Why Higher Education Institutions Should Recognize Makeup Artists

We grow up with an overpowering emphasis on education. We are told that we need to go to college in order to succeed in life — the reminder is constantly there. Many students work hard to guarantee a spot in college. But what happens when you work hard your whole life to get to higher education just to realize that your passion is not something you can pursue through that institution?

Drama, art, dance, theatre and music majors are all offered at many colleges and universities. Why is makeup not? The answer may lie in that makeup is not seen as a respectable profession. Higher institutions may not find greater use for makeup artist in society because it doesn’t uphold the same standards of typical professional careers like doctors and lawyers.

The truth is that the makeup industry is growing. Whether it be special effects or glam, makeup artists are needed and are highly talented. All the amazing characters you see in your favorite movies like Star Wars would not be possible without makeup artists. Runway models wouldn’t be able to wear editorial looks without makeup artist either.  Makeup artist are needed in society and they contribute to the economy just like any other artist.

Senior Media Thesis: Rick Baker

Higher institutions need to realize that makeup is another form of art. It takes skill, passion, and patience just like playing an instrument, dancing, or acting. Makeup artists learn a lot. They need to be familiar with color theory, face shapes, undertones, light and shadows, how some products work with others, how to make prosthetics and so on. Makeup artist have the ability to transform others yet they are often underestimated and underappreciated. Trends are quickly changing and there’s always going to be something new to learn in the makeup industry.

When one has worked their whole life to succeed in school and build up their resume for college, it can be disappointing to see that the one thing you worked so hard for doesn’t validate your career choice.

Sure, aspiring makeup artist can go get an associates degree but why should an artist settle for that? In some states a GED is not a requirement to apply to cosmetology school. That in itself shows how poorly respected this particular work field is. It means anyone can apply but in reality, it takes skill and grit to be a makeup artist so the process should be the same with makeup as it is with drama, dance and theater.  Maybe a 4 year program is a lot to ask for an industry that is growing, but there are ways to work around that. A makeup career could be offered as a minor instead of a major and that would be a step in the right direction

Ultimately, people who have a passion for art, a type not accepted by greater society, should not get the doors shut in their face when they turn to colleges. When one has worked their whole life to succeed in school and build up their resume for college, it can be disappointing to see that the one thing you worked so hard for doesn’t validate your career choice.



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Yahaira Garcia
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Yahaira is a second year Psychology & Social Behavior major at UC Irvine. She loves puppies, her family, makeup, food, writing and watching Netflix. She is also very passionate about social issues and learning.


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