So, you want to become a professional makeup artist (MUA)? Well, first you should know that no Youtube tutorial is going to give you that title, certificate, nor industry knowledge and education.

To become a certified professional makeup artist – we’re talkin’ the real deal – you will have to go to makeup school.

Preferably one that doesn’t suck.

In LA there are tons of makeup schools with decent ratings on Google, but how do you really know you’re getting the most knowledge, experience, and connections for your buck?

You don’t!

That’s why we’ve decided to put together a short guide to help you understand the essentials you need from LA makeup schools, so you can differentiate the fantastic from the flops.

Here are the first five essentials from this two-part blog:

The Educator

To ever be the best, you’ll have to learn from the best.

Kimberley Bosso with actor, James Caan.

Your makeup educator and their background is probably the most important factor when choosing a  top makeup school for your training.

Has your educator traveled the world working in the industry from various fashion weeks to Hollywood red carpets, celebrity events, TV, Film, to editorial spreads and high profile weddings? Does your instructor have vast business knowledge and is willing to be transparent about it? Are they going to give you marketing secrets to help raise you up or do they want to keep just enough of the good stuff for them only in fear of their students surpassing them. The workshops and courses popping up don’t always have the student’s best intention and future in mind. So be aware, and ask thorough questions.

Furthermore, a lot of makeup schools in Hollywood will hire makeup artists to teach their makeup classes… However, the “makeup artists” that they hire do not have the proper training and makeup experience needed to be master instructors. They will say they do, but do your due diligence and see what you can actually find on these “pro instructors” online.

Kimberley with actor, Joe Pesci.
Kimberley with actor, Joe Pesci.

So who do you want to be your instructor? A working celebrity makeup artist who is ACTIVE in the industry, so you are getting fresh current techniques and trends!

An educator has to be capable of training aspiring artists to be their best.

Let’s keep it real!

There’s so much fluff and BS in the makeup industry. Remember, it’s all about the education and integrity of the school that you’re looking for, not fillers like makeup kits and portfolios. That’s just to lure you in. Don’t pay attention to “fillers.” Believe me, you’ll build your own kit anyway with the proper professional products that you learned about and worked with in class. Clients don’t want you to use those “class kits” on their face anyway because their not going to be top-notch, but cheaper “kit” products.

“I see over and over again 4 day intensive makeup courses popping up all over Los Angeles that claim they have the best course and they’ve had their school for X amount of years,” says Kimberley Bosso, CEO and Founder of Bosso 4 Day and 6 Day Intensive Makeup Academy. “In simple terms, they don’t and are misleading about how long they’ve been around.”

It’s so easy nowadays to check how long a business has been incorporated and their reputation.

“These courses just don’t measure up. I’ve had students come to my makeup class after they made the mistake of enrolling in other ‘intensive workshops’ because they were cheaper, only to tell me that the education was poor, and it was a waste of money. It breaks my heart for them and wish they would have found my makeup class sooner,” Bosso said.

“If the price sounds too good, you can bet they are just focusing on getting as many heads as possible inside their classroom with sub-par makeup education.”

Bosso is the first school in LA to put “intensive” makeup classes on the map. First opening its doors in 2008 in West Hollywood, Kimberley’s makeup studio is now located in the heart of Beverly Hills, 90210.

The industry and makeup peers alike confirm that Bosso is the pioneer of intensive makeup schools, and the very reason students fly in from around the world to train with Kimberley Bosso personally.

She refuses to hire makeup instructors because she knows her style and passion of teaching can’t be duplicated. Kimberley also flies to her second makeup school location in Tampa Florida each quarter to give the proper training her students deserve.

Class Size Is Everything

It’s imperative the classes are SMALL. Kimberley accepts a maximum of four students, only because she is keen on the fact that this is the only way to receive meticulous makeup training.

Makeup courses and workshops in LA often accept ten, fifteen and even twenty plus students in a one course! That’s a red flag for schools wanting to pull in as many students as they can to make as much money as they can.

Run! And fast!

Think about it… How can you get the proper training you deserve with all those students and with one or two teachers who aren’t even the owners? Think they are going to have the passion to give you their best or the capability of handling and properly teaching that many in a classroom?


Do your research. Choose small classes with no assistants doing the teaching or hired instructors.

Curriculum: Bringing The ‘A’ Game

Is the curriculum packed in with all you need to know? It better be. You’re paying a pretty penny, so being educated in all facets of the makeup industry is essential. And what about the business side of it? What are you going to do with just technique and product knowledge only?

You have to be able to earn your tuition back. So the know-how of the industry is a must to get your career started and to propel you forward in Hollywood or your hometown.


How many Instagram makeup artists do you scroll by that claim they are professional makeup artists? Probably about 80% of the makeup artists on social media never went to makeup school, and they actually suck but have no idea they do.

Look, we’re not sayingIMG_8829good those people are all terrible because some are incredible artists, but they make so many mistakes that real industry artists want to scrape their makeup off with a popsicle stick and teach them properly!

Sorry… To be honest, what you see on Instagram is NOT what we do in the industry 90% of the time. You can only learn so much off of YouTube, but it will never be comparable to being personally trained by a seasoned MUA who is known and respected by makeup artist industry peers.

This is where certification comes in! Certifications not only validate to your client that you were properly educated, but they have something to show in the industry when applying for jobs, as well as the prestigious educator they were trained by.

A Mentor Who Inspires

Look for a makeup school where the instructor has passion and enthusiasm.

Why? Because this is everything that will take you to the next level and as high as you want to go.

An instructor or school that treats you like another number and wishes you luck on your journey is a dime a dozen.

You want someone who will help you after you graduate and mentor you. An instructor who sets your mind straight on focusing and accomplishing every goal you need to become a celebrity makeup artist yourself!

Now imagine you graduate from a makeup school that had twenty artists in your class and this went on each month?

How would the instructor be able to help every student on a personal level?

You do the math. It’s not possible.

Choosing a class with less students is more hands-on and personal and the MUA/Educator can build a relationship to guide and help you when needed.

After all, you will have to pay your dues in this industry when you start out and go through failures, but you’ve got to have someone behind you to teach you how not to lose enthusiasm.

Remember not losing enthusiasm is everything or you have nothing.

We know that this is A LOT of information to take in, but we want you to fully understand what you’re going to be investing in.

So stay tuned for the part two installment of The Best Makeup Schools in Los Angeles: 10 Essentials to Help You Differentiate the Fantastic From the Flops.

Here are the essentials that we’ll cover next time:






For more information on Kimberley Bosso visit