Two cosmetology schools have filed lawsuits against the Nevada State Board, due to the state’s laws and licensing regulations surrounding the field. In the state of Nevada, makeup artists do not need a license to practice their craft; therefore, makeup artists like Wendy Robin and Lissette Waugh are able to work as makeup artists despite their lack of licensure. Yet when they both opened schools in 2010, they were in violation of state laws.
Although the state does not offer a specific training to become licensed as a makeup artist, Nevadans who teach or run makeup artistry schools must be licensed as cosmetologists or own an establishment that is run as a cosmetology school. Waugh and Robin believe this to be unconstitutional. Robin, who owns Studio W in Henderson, Nevada, states that she has worked in the field for 25 years. In addition, she worked as a makeup artist instructor for 15 years, so she wonders why this is not enough to constitute her opening up her own facility without additional training and licensing. Waugh, who owns L. Makeup Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada, is baffled as to why she cannot open up her own makeup artistry school either, since she has 20 years experience working as a makeup artist and 10 years teaching her art.
The women argue that they are teaching people to work as freelance makeup artists, which is very different from working as a cosmetologist. Waugh declares that the field of cosmetology entails much more than just makeup artistry, which means she would have to take irrelevant classes. She also claims that the laws would force her to teach irrelevant material in her school, plus she would have to buy unnecessary equipment in order to remain in business.
In the lawsuit, the women propose that they are trying to teach students to become makeup artists. In particular, they want to teach students about doing makeup in the retail and entertainment industries—neither of which require a license to practice makeup artistry in the state of Nevada. They are teaching application techniques for makeup, as well as advanced color therapy. They even want to instruct students on how to use an airbrush machine, along with various other skills that are relevant to the industry. However, neither woman wants to teach the entire cosmetology curriculum that consists of skills that are not necessary for makeup artists, such as styling hair and proper skin care techniques. In fact, the current curriculum that is implemented does not even cover makeup application. The lawsuit includes how the women would have to spend thousands of dollars to meet these requirements.
As of now, Waugh decided to work within the loophole of selling makeup kits and offering free demonstrations. Robin, on the other hand, closed her location last year. The lawsuit has received the attention of lawmakers. The board has submitted legislation to Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval to allow makeup artists to be exempt from having to attend cosmetology school so long as they’re not required to be formally licensed to work.