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I’ve received quite a few inquires/questions about doing makeup and Esthetics in Michigan and I have some thoughts. I’ll put them down with the disclaimer that they are MY thoughts only, do whatever you chose, at your own risk and this advice might be null and void in some states, check applicable laws <– Not true but I felt I needed some legalese.
- Do some research to know and understand the ‘type’ of makeup you want to do. I’ve spoken to many a person who didn’t have a clue as to what ‘type’ of makeup they wanted to do! Want to be an editorial makeup artist in Michigan?? You are going to be hungry. It’s important to understand the type of makeup industry your home state supports. Want to do movie work? You better understand all the training that entails, the pure horror of the hours and the hustle it will take to get here. You want to be a special effects artist?? Can you move?? All questions that have to be considered when deciding where and what. Your makeup training starts with Google. Understand the direction you are going. Of course, it may change. But it will be informed change.
- Before embarking on a career in makeup and/or Esthetics, one really needs to truly understand their personal financial situation and and the income necessary to survive. I’m not saying you can’t make a livable wage on makeup and/or Esthetics. I’m saying it is very difficult in Michigan. You don’t do this because it ‘seems fun’. Groupon has effectively destroyed the Esthetics business and places like Message Luxe and Ulta are not lucrative. I will inevitably hear ‘I had one friend who said she was making blah, blah, blah’. Yah. Sure. Maybe she was and maybe she wasn’t. Whatever you do in life, be prepared to work hard. Not saying you can’t make a living off makeup and esthetics. I am saying it will be a constant hustle. You have to know exactly what you are signing up for.
- Be prepared to treat makeup as a business not a hobby. Do your business research. If you want to do makeup in a salon, you must have an Esthetics or Cosmetology license in order to perform services in a salon AND you will make less money than you will freelancing. That may or may not be an issue for you…it’s all individual. You want to work at a counter? It will be great experience working with all kinds of faces, but understand the very strong sales component to counter work. Research has to be done in order to understand how to make your preferred genre of makeup profitable. Freelancers have to consider the costs of doing business, insurance, gas, supplies all have to be factored into the business.
- On to my personal favorite…getting a license in Esthetics does NOT, I repeat, does NOT make you a makeup artist. It makes you legally able to apply makeup (here, you really do have to check your state laws). It says you’ve had a course in basic sanitation. So let’s not get ahead of ourselves as to what it really means. Makeup is a different beast all together that happens to take place on the face, as with Esthetics. Be prepared to take more classes or possibly study at a reputable school, like Makeup Designory or workshops with people like Kevin James Bennett or Erica Carr. Education is key to success as a makeup artist. I’m always happy to refer to reputable makeup instructors in and out of Michigan. You will NOT get the proper training from ‘Youtube’. The world does not need another janky makeup artist only able to do makeup on his or her own face. We have plenty of those already. Just check Instagram. Understand it takes years to become a competent makeup artist. I’ve been doing this five years and I often feel I am just scratching the surface.
Whatever you do, do it with passion and excellence. Continue to learn your craft and do it to the best of your ability. These thoughts are just the very beginning of what you should evaluate before deciding a career in makeup or Esthetics is right for you.