Educational Requirement for Makeup Artist.


“Aunty Yem, I want to become a professional makeup artist, what course should I study in the University?” This was the question a cousin of mine who just finished secondary school asked me over the weekend and I thought to shed more light on this subject.

Developing a career path early can save you years of unnecessary waste of time. There are so many unorthodox careers taking center stage these days. – Photography, Event planning, DJ-ing, Dancing etc

When I was a kid, I wanted to become a banker because I loved the way they always looked smart and sharp. By the time I was through with secondary school, I wasn’t so sure anymore about banking, I knew I was very good at craft and I was already making lovely beads to sell, this was what I was comfortable with.

I was admitted to study Economics at tertiary level but by my 2nd year I was already bored and by the time I was done with University I was already a freelance Makeup artist .I went further to complete my youth service and worked for a while but eventually followed my passion and started Nsure Beauty studio with my partner (Folayemi).

So back to the crux of the matter – What educational requirement do you need to become a Makeup Artist?
If your dream is to become a makeup artist, my honest opinion is that it is very important to have at LEAST a secondary school leaving certificate- the basic stuff. I am also strongly of the school of thought that if you do have the wherewithal to go further, by all means do that. Obtaining a higher degree is a plus and like I always say education sets the platform for you to be whoever or whatever you want to be.

So far I have met people who studied courses like Business Admin, Marketing, Accounting, Economics, Mass Communication, Theatre arts, law, Engineering, Bio chemist, Dentist etc that are also makeup artists and are doing very well

There is really no identifiable structured educational requirement in Nigeria yet, however what can work for you are the few vocational institutes and Makeup studios that offer formal trainings which is relevant as they have relevant experience from plying the trade too. The Caveat to you is to be sure the trainer knows his/her onions.

Duties of a makeup artist

Read up here

There is no structured pay check; it all depends on how often you work and how you are able to market your skill. A Bridal make-up artist can earn between N480, 000 –N10m per annual depending on clientele.

Types of makeup artist
Beauty Counter
These makeup artists work at major makeup brand counters/ floors, they help client with basic beauty tips and application based on their product knowledge for example Black up, MAC, Inglot etc
These Makeup artists are In charge of looks for fashion events, runways, front cover magazine .They are very artistic and creative
Body and Face Painting
They Paint the faces of children and also create artistic designs on the body.
Theater and Television
Anyone who appears before a camera needs a makeup artist to help them look their best. The artist must be able to create movie characters based on scripts and understand lighting.
Bridal Makeup artist
They help to make you look good on your special event like wedding, birthday; family photo shoot etc, in the Nigeria market ability to tie head gear is a bonus.

I conclude by saying to become a professional makeup artist, it would help if you have the necessary training and also work on your skill by attending a makeup school with proper curriculum and experience not a crash class, definitely not a 3 days training class, you won’t learn much.

I would love to know if you are a makeup artist, how did you start out, which course did you read and where did you train? Do you have any advice for other aspiring makeup artists?

Till my next post.
Love , hug and kisses


  1. Yes yemisi you are right! Atleast Finishing secondary school is mandatory. I have always been artistic all my life and by artistic i did not mean drawing and stuffs, i meant my inner self, i love writing and reading, i am what you’ll call a dreamer. My family has always thought i will choose something down the arts path, they thought i would be a lawyer, writer or an actress but i shocked them when i chose science! I felt art will be too easy for me and i want to be challenged! All through my primary and secondary school i was like the golden child, i don’t want to seen as too perfect hence i opted for science.

    I hate chemistry, physics and geography with passion and so many times i thought of going back to arts but i kept at it! After secondary school everyone missed again as they thought i would study medicine, but i opted for computer science as i love all things computer but i got frustrated along the line that was when i was introduced into makeup artistry by my cousin Yetunde Mudashiru all these period i have lost my mum so makeup artistry was an avenue to unleash all my pent up rage. Mayowa Solaru then was my tutor in 2006, she was a great support and she believed in me! Now back to my computer science i started reading online on how to be a make good use of the knowledge i have so far and i discover i don’t have to be a programmer to be a computer scientist. So i decided to be an internet guru instead and trust me the combination is awesome and i have no regrets!

    In 2010 i met with Yemisi, Omon, Omololu, Lise and Moji @ the PCMAN meeting thats when i knew i needed an upgrade. So i enrolled with Beautizeal and i upgraded but since then i constantly upgrade myself online by watching videos and by following other MUAs consistently then i did several other makeup courses. Now please note i had a formal training before i started upgrading online.

