When It Comes to Makeup, Are You Professionally Trained or Self-Taught?

Published in: Just For Fun

Other than a handful of makeup classes over the years at different Chanel and MAC counters, I’m completely self-taught.


I feel like I do OK now with my makeup, but there are still so many things I’d like to learn (and I’d love to be able to do everything faster).

If/when an eccentric billionaire ever takes an interest in me (WHERE ARE YOU!? DAMMIT! HURRY UP!) and decides to fund my cat lady/makeup-lovin’ lifestyle, I would definitely sign up for official makeup training. I think it would be fun and cool.

And if Tabs ever feels so gracious as to give me another day off, I might see about assisting a local makeup artist, just to pick up some new tricks on the job.

What about you? When it comes to makeup, are you professionally trained or self-taught?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. TGIF! 🙂



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  1. Jessica says:

    Totally self-trained, I learned the little I know from watching YouTube, reading blogs like yours and straight up experimenting!

    • Kim Stahlin says:

      Trained by the owner of our company (my mom), who was a cosmetologist before she founded our company in 1980. In addition to being a cosmetologist, she also worked with a Hollywood makeup artist (worked on the Jaws and Planet of the Apes movies as well as many others) for several months while formulating our Danyel Foundations. Best of both worlds for me, trained by one of the best who just happened to be my Mom! 🙂

  2. Kwmechelle says:

    Totally self-trained. I learned everything I know in the same manner as Jessica. Still waiting on that eccentric billionaire to take an interest in me,too…haha

  3. Agata says:

    I am definitely self-taught, I have never taken a single class. I learnt a lot just from reading beauty blogs and watching You Tube tutorials and the most, probably, from reading your blog! And I am definitely still learning!
    Agata recently posted … Something old, something new

  4. Donna N says:

    other than my basic training seminar I received when I first started with Clinique (in 1990), I am COMPLETELY self-taught. If it were not for beauty blogs and YOUTUBE, I probably would know a TENTH of what I do now (thank you Karen!!)

  5. Leticia says:

    Other than YouTube videos I am self taught! 🙂

  6. Marieke says:

    Self-taught, but before I could start working in the industry, I took a little course to get the papers. Just a little proof that I can indeed do it! I’m not a big fan of video’s but they’re damn helpful when it comes to correct use of brushes or products. I now do some promotion work for several brands whenever a new product is launched. Nowhere near a fulltime job but fun to do!

  7. Kim says:

    Self-taught for sure, though I’ve definitely picked up all the good tips from pros like you. 🙂 Remember when Jeremy Renner used to be a makeup artist? I’d probably sign up for his class. And by “probably” I mean inaNewYorkminute. hee hee!

  8. I also am self trained but would love to go to a school. I still have so much I want to learn and I feel I’m slowly getting better but would love some real classes!

  9. Allison C says:

    Heck, I even hesitate to use the term self-“taught” for me! I’m just stumbling along seeing what other women do and reading blogs and magazines and making it up as I go along 😉
    Allison C recently posted … Zoya 3-in-1 Formula Remove+ Polish Remover

  10. Alexis says:

    Self taught at the age of 13 with a bunch of Vogue, Elle and Mademoiselle (remember that magazine?) as my handbooks. Oh the 80’s…

  11. Cathy says:

    Self-taught, picking up hints and tips from You Tube, blogs and beautiful women (like you!). Athough, for fun, a few months ago, my daughters and I went for girl’s day out and had a make-up tuition session with a professional. She didn’t make us up, but tutored us as we made ourselves out. It was a three-hour session and although we learnt a lot, it was also quite satisfying to discover that I’d been doing some things right!

  12. FARHEE says:

    Self-taught b4 Youtube beauty!

  13. Ruchita says:

    Self taught, along with a lot of trial and error! It has definitely become easier to learn with blogs and You Tube videos.

  14. Ju says:

    Totally Self-taught and I usually go to a friend´s house to try new makes (and gossip a little =) )!!! Have a nice weekend too!!

