With my recent job search in full effect it reminds me of how often I get asked how to get a job working in make-up. While working behind the counter (especially when I worked for MAC) we were asked all the time how to become a make-up artist. I know there are plenty of schools out there that can teach amazing technique and tips but I've found that most people working for major brands did not take that route.
So have no fear if you don't have the $20,000 or so for cosmetology school there's still ways to hone your craft and become a part of a established artistry brand.
A very famous make-up artist that I have had the pleasure of calling my friend once told me " You either have the talk or the talent" If you're looking to work in the retail side of cosmetics being able to give your clients the best products for them is the most important part of your job. Yes, of course you will have people asking for make-overs but your overall job is to sell the products. In my many cosmetics retail I've worked with many amazing make-up artist who were great at make-up but not so great at selling the products. If this may be you then you may want to look at make-up in an artistry focus.
There's a lot of money to be made in doing make-up for weddings and other events. You will need some business sense but your artistry will be your selling point.
So I know someone's thinking "so your saying I can be an average make-up artist and still get a job in cosmetics??" Yes I honestly believe that knowing how to give great customer service and being a good salesperson can make anyone a successful cosmetics sales person.
The lines that were more artistry focused like MAC though will usually want you to start as a freelancer for them before you become a permanent employee.
Still want to work in cosmetics?
Most department stores use their web sights to hire even for cosmetics. MAC and Sephora however prefer that you apply in person. Show up looking your best ( in all black is always good) and bring a resume listing any retail or make-up experience you have. I also recommend not going on a weekend or at night because it may to too busy for you to speak with a manager.
When you get your interview just be yourself. Talk about your love for the brand and what you know about their brand.(Do your homework if you don't know much about it!!) Be prepared for the standard questions like "Why do you want to work for us" and make sure your answers are more elaborate than "I love make-up"