And the answer is….
I am self taught when it comes to all kinds of makeup - glamour, bridal, horror, etc. I've had people ask me if it's worth taking makeup classes and here is my theory on makeup school and classes…
If you want to develop a basic understanding about makeup and you want someone to show you how to apply it step by step, makeup schools are a great option. Though they don't teach creativity, they will teach you proper technique and how to be sanitary with your makeup. If you already have a basic technique and a hint of creativity, you don't need to spend a lot of money on classes. I taught myself by looking at photos that I admired from artist like Kevyn Aucoin and Alexis Vogel. I would just look at one of their photos and try to recreate it on my own face. When I first started doing makeup, it would take me OVER AN HOUR to do a SMOKEY EYE! But that's ok because I was still learning and I WASN'T GOING TO GIVE UP on myself! And now, youtube has so many makeup gurus such as Kandee Johnson, Michele Phan, and EnKore…. who show you step by step how to apply makeup. Kandee Johnson is one of my favorites because not only is she beautiful and talented, she's such a loving person and breaks down all the steps for you. Her work is amazing, just check out her Edward Scissorhands tutorial and you'll see what I'm taking about :)
If you are thinking more towards doing makeup for films, Special FX schools are wonderful to attend. There's a great one not too far from where I grew up called Tom Savini's Special Effects School in Monessen, PA. Tom Savini is the makeup artist most known for his "Living Dead" films. At his school, they teach prosthetics, mold making, blood, old age, and every other kind of effect used in horror films. I actually learned all my goriness from none other than my dear ol' Mom! Every year since the first grade, I was always something scary for Halloween. Most girls wanted to be can can dancers or angels. Not little Nikki! In the first grade I was a bloody ballerina! Except for in Kindergarten when I wanted to be a princess. Exhibit X!:
Me and my ninja boyfriend crush!
And each year, she and I would go shopping for the latest in scary makeup - fake noses, scars, the works. So as the years progressed, she and I learned the basics of fake gore. Then when I was 17, I got hired to do makeup at a local haunted house and learned a lot from the other makeup artists there that helped me so much. I took a chance and applied and was SO HAPPY that I was getting the chance to do what I love and learn at the same time!
Finding a mentor is a great way to learn makeup and you won't have to pay a dime! Find a makeup artist that you really like and ask them if you can come with them on a shoot or "assist" them with a wedding. This way you can find out if makeup is something you really want to do or not and you can learn some really great tricks ;-)
So if you are contemplating on whether or not makeup school is right for you, I hope this helped your thought process a bit. Do your research, ask former alumni, read reviews, find out everything you can about a school that you wish to attend. I'm not knocking makeup schools, but I feel that you shouldn't have to pay a reDONKulous amount of money if you already have a brain filled with creativity (which I know you do!). Whatever you choose, I hope it's a happy choice and it is a step in the right direction for your heart and dreams. I'm a huge advocator in that you can do anything that you want to do. The only person that can stop you is yourself. People will try, but if you keep at your dreams you will get them no matter what happens. Don't ever let anyone tell you the "right" way or the "only" way to do things...you're the only one who knows what right way is for you. Just always listen to your heart because it will never steer you in the wrong direction!