Make-Up Artist Training

Have you always loved playing with makeup – the colors, the textures? Do you enjoy wandering the cosmetics aisles in your local department store, checking out what is new and “in”? If this sounds appealing, and you have a good eye for color and an artistic bent, you may be able to turn your passion into a fun and lucrative career opportunity as a makeup artist in Massachusetts. Makeup artists help people to look and feel their best by the judicious application of pigments to enhance their appearance.

They work in spas and salons, and on site at weddings, photo and fashion shoots, and television, stage and film studios to create looks from natural-but-better to dramatically theatrical. They work one-on-one with individual clients and with groups of clients, such as bridal parties, to create desired looks.

State License Requirements

In the state of Massachusetts, makeup application is considered part of the field of esthetics. For that reason, you must become licensed as an esthetician before you can apply makeup professionally. Through an approved esthetics program, you must complete 300 hours of training. You can then sign up to take your exam and become licensed.

Learn more about approved training programs:

Board of Registration of Cosmetology and Barbering

Education Details

Schools of cosmetology, hair styling, and hair dressing offer programs in makeup artistry, usually leading to a certificate. Some vocational high schools and community colleges also offer makeup artistry programs. There are no licensing requirements for makeup artists in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, but going through a training program is enormously helpful, and clients may be looking to see that you have a professional credential. In cosmetology school you will learn about skin, hair and nails, both normal and diseased. Your courses will cover cosmetic pigments, cosmetic products, and cosmetic tools, and receive instruction in how to use them. Some of your instruction will be on different facial shapes, skin, hair, and eye color, and how to choose cosmetic colors that flatter them. The specifics of cleaning and sterilizing tools and pigments will also be covered. Live instructors will demonstrate techniques and skills, supplemented by video lessons. You’ll also have a chance to work on each other and later on clients.

License Renewal
Hours required vary by licensure

No matter which direction you choose, you’ll need to be aware of the renewal process. This takes place every two years, with a fee of $68.

Job Outlook Increase
Between 2012 - 2022

The average wage earned by makeup artists specializing in stage, television and film in Massachusetts was $54,100 in 2013, somewhat higher than the national average. Of course, stage, television, and film make up is a specialty area that can have you creating looks to fit specific characters, so it is probably at the higher end of the income scale. If you work in a spa or salon, or in a department store, creating everyday looks for women who want to freshen their look, you will probably earn less. However, if you have a loyal following, or a specialty such as makeup for wedding parties, or an excellent reputation so that your services are sought after, you may be able to earn an income on the higher side. The beauty industry in general is expected to grow between 8% and 14% from 2010 to 2022, meaning that jobs should be available for makeup artists when they complete their training programs.

Working as a Makeup Artist

There are different venues that employ makeup artists, or you may want to freelance in your own business. Department stores employ makeup artists who are often trained in a particular line of cosmetics, and are expected to sell this line as well as apply it to customers who want a makeover or just a slight change in their look. Sometimes the makeup line that hires you will also provide you with training. Spas and salons both employ makeup artists. Sometimes clients come in specifically for their services, and sometimes makeup is the last step after a day of beauty treatments, getting the client ready to re-enter the outside world. Some clients come in seeking makeup lessons. You may also work with groups of clients seeking a coordinated look, as in a bridal party. They may come to you, or you might be needed to work on location. It is similar with photo and fashion shoots – the photographer or fashion designer may have a particular look she is trying to achieve, and your job will be to help create that look through makeup. This work, too, is likely done on location. Finally, stage, film, and television makeup is highly specialized work for which you will need to be specifically trained. Various makeup techniques show well on television, and others don’t, so you will need to learn about these differences. And stage and film make up, as well as some television makeup, is done for the purpose of creating a specific character and takes special techniques as well as particular pigments that hold up under harsh lighting. These, too, are learned in special makeup programs. You will probably have considerable scheduling flexibility as a makeup artist, and be able to work either full or part time. This can be a great career to fit in with other important life commitments such as raising a family or outside interests. There are numerous directions your career as a makeup artist can take you, and that is part of the beauty of it. It is a career that can grow as you grow. If you are artistic, and would love a flexible career in the beauty industry where you help people to look and feel their best, consider a career as a makeup artist in Massachusetts!

State board Contact Information

Massachusetts Board of Registration of Cosmetologists
1000 Washington Street, Suite 710
Boston, MA 02118
Phone Number: 617-727-9940
Fax Number: 617-727-1627
E-mail Address:

The Massachusetts State Board of Cosmetology can help you with replacing a lost cosmetology license, or updating a change of name or address information, as well as answer additional questions about obtaining your Massachusetts cosmetology license.

Find the Beauty Schools in Massachusetts that interest you below,

Empire Beauty School - Boston

30 West Street,
Boston, MA 02111

Program: Cosmetology

Jolie Health and Beauty Academy - Ludlow

44 Sewall Street,
Ludlow, MA 01056

Program: Cosmetology

Empire Beauty School - Malden-Boston

347 Pleasant Street,
Malden-Boston, MA 02148

Program: Cosmetology

Mildred Elley

100 West Street,
Pittsfield, MA 01201

Program: Cosmetology

2019-11-11 19:59:26