How to Become a Freelance Makeup Artist (MUA) in California

For those who of you who are interested in a career doing makeup as a makeup artist or freelance MUA, you probably already know that SoCal and especially Orange County are some of the best locations for doing hair, cosmetics and makeup as well as being a freelance makeup artist. For those potential students who are interested in a career within makeup artistry and completing a makeup artist / MUA course or program at an established cosmetology school, please read on. Living here in Orange County and in such close proximity to Los Angeles, Hollywood, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach makes it an excellent place to live and work as a makeup artist. We are completely surrounded by opportunities in the cosmetology industry and whether it’s work in the glamor or television industry, or working in a high-end beauty salon or as a private/freelance makeup artist that works with brides and bridal parties, you’ll want to attend a great cosmetology school that can not only get you the foundation you need as a makeup artist in Southern California, but also make sure you’re prepared to take the State Cosmetology Exam and to prosper as a makeup artist once you graduate.

Opportunities for Makeup Artists in California

It’s easy to embellish upon the countless opportunities for makeup artists in Southern California – from Hollywood and glamour to prepping famous names for an awards show or other TV appearances. Some well-off people are even known to hire a makeup artist in order to serve as their very own personal makeup artist on a daily basis… the opportunities for freelance makeup artists are out there, and like any profession where you’ll need to build a steady client-base, portfolio and your own rapport – you’ve got to work it in order to make it, and it all starts with a solid foundation and understanding of the world of makeup, cosmetics, and beauty, and how to thrive within the industry in California.

Makeup and Freelance MUA’s have always played a vital role in helping people look their best throughout the history of television, print, film and glamour. Those who desire to provide makeup services at weddings, in a salon environment or at a spa will need to obtain a cosmetology or esthetician license in California. To get your cosmetologist license in California, you must put in at least 1,600 hours of coursework plus training at an accredited cosmetology school within California. For those of you who want to receive your esthetician license, you’ll need to put in at least 600 hours of coursework plus outlined hands-on training from an accredited cosmetology school in the CA, one like Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy.
When you are a makeup artist in California, you can use your makeup skills to apply makeup on theater performers or provide makeup services for celebrities who grace the silver screen or have daily television roles. Since we’re also so close to the capital of West Coast Fashion, as a makeup artist in California, you could also be helping fashion models, print/glamour models and even Internet celebrities prepare for attending a big event by doing their makeup. Some make-up artists decide that while they love freelance makeup, they may also wish to practice applying makeup in a spa or salon on a full-time basis, while building their clientele books and gaining makeup client referrals. The professional makeup artists and freelance MUA’s who work to help people get their desired look all started somewhere, and more often than not, it was at a professional makeup school or cosmetology school in Orange County like Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy in Santa Ana, where they got licensed and learned the foundations of doing makeup as a career.

Is it Important to Go to School if You Want to be a Makeup Artist?

While some people may argue that it is not absolutely imperative to obtain your license in order to find side work as a freelance makeup artist, most successful cosmetologists and MUA’s will be the first to tell you that you should have a strong understanding of the fundamentals of beauty, cosmetology, makeup artistry and of course customer service and some business skills to boot if you’re going to be successful as a cosmetologist. There are a lot of factors that contribute to becoming a successful freelance makeup artist. The cosmetology school that you choose to attend in order to learn the fundamentals of makeup and cosmetics can also make a very profound difference in the start (as well as growth) of your career, this is why so many successful makeup artists graduated from a long-running and well-taught cosmetology school makeup academy like Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy in Orange County.

Beyond learning the basics and gaining the fundamentals of makeup and cosmetics, think about prospective employers and the clients that you pick up if you want to become a successful freelance makeup artist. Both consumers and the prospective employers (such as salons and spas) will most likely want to know where you obtained your training and if the cosmetics school you attended is accredited or a well-known makeup school in California. By choosing to enroll at a reputable college like Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy in Santa Ana, you will have already begun building a very strong foundation from which to start or enhance your career as a makeup artist. Like any great profession and industry in which you are looking to become successful, the make-up school you attend will always be seen as a brand and will also probably influence your future employers as well as your makeup clientele and what grade of client(s) you are likely to attract.

The Makeup School You Attend Can Affect Your Future as a Makeup Artist

At Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy, we have one of the longest-running and most successful makeup artist programs in the entire nation. We always say that if your potential makeup clients and prospective employers are only going to choose from the top of the class, then we feel that as a makeup student you should be doing the same. You should be scouting for a cosmetology school that has built a solid reputation of educating some of the best makeup artists working in several key industries, one like Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy in Santa Ana. We feel that the beauty school you attend can also make a very substantial difference in your makeup artist salary as well. It’s the same as any other profession where creativity and talent flourishes best when there is a solid understanding of the basics, necessities, foundation and fundamentals… being a makeup artist is serious work, but the payoff is great!

Makeup Programs Offered by Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy in Orange County

The makeup programs at Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy in OC consist of both theory as well as hands-on practical sessions. Some of the makeup artist courses we offer at our Santa Ana campus include:

Makeup Theory

  • Basic principles of makeup and freelance makeup artistry
  • Balancing skin tones for different film and lighting
  • Finding clients and gaining referrals
  • Marketing yourself as a freelance makeup artist
  • Client’s expectations of their makeup artist

Practical Makeup

  • Preparing the skin for on-camera makeup
  • Custom blending foundation on live makeup clients
  • The basic principles & application of blush, highlight & contour
  • Lip shaping, color blending and correcting makeup
  • Makeup for use on older skin, men as well as light makeup technique for children

Remember, that a licensed cosmetologist will always have many opportunities find and attract a wide-range of clientele and different positions at well-known salons and spas. The secret isn’t whether you should go to a good makeup school or not, it’s how can you get started. At Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy in Santa Ana, we specialize in helping give our students the fundamentals and makeup foundation in order to hopefully become successful freelance makeup artists and to thrive in their chosen field within beauty and cosmetology. We’d love to hear from you and give you a quick tour of our modern Santa Ana Makeup School Campus, located right here in the heart of Orange County. There’s no obligation and we have many options for student financial aid for makeup school students as well as classes offered in both English and Spanish! Please call us at 888-463-7869 and find out how you can get your start as a freelance makeup artist today!