Finding the Best Makeup Course in 2024

The creative industries are booming, and 2024 is set to be a promising year for makeup students. So what is the best makeup course in 2024 and how do you find one that suits you? We’ve put together 10 top tips to help you pick the best London makeup course; the one most suited to you.

How to Find the Best London Makeup Course in 2024

The film & TV, fashion, and entertainment industries are booming. Official BFI statistics showed a record £5.64 billion spend on film and high TV productions at the close of 2021. At the same, the hair and beauty industries are brimming with opportunity and so too is the demand for makeup courses.  In fact, this year alone has seen a 54% growth in the hair and beauty market (a total of £2.8 bn).

Becoming a makeup artist is an increasingly attractive career choice, and there’s no better time to start. But how do you choose between all the professional makeup courses on offer in 2024? They differ in length – some lasting days and others years. Some are run online, and others are full-time with face-to-face interaction from tutors. Some courses on offer are run through universities and are more theoretical. Others run through makeup schools and academies focus on practical hands-on experience. There’s a lot to consider. We thought a few top tips might help make to make things a bit easier.

1.      Check the Industry Relevance of the Course
2.      Pick an Established Makeup School
3.      Check The Atmosphere – Are There Good Vibes?
4.      Review the Course Syllabus
5.      Look at the Training Facilities
6.      Find a Course with a Good Range of Tutor Experience
7.      Review Graduate Work Experience
8.      Consider Hours of Training Experience
9.      Look at Location of the Makeup School
10.    Review Course Accreditation


best makeup course in 2021
Make up Courses London Brushstroke - Interview Olivia
Makeup Artist in Training at Wimbledon

1. Check the Industry Relevance of the Course

Your choice of a professional makeup course and makeup academy is likely to affect the career you choose after you complete the course. You may not know this just yet, and that’s absolutely fine – don’t panic!

Part of the experience of studying at a makeup school is finding your true passion. You might, for instance, have a penchant for a career working with celebrities on TV and film. Or perhaps you’re more interested in the world of fashion and stage makeup artistry? There are many roles and paths to choose from and it’s useful to explore them all. Ultimately though a good makeup course will help shape that decision and point you in the right direction.

What is important is to take your time to consider whether the course is suitable for providing employment prospects when you finish. The tutor experience and reputation of the school, its training facilities, and course material are just a few of the things worth considering in making your final decision. Have a look at the course syllabus, download a copy of the makeup school prospectus and have a look at some of the videos and reviews of each makeup school you’ve shortlisted. All of these things will help you in making a more informed decision. Ultimately though it needs to feel right for you – and that’s what counts the most.

2. Pick an Established Makeup School

With the growth of online makeup courses in the past few years, the number of fly-by-night makeup schools has emerged in the dozens. You only need to search “makeup courses” on the internet to find them. Typically, these schools (or websites) lack the credentials, tutors, and proper training facilities to deliver quality courses. If the website lacks information about the course tutors, that’s probably a red flag. Other red flags include locations that appear in numerous cities with no contact details, websites only offering online courses, and courses that take a matter of days to complete; particularly those with no contact details and just an 0800 number.

Professional makeup schools are open and transparent about their makeup courses and course tutors. Brushstroke has been in the makeup training business for nearly 30 years and we want first-time visitors to learn more about us and the work our students have done (see our gallery pics and videos showcasing some of our student achievements). However, websites only tell you so much, so we’re also happy to offer you the real deal – a tour of our facilities. We accept tour bookings for anyone who is interested just hit the sign-up button below to book a tour.


John Maxwell Building, Elstree Studios
Brushstroke Building - Longcross
Best Makeup Course in London

3. Check The Atmosphere – Are There Good Vibes?

It’s not just the facilities and reputation of a makeup school that matters, it’s the people. If you visit a place that gives off good vibes, that’s a sure sign that your course is likely to be enjoyable. At Brushstroke, we like to afford prospective students and visitors the opportunity to visit our facilities and see for themselves. That’s the only way to truly get a true feel for what it’s like, and it’s inevitably that is what will help you in narrowing down your choice of the makeup school you want to train at, and courses you want to study. This is a great chance as well to explore the facilities, talk to other students and look at the work of former students to get a better idea of the path you want to take.  

At Brushstroke, the welfare of all our students (past and present) is very important to us and we are always on hand to offer help and advice. For example, we make provisions for people with specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia. We also offer ongoing support to every student once they have finished their course. If you have any questions, get in touch with Louise White our General Manager to find out more. Louise is super friendly and always happy to help with any questions that you have.


4. Review the Course Syllabus

If you’re looking to study makeup, it goes without saying that you need to review the course syllabus. There are a couple of things to consider here. Firstly, how long are you looking to study? Is it a short course that you’re after, or are you looking for longer, more in-depth diploma courses (BTEC and ITEC courses)? Longer courses give you a full breadth of skills, many hours of makeup training, and the qualifications to prove your worth to future employers. Shorter courses are helpful for topping up skills in particular areas – e.g. prosthetics or SFX makeup. 

A makeup degree is not just about theory and technical terms – it’s about the experience. Brushstroke offers the most practical, hands-on hours of training available as well as industry-standard certification. You don’t just learn the skills. You learn how to be in the working environment. You learn about being self-employed and all elements of the industry.

