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How Do I Get a Makeup License?

Makeup artists put their flawless touches on individuals, whether they're heading the Oscars, preparing for scenes on a movie screen or TV, performing on the stage, or celebrating big moments like weddings and proms. This exciting career, however, requires an investment in education to learn the basics and trends to become a makeup artist in demand!

For those who aspire to work as a makeup artist, a certification in makeup is the best route. States do not require professionals to hold a makeup license, but earning your certification shows you boast the training and practice that will pay off by growing your client base.

Look for a cosmetology school with a program in esthetics, which teaches students how to apply makeup as well as offer other services such facials and waxing. In some states, there are schools, often founded by experienced makeup artist, offering comprehensive certificate programs for makeup artists. Those schools offer intensive makeup artistry classes focused on high-fashion makeup, bridal makeup, theatrical makeup, media makeup, and the basics of application that provides a foundation on contouring, highlighting, and recognizing what can emphasize an individual's unique facial structure.

When looking at schools, check into their credentials, through their affiliation with national organizations as well as cosmetics companies such as MAC, Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown, NARS, and Lancme. You'll also want to check out the specifics of their programs, especially to see if they offer opportunities to get real-world experience in photo shoots and other settings. That type of enriching program can lead to the job opportunity you are seeking after graduating from a makeup program.

Programs are offered on a full-time or part-time basics. Expect to invest, on average, between 1,400 to 1,600 hours for a full cosmetology program " likely done in less than two years" or 650 hours for an esthetics program, which should take about six months to complete. If you're already working in the cosmetology field and want to focus on makeup artistry, some schools offer continuing education training on a course-by-course basis.

Depending on the programs location and requirements, youll be paying at least $10,000 for a full cosmetology program in a major city, or $3,000 to $10,000 to become a certified esthetician.

A key to earning a makeup license to practice is finding a school with a learning format that will enable you to be a successful student but also providing current knowledge of the makeup industry. By giving yourself a foundation in makeup application and trends, it will put you ahead of others in reaching your goals in the makeup industry.

Disclaimer: This site is not connected with any government agency or the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid office. If you would like to find more information about government funding please visit: