Are you thinking about becoming a professional makeup artist? It’s a great job where you get to spend all day working with the latest beauty trends, experimenting with various looks, and working with a huge range of exciting clients. For many people, becoming a makeup artist is a dream job, but where do you start?
Becoming a professional makeup artist takes some hard work and dedication. You need to practice over and over again, research trends and various looks, and get a formal education. A makeup certification is no walk in the park, it takes a lot of motivation and hard work.
If you are seriously considering becoming a certified licensed makeup artist, then there are a few things that you will need to know to get started. In this article, we will take a look at everything you need to know about this type of work including what a makeup artist certification is, how long it takes, and a range of tips on how to become a certified licensed makeup artist.
What is a Makeup Artist Certification?
It is important to note that a makeup artist certification is not the same as a makeup diploma – these are two separate things.
When you graduate from college, you will usually receive a makeup diploma. This is often a requirement if you want to work as an aesthetician or a cosmetologist, however, it is not always needed if you want to work as a makeup artist.
A makeup artist certification is a way to enhance your artistry skills and prove that you are experienced in your field. When you choose to complete a certification from an accredited makeup school, clients and employers will see this as proof that you are good at what you do and that you have the skills needed to do a good job.
A makeup certification is not easy and it takes a lot of hard work, however, it is so worth it. There are many different makeup artist certification programs available. You can choose a broad course or you can choose to specialize in a particular area such as special FX, global beauty, or airbrush makeup. A specialized certification is a way to show off your particular area of expertise.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Certified Makeup Artist?
The time it takes to become a certified makeup artist will vary depending on how you wish to study and how much time you put into gaining experience.
A course in makeup artistry will usually take around a month or two. These courses are usually part of a cosmetology school’s curriculum. If you want to become a licensed cosmetologist, this can take around eight months if you attend a full-time course.
If you would prefer to study part-time while gaining experience on the side, then the course may take around two years to complete.
Once you’ve completed your courses, you will need to gain some professional experience. After a few years of working in the field, your knowledge and capabilities will increase. However, it could take longer to become fully established in the field.
7 Steps to Become a Certified Licensed Makeup Artist
Licensing standards for makeup artistry will vary from state to state. However, there are a number of steps that you will need to take regardless of where you live.
Below is a list of seven steps that you will need to take to become a certified licensed makeup artist:
- Find out the licensing requirements for your state
- Enrol in a course that teaches that specialty
- Complete your course and training
- Complete the appropriate apprenticeship or other training program
- Take and pass your tests
- Apply for your license and receive it
- Continue your education and renew your license as needed
Find out the licensing requirements for your state
If you want to gain a makeup license in a state that issues them, then you must meet certain requirements for education and age. You must also complete a certain number of hours of training and pass all of the relevant exams needed.
Some states do not have any minimum requirements, however, others require you to have completed certain grades. Some states will only issue licenses to people over 16 while other states may only issue them to those over 17 or 18.
The states with the highest number of makeup artists in the country are New York, Texas, and California. Below is an overview of the requirements for those states as an example. If you live in another state, you must research the requirements needed for that particular state so that you know how to obtain an appropriate license to become a makeup artist.
In the state of New York, you will need to complete 600 hours of training to earn an aesthetician license. You do not need to have any minimum education requirements, however, you will need to be at least 17 years old. You will only need a license here if you plan to work in a salon.
In the state of Texas, you do not need a license to work as a makeup artist.
In California, you need to be at least 17 years old and you must have a 10th-grade education to get a makeup license. You will also need to complete 600 hours of training and pass two exams. You won’t need a license if you are working as a freelance makeup artist within the television, film, or entertainment industry. You also won’t need a license if you are applying makeup in the process of selling cosmetics.
Enrol in a course that teaches that specialty
In some states, you can obtain a makeup artist license. However, some will require you to get an aesthetician license or even a full cosmetology license. This means that, depending on which state you live in, you will need to enrol in an appropriate course.
You will need to research an appropriate formal makeup, aesthetician, or cosmetology course at a recognized school in order to obtain your makeup license.
Complete your course and training
In states that require a license, you will need to spend time studying, learning, and practicing the trade. This is known as your training hours. In the majority of cases, your formal course will count towards your training hours. However, some of your academic study time may not count towards your training hours.
Your training hours will include the time you spend practicing makeup on mannequins or live models as well as your training on how to prep clients, set up your workplace, maintain your supplies or tools, apply products, and choose appropriate colors.
The national average amount of training hours needed for a license is around 650 hours, however, this will vary from state to state. For example, you only need 260 hours of training in Florida whereas you will need 1000 hours of training in Kentucky.
Complete the appropriate apprenticeship or other training program
In some states, you will be required to complete some real training or hands-on work in the form of an apprenticeship or internship. This is practical learning that is spent in a real salon or other professional work environment. This is separate from your training program.
If you live in a state that requires this, you may be paired up with a mentor during your learning program. You may earn wages for this work or you may not. If you do, the wages are usually much less than you would earn as a professional employee. However, you will receive valuable, real training that you wouldn’t get through simply completing your course alone.
In some states, you may be able to substitute your training hours for your apprenticeship or intern hours. If you choose to do this, you will spend more time training. You will almost always be required to complete more apprenticeship or internship hours than your required training hours if you were to choose this option.
Take and pass your tests
You will usually need to take at least one exam to obtain a license. Your exam will usually have two parts including a written portion and a practical, hands-on portion. You can find a range of test exams online so that you can practice and prepare for your tests beforehand.
You can also purchase more in-depth practice tests or instructional DVDs and online videos to help you enhance your learning and be more prepared for your exams.
Apply for your license and receive it
Once you have completed all of the relevant training, exams, and hands-on experience needed in your particular state, then you can apply for your makeup license. As long as you have completed everything needed, then the application process should be quite smooth.
Most of the time, your education program should be able to assist you with the application if needed. The timescales that you can expect to receive your license will vary from state to state, however, it should come through relatively quickly providing you have completed all of the appropriate steps.
Continue your education and renew your license as needed
Depending on where you live, there are certain requirements needed to ensure your license stays in good standing. In most states, you will need to get your license renewed throughout the course of your career.
In many states, you will need to get your license renewed once per year. In some states, it’s every other year, sometimes on the anniversary date of obtaining your license, and sometimes on your birthday.
In order to renew your license, you will most likely need to complete some extra hours of training. These training hours will be similar to the training hours that you completed to get your license in the first place. You will usually need to complete around size extra hours of training, however, some states require 10 hours and other need more.
You can also expect to pay a fee for your license renewal. The fees will vary depending on where you live. Usually, you can expect the fee to be around $20-$100, however, some states may require a higher payment.
As you can see, there are many steps needed to become a licensed certified makeup artist. However, if you are really passionate about this type of work, and if you are really determined to succeed, the process can be very fun and rewarding. There are so many opportunities in this field and the work can be extremely exciting.