The beauty industry of today has been positively bombarded with easy-to-follow beauty hacks, pro-styling tips, and let’s not forget the infamous online makeup tutorial. With these major trends, it’s no surprise that a lot of makeup basics can be learned all from the comfort of your own home. But what about credible courses?
In fact, there are numerous credible makeup courses readily available online.
To save you time and money in looking for online makeup courses, I’ve compiled a list of the 7 best makeup courses online for beginners, certifications, and licenses here:
- Vizio Makeup Academy
- School of Makeup Artistry – Makeup Artistry 101
- Bombshell Beauty Academy
- Sarah Baldwin Professional Online Makeup Academy
- Udemy Makeup Artistry Courses
- Online Makeup Academy
- Melissa Hoffmann 10 Minute Natural Makeup Course
If you’re interested in honing your past knowledge of makeup basics or simply looking to get involved in the industry, these 7 online makeup courses will provide you with the adequate training you need to become a makeup professional. Succeeding in these courses will have your clients looking great in no time!
How Do I Become A Licensed Makeup Artist Online?
Finding your passion in the makeup industry is certainly exciting on its own and pursuing it can be even more exciting. While pursuing a career in the makeup industry is exciting, getting started can be quite daunting if you’re unfamiliar with the training requirements and other important steps to become successful.
Being a beginner is nothing to be ashamed of. You can learn to apply make-up online in no time! Every successful person has been labeled a beginner at one point or another in their career or passion. So, why should you feel any different? Starting is usually the hardest part of any process, but there are many resources available, especially on online platforms.
There are many flexible approaches to becoming a licensed makeup artist online and although it takes time and dedication, it will certainly be worth it in the end! While a license is not necessarily required to become a makeup artist, it will give you access to work in higher positions and further serve as proof that you are both certified and licensed to do so.
A license is proof that you have completed the required actions and are appropriately competent in the field of makeup artistry, cosmetology, or esthetics based on certain guidelines set by your state. Some states require you to have a license in order to work as a makeup artist. You don’t need a license to be a certified makeup artist, just simply a certificate.
While certification is available through online training, obtaining a license online is fairly uncommon and possibly not available as an option at all. Because makeup artistry and cosmetology licenses are distributed at the state level, you are required to complete training in person.
In addition to in-person training, you must complete a vigorous amount of task including:
- Finding out if your state requires a license for makeup artistry or a similar profession and what the requirements are to become licensed.
- Finding out what schools are available in your state and if they provide licensing for makeup artistry (if there are no schools in your state you may able to attend another one in a nearby state that has one).
- Fully completing the program as well as all hours of training, required apprenticeships and/or fellowships.
- Completing all required exams with a passing grade.
- Applying for and receiving your license.
- Maintaining the status of your license by completing continuing education courses and renewing it on whatever basis your state requires.
For more information on the licensing process and requirements for makeup artists, visit here.
Do I Need A License to Be A Makeup Artist?
As with many forms of licensing, the requirement to have one in order to practice can be a bit of a grey area. One cause, for this reason, is that the requirement to have one varies from state to state.
For example, while it’s generally not required to have a license to be a makeup artist in most states, Louisiana is the only state that requires you to have a specified license to work as a makeup artist.
“Several states will vary, without clear or concise regulations for applying makeup professionally, and not requiring any form of license to work as a professional Makeup Artist. While other states will require a license as a Cosmetologist or Esthetician, even if you only want to practice makeup artistry (and not skin or haircare).”
The generalized answer is “no,” however you should first understand what type of environment you are looking to work under before considering obtaining licensing to work as a makeup artist. For instance, working as a freelance makeup artist generally does not require you to have a license.
The freelance field of makeup artistry can include working professionally as a freelance makeup artist for private clients or in the entertainment industry like film and television. Either pathway comes with a lot of opportunities and the potential to become a well-established makeup artist.
As a freelance makeup artist, you also have the option to establish your own business with private clients and all. You also don’t need a license to perform other duties in the makeup industry such as selling cosmetic products.
When it comes to working in a salon or similar work environment, however, you may be required to obtain a license depending on the state and company policies. This is even more likely to be the case if you also plan to work beyond makeup duties such as applying skincare products, which would require a cosmetology or esthetician license.
