Colorado Makeup Artist Schools and Requirements

Colorado makeup artists must have an esthetician or cosmetology license to practice their craft. Most opt for the esthetics license because it's more focused on skincare, but some go for cosmetology because it allows them to provide a wide range of services.

Browse our directory of makeup artistry schools in Colorado, or skip ahead to learn about the state's makeup artistry licensing requirements and job outlook.

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Chic Studios School of Makeup - Denver

1800 Wazee Street
Denver, CO 80202

Makeup Madame

5650 East Evans Avenue 102
Denver, CO 80231

Makeup Artistry Schools Near Me

Check out the Make-Up Artist Training schools these cities in Colorado have to offer.

Do I Need a License to be a Makeup Artist in Colorado?

Yes, you need an esthetician or cosmetology license to become a makeup artist in Colorado. You must also renew that license on March 31st of all odd-numbered years so you can maintain your license.

The only exceptions come if you perform makeup for:

  • Sales, recommendations, and demonstrations (think Sephora)
  • Educational purposes without pay
  • Theatre, film, and television

You need different skills and training for those jobs. For instance, theatre, film, and TV makeup artists may need to have assisted working artists or gone to theatre or film school focusing on makeup. Retail-type workers need sales prowess and a willingness to learn on the job. Educational purposes may include performing makeup lectures at trade shows, so you likely need on-the-job training and the ability to think on your feet.

Should I Go to Cosmetology or Esthetician School to Become a Makeup Artist in CO?

Whether you choose esthetician or cosmetology school to become a Colorado makeup artist depends on what you want to learn and how long you want to be in school.

Most makeup artists choose esthetician school because it focuses more on makeup and skincare. Colorado's esthetician programs run for 20 credit hours (600 clock hours). One credit hour, or 30 contact hours, covers makeup.

Cosmetologists in Colorado spend 50 credit hours (1,500 clock hours) in school, spending one credit hour (25 clock hours) on makeup. Though five fewer hours may seem like no big deal, remember that their focus is primarily on hair, so makeup skills may become less of a focus in the grander scheme.

If you choose the esthetics route, you can graduate faster and perform skin-focused treatments. If you opt for cosmetology, you can provide makeup, hair, and nail treatments.

READ MORE: Learn More About Colorado Esthetician School

READ MORE: Learn More About Colorado Cosmetology School

How Much Do Colorado Makeup Artists Make?

$46,340 - $51,930

Average yearly salary for makeup artistry in Colorado

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2022, Colorado estheticians earn $51,930 per year ($24.97 per hour). Though makeup artists are usually in that category, you may be considered a cosmetologist if you get that license. That same year, they earned $46,340 annually ($22.28 per hour). The Bureau bases its estimates on reporting from employers.

ZipRecruiter, which uses job listings and other similar data to determine pay, reports Colorado makeup artists earn an average of $56,371 per year ($28 per hour) as of December 2023. This estimate doesn't factor in self-employed makeup artists, which many are. This is because they rely on employers' reports, and these professionals don't work for anyone else.

How much you could earn as a Colorado makeup artist depends on your location, years of experience, workplace, specialties, and more.

Contact the Colorado State Board of Cosmetology

Office of Barber and Cosmetology Licensure
Make-Up Artist Training

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