    In 2011 one of my students, introduced me to the business aspect of this industry but thats a discussion for another day! Please note again i did not start any training until i upgraded myself in 2010. Had 4yrs experience before i started training.

    For the aspiring makeup artists, if you are in this for money alone you’ll crumble like a pack of cards because in this career you have to be passionate about it even if you are not making any money. It doesn’t pay off immediately you have to understand you might not get jobs for months as its not a get rich quick system. If you are just starting out calm down don’t start charging big fees be reasonable, you need the clients as much as they need you because you have to build your portfolio, if the amount they are offering is ridiculous and you need the pictures do it free! Yes i said free because its gives you more respect than taking peanuts you were offered, which will be the standard they will automatically set for you! “You will hear give bolu 5k she will collect it jor” but when they know you don’t collect such they wont even come close. Be positive no matter what, don’t be too rigid ask other MUAs for assistant if you are confused, now don’t mistake asking for help with trying to grab free knowledge when you refused to be trained properly. In this industry if you try to be an island you might fail, be friendly and be open, always think outside the box, experiment. No makeup school can teach you everything because makeup artistry is deep, don’t stay in one position, read up, research, ask questions!


    • Madam Lola , Thanks for sharing your experience and tips especially asking other makeup artist for assistance when confused *kisses.

  2. I had plans of becoming a Doctor,but along the line I switched over to Engineering since I was always failing chemistry (lolz).
    During my growing years till now, I have had a thing for handwork which is why I didn’t study arts as some thougt…. I hate anything theory like goverment and co, so my curiosity lead me to Nail Artistry which in turn lead me to working with makeup artists and hair stylists for bridals, fashion shows and video shoots.
    I worked with a particular makeup artist as a nail artistry tutor, during my stay at her studio,she instilled me the love for makeup artistry. She kept saying I should make good use of the time I was spending with her to learn the art. I took to her advice cos I didn’t have to pay a lump sum at that time to learn.

    True as you have said, we don’t have a standard education level here in Nigeria but education still plays a big role, be it vocational or tetiary training. Even when the art seems not to yield anything for sometime or you have so much explantion to give some family members like I’ve had to do – and I’m still doing – then the already gotten certificate can help with paying bills until the business stands firm. Besides education opens a lot of doors, some persons you won’t have met ordinarily, your attained certificate will bring this people to you plus you gain their respect.

    I am a typical example, I had to go back to white collar job not because I want but cos I need it for now, if I didn’t have any education at all, I won’t get to be the Beauty Editor of an international magazine or a Car and Technology Editor as I am now.

    To your cousin, its great she has her aunt as her role model and wants to be like her, if only she knows you are an inspiration to young artists like me. I hope she pursues her artistry dream but also attach the education to it for more “efizzy”.

    *babyvoice* Me too I want to be like you when I grow oo .

