College v’s Private Academy v’s Salon Training

March 8, 2018

[vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1520518113968{padding-top: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text] There is a lot of discussion and many different opinions on what people, who want to become a makeup artist or a funding those who want to be a makeup artist, think are the most beneficial ways to train. The three main options being; Attending your local college for […]

College v’s Private Academy v’s Salon Training
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There is a lot of discussion and many different opinions on what people, who want to become a makeup artist or a funding those who want to be a makeup artist, think are the most beneficial ways to train. The three main options being;

Attending your local college for 1-2 years to receive a low-level diploma,

Attending a reputable private academy for a period of time that best suits you, or

Receive lessons on a 1-2-1 basis at a local salon or by a freelance makeup artist you are already familiar with.

Hopefully this post should clear a few of those things up…


Professionalism is key in all aspects of the job as a makeup artist so why would you start your career being trained in the wrong environment?

Makeup academies and schools are specifically designed and tailored for students studying makeup artistry. So what does that mean? …

They do not include irrelevant apparatus that would often be found in a college environment. For example – desks that are quite narrow that don’t fit an average size makeup palette on and also include large holes for hairdryers, so that classrooms can be shared between makeup and hairdressing students. Another benefit of a training academy vs. a training at a salon, is that everyone who is there are there to learn!

Busy salons are jam packed with people constantly passing through, catching up with their nail tech, planning the weekend with their makeup artist, and talking loudly over the blasting hair dryers – a great, casual environment to pamper, but not so much to learn…


The first thing to understand before training to be a makeup artist – there is not only one single qualification that you can acquire. NVQ, diploma, foundation / BA (hons) degree, VTCT to name a few, the list goes on – INCLUDING those that come from private academies with their own certification, so what is important is that you make the right choice for you…

The most common choice for the younger generation is to go to college to gain their levels 2 & 3 – which is understandable as young adults now have to stay in education until the age of 18, however due to personal experience, here at KLMA we do strongly believe that these qualifications are extremely dated and not industry relevant. Yes, you may be handed a certificate at the end of your two years but unfortunately you won’t possess the knowledge needed to be a successful makeup artist in this present day and age. On the other hand, salons do not provide any form of qualification to become a professional makeup artist which is needed to gain employment and insurance.

Before you begin any form of makeup training, firstly decide how important a qualification is to you… and secondly whether you want to simply gain a certificate or the relevant knowledge and skill with it…


Person A Detail in here

Person B Detail in here

Person C Detail in here


I know who I would rather be taught by… Person B! Someone who has all the correct qualifications, who is industry present and up to date with new skills and trends. Take a guess at who these characteristics belong to… If you said the private academy tutor, you’re correct! It is vital that you not only have your degree in teaching but are also up to date with the industry, unlike college tutors (person A) that can become dated as their only working hours become taken up in a college and often end up teaching lessons that aren’t even their profession, for example hairdressing tutors teaching makeup artistry. The downside to being taught by an amazing salon makeup artist such as person C, is the fact they may not be fully equipped to translate their high quality skill properly as they are not professionally trained to degree level to teach.


As make-up artists, we understand not only the importance of a kit full of quality products but also how hard it is to build such kit when you’re starting out, so that’s why the majority of training academies will provide a pro kit and brush set when you enrol on a course. These kits tend to be better than the ones provided by a community college due to them being designed and put together by current makeup artists using products that they use from a variety of brands, unlike in a college kits are provided with a budget per student in mind and are usually from a single low cost brand.


Being a makeup artist is pricey to start but there is no better investment than the one you make in yourself, so don’t let the initial cost of pursuing your dream put you off. When choosing your avenue of training it is easy to be swayed by the idea that colleges are government funded and the first year tends to be slightly cheaper, but what happens in your second year? When the cost of the single year more than doubles to £3350 and you have to buy another kit, another brush set and another uniform on top? What many people don’t know is that government loans can be granted to people aiming to better their careers which cover the costs of the entirety of a private academy course (which includes kit, brushes and uniform*) within the initial price! Not to mention value for money (as stated in point 2, you may come away with a qualification but no knowledge) and value for TIME! For example a college day can be anything from 6 – 8 hours a day, usually with a 1-2 hour lunch break and unscheduled breaks in between, meaning really that you’re only actually learning for 4 – 6 hours per day, whereas in a committed academy environment we ensure that you receive the high standard of teaching for the full amount of hours you have paid for.

*Uniform – if necessary in your college / academy environment. Not every establishment requires a uniform.


Something that is certainly not provided after college is aftercare services, which as an academy; we have found our students greatly benefit from. Finishing your makeup education is the beginning not the end, it’s the beginning of your career! One key thing in an aftercare package is free advice from a tutor or makeup artist via phone or email at any time as not only are we here for you to fall back on and raise you back up but we also love hearing about your success! Job and work experience opportunities, discounted or free master classes and discounted future courses, are also things that are granted in aftercare packages. As a KLMA graduate our aftercare includes access to our members’ only platforms across social media and our website.

Remember, it’s the hand not the brand!

Makeup artistry education never expires and never goes away. It is with you for a lifetime, no matter which avenue you take.


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