my personal entree into beauty was entirely by accident. despite being That Girl who could spend hours—nay, days!—at Sephora, I never put 2+2 together to realize it could be a career. I happened to get an internship at Harper’s Bazaar in beauty and that was my lightbulb moment. nowadays, girls like yourself (smart girls!) are realizing the full scope of opportunity out there. I applaud you for it! here’s my advice: firstly, watching Youtube videos counts—perhaps not as experience, but certainly education. so keep that up—and start one of your own! who knows? you could be the next Michelle Phan. secondly, start small. most of the established makeup artists and hairstylists I know started by working on their friends, their family, their immediate circle. practice makeup by doing it whenever you can—for your friends/yourself at parties, your mom if she has a wedding to go to, etc. start building a portfolio of your work (perhaps you have a friend who wants to be a photographer who can take the pictures?). that way, when you apply to makeup counters, you have something to show them. lastly, don’t give up. the job market is tough, to put it mildly, so the market is saturated with applications. realize that you have time on your side (even if you’re eager to start working). bide your time—because your time will come!