Make-up Courses

If you want to become a full or part time make-up artist and you want to learn make-up art from a reputable make-up school get into touch with renowned make-up artist Debbie Jean as she can guide you in the right direction. Debbie has been a make-up artist since 1994 and has trained some of South Africa's best working make-up artists. Debbie works internationally as a make-up artist and knows the industry inside and out. Although Debbie no longer personally teaches courses she is in touch with a network of make-up artists who teach make-up courses in Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg and George.

Debbie in action for Makeup Courses in South AfricaDebbie teaching a group make-up workshop

In South Africa there are many make-up schools and it is difficult to select a course when you are not sure where the most talented teachers are. You have a choice of short make-up courses (2, 4 and 8 day make-up courses) as well as longer courses like part and full time make-up courses. Generally students select a make-up course based on their budget, time frame and of course how much detail they want to learn. A 2 day make-up course will offer you a great introduction to make-up art and is designed for those who either already do make-up but are in urgent need of an update or for those who are starting out in the make-up industry but don't want to commit to much time or money into their new skill. The longer more detailed make-up courses cover make-up subjects in more detail and are recommended for those who are serious about their make-up career and want to put their time and energy into honing their make-up skill. Some make-up schools in South Africa host very long make-up courses - up to one year. These courses are designed for very young students who need time to develop themselves before entering the make-up world. These courses can be ideal for some but most people today no matter what their age want to study in a reasonable time frame and once their training is complete they can start to work and earn an income. Being in the field can be more beneficial for most than being in a make-up school environment for months on end.

In South Africa the areas that you can choose to focus on make-up wise are the following:

If you want to work in the fashion industry doing make-up for magazines it is important to know that make-up artists are also expected to do the models/actors hair. Doing a short hair course is therefore recommended to develop the skill to cope with basic hair styling on photo shoot or TV commercials. When it comes to bridal make-up and hair it would be up to you if you choose to do bridal make-up and work with a hair stylist who does the hair, or if you have the talent you can do both bridal make-up and bridal hair. Working on fashion shoots and on TV commercials can be interesting and diverse, it does however take time to get into this industry. There are few agents (crewing and styling agents) in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban who represent make-up artists. You really cannot approach these agencies the moment you have finished your make-up course. You need time to build up a portfolio of photographs to show these agencies what you can do to get representation. The photos HAVE TO be taken by a talented fashion photographer and the models HAVE TO be of a professional standard (working models) The only way to gain images for your portfolio is to offer your hair and make-up services free of charge to model agencies – when their models need new images for their portfolios they can work with you on their shoot (test shoot) and you will gain pictures. Slowly and gradually after some time you should have enough pictures to show the styling and crewing agencies. If your portfolio is not strong enough no agency will take you on. So starting with special occasion make-up and bridal make-up is much easier and you can slowly work towards the fashion industry.

Once you have completed your make-up course you will need to get some practise so consider starting with special occasion make-up and bridal make-up, you can also work at a professional make-up counter which gives you lots of practise on clients (like at Mac or Bobbi Brown for example)

Also develop your hair skill as soon as possible after your make-up course as you can increase your earning potential if you can do both hair and make-up for special occasions, weddings and photo shoots etc.

It is important to know the facts about the fashion and beauty industry before some make-up schools 'pull the wool over your eyes' Just so you are aware make-up is an art and does NOT require any certificate or diploma to work in the industry. Some make-up schools link their make-up department to their beauty department and use this technique to gain students: they sell the make-up course as internationally recognised under the 'umbrella' of their beauty school. Make-up is not recognised full stop. If you work for a fashion magazine doing make-up the fashion or beauty editor will ask to see your portfolio of photographs NOT your diploma. They have no concern if or where you studied they will want to see what you can do. Brides will never ask where you have studied they will want to see beautiful images of brides you have made over. The only time it is wonderful to have a certificate or diploma is when you have a make-up studio/hair salon or beauty salon and you would like to display your achievements. Also if you apply for a job as a make-up consultant at one of the make-up counters you can attach a copy of your achievements to your CV and this is very helpful. Some of South Africa's most talented make-up artists have never had formal make-up training and it has not stopped them from working full time as make-up artists. Make-up Courses are of course needed for those individuals who need to develop their make-up skill and learn how to use professional products, but you do need to learn this from a talented make-up artist who knows how to pass on his/her skill.

Debbie's clients include the following international publications: Marie Claire, Men's Health, Glamour, Shape, Cosmopolitan/Cosmo Girl, GQ, La'Official and Grazia magazines. View some of Debbie's work:

Please get in touch with Debbie and share your story so she can put you in touch with make-up teachers/schools in South Africa that will work with your individual needs and offer you the most suitable training: