, pastes and scents.  Not all men wore make-up for many looked and frowned upon men with rouged cheeks as a dandy or poof.


The evolution of make-up began during the 1910’s.  Women started making their own form of mascara by adding hot beads of wax to the tips of their eyelashes and some women would use petroleum jelly for this purpose.

The first mascara formulated was named after Mabel the sister of the creator Tom Lyle Williams, who watched his sister combining Vaseline and coal dust to her eyelashes, giving it a darker and fuller look. The proof is in the pudding that we use Maybelline today.

In 1914, Max Factor introduced his pancake make-up and Vogue featured Turkish women using henna (a temporary dye) to outline their eyes, the movie industry caught wind of this and immediately took an interest to this technique.  It made the eyes look larger and the word “vamp” – short for vampire started to make its “name” by being associated with these enlarged outlined eyed women.

The earliest version of an acid peel was also used at this time, which was a combination of acid and electric currents that was applied to the skin.  Also a need would be used to insert paraffin to the eye area and cheeks – this as well was not successful [Ouch, ouch].

By this time Nivea made its appearance in Germany, and other companies, in order to compete began creating creams consisting of Vaseline mixed with different fragrances.

The First World War And Cosmetics

You might think that what has the First World War got to do with cosmetics? Well you will be surprised to learn that in this period there was a big boom[rise] in cosmetic surgery.  In the 20’s and 30’s if you were a plastic surgeon, your world was dominated by facial configuration and social identity. [It makes us wonder why].

Face-lifts were performed as early as the 1920’s and in some cases sagging jaws and double chins, women could purchase a weird looking contraption with chin straps to wear, which also didn’t work, but it was in the 60’s that cosmetic surgery was used to reduce the signs of aging.  During the 20th century, make-up were focused and revolved around women and men only participated in cosmetics if they had been disfigured by the war.

However the Victorian look remained in fashion until the mass make-up marketing came about in the 20’s.  By then when the newly emancipated women of America began to display her independence, they used red lipstick fragranced with cherry to mark the occasion.  Near the end of the 20’s make-up was considered a must by rural women but was still frowned upon by country girls.

During this era, lip gloss was introduced by Max Factor and new shades of red lipsticks were developed.  Even though if some of them were soap-based and caused drying of the lips.  The first curler came on the scene called Kurlash.  In that time it was very expensive and very difficult to use, but it did not stop from becoming popular amongst women and mascara in cake and cream form was considered extremely vogue.

The Thrifty, Gatsby 20’s

In Hollywood the movie industry had the most influential impact on cosmetics and stars such as Theda Bara had a great effect on the make-up industry.  Theda Bara’s make-up artist Helen Rubinstein created mascara for the actress by relying on her experiments with kohl.  Others such as Max Factor and Elizabeth Arden saw the opportunity for the mass marketing of make-up during this time.

This was the start of many present day make-up manufacturers that was established in the 20’s and the 30’s.  Lipstick was one of the most popular cosmetics of this time, more so than rouges and powder, simply because they were colorful and cheaper.

The “Flapper” style also influenced the cosmetics in the 20’s which in that period encouraged the dark eyes, red lipstick, red nail polish accompanied with a suntan, invented as a fashion statement by none other than the chic Coco Chanel.

The eyebrow pencil took off in the 20’s too, purely because it was superior to what it had been, due to a new ingredient- hydrogenated cottonseed oil.  Back to the mascara usage, like Maybelline, pressed cakes containing soap and pigments, were used where a woman would dip a tiny brush into hot water, rub the bristles on the cake and remove the excess by rolling the brush onto some paper or sponge and then apply the mascara on her eyes like an artist would do with a canvas.

During the 1920’s, a vast number of African Americans participated in skin bleaching, attempting to lighten their complexion to appear whiter, as well as hair straightening.  By advertising skin bleaches and hair straighteners it created fortunes worth millions and was accounted for a massive 30-50 percent of all advertisements in the black press of the decade.  Majority of these bleaches and hair straighteners were created and marketed by African American women.

Skin bleaches contained caustic chemicals such as hydroquinone, which suppressed the production of melanin in the skin and these bleaches could cause severe dermatitis and even death in high dosages.

The Years To Follow From The 30’s Onwards

By the 30’s to the 40’s during the Second World War, cosmetics became a short supply.  Petroleum and alcohol the basic ingredients in most cosmetics were diverted into the war supply. During this time, when it was restricted, lipstick, powder and face cream that were most desirable and most experimentation was carried out for post war period.

Cosmetic developers realized that the war would result in a phenomenal escalated boom after the war, so they began to prepare.  Companies like Yardley, Elizabeth Arden, Helen Rubenstein and the French manufacturing company became associated with ‘quality” because they were the oldest established especially after the war.

Companies like Pond’s had the same appeal in the lower price range and Gala cosmetics were one of the first to give its products fantasy names especially for the lipsticks like “Lantern Red” and “Sea Coral”.

In the 60’s and 70’s the “hippy era” many women of the westernized world influenced by feminism decided to go without any make-up and believed that women who wear make-up are of second class status.