Brushstroke’s three full-time makeup and hair courses are structured around BTEC and ITEC programs. These are useful vocational qualifications for all age groups: school and college leavers moving on to further education, those with young families needing a term-time schedule, and mature students wanting the reassurance of professional training for a new career. The courses range from 7 months to 2 years  to suit different career plans, and the syllabus can even accommodate students taking time off to re-sit school exams or for work placements.

Our 2 Year Make-Up and Hair (BTEC, Level 3 Diploma) is the most popular because it offers an intensity of training over a practical period of time. In comparison to university courses of a similar nature, our students gain many more hours of hands-on training each week.

Prosthetic Makeup Artistry Course

5. Look at the Training Facilities

After checking to see that it’s established, you want to pick a professional makeup academy that has ample training facilities. Learning in the right environment is important. At Brushstroke our facilities are based at the famous Longcross and Elstree studios. We also have additional facilities at Pinewood. These purpose-built facilities are the largest in the UK and Europe, incorporating 4 make up studios and storerooms (housing  65,000 wigs). This enables us to train and properly prepare our students for the constantly developing needs of the creative industries. The environment is open and spacious, balancing a structured educational format with relaxed, friendly learning.


6. Find a Course with a Good Range of Tutor Experience

The success of a makeup school is largely due to the people that work there. It goes without saying that the skills that you learn on a makeup course are only as good as the tutors that teach you. Reviewing tutor experience is important. If you’re working with a group of fully qualified makeup artists, each an expert at what they do, then the chances are that you’re going to learn a lot from them and gain some of those skills for yourself. For instance, if your aim is to learn special effects makeup artist techniques then have a look to see whether those are the type of skills the tutors have.

Brushstroke tutors are specialists in their subjects and highly sought-after artists in their own right. They inspire our students with their creative and technical skills, hands-on, practical training in make up and hair, as well as business-related guidance. Where possible, our tutors also offer students work placements. We’re also fortunate that so many of our tutors have international experience (and foreign language skills) helping our students gain a wider perspective of the industry.

Makeup Tutor Teaching Students
XFactor Makeup Room

7. Review Graduate’s Work Experience

There are many ways to find this. If you want honest unbiased reviews, look at the comments on Google and Facebook. What is the star rating of the makeup school? What has former and current students said about it? Are there any discussions about the courses? Many makeup schools also put their comments in a graduate section and some have interviews with former students. You can have a look at those students on Linked in and do searches to follow their career progression. If you want to find out more about a makeup school also look at their YouTube and Instagram channels. This is a great way to see what students are currently working on.


8. Hours of Training Experience

Practice makes perfect. Your success comes through practice and the number of hours spent training. There are some makeup courses online that run extremely short courses with very little training. If you’re serious about building a successful makeup career you want to avoid those types of courses. Along with tutoring experience and the age of the school, you want to find an academy that offers many hours of solid training so that you perfect various aspects of the course be that fitting bald caps, perfecting your airbrushing skills, or doing more complicated tasks like special effects scars and creative prosthetic masks.

At Brushstroke, facilitating the very highest level of student achievement and continuing to be a key provider of core training courses in makeup and hair is very important to us. Each course is carefully designed in consultation with professional makeup designers and artists across film, TV, and fashion to ensure they remain relevant and continue to offer valuable training.

In addition to the most comprehensive and hands-on training in make-up and hair techniques, our industry-ready approach includes practical help and guidance. For example, business-focused modules (e.g. managing tax and accounts), portfolio and CV development, and personal presentation guidance. Contract work opportunities often arise through our tutors and many industry contacts, enabling students to not only test their developing skills but also put our training into the context of real, on-set scenarios.

Girl Working on Prosthetics Makeup
Location of the Makeup School

9. Location of the Makeup School

The location of the makeup studio and training facilities is important, but don’t just pick the course that is closest to you. When you’re working in the makeup industry you’ll need to travel, so think about your course in the same way. Most importantly, you should pick a course that gives the makeup industry experience that you’re looking for, and one that will give you the best hands-on training to develop your expertise.  If you’re driving or using public transport, we’re easily accessible from London Waterloo and Heathrow. We also have accommodation close to the training facilities, which is a particularly great option for international students. With students traveling from across the UK and around the world to join our London courses, we are a truly globally acclaimed makeup school.


10. Review Course Accreditation

Choosing an accredited makeup course will ensure that the course is high quality and properly vetted. Accreditation and reputation go hand in hand. Choosing an accredited course will ensure that you have something to show future employers and discuss in your work interviews on completion of the course.

Outside of the universities and colleges offering makeup courses, the brushstroke is also one of the few makeup academies with Bafta accredited courses. That means, unlike many universities, you get personal attention, many more hours of hands-on training, and the accreditation to boot. It’s like having the best of both worlds.

In fact, Brushstroke is an approved training provider for BTEC and ITEC qualifications. Both these nationally recognized qualifications (ITEC is also internationally approved) equip students with the specialist knowledge, practical skills, and understanding that they need to progress as to make up and hair artists in the film, TV, stage, and fashion industry.


BAFTA Scholarship Eligible Makeup Course

2 Year Hair & Makeup Course

1 Year Hairdressing, Barbering & Colouring ITEC Level 2 Diploma