Today after a long day of work, I came home, lit some candles, and checked out what was happening on Instagram. While scrolling down my timeline I could not help but wonder where all of the wonderful and fabulous “mua’s” came from. I remember working for MAC cosmetics in 2006, and being able to tell other “mua’s” simply by the way they looked! We were few and far in between, and we always were decked out in all black with cool hair styles, cuts, colors, tattoos, etc… The slogan if you worked for MAC was “once a MAC girl, always a MAC girl.” The significance of being a “MAC girl”in the nineties and early two thousands was that if you worked for that brand, it was assumed that you were a pretty good artist.
Before 2010 most cosmetic brands hired people to sell first, and apply makeup second. In fact, just last Thursday I had a conversation with a few artists from a well known cosmetic brand where they all agreed that they were sales people first, and artists second. I am well aware that cosmetic companies cannot thrive on artistry alone, which is why social media is so important, but I cannot help but ask one question. What makes a person an experienced, knowledgeable, talented make up artist?
Now companies like MAC cosmetics hire people from Craigslist, Toys R Us, Starbucks, and Chipotle with no previous make up artistry experience. Social media platforms like youtube and instagram make women who do only their make up and post their looks daily millionaires. Cosmetic companies send hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of products to self proclaimed “beauty bloggers“, “beauty guru‘s”, “celebrity mua’s“, etc… Everyday I look at my phone or turn on my computer another person has decided whether they have just finished eighth grade or had a traditional 9-5 for ten years that they too want to be a make up artist.
Unlike doctors who go to school for 20 years before they can really practice medicine or engineers who attend college for four and often times five years before they can call themselves engineers, mua’s can wake up one day and call themselves an mua.
Should there be standards set for people to meet before they call themselves professional mua’s?
How many years should a person have to practice before they are allowed to charge for make up application services?
Should an aspiring make up artist have to work for one or more cosmetics brands before calling themselves an artist?
Should your popularity on social media be allowed to validate you as an mua? Beauty blogger? Beauty guru? Brand ambassador?
Should you have to take certification classes on different genre’s of make up before you are allowed to apply make up on people professionally?