How to Start Your Own Online Makeup Academy

Pratiksha S., February 4, 2022

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Do you know any woman out there who is not interested in makeup? The most common answer that you hear when asking this question is No. It is very difficult to find someone who has not used any makeup, a skincare product or any other form of beauty product. Amid the global pandemic and strongly enforced stay-at-home orders, people have developed a hobby for makeup.

Some people want to learn this art just for fun, while others want to build a career out of it. Either way, if you ever wanted to get into the beauty industry, now is a great time. The beauty industry is one of the biggest and most glamorous industries in the world. There are many paths that you can follow to get into this ever-growing industry. One of the paths that you can take is to start your own online makeup academy and in this article, we will explain how.

Starting an online makeup academy is not an easy feat to achieve. Developing a website and making your presence known is not enough to get your business started. There are many other variables that you need to pay close attention to as they play a crucial role in growing a beauty business. In fact, only 10% of the startups succeed in establishing a good business. Understanding the fundamentals of how business works and how you manage capital and expenses often make the difference between a successful and failed startup. 

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Online businesses are not much different from physical businesses. The main difference between the two is the medium where the business happens. When you run a physical beauty academy, you will most likely need more capital in hand as you need to rent a place, buy furniture, and provide services to the students that study at your place. Not everyone has such a large sum of money to run a physical academy, hence in this article we talk about starting an online academy, with a relatively cheap initial investment. We have compiled a step by step guide to starting your online makeup academy:


One of the most important things to think about when starting your beauty academy is the money. Your goal is to make a profit and letting your budget guide every business decision you make will help you achieve that goal.

To start with, you need to make sure that you have enough capital in your pocket to cover the cost involved in launching your business. There’s a misconception among many first-time entrepreneurs that you need to have hundreds of thousands of dollars to get into or start a business. While that might be true for starting some businesses, it is not the case for starting your own online beauty academy. 

How much cash you need initially depends on you and what resources you already have in your hand. Some of the initial expenses might be for just one time, while others might be recurring. Some of the examples of your one-time expenses involve:

  • Legal counsel or fees
  • Licenses/certifications
  • Digital Equipments (internet, laptop, camera, lighting, etc)

If you already have access to most of these resources, you might get away with a low initial investment. 

Once you launch your business, how much money you need for monthly expenses will depend on how you choose to market and fund your beauty academy. You might have to spend some money to advertise your academy through social media as it is easier to target audiences that way. Also, the operational cost for your business depends on how you are managing your business. For example, if you hire a professional to record and edit your videos, you might have higher expenses while if you are working solo, operational costs might below.

Whatever the operational model you choose, it is very important to keep track of your incoming and outgoing cash flow. Spend a good amount of time reviewing your expenses and income statements so you can minimize the unnecessary expenses in your initial days. Minimizing unnecessary expenses is critical as most of the businesses with deeper pockets are hard to fail. 

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When you become a teacher it is important you establish trust with your students. Earning a certificate in the makeup application and becoming a certified makeup artist allows you to build that trust. You can earn a makeup certificate either by taking a course from a makeup school or in person. The rules on how you can get a certificate depending on your local laws, therefore take some time to research the laws of the place you live. For more information on how to become a certified makeup artist, we’ve written an entire article about just that.


Since it is not written in black and white, it can be confusing as you try to navigate your way into the industry as a professional Makeup Teacher. The Board of Cosmetology, which varies state by state, generally only covers the specific licensing requirements for Cosmetologists and Estheticians, who practice the treatment of skincare and haircare, and do not specifically work as a Makeup Artist.

In short, since it is not so specific, if you are looking to start an online makeup tutoring business, most states will not require a license. However, it is advised that you check with your state’s legal policies on the matter.  

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When you show students how to apply makeup, you must have the best makeup materials with you. Get all the basic makeup materials and make sure that you have authentic and good-quality products. This is because what you use not only affects you but also affects other people who follow you. If make-up you do looks good on you, your students not only get impressed, they start talking about you with their friends and family. This is a great way to advertise your academy. Besides, the last thing you would want is someone trying the products that you suggest/use and running into some health and safety issues. This will not only impact your academy but also pose a legal problem as people can sue you. 


Practicing makeup gives you an opportunity to learn new techniques and tricks which you can share with your students. Coming up with new ideas every now and then shows your creativity and students would love that. If you live with others, then take advantage of your environment. You have models that you can practice on right there. Even though it may seem unconventional, you can practice your makeup on your spouse or a partner.