For a comprehensive list of individual state licensing requirements, visit here.
The 7 Best Makeup Courses Online
Given the vastness of the worldwide web, there are hundreds of makeup courses online offering certification, basic education and training for beginners, and so much more. Some courses offer full basic training while others focus on specific makeup techniques such as mastering a great smoky eye or how to properly contour someone’s face.
The great thing about taking a makeup course online is that you can learn at your own pace and from the comfort of your own home. Some courses also offer one-on-one training opportunities that allow you to receive help and guidance through course lessons.
Here are 7 of the best makeup courses online, each offering their own specialized training routines.
1. Vizio Makeup Academy
Vizio Makeup Academy offers four types of makeup artistry courses, each one coming with its own requirements, benefits, topics covered, and the amount of time needed to complete it. The courses are:
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All courses offer professional certification at the time of completion.
The prices of each course can only be obtained after submitting your name, email, and phone to the website. Each course is offered completely online and can be accessed from all types of devices including desktops, laptops, phones, and tablets. Literally, you can learn from anywhere!
This introductory makeup course takes approximately 20 hours to complete and comes with basic access to content such as the history of makeup, the color theory of makeup, how to contour and highlight, and sanitation guidelines to name a few.
The master makeup course takes approximately 65 hours to complete. With this course, you receive an HD makeup kit as well as unlimited access to all course-specific material.
With the master makeup course, you also receive a bit more access to premium content compared to the introductory course such as eyeliner techniques, how to do Hollywood celebrity makeup, and vintage makeup looks to name a few. You also have the opportunity to attend a makeup artist marketing/social hosted by the Vizio academy.
The premier makeup course takes approximately 150 hours to complete. As a student enrolled in the premier makeup course, you automatically receive a 24-piece professional brush set. If you haven’t noticed the pattern yet, with each level up of the makeup course, you receive more access to premium course content.
The bonus content offered as part of the premier makeup course includes lip liner techniques, airbrush application tips, men’s makeup basics, and eye shadow coloring techniques. As a premier makeup course student, you will also have the opportunity to participate in the makeup artist marketing/social.
The most comprehensive course offered by Vizio Makeup Academy is the elite makeup course. This course is the longest and takes approximately 220 hours to complete. This course gives you premium access to all lessons as well as bonus makeup courses and the opportunity to participate in the makeup artist marketing/social held by the academy.
With the elite course, you also receive an HD makeup kit and a 24-piece professional brush set.
For a full description of what’s offered in each makeup course, visit here.
2. School of Makeup Artistry
The School of Makeup Artistry offers 5 different makeup courses:
- Makeup Artistry 101
- Professional Makeup Artistry
- Master Makeup Artistry
- Professional Bridal Makeup
- The Business of Makeup Artistry
Makeup Artistry 101 is taught by senior instructor Toni Thomas. Toni Thomas is described as, “an award-winning beauty industry professional, freelance editorial makeup artist, and a top U.S. beauty influencer.”
This course costs $197 US dollars is comprised of 23 instructional videos and 31 texts. The estimated time it takes to fully complete this course is around 40 hours from start to finish.
This course covers about 19 different topics from perfecting a smoky eye to evening makeup, knowing how to properly contour and highlight, concealing and correcting, and more. It’s quite comprehensive and walks you through all aspects of applying makeup as well as basic skincare knowledge.
This is a beginner non-certificate course. You can find more information about the instructor Toni Thomas and this course here.
The Professional Makeup Artistry course costs $297 US dollars and is a beginner certificate course taught once again by Toni Thomas. This course is comprised of 21 videos, 1 survey, 33 required texts, and 1 PDF. It should take an estimated 40 hours total to fully complete this course from start to finish.
A total of 19 lessons makes up this course which covers the basics of professional makeup artistry. The course takes you on a comprehensive journey through each topic, starting with the history of makeup and its influence during the Victorian Era and ending with the steps needed to build your own makeup artistry business.
Additionally, you can find a full description of the remaining courses here. One thing to think about, check out our article on how much the average woman spends on makeup. Remember, this is a booming industry and has been for years. Any of these courses are great first steps to a potentially fruitful career!
3. Bombshell Beauty Academy
First on the list is none other than the Bombshell Beauty Academy The academy is based in Albury/Wodonga Australia, however, those interested in receiving training can take makeup artistry courses online through their website.
