A Guide To Becoming a Makeup Artist in Chicago

Makeup artistry can be a great career path for people who love makeup and have a drive for creativity. However, the path to becoming a makeup artist isn’t as easy as simply having a passion. You also need to make sure you have the skills and reputation necessary to become a makeup artist. How can you do that? Here’s a simple guide that will put you on the path to becoming a Chicago makeup artist.

1. Learn More About the Chicago Makeup Scene

If you want to become a Chicago makeup artist, you first need to know about the scene you’re stepping into. If you don’t take the time and energy required to learn more about the Chicago makeup scene, it’s possible that people who are already in the scene might not respect you. However, if you instead take the time to learn what you’re stepping into, you’ll be able to carve out a space for yourself.

The Chicago makeup scene is immensely deep and wide, with a diverse cast of talents ranging from the internationally recognized to the locally beloved and the absolute beginners. Start searching around social media for terms like “Chicago beauty expert” or “Chicago makeup artist” and follow as many as you can find. Chances are, you’ll start getting an idea of the scene.

2. Become Involved With Existing Chicago Makeup Artists

The next step is to start becoming part of the makeup scene in Chicago. You can often do this simply by becoming friends with existing makeup artists near you. Maybe you’ve been following smaller Chicago-based makeup artists for some time and you can send them a message, or maybe you can attend a local event for beginning makeup artists.

Regardless of the path you take, it’s a good idea to make sure you have connections in the Chicago makeup arena early on. Not only can this help you get a job when you eventually go looking, but other makeup artists may be more likely to have your back as you grow. It could be a single Instagram share from a Chicago friend that eventually catapults you into success, so connections are crucial.

3. Look Into Makeup Artistry Programs in Chicago

Next, you’ll want to look into programs that can teach you how to be a makeup artist. Though there are some specific makeup artistry programs available at beauty schools across Chicago, it’s also common for makeup artist skills to be bundled into an esthetics program. Esthetics programs will teach you about skin care, but they’ll also often teach you about makeup application, which is crucial to becoming a makeup artist.

For burgeoning Chicago makeup artists, there’s no better option than the esthetics courses at Tricoci University of Beauty Culture. You can find esthetics courses at four Chicago-area Tricoci University campuses: Chicago NE (Rogers Park), Chicago NW (Norwood Park), Glendale Heights, and Bridgeview. All of these campuses offer great esthetics programs, which can give you the tools and credentials you need to become a makeup artist in Chicago.

4. Create a Makeup Artist Portfolio

As you go through your makeup artistry program, you’re going to need to create a portfolio. Not only will your portfolio be able to grow and change as you become a more talented makeup artist, but it will also be a valuable tool to show the different ways you can showcase your talents. When you go through esthetics training, you’ll often get more chances to show off your skills, so take full advantage of those chances.

A portfolio doesn’t have to be extensive or very difficult to create. In fact, some people will use Instagram or another social media as their portfolio; they’ll just post regular pictures of their completed makeup looks that they’re proud of. All that you need for a portfolio is a way to show off your looks, which you can do through a social media account, a website or something else entirely. That way, people who are interested in the work you do can reach out to you directly.


Becoming a makeup artist in Chicago can seem daunting, especially if you don’t have any experience with makeup artistry in general. However, Chicago is full of makeup artists and general artists looking to make an impact on the world. If you’re thinking about becoming a makeup artist in Chicago, your best bet will be to look into makeup programs from Tricoci University. Request more information and schedule a virtual tour with one of the Chicago-area campuses today to learn more about your makeup artistry options.