Can I study makeup artistry in college?

If you’re passionate about makeup artistry, you may be wondering, “Can I study makeup in college?” There’s so much to learn about pursuing an education in makeup artistry and the different paths available to you. 

Unlike pursuing a more traditionally academic program like mathematics or English, makeup isn’t typically a major offered at most colleges or universities. You’ll normally find a makeup education track at a career or vocational program, such as a specialized beauty or cosmetology school.

There are a few different options for going to makeup school. This article will break down your options for studying makeup in college and what exactly college makeup artists learn. 

What kinds of makeup schools are there?

1. Cosmetology School

When people think of studying makeup in college, the first thing that comes to mind is often cosmetology school. However, makeup isn’t usually the primary focus of cosmetology programs. Instead, a cosmetology school will provide hair, skin, and nails training. A school might offer a two to four-week add-on makeup artistry course. However, these makeup artistry workshops just scratch the surface of beauty makeup, bridal makeup, and complexion. They fall well short of the complexity and depth of skills necessary to be a professional makeup artist. 

2. Makeup Academies

Professional makeup artists, or MUAs, specialize in applying makeup and prosthetics. From film production, special events, and weddings to horror films, haunted houses, special effects labs, and Broadway theatre – no matter your makeup passion, they all require professionally trained makeup artists, not cosmetologists.

Accredited makeup artistry schools design their curriculum around those skills employers, production studios, clients, and agencies require so you are ready to work upon graduating. In addition to the curriculum, teaching makeup artistry effectively requires specialized lighting, equipment, classroom design, and makeup stations. 

Additionally, students’ makeup kits are extensive and include top cosmetic brands. Training is hands-on and supported through a low student/teacher ratio. If you want to study makeup in college, attending a makeup academy is an excellent option. 

3. Esthetics

Esthiology is the study of skincare. In esthetics school, you will train in skin care treatments, hair removal and body treatments, and makeup application. Esthetics school typically includes 50–75 hours of makeup training. However, as an Esthetician, the makeup training only covers basic application techniques and blemish coverups. 

The main topics covered include hair removal, facials, and masks. If being a skincare specialist and doing facials, acne, body wraps, and other skincare treatments appeals to you, esthetics is your path. However, if you want to be a makeup artist, you may consider another makeup school option. 

What do college makeup artists study?

At makeup academies, your training is extensive. You will learn how to use makeup, cosmetics, paint, prosthetics, wigs, and special effects to change your clients’ physical appearances. 

L Makeup Institute offers courses in beauty makeup, hair styling, airbrush and body painting, special effects makeup, and advanced prosthetics. We also offer 6-month and 8-month Diploma Programs. Our students use comprehensive makeup kits with over 500 top brand items. Students also learn how to see their makeup work through a camera lens in our professional photography studio, which is excellent for showcasing your work on social media and building your brand. 

Our curriculum breaks down each technique into individual segments. Daily projects, interactive instruction, and skill-building sessions encourage learning by hands-on practice. As students master each technique, they incorporate those techniques into increasingly complex makeup applications.

As you progress through your selected diploma program at LMI, you will transition from one course and style of makeup artistry to the next. This approach provides the comprehensive training required to be a well-rounded, highly-skilled, certified makeup artist prepared to work in the many makeup artist industries immediately upon graduating.

Should I study makeup artistry online or in person?

With the rise of online college programs, you may be wondering whether you should look at makeup school digitally or hands-on. Beware of programs that are only online. You can find online makeup courses or workshops that provide 50-100 hours of training and certification, but how much of that training is available for free through YouTube? You may be able to learn some cool tricks or trends online, but makeup artistry is only learned in person and through hands-on repetition. 

How long is makeup school?

  • Cosmetology Program: This also varies by state. It can take up to two years to earn a certificate in cosmetology. These courses range from 1,000 to 1,600 hours.
  • Makeup Artistry Programs: Since there is no state requirement, training hours are up to the school and you. How long and in-depth the course is and how much hands-on experience you’ll get are important when considering where to receive your makeup artistry education. Diploma programs and makeup courses vary, but they should generally be a minimum of 800 hours. Courses may continue for even longer if the programs include specializations in airbrushes, body painting, on-set hair styling, and special effects makeup classes.
  • Esthetics Program: This varies by state, but you can earn an esthetician license in six to eight months by attending a program with around 700-900 hours of training. 

Credentials and State Requirements: Do Your Research!

What makes makeup school challenging is understanding the different credentials you can earn. It is easier to know whether you’ll earn an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree in more traditional academic fields. In makeup school, you may be able to achieve different credentials like certification, accreditation, diploma, or license. You should do your research to see what different makeup schools offer. 

You should also research the requirements for the state you’ll be working in upon graduation. Some states require specific kinds of licenses (and a certain number of hours of education), and other states don’t have requirements. It’s crucial to learn your state’s rules before you begin looking at training options. 

Remember, not all certification is the same. Employers recognize the difference between a certificate from one of the top makeup schools in the country and a 25-hour master class or workshop. If your only training experiences are small workshops and online courses, your potential employers will likely be unimpressed. 

Learn More About LMI

Teaching the art and science of makeup artistry to the next generation of makeup and special effects artists since 2010, the L Makeup Institute offers classes covering all styles of makeup artistry. There are thousands of cosmetology schools, but only a handful of schools like L Makeup Institute. We focus exclusively on preparing you to work as a professional makeup artist immediately upon graduating. Learn more about why LMI is well known in the MUA community as producing talented, well-rounded, and sought-after graduates.

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