The well-regarded makeup academy offers courses for beginners interested in all aspects of the makeup industry from those wanting to become a professional makeup artist to those simply looking to brush up their makeup skills.
They offer a beginner makeup course set at $600 US dollar and includes 46 comprehensive lessons in total. There are about 15 different topics that the course covers, and each topic include several of the 46 lessons. The 15 topics covered in this course are:
- An Introduction to Makeup
- Tools of The Trade
- Skin Care & Prep
- Sanitation & Hygiene
- Product Types
- Shapes in Makeup
- Mastering Eyeshadow for Beginners
- Matte vs Shimmer
- Advancing Your Skills in Makeup
- Perfecting the Makeup Base
- Cutting the Crease
- Eyeshadow Design
- Playing with Color!
The great thing about this course specifically as well as many other online makeup courses is that you don’t have to have any prior experience or complete any prerequisites to take the course.
All you simply have to do is sign up online, pay the course fees, and the rest is up to the makeup experts handing down their makeup wisdom. Most materials you will need will be online and your part will consist of no more than showing up to do the work and training.
In addition to the makeup education you receive in taking this course you also become a certified makeup artist, receive membership into a loving and supporting group of fellow makeup artists, and receive exclusive discounts towards popular cosmetic products from top brands like MAC and Inglot.
Once you complete the course, there’s no specific timeline since it is self-paced, you will receive your certificate by mail. Another added bonus about taking a course through this academy is that once you sign up for lessons, you have lifetime access to them, which means you can come back anytime and review the lessons from the course!
You can find more information about Bombshell Beauty Academy and its makeup course here.
4. Sarah Baldwin Professional Online Makeup Academy
Sarah Baldwin Professional Online Makeup Academy offers a beginner introduction to makeup artistry course for £1,195 pounds. This course also comes with an optional specialized starter kit and includes guidance and mentorship from professional makeup artist Sarah Baldwin.
The start kit provides all the essentials you need to start your makeup artistry career.
The course curriculum includes 18 lessons as well as online bonus content. With each lesson, you’ll receive a PDF guide and a video to follow along with as you go through the course.
In addition to the makeup artistry education offered in this course, you’ll also receive a 1-year aftercare program that includes 4 one-on-one calls, a record of all of your work completed in the first year, and access to contact Sarah herself anytime you need help or guidance.
With the one-on-one call, you can make a video call to Sarah or members of a private group you will become a part of. At the end of the course, you’ll have completed the full freelance makeup artistry course, passed the required written exam, and received a certificate of completion. For more information about this course, visit here.
6. Online Makeup Academy
The Online Makeup Academy offers an advanced makeup artist course that offers full certification at the time of course completion. This course is taught by lead instructor, Paulina Pecak. Pauline has over 4 years of experience in the field of makeup artistry and has taught hundreds of students looking to reach their makeup artistry goals.
The course consists of 6 modules or lessons:
- Creative & HD Makeup
- Period Makeup
- High Fashion
- Editorial Makeup
- Business, Branding, Marketing
With full completion of this course you will receive:
- Pro Cards membership from two partner companies: Frends Beauty and Nigels Beauty Foundation.
- With the Pro Cards membership, you will also receive up to 40% off top beauty brands such as NYX, L’Oréal, and Smashbox to name a few.
- A professional portfolio comprised of all of your work successfully completed throughout the course.
- An OMOACA approved professional makeup artistry certificate.
This course is priced at $750 US dollars. For more information, visit here.
6. Udemy Makeup Artistry Masterclass
Udemy, an online platform that offers thousands of courses on anything you can think of, has a number of online makeup classes available to the public. On Udemy you can find a makeup artistry course that fits your budgets, interests, and professional needs.
Their most popular makeup artistry course is: Makeup Artistry: The Complete Makeup Artistry Masterclass.
This course doesn’t exactly teach you makeup artistry application basics, but it is useful you want to get a head start on building your potential makeup artistry business. This course starts at just $9.99 and offers certification at the time of completion.
For those interested in actually learning makeup artistry basics, you can take the next popular course. “The BASICS Makeup Course for Beginners,” on Udemy. This course is also set at the same price of just $9.99 and includes a one-hour on-demand video, 7 downloadable resources, and full lifetime access to course materials.