  15. Lacey says:

    Both. Is that a viable answer? Lol. I have been interested in makeup for as long as I can remember. My Nana and my mom have both been Avon ladies, so I was always playing with makeup. I worked for Sephora a couple of years ago for about a year and a half and learned sooooo much from their trainers. But I always feel like there is more to learn. I am always reading, watching videos, and checking out blogs (like your lovely one, Karen!) for new ideas.

  16. Rachel R. says:

    Mostly self-taught. My mom taught me some (she was a model as a teenager), and let me play with her makeup from a young age. I watch the occasional Youtube video for advanced techniques. I’m 44, so grew up reading fashion magazines for makeup tips and looks to copy.

  17. Kalli says:

    Self-taught. My mom taught me a little bit when she helped me get into grown up makeup when I was in middle school (foundation, concealer, mascara) and I remember when Jane cosmetics first came out in the mid-90s, they had these free little makeup how-to cards at the display. I kept them for a few years, they were quite helpful. Since I started reading makeup blogs in the last couple of years, I’ve picked up a lot more techniques, especially from you Karen! Also, anytime I want to learn a specific technique, I’ll turn to YouTube.

  18. Chelsea says:

    A bit of both! I worked in cosmetics for a time, and got some training. I feel like I’ve done more on my own though. I’m going to the house of a friend who went to school for makeup artistry and works for a popular brand, for some lessons this weekend 🙂 I’m doing my friend’s wedding next month, so I’d like some pro help to make her look awesome!

    • Karen says:

      Oh how fun! You’ll have to share your friend’s secrets. 🙂

      For the wedding next month…what kind of look is she going for?

      • Chelsea says:

        We have to postpone it due to an impromptu family reunion for her, unfortunately, but I definitely will!

        I’m not sure what she’s going for yet! She was thinking either bronzy colors or purples. She’s got very similar coloring to me (red hair, fair skin [although she is more pink than me, I’ve got neutral undertones]) and really lovely skin, so it should be fun.

  19. Miki says:

    I was professionally taught originally. I was a cosmetician about 15 years ago. But, currently I am thoroughly self taught! Through learning from so many great teachers online!

  20. Fancie says:

    Self taught. I’ve never taken any classes but I’d love to in the future! I started off watching YouTube videos and got inspired enough to learn the craft. Now I love doing makeup for myself and others! It’s so addictive!
    Fancie recently posted … NARS Velvet Lip Liner for Fall 2014

  21. Erica says:

    I’m definitely self taught. I get makeovers on 1-2 times a year at Nordstroms, Saks, etc. to get suggestions to improve/update my look. I would love to take makeup classes but most makeup classes tend to be geared towards future MUA’s, not people who merely want to improve their own makeup looks.

  22. Iris says:

    I am totally self-taught. I’ve wanted to take makeup classes for myself but have never got around to it.

  23. Jen says:

    Self-taught, mostly! Although, I do work at The Body Shop now, and they had me watch a makeup application video. 😛 Still, I’m learning every day!
    Jen recently posted … Throwback Thursday: Long hair

  24. Sylirael says:

    Totally self trained (as is probably obvious in my photos, LOL). I have picked up assorted tips and ideas from other people’s blogs and vlogs though!
    Sylirael recently posted … What’s in The Rogue’s August Wishlist Chest? Lipsticks, Blushes and Eyeliners!

  25. Rachel P. says:

    I am entirely self-taught. My mom has been a Mary Kay beauty consultant for a long time, so she was always able to provide me with the fundamentals. For a long time, it was trial and error while I made the usual faux pas (not matching foundation to skin or concealer to foundation, over applying almost everything, applying product to the wrong areas, choosing unflattering colors, etc). When I discovered the beauty blog/vlog community, it made a world of difference, and now I feel like I can do makeup with the best of them (but in no way claim to be a professional makeup artist!) I wouldn’t mind taking some beauty classes. I have friends who are freelance makeup artists that sometimes give me tips, too, but that’s not an education so much as on-the-job training.

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