  3. Dear Yemisi, your blog is so amazing!
    Yes,I’m a makeup artist.
    How I started out-I’ve always had a thing for the arts,but my parents wouldn’t hear about it.They decided I was going to study something that would enable me get a ‘regular’ job with a ‘regular’ salary.So I opted for Dentistry in UNN, but was given Zoology instead. But by 2nd year I already knew I was in the wrong place . during that period I already started shaping brows for my friends in the hostel:somehow they all trusted me and liked what I did with their brows.
    I still remember my first eyeshadow palette:it was a Sleek Storm.When I would see a pretty facial feature and start dreaming of how to get my hands on them, when makeup kept me awake at night, (I was always on the weddings section of Bella Naija, analyzing each bride’s makeup, checking the artists that did them;learning about them and how they started,learning makeup techniques, just soaking it all classmates thought I was going bunkers lol) when all I did was draw brow shapes in my head, I knew makeup was the ‘ONE’ i was looking for.I knew I had to get some training to officially get me started, so by final year in my quest for information on how to go about it I bumped into House of Tara online, learned about their scholarship program,applied, and forgot all about it due to school stress.So when they called for an interview, I was ecstatic!
    I called my mum and told her I was going from Nsukka to Benin for an interview for makeup school, she said,”Makeup ?? Hmmm.ok o”.When I got to Benin the lady conducting the interview couldn’t believe that I came all the way from Enugu to Benin just for the interview. She kept asking me,”what moved you”? In my mind I said,”you won’t understand”.So I had an initial training, and subsequently a diploma,and then I kicked off with freelancing. Initially they were all skeptical, every single person in my family, cos they have never heard or seen anyone they know take up makeup artistry as a profession.They kept asking, is it from makeup that you’ll eat? How will you survive? ? but as I practiced and polished my skills, I got better and better, the jobs started rolling in little by little, mostly referrals by people I already worked with before.that was when I knew I was doing something and doing it really well, it gave me the strength I needed to improve much more.I guess the final traces of skepticism was wiped away when everyone who learned that I was a makeup artist had something wonderful to say about it,even my mother’s colleagues called to congratulate, and to speak to me about their own daughters who have desired to get makeup training for a long time.Right now my family gives me all the support I need,even helps me research about makeup, and once they hear anything about makeup on tv they’d say,”Come o, they are talking about makeup o”.
    Tips I would give anyone aspiring to become a makeup artist-
    1.Not everyone in your family will agree to your career choice . It’s ok if they don’t. It’s up to you to work hard and show them that you love what you do, and you can survive with it.Be a shining example. It’s only a matter of time before you buy them all over.
    2.Get some education. It helps your packaging and branding in every of them being that you need a good command of English Language, because the job you do is people oriented and you come across people everyday, and most of them judge you by what they hear and one wants to hire a makeup artist they can’t flaunt,one who would keep embarrassing them and mixing up tenses.
    3.Let your work speak for you-When people u’ve worked for/with recommend you to others, then you know you are on the right track . When you have artistry, you don’t even need to say a word to convince anyone because the evidence of what you can do is right there, staring everyone in the face.
    4.Patience/consistence-Patience is everything! There sure will be drought periods when you are starting up(note to self); but how you manage your finances will see you through. During the period of struggling to break into the industry and the period when you actually do, consistence is key. Put yourself out there, make sure you tell everyone you meet what you do, because everyone is either a potential client, or a link to a client.

  4. Yea i think it is very important that you at least get a National DIPLOMA in any chosen course and Higher Institution of your choice, because this helps to build ur morale, gives you confidence to deal and discuss business with any person, etc. Tertiary Education cannot be out-ruled even tho you won’t be practicing it as a makeup Artist.

    I could also remember back then when i was in sch and my room mates would always run to me to carve their brows and make them up for a wedding….. sometimes m even the one going from room to rooms, asking if any1 is going for a wedding; just for me to make them up, and all this i do FREE OF CHARGE.

    But at a point in my life i decided to develop and build up the passion i had, then i enrolled with N’SURE BEAUTY (Lagos) in MAY 2014, not because i don’t know how to make people up, but because i wanna be proud of what i do, i wanna do a neat job and people would call my name “JELA” and i would step out in confidence.

    The most important educational qualification you can get as a makeup Artist is a Diploma in Makeup Artistry.

    Reason why i said so is because; with this training, u would get to know at least 70% of what the industry is all about and is required of you as a makeup artist.

    You also must not underestimate the power of “CONNECTION”. Neva look down on anyone, the least person you ever expected might be the one giving you jobs and connecting you to people that would pay any amount just for you to “PET” their faces.

    The act of making friends with other MAKEUP ARTIST should not be looked down on, because you could also learn new things from them.

    Most importantly…as a beginner, you have to do makeup with a passion and not because of the money you stand to get….because the only thing that can stand you out and take you to the next level as a Makeup Artist is…..PASSION!

    Stay cool and remain blessed.

    I love my Boss….Yemisi Dada.

  5. Hmmm I must confess it’s not easy but one has to start from somewhere.before I gained admission I had wanted to be an accountant but has faith would have it I studied transport planning and management I started learning makeup before I graduated from the university I had my first makeup class at taries beauty world then later proceeded to house of tara. Makeup has been fun so far but some clients can be so funny and I believe ooo dats business for you one has to face some challenges I had no regrets so far but still learning thou,cos we learn everyday

  6. Honestly, I think the best way to learn makeup artistry is to work with a pro artist you respect. Be humble and learn d basics from cleaning brushes to managing clients before complicated pro makeup looks. Don’t be in a hurry to leave. There’s nothing wrong with staying a year. Make yourself indispensable. You might need to get an additional source of income at this time to pay your bills but keep at it. Apart from the fact that you may get some really good referrals from a satisfied mentor, the truth is, no one can teach you every thing they know. Creative pple come up with new things everyday. You have to work with them. There are also some things your mentor may not teach you, shortcuts you may never know until you touch her heart.

