What Certification Do I Need to Be a Make-Up Artist?

Certification or licensure may be required by some states who classify make-up artists with cosmetologists. Read on for information about training to become a make-up artist, classes you may take and professional credentials. Schools offering Culinary Arts degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Do I Become a Make-up Artist?

Make-up artists need to have additional training beyond a high school diploma. You can usually acquire the necessary education from a community college or professional school through a certificate or degree program in cosmetology or specialized make-up courses. Once you've completed your courses, you need to obtain state licensure or certification to provide hair or skin services. Licensure requirements vary by state, but generally mandate that you pass a written and practical examination.

A certificate or degree program in cosmetology usually includes some coursework in make-up theory and application. Short certificate programs could provide the specific training in this area, or you could choose to enroll in a program that also includes hair, nail and skin care training. Certificate programs can last a few weeks to a year, though associate degree programs usually take two years to complete. These programs need to contain the necessary hands-on practice required by your state for licensure.

What Topics Will I Study?

In make-up courses, you'll put together and use the items in a make-up kit, including foundation, blush, tweezers, lipstick, pencils, eye shadow, mascara and different brushes. You'll imitate and practice celebrity styles and bridal applications, creating looks for day or night. Lessons teach safety procedures, color theories and the science behind skin care. Other topics of study include:

  • Airbrush techniques
  • Facial corrections
  • Sanitation methods
  • Hair removal techniques
  • Business of make-up artistry

What Kind of License or Certification Do I Need?

States generally cover make-up artist certification under a cosmetology license. Once you've completed your state-approved training program and gained sufficient practice hours mandated for the license, you'll need to pass a state certification test. A written exam tests your knowledge of safety regulations and theory, and you might also need to complete a practical or verbal exam to demonstrate your skills.

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