Remember a face is a face so it doesn’t matter who you have with you, you still have a great palette to work on.  You can also practice makeup on yourself. Don’t just sit down and do your makeup, instead choose which techniques you want to master, and then put dedicated effort into doing it. Remember, Practice makes a man perfect and people follow the perfection which helps you grow the popularity of your academy. 


Starting an online makeup school is no different from any other schools that are known as to be privately owned. The tasks that are involved are complex and hard. You should at least create a clear and concise business plan on how to operate your makeup school. This blueprint should include how you will operate the school in any given situation. It is advisable that you should not be overwhelmed by providing a lot of classes upfront since you are just starting your business. Create a list of milestones you want to achieve and then take one step at a time.

Once a milestone has been achieved you can then move on to another higher milestone. For example, your first milestone could be to have 5 students join one of your classes. Your second milestone could be to offer multiple classes in a day. Do not offer multiple classes unless you reach the goal of having 5 students in a class. It is important you plan your time properly to balance your personal and professional life. Too much time invested in the beginning could drain all your energy prompting you to give up prematurely.  


Now you have skills and a plan in place, you should start by gathering the materials you need to start the academy.  Some of the items that you need are listed below. Remember, this is not a comprehensive list and requirements might vary from person to person depending on your goals and plan. 

  • Lighting: Right lighting is a necessity for makeup. It affects the way your makeup looks. You might be an excellent makeup artist doing an excellent job, but bad lighting sometimes may not justify your work. Ring lights are the most used lights for makeup. Ring lights are available at a reasonable price in the market so you don’t have to worry about burdening your expenses. If you cannot afford the ring lights, you can still use normal light, just make sure they are bright enough. If you can manage some extra time you can even create your own ring light at home watching youtube videos. If instead you have an issue with actually finding free time, maybe you need some tips for time management for freelancers.
  • Basic Accommodation: The best thing about an online makeup academy is that you do not need to worry about physical spaces. You are not required to buy a big classroom and furniture. However, you do need some space in your house or apartment that is bright enough so you can shoot good videos. Running your academy from home not only lets you work from where you live, it can also save your traveling expenses. 
  • Mobile/Laptop/Camera: You can always record yourself with a mobile phone. All you need to do is place your mobile phone at the right angle. However, if you want to go an extra mile, you can buy a digital camera to shoot your videos. This might be a little expensive but at the end of the day you are getting great video quality for yourself and your students. 

You may also require a good laptop in-order to edit your tutorials for the best possible results. These are one-time investments that can take you a long way. You do not need to buy this equipment every month and this equipment usually can last for years if handled with care. If you are low on budget and cannot afford new equipment, check Facebook marketplace or local craigslist to see if someone is selling things you need at a low cost. 


Marketing is one of the hardest, yet most important, things you do at the beginning of your journey into makeup academia. It is very hard work to devise proper marketing, therefore you should put a lot of effort into it. You should start by understanding who your target audiences are and what intrigues them to use the services you are offering.

This allows you to provide services that people cannot deny. You should also research who your competitors are and what services they offer so you can provide the services others do not offer. Although coming with a market plan that works is difficult, it should not be a huge problem as long as you can show your credibility through a strong online presence. 

Once you identify the target audiences and understand their needs as part of your marketing research, you should start by creating a plan to advertise your services.  When you create your advertisements make sure of your strengths and uniqueness and focus on the things that you offer differently than your competitors. 

There are many ways you can advertise your academy. Social media are the best bet as they have AI algorithms that can target the audience with a higher success rate. But do not rely on social media alone for advertisement, every individual around you is your customer, talk with them about your school and make yourself known to as many people as you can. You should create multiple advertisements so you can promote your business differently to different groups of people. 

Use your friends as the agents to share your business with their friends. This helps to create buzz about your academy in the market. You can also come up with some promotional offers that reward people who can bring on more people into your academy. You can also ask your friends if they are willing to model for you. Apply makeup on your friends, click some pictures and upload on your, as well as your friend’s, social media platforms to increase your reach to customers who want to acquire your makeup skills. 


Being an entrepreneur is not an easy task, there might be times when you feel stuck or you might feel that what you are trying to achieve is too far away from your reach. No matter how hard the times maybe, you should always remember that hard times do not always last very long. Your dreams will push you forward no matter how hard it gets at times. The beginning is always the hardest. You just have to be steady and keep going. Once your business gets established, you are sure to keep growing and you’ll have a lot of fun reaping what you sow.  

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