    • I totally agree with you on that Madam Ofure, a lot of the aspiring makeup artist are always in a hurry to start out.God bless you for sharing *hugs*

  7. I always wanted to become a doctor. After secondary sch story changed. Got admission to study chemistry education, while i was in sch i realised sciences wasnt actually my calling. Being good in all science courses doesnt necesarily mean u must become a scientist or study science. My love for fashion n makeup was alarming. After sch my sis’s friend saw d potential in me n encouraged me. She had a makeup sch (bedazzled makeup academy in KD)where i enrolled n even worked there in 2010 b4 NYSC. After then i ve been working n doing makeup by d side but my luv for makeup keeps me up all night n i recently adviced mysef to ff my heart. I just resigned to become a full time makeup artist n words cant express how i feel. The peace in my heart tho. I know its gonna be a bumpy ride initially but i cannot be bothered. When u ve a calling, just ff it. And with other MUAs who r ever ready to assist n support here in Lagos. I ve no fear. Many thanks to Ocho, CEO Bedazzled makeup studio & Academy.

  8. Hello Yemisi, I totally agree with your posts. well, I’m not a makeup artist or aspiring to be; i love makeup ( creativity) and seeing other make up artists work ( lol makeup police). This our generation is growing rapidly, there are thousands of makeup artists in naija now, thanks to instagram , blog and bella naija for displaying their works. Being a makeup artists entails training and development, creativity at its peak, patience, confidence and positive in what he/she is doing. Education is very very very important so as to enhance your skills and value make you a better person. Diverting level, i watched and read about some make artists most especially Banke Meshida Lawal ( love her) on how she started and grew tremendously. She didn’t just start like that, it took stages, orientation and evolvement; here she is I’m super proud of her and the likes of Bimpe Onakoya, Tara Durotoye etc. Every one doing great! Like you always say keep it simple and mild, some make up artists over do theirs and I’m like bleh( apology, i’m not perfect and don’t want to mention names ). Some find it big to relate with others, there’s nothing bad in asking for help in a good reason to enhance your skills. Moreover, an artist can have a mentor in whom he/she is looking up to in building his/her career. Thank God for Omolola Faleye for beauty showcases for MUAs to come together, chat, ask questions and form unity as one. Also, i read in your post in which BMPRO organised an event, which was good as well.
    Its goes to you Yemisi, I admire your courage and how you mingle and connect with other makeup artists. Good Job woman, keep up striving to be a better MUA. God bless you, its your year of great awakening! love your signature makeup look on people, its says keep it simple, not looking like Ojuju. Infact kudos to makeup artists in najia, awesome jobs guys but be real not fake. Some times is not about money, I’m not saying money isn’t necessary, Believe me Money is good( but know what you are doing) . Thanks to Banke, Tara, uncle Bayo Haastrup etc. Make up is a big business in naija, with lots of market strategies, its good to have education and having a knowledge of business or market entry strategies to improve your sales, co workers, finance etc.

    • Also, i saw somethings on instagram of some MUAS saying I would be in UK, Spain etc. “If you need to book me and will be taking makeup classes” etc… Pls is it right or professional?? in between, I’m not against an artists displaying his/her market. just do it in a good way not boosting too much much.

  9. i am a makeup artist n i studied statistics. I presently work as a makeup artist somewhere in Ikoyi n I must say being an employable makeup artist in a really long trip. Asides your actual training,I had to upgrade my skills somehow through online tutorials n working for free for established muas. I remember almost giving up some years back when I didnt realize I needed to upgrade my skills. we sometimes think attending a single makeup course makes us as automatic mua. lol.
    Patience n consistent learning is key in this trade of ours. Drops mic!

  10. Please all I need is your number. I really love what everyone put up here. MUD trained me and will forever be grateful to MUD.Kudos to all MUAs in the house. Please utilize every good opportunity you have to learn and re-learn,2012 makeup is so different from 2015makeup.please stay updated. Love you all

  11. Hmmmmmm great and really inspiring writeup am actually @d point of quitting but d truth in me keep reminding me to upgrade my skills to stand out…please aside Tara, n orders I want to know How good Mud academy is or better still pro makeup artist advice me ooo I need need serious touch

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