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How to find your foundation in the makeup industry

Posted on December 11, 2019


Today's makeup industry looks a lot different than it did only 10 years ago. Combine smartphones and the need to be selfie-ready at all times with a thriving society of beauty bloggers and vloggers, factor in a trend towards self-care, and it all adds up to a beauty-industry boom. 

While online shopping has typically meant an existential crisis for traditional retail, the Internet has opened the makeup market to a whole new generation. According to the latest research, the global cosmetics industry is currently worth over $500 billion USD and is predicted to reach almost $805 billion USD by 2023. 

Makeup is big right now. For any self-proclaimed “makeup addicts” wondering how to turn their hobby into a career, there has never been a better time, and Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) newly redesigned makeup artistry program is the perfect place to start. 

This part-time, introductory program teaches all the essentials of professional makeup artistry for a fraction of the cost of private training institutions. The certificate can be completed in nine months to a year, and classes are held during evenings and weekends only, allowing students to continue working or freelancing throughout their studies. To offer students an extra competitive edge, VCC course options for 2020 now include airbrush, hairstyling, and makeup for film and television. 

Craft your own career 

In this ever-changing industry, trained makeup professionals can choose from a wide variety of fulfilling careers, with new niches constantly emerging:

  • As apps, augmented reality (AR), and digital assistants enter our personal routines, makeup experts will be needed to work directly with this technology. 
  • As traditional gender roles and identities evolve, men and trans people will demand more specialized makeup artistry.
  • As selfie and influencer culture continue to rise, ever-newer makeup techniques will be needed to keep current. 
  • As concern grows about health and the environment, many makeup professionals will choose to specialize in natural or organic products. 

While VCC’s makeup artistry certificate offers employment-ready skills for the beauty retail and freelance/bridal industries, it also serves as a professional launchpad for further training in other exciting careers, including:

  • Print makeup – work with photographers on commercial or editorial shoots
  • Runway makeup – design and apply makeup for live fashion shows
  • Stage and theatre – apply makeup to actors in a live production
  • Television ­– provide makeup services for news, commercials, character dramas, and more
  • Film and movies – transform actors for film using everything from basic makeup to prosthetics and special effects
  • Beauty influencer – broadcast your makeup skills (and your sparkling personality) to millions of fans online, earning sponsorship dollars in the process
  • Body and face painting – work in commercial, festive (e.g. mehndi), or contemporary art settings
  • Medical makeup – help conceal pigmentation issues or scars from medical procedures
  • Mortuary makeup – apply makeup and hair and nail treatments to deceased people prior to funerals  



Learning is for life. Check out new courses and programs in our VCC Continuing Studies Winter 2020 catalogue, including wine sommelier, chocolate showpieces, mobile phone photography, and more.