makeup artist

If you are thinking about makeup artist school, this set of Q&A’s can help you learn how to take the next steps. We discuss what you need to think about before enrolling, and what kinds of classes makeup programs generally offer. Find out how long makeup programs usually last, and whether you can find advanced makeup classes. Most students want to know how much makeup artist schools cost, so you can review that information here as well. And before you go any further, read how you can find, compare, and contact makeup programs.



01. About
Thinking about enrolling in makeup school?

If you are considering enrolling in makeup artist training, you are probably curious about how much the program costs, how long it will take to complete, what you will learn in the program, and more. Beauty Schools Directory has answered many of the most common questions about the education that helps you become a licensed makeup artist (MUA), so you can decide whether taking the next step in your career is the right decision for you. If you think training to become a makeup artist sounds like the right fit for you, just enter your zip code in the box. Choose "Make-Up Artist Training" as your program to find schools near you that offer this program.


How should I find, compare and contact makeup schools?

The first step to becoming a professional makeup artist is to get the education and get licensed, if applicable in your state. If you're considering becoming a cosmetics professional, talk to makeup schools about their programs, the cost of tuition at their campus, curriculum and any other questions you have.

Everyone learns a little differently and has slightly different priorities when it comes to choosing the right college, so we created this handy step-by-step How to Choose a Beauty School checklist to help. We advise you to talk to a number of different campuses near you and get all your questions answered, so you can make a confident decision on which makeup college will best meet your needs and set you up for success.

We find that the average student considers 3 to 5 schools before making a final choice, but because makeup is a highly specialized program and not every state offers licensure in this field, the number of options may be smaller. It's an important life decision that should be considered with care after comparing your school options. Makeup schools nationwide are enrolling now! 

I know how to put on makeup. Why do I need makeup artist training?

Many people think that transitioning from a makeup enthusiast into a professional makeup artist is an easy feat. However, as those in the makeup industry will be quick to tell you, a formal education from an academy of makeup can make the difference between a hobby and a real profession. Quality makeup training from a makeup artist school is not only important but essential if you plan on making a career of this interest. Makeup artist schools provide students with a more extensive variety of skills that are difficult to master at a higher professional level on one's own. As your education progresses, you will most likely zero in on a particular area of professional makeup application, and can build up your portfolio for eventual placement in this field.

Also, it is very different to choose and apply makeup on your own face compared to selecting a color palette, the right products and applying makeup on your clients. Proper training can make a huge difference. All that said, some states do not require official certifications or licenses to perform makeup services professionally. However, classes are likely still available to become an expert at your profession and set yourself apart from your competitors. Clients expect nothing but the best from their MUAs, so make sure you get the education and training to back up your skills.

02. Courses | Course Length
What Do You Learn In Makeup School?

Students at a makeup artist school learn how to:

  • Design and implement creative makeup looks
  • Pair makeup with specific hairstyles
  • Apply full makeup and corrective or spot makeup
  • Outline custom makeup regimens for clientele
  • Execute specialized makeup for events and television

Many schools are dedicated solely to makeup or have specific makeup programs, but most often makeup artist certification is learned as a part of a comprehensive cosmetology training program.

What makeup classes can I expect to take?

The classes you can expect to take at beauty, cosmetology or makeup school to become a makeup artist may vary based on your state’s licensing requirements, and whether your school is a general practice or specialty school. Below is a list of possible classes you may see on your makeup school curriculum:

  • Safety, Sanitation, Skincare and Hygiene
  • Principles of Makeup for Beauty & Fashion
  • Professional Challenges in Makeup Artistry
  • Learning the Makeup Artist Tool-Kit & Brushes
  • Color Theory and Light/Dark Illusions
  • Assessing Client Face Shapes, Skin Types & Eye/Hair Color
  • Contouring and Highlighting
  • Makeup Blending Techniques
  • Corrective Makeup Techniques
  • Application & Techniques of Foundations, Concealers & Primers
  • Application & Techniques of Eyeshadow, Eyeliner & False Lashes
  • Application & Techniques of Eyebrow Shaping & Coloring
  • Application & Techniques of Lip Lining & Lip Color
  • Application & Techniques of Blush & Rouge
  • Bridal & Wedding Party Makeup Application
  • Makeup for Broadcast & Photography Lighting
  • Theater and Stage Makeup
  • Special Effects & Film Makeup
  • Designing Vintage, Modern & Avant Garde Makeup Looks
  • Designing Natural, Day & Evening Makeup Looks
  • Ethnic, Mature & Men’s Makeup Application
  • Makeup Station Setup & Etiquette

This is by no means an exhaustive list of potential classes you may take if you enroll in school for this program. Most prospective students compare 3 to 5 schools, so be sure to compare your options and ask each school about their curriculum of courses to find the one that best meets your needs.

Does each makeup school teach the same curriculum?

If your state licenses makeup artists, there may be a standard curriculum of courses and skills that your school is expected to cover. These may include core classes like safety and sanitation, business ethics and marketing yourself, or makeup-specific classes like color theory, product selection, application techniques, and so on. However, if your state does not have certifications or licenses for this profession, you may find a wider range of course options and a less structured curriculum that dive deeper into specialized areas of makeup. Also, some states require makeup artists to be licensed under the Cosmetology or Esthetics licenses, which have a slightly longer curriculum and include a variety of other related skills and classes.

If you're trying to decide which makeup artist school in the U.S. is the best for you, ask yourself these questions: What about being a makeup artist interests you most? What setting would you like to work in? Are you passionate about a particular type of makeup, such as wedding, theater, broadcast or special effects makeup? Be sure to ask your different school options about what programs they offer in their curriculum to see whether any of the schools offer the particular classes you want, or if it’s something you learn on your own after learning the foundation and basics at school.

Are there advanced or master level makeup courses?

Definitely! Even if your state does not require continuing education to renew your certification, Beauty Schools Directory always recommends taking continuing education hours throughout your career to stay current in the industry and up-to-date on the latest cosmetics products and application techniques. Often these continuing education hours come in the form of single-day or weekend workshops, special seminars or conference-based trainings.

Many makeup artists get their foundational training at a standard makeup school, and then as their careers grow and evolve, they seek out advanced or master-level makeup classes to heighten their skills and abilities in the field. This is often the time when MUAs decide to choose a specialty area, and pursue as much additional training in that field as possible.

03. Cost
How much does makeup school cost?

The cost of tuition for makeup schools can range depending on the courses in the curriculum, hours of instruction required by your state, as well as location, facilities, and equipment required to purchase for your program. Because of the cost of business facilities, cosmetics artist training programs inside or close to major metropolitan cities like Los Angeles or Chicago will likely cost a little more, whereas smaller, more rural areas or suburbs that may be accessible with a bit of a commute may be cheaper – however makeup artist training schools may be harder to come by in smaller cities or non-coastal areas.

For each makeup school you're interested in, be sure to ask admissions reps what their tuition costs are and what exactly this costs includes – such as textbooks, makeup kits and brushes, cosmetic products, and so on.


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