It’s been three months since I got back from New York and I still have a buzz from the 5-weeks I spent in this beautiful city.
I’m writing this for two reasons:
I want to have something to look back on in the years to come. Something that will give me that boost of creativity when I’m feeling like I need it.
I could hardly find any blogs about going to school in Make Up For Ever Academy. This is for those who want to apply and try it out. I want to share MY experience with you guys and help you make your decision.
Makeup school abroad has always been the plan for me. I studied basic makeup artistry in 2012 at the Center for Aesthetic Studies in Makati, Philippines. I was only 19 years old back then and hardly knew anything about makeup. Eventually, this jumpstarted my career as a makeup artist and in 2015, I started looking through different schools abroad.
So here’s a little back story..
Before I became a makeup artist, I was into photography. The whole reason I went to makeup school in the first place was to create makeup looks worthy of being on camera. And the thing with cameras is they show EVERYTHING — every flaw, every detail is magnified. I experimented with all sorts of products to see which worked best and I chanced upon Make Up For Ever’s HD line. It worked wonders on camera giving this very skin-like finish. I quickly fell in love with the brand and it became a staple in my kit.
Make Up For Ever Academy (obviously) became one of my top choices.
I applied for everything online and the application process was a breeze. Jenny, the head of admissions, entertained all my questions and was very patient with me. I already had an existing Tourist Visa for the US (B1/B2) and when she told me they accepted students on tourist visa, this solidified my decision to go.
There were two courses that I took in MUFE Academy. The first was their Bridal Intensive Course which is a 5-day course that focuses more on doing makeup for weddings. The second was the Advanced Editorial Intensive Course (another 5 days), which was geared towards commercial and high fashion makeup.
These were the requirements they asked me to submit for both courses:
Filled out enrolment forms
A portfolio/reference of your work — for these classes, experience is preferred. I submitted my website portfolio but you can also send them your instagram, 4-5 photos of your work or a letter of recommendation. Be sure that what you submit is impressive and presentable because this part is the key to acceptance at the academy.
A copy of your high school/college diploma — you need to be at least a high school graduate to enroll in MUFE Academy.
A copy of your passport and visa
5-Day Bridal Intensive Course = $1,700
5-Day Editorial Intensive Course = $1,800
I know what you are thinking.. That’s A LOT of money. But to help you decide, I’ll let you know exactly what you are paying for.
First of all, the only thing you’ll be needing for these classes are your brushes. All products will be provided by the academy. From brush cleaner to cotton rounds, you name it, they have it. Just bring your own brushes. On the first day of class, you get a paper bag filled with MUFE goodies. It isn’t an entire makeup kit but definitely around $300-$400 worth of products. (I got two goodie bags since I enrolled in two classes.) Everything else you can borrow from the classroom’s makeup stash which has a full range of products. TIP: Familiarize yourself with MUFE products so you don’t waste time trying them out during class.
You also get a 40% student discount at the Make Up For Ever Pro Store. This discount is only valid until the end of your enrolment. Another TIP: Don’t go to the pro store too early. Try everything out in the classroom and decide which products you want to buy at the end of the week.
Make Up For Ever Academy is located in SoHo. Access to the subway (yellow line) is down the corner of the building. I can say that commuting there was fairly easy. You could take the R or W train and get off at Prince St. station, then it would be a 2-minute walk to the building.
The neighbourhood is a pretty upscale area with lots of boutiques to shop in (Sephora is right across the street from the Academy). The area is generally safe as compared to other parts of Manhattan.
Food around the area can be pricey. Expect to pay about $20-$35 for a meal. I would do my grocery shopping on the weekends and prep my lunch for school. The Academy has a pantry with a refrigerator, microwave and some coffee so that was pretty convenient.
Staying in a hotel in Manhattan can be really expensive. I was lucky enough to have an aunt who lived in New Jersey. I ended up staying with her which made my commute an hour and 30 minutes long (1 bus ride + the subway). My classmates ended up staying in hotels which cost them about $180 a night! I’d take 2 weeks of the long commute over that anytime.
If you’re on a budget and feeling adventurous, try looking for places outside of Manhattan. Brooklyn and Jersey City are good options since they’re accessible via subway. Staying there is much cheaper but New York has one of the best transport systems so all you have to do is check google maps to know which trains/buses to take. Do your research and you’ll be fine.
In the Classroom
We had a class size of 8 people for Bridal & 6 people for Editorial. Most of the students were from different countries. Majority of us were international students so it was a great opportunity to make friends and learn about different cultures; also, a variety of features and skin tones to practice on.
Class always started on time at 10:00am. I had the pleasure of having Eddie Duyos as my instructor and he was such an inspiration. The mornings are for lecture and demo. Eddie would discuss the topic we had for that day and then show us how to do the makeup look. After lunch, we would be asked to pair up with another student and take turns recreating the makeup look. For final checking, our work would be judged under a 4k camera in front of the class. I know this sounds scary but I learned so much from the way Eddie gave constructive criticism and tips on how to improve. A typical day in class goes by so fast that you’ll barely notice that it’s already 5:00pm — time to clean your stations and leave.
I decided to take the intensive classes to make the most out of my time at Make Up For Ever Academy. I couldn’t stay in NYC very long and I felt that these two courses were the best option for me. I’d like to warn you though that they are called “intensive” classes for a reason. Each course is only 5-days long so we would brush through topics very quickly. This is why you’re expected to know the basics before you enroll in these courses. Be ready to learn new things and unlearn certain things because they do things a little differently at the academy.
The people at Make Up For Ever Academy are very talented and are one of the best in their respective hometowns. Be open to learning from your peers and sharing what you know as well. Make new friends and experience the city together with them.
I hope this blog contains what you want to know about Make Up For Ever Academy, New York, and what it’s like. Going to the school of my dreams was definitely a surreal experience that I will never forget. It was a great opportunity for my career and personal growth and I hope you have the same experience as I did.