In this certification course, you will cover the basics of applying makeup through 7 lectures:
- Base Makeup
- Eye Makeup
- Bronze & Blush
This beginner course is taught by Amy Loring, a certified MUA, YouTuber, and beauty blogger. For more information on this beginner makeup artistry course and other similar courses available on Udemy, visit here.
7. Melissa Hoffmann Photography + Beauty
The next beginners online makeup course offered is made possible by life coach, photographer, and makeup and hair artist Melissa Hoffmann. Melissa Hoffmann left her corporate job to pursue her passion in the beauty industry and help all women feel beautiful in their own skin.
She is truly an inspiration to all beginners interested in dipping their toes, so to speak, into the field on makeup artistry. The makeup courses offered by Melissa Hoffman Photography + Beauty are “10 Minute Natural Makeup Look” and “The Ultimate Smoky Eye.”
The “10 Minute Natural Makeup Look” offers you the opportunity to learn how to skillfully master the art of creating a 10-minute natural makeup look. This course cost $19 US dollars and consists of 6 lessons in total all covered within three chapters:
- Welcome to The Course
- Let’s Get Started!
- Thank You & What’s Next
This course isn’t as rigorous considering you don’t receive a certification at the end, but it’s definitely worth the fun if you’re just looking to learn a few easy to follow tricks on how to do a simple and natural 10-minute makeup look.
The second makeup course offered by Melissa Hoffman is “The Ultimate Smoky Eye.” I’m sure we’ve all attempted a dashing smoky eye at some point only to end up looking like we haven’t slept for days, dark circles and all, or even worse, like a raccoon!
No one wants to look like a raccoon, so this course gives you three ways to execute a dramatic smoky eye.
This course costs $27 US dollars and consists of 12 lessons within the three chapters covered in the course. By the end of this course, you’ll have mastered the three different types of smoky eye covered in the course:
- 4 Step Smoky Eye
- Light Smoky
- Dark Smoky Eye
This course is great for the beginner of beginners and all others interested in learning makeup basics, but not necessarily interested in taking a rigorous lesson. Even better, it’s Melissa Hoffmann herself walking you through the steps of each course and guiding you all the way.
Is a Certified Makeup Artist and Licensed Makeup Artist the Same Thing?
Before you do anything in the field of makeup artistry, including taking a course, you should first understand the difference between a certified makeup artist and a licensed makeup artist. It’s important to know this difference, especially if you’re unsure of which one you want and which one, you’re required to have.
Being a certified makeup artist means that you have completed a certain amount of training and practicing hours successfully. Having certification lets your employer or client know that you are well versed in makeup artistry and are capable of displaying the proper skills required for makeup artistry as well.
Being a licensed makeup artist means that you have completed a certain number of hours and training as well completed a state-required exam to receive a license issued by the state you live in.
A license is not generally required to be a makeup artist, and neither is a certificate, however, you are able to practice as a professional with just a certificate. And there are infinite certifications online, from nail technician courses to professional make-up. Nowadays you can become an expert from your home in whatever area you are looking for.
The Best Course for Learning How to Apply Makeup for Beginners
As mentioned before, Vizio Makeup Academy offers an introductory makeup course for beginners which teaches the basics of how to apply makeup. By the end of this course, you’ll know how to choose the right foundation for different skin types, how to build your own makeup kit, and how to contour, highlight, and blend to name a few.
With this course, you’ll be able to become a certified makeup artist professional and have your clients looking great and spreading the word about your hidden talent!
You can find more information about this introductory course here.
Get Those Makeup Brushes Going!
Now that you’ve seen all that the online web has to offer when it comes to makeup courses online, you’ll have those makeup brushes working their magic in no time.
Taking a course, whether for certification or just for fun, requires time and dedication so be sure to stay committed once you start. You’ll want to get your money’s worth out of the course and even more importantly, you’ll want to gain the most knowledge as well.
The great thing about the makeup industry is that anyone can get involved and build a successful career regardless of whether you’re just getting started as a beginner or more advanced. Soon you could be helping friends with their makeup on special occasions or getting your first bridal makeup client or even opening up your own makeup business. The options are endless.