Cosmetics were then divided into “natural look” during the day and a more alluring look for night time.  Non-allergic make-up made its stand during this period as people were concerned of the chemical value in make-up.  The prime cosmetic of the time was eye shadows, even though women were also interested in new lipstick colours such as lilac, silver and green.  These types of lipsticks were usually mixed with pale pinks and whites so that women could create their own individual shades.

Revlon came into the market with “Blush-ons” which gave it broad publicity.  This product was applied to the forehead, lower cheeks and chin.  Contouring and highlighting the face with white eye shadow cream.

The whole cosmetic industry in general opened opportunities for women in business as entrepreneurs, inventors, manufacturers, distributors and promoters.  Thanks to Avon the lady saleswoman was introduced.

Introducing The 21st Century

Today the market of cosmetics has a different dynamic compared to the 20th Century.  Beauty products are now available from dedicated internet retailers to established outlets, including major department stores.

Modern make-up is not only used by women but by men too.  Cosmetic brands tailor special products for men only and Concealer is a popular use for women and men who are cosmetic-conscious.

Today some countries are driving the cosmetic industry like Japan. Japan is the second largest market in the world.  The growth of cosmetics in Japan have entered a period of stability.  Consumers can access a lot of information on the Internet and choose many alternatives and opening many opportunities for newcomers in this market.

The list go on and on for the 21st Century of make-up.  Interested? Research some of the 21st Century well known and established make-up artist.

  • Kim Winterscale (South African)
  • Bobbi Brown (Creator of Bobbi Brown)
  • Trevor Conn
  • Jay Manuel (American Next Top Model)
  • Gucci Westman
  • Charlotte Tillbury
  • Kevyn Aucoin
  • Face & Grace

Start Training

Being a make-up specialist is exactly like any other kind of creative pursuit – you need to develop and constantly work on your skills. Even Leonardo Di Vinci – one of greatest artists in human history – had to train for many years before he was recognised as a great. The best way to perfect the skills that you need to be able to work as a make-up artist start training and get a qualification. A good certificate course will give you all the information you could ask for and a certification will let your clients’ know that you know what you are doing and can be trusted.

Choosing A Course

It is not easy to find the right course to study. It is a big decision that you need to properly consider.  By studying you will get the knowledge you need to advise clients. Not only will you be able to perform the treatments, but you will also be qualified to offer consultations. The more knowledgeable you are, the more comfortable clients, and more clients means more money for you.

You should consider what job you think you will enjoy, and if you would like to do that job for your foreseeable future. If you have a clear passion for a job it will always help to study in that direction. This is especially relevant if you are studying to better your career. If you are studying just because you are interested in something and like to learn more, then it is still worthwhile.

You are building into your interests and passions and that could very easily lead into a job. The best part of this job would be that you have a real interest in it. It also helps to consider where this job will lead you and to make sure you will enjoy your future job. It won’t help studying for a job you are just going to hate, because you will try get out of that job.

Short Courses

The best thing about short courses is that they are affordable, so if you are low on cash you can still afford to qualify. A short course is a great way to study. It is fast, easy, and accessible, and can be done part-time without any inconvenience. If you want to get ahead in your career studying a short course could be just the thing you need.

Full Qualifications

A full qualification will also give you tools to draw upon when needed. Having gone through all of the study and hard work, you have mastered a new body of knowledge. While it is said that “experience is the greatest teacher,” a certification “rounds you out.” This means that you can be a better mentor. The ability to mentor is based greatly on experience, but the best mentors can reach beyond their experience

Tips On Funding Your New Business

Once you have qualified and solidified your training, your next step is starting up your business. This might seem like a huge overwhelming task and your first question is probably “where will I get the money” Here are some ideas that you can use to get your fledgling make-up business off the ground.

Traditional Business Loans

This is a quick way to get the start-up capital for your business but online lenders are even faster. An online application takes up to an hour to complete, and a decision and the accompanying funding be issued within days. In contrast, the traditional loan process can take weeks, or even months, to complete.

Product presales

Selling your products before they launch is an often-overlooked and highly effective way to raise the money needed for financing your business. The money you raise through this method raise can help you pay for the inventory that you need, and also help to open some doors in retail and learn about your customers demand.

Friends and family

If you have a friend or relative with some spare cash, you have another potential way to finance your business. Borrowing from friends and family presents an interesting alternative to traditional forms of financing, and can have some unique advantages, including low or no interest payments and avoiding the hassles of bank contracts.

Credit cards

Business credit cards are among the most readily available ways to finance a start-up, and can be a quick way to get your business up and running. However, there are some serious drawbacks to consider before using plastic to fund your start-up. If a new business gets started and then has trouble making the payments, the interest rates and costs on the cards can build very quickly, and carrying that debt can be detrimental to a business owner’s credit.


Crowdfunding is the latest way to get your company off the ground with websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo can give a big boost to your dreams of opening up your own business. These sites allow potential business owners to pool small investments from a number of investors instead of forcing companies to look for a single investment. Many sites allow companies to raise money in exchange for rewards or products. Others have an equity-based model in which businesses give up a bit of their share. It is definitely worth investigating this option.

this slideshow will give you even more info on how to boost your make-up career:

Latest Update: 29th December, 2016

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