A person can become a mobile makeup artist in three major ways, including informal self-study, working with a manufacturer and getting formal education through a makeup or cosmetology school. More formal training and licensure can help a mobile makeup artist appear more professional and advanced, but much of getting into the industry is forming and taking advantages of networks. Even with formal training, entering the field should take two years or less.
No formal education requirements are in place for a person who wants to become a mobile makeup artist. The industry is largely based on hands-on experience and networking, not formal education. Understanding this, a high school diploma or graduate equivalency degree is desirable. Courses such as biology and chemistry are useful to understand how products work or affect the skin, while business-related classes help with issues such as marketing, taxes, billing, scheduling and managing accounts.
It is possible for a person who desires to become a mobile makeup artist to be largely self-taught. This requires reading makeup texts and publications, as well as practicing on volunteers informally. Many clients want a makeup artist who has more formal training, however. A good option for getting supported training without college classes is to train with a makeup manufacturer. Companies will show interested and qualified individuals how to apply their products in return for the individuals serving as company representatives or promoters.
The most formal way to become a mobile makeup artist is to go to makeup or cosmetology school. Makeup schools usually provide basic documentation of program completion that allow the makeup artist to claim she is certified, while the most relevant path through a cosmetology school is to concentrate work as a skin esthetician. Cosmetology programs typically last anywhere from nine months to two years. Following completion of a cosmetology program, a person should take the licensure exams required by her jurisdiction. In the United States, people take cosmetology exams through the Board of Cosmetology for their state. Obtaining a cosmetology degree and license is not required to become a mobile makeup artist, but provides the highest degree of authority.
Regardless of whether a person chooses to be self-taught, learn through a manufacturer or go through formal training at a makeup or cosmetology school, two guidelines are fundamental for anyone who wants to become a mobile makeup artist. First, practice on as many people as possible. This lets a person learn how to work with a wide variety of face shapes, skin tones, colors and ages. Secondly, put together a fabulous portfolio that demonstrates how diverse the makeup skills are. Take pictures of everything done, not just for the portfolio, but also for comparison of different settings.
A person who wants to get into the mobile makeup artist industry has to publicize herself no matter how she learns, as well. It is extremely important to build a good, clean and user-friendly website, as people often do not want to have a formal meeting with a mobile makeup artist before they make a hiring decision. Networking through other professionals such as wedding planners and photographers is an inexpensive way to get business, but a makeup artist should not ignore traditional publicity methods such as discount coupon mailings, print advertisements in newspapers and radio ads.