What Will I Learn in Makeup Application Classes?

Makeup application courses teach you to work with a variety of people, products and techniques for a career in the personal beauty industry. Read on to learn about full-time courses and stand-alone classes. Schools offering Culinary Arts degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Makeup Application Classes Overview

Many community colleges, private beauty schools, and technical and vocational colleges offer makeup classes. These classes, which cover makeup application, blending, and contouring, and brushes, may be provided individually or as part of a larger aesthetician (skincare) or cosmetology program. If you study makeup application as part of a cosmetology program, you may be awarded a certificate, diploma or degree upon graduation, depending on the program.

Before starting your makeup-artist education, you should check with your state about licensing and certification requirements to ensure your program provides acceptable training. Cosmetologists and aestheticians are typically required to hold state licenses. You may need to complete different training in order to work as a makeup artist in the theatre, film and television industries.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Degrees/Certificates Both certificate and associate degree levels available
Prerequisites Introductory individual courses often have no prerequisites; higher-level courses and degree/certificate programs may require proof of completing basic makeup application courses or a high school diploma or equivalent
Online Availability Because makeup application requires practical experience, courses are usually completed on site.
Possible Careers Stylist, artistic director, and salon owner
Median Salary (2018) $24,730 (for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 13% (for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Introductory Courses

Introductory courses in makeup application introduce you to cosmetic ingredients and application tools such as makeup brushes. They also provide opportunities to become familiar with makeup and skincare products. Your instruction covers identifying skin type and tone and understanding color theory, contouring and color blending. Coursework also teaches you methods for preserving and protecting your tools, as well as operating sanitizing systems.

As you progress through your training program, you learn corrective techniques, lip enhancement, and eyebrow shaping. Introductory courses often include instruction on applying false eyelashes. Some courses, particularly within aesthetician and cosmetology programs, include instruction on temporary hair removal.

Advanced Courses

Once you've mastered the basics of makeup application, advanced courses typically focus on more specific genres of makeup artistry. Advanced courses may cover makeup for different mediums such as print, video, theater or fashion runway. You might continue on with advanced techniques in eyebrow shaping and false eyelash application.

Bridal Cosmetics

Bridal cosmetics courses focus on applying makeup to brides and bridal parties for a variety of wedding settings, such as indoors, outdoors, formal or casual. During the course, you also learn techniques for working with women of various age groups, skin tones, and facial structures within a wedding party.


This advanced course might not be offered in some programs, but some specialty programs may include it. A makeup airbrush is most commonly used within the film or print industry to apply makeup that appears invisible, but it can also be utilized for tanning or bronzing the entire body. Airbrushing classes teach you the appropriate foundations to use within the machine, as well as cleaning, sanitizing and maintaining your equipment.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • La Belle Beauty School

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Hialeah
  • La Belle Beauty Academy

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Miami
  • Joe Blasco Makeup Artist Training Center

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Los Angeles
  • Elegance International

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Hollywood
  • Avi Career Training

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Great Falls
  • Stanford University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Stanford
  • Harvard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Cambridge
  • Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas

    Campus Locations:

    • Arkansas: Helena
  • University of Pennsylvania

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia