By Lauren Victory

CHICAGO (CBS) — Makeup artists are cautiously optimistic as weddings and events are tentatively on the rebound.

The glitz and glam may be topsy turvy, but it’s not stopping the industry from welcoming new faces.

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Morning Insider Lauren Victory takes us inside the return of in-person makeup training.

Natural beauty, counterintuitively, can require some work to achieve.

“Does it emit a warmth to you or a coolness?” asks Jill Glaser to her class of budding makeup artists.

From determining skin tone to coordinating color, finding a match for foundation often needs a perfect mix of ingredients. So it’s a good thing Rodolfo Munoz knows a thing or two about recipes.

“I always enjoyed to cook and worked in the industry,” said Munoz, whose Instagram page showcases the mouthwatering creations he used to whip up as a baker in New York City.

Shortly after moving to Chicago to be near his family, COVID-19 halted his career.

“And I was thinking and thinking, like, if it’s not this, then what?” he said.

After some soul-searching, he swapped his spatula for a sponge. Munoz is officially enrolled in school to become a makeup artist.

“I like to work with my hands. I’m not good with numbers or sitting in front of a computer,” he said.

His creative new path at Make Up First School of Makeup Artistry had a rocky foundation for a while,  considering Glaser, the school’s owner, was considering shutting down for good.

“I did not have any intention of re-opening,” she tells CBS 2.

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Glaser gave up the lease on her 5,000-square-foot training center, and sold off a lot of the fancy mirrors and equipment she amassed over 20 years in the industry.

Then she had a change of heart.

“I was getting email after email of kids saying, ‘I’ve been saving for three years to go to your school,’” Glaser said.

Make Up First now operates above Art and Science Salon in the West Loop.

The first session of classes began in June and finished with no issues. Munoz is part of the second group of students subject to strict COVID-safe rules.

Everyone wears a mask unless they are the model getting their makeup done. Everything (brushes, palettes, creams and more) gets sanitized multiple times, and classes are consolidated. Even scaled back, there are smiles behind the face coverings.

“Those students were so happy. And I said, ‘Why are you so happy?’ And they go, ‘Because you re-opened!’ So, there was just a need for it,” said Glaser.

Karma Plomin chose to pursue makeup artistry at this point in her life, after recognizing how makeup boosted her mood over the past year and a half.

“I always really struggled with my mental health,” she said. “I realized that that could be a really good thing to pursue in life because then I could make money when I’m still struggling.”

Neither Plomin nor Munoz worry about the future.

“It felt like a bunch of new chapters beginning all at once,” said Plomin of her decision to enroll.

“It feels exciting not knowing what is coming,” Munoz said.

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You could argue that’s a good blend of optimism and determination.

Lauren Victory