Makeup Artist Schools in Arizona

Interested in a career as a makeup artist? You're in the right place. On this page, we'll discuss your training options in Arizona, your different ways you can make a career out of makeup, and a discussion of the licenses that different types of artists need to work.

Makeup Artist Schools in Arizona

Different Varieties of Makeup Schools​

People learn about makeup in a couple of different types of institutions. There are:

Makeup Schools where the entire curriculum is dedicated to makeup application and fashion. At these institutions, you'll learn about every aspect of makeup, including how to build a makeup kit, how to apply the various types of makeup to various skin tones and shades, how to use airbrush techniques, and how to manage skin imperfections. Classes last anywhere from three months to five or six months, and the total tuition can be quite high (around $15,000 or more). Most states don't have "makeup only" schools.​

Cosmetology Schools that teach an entire beauty curriculum. Students learn how to create different hairstyles, how to match makeup styles with various hairstyles, how to apply nail polish, and basic skin care. There are many, many cosmetology schools in Arizona, and many of them are reasonably priced. We'll talk more about "makeup schools vs. cosmetology schools" below, and help you figure out which is the best option for you.​

Independent Workshops are another popular way to learn about makeup and makeup techniques. These are kind of like "pop up" classes that you can find in major cities. A makeup artist will come to town and offer a two-day or three-day course on a specific aspect of makeup. It may be how to apply eyeliner to get a smoky look, different lipsticks and how to use lipstick on various lip shapes, and so on. These are a great option (and they usually don't cost too much). You can look for workshops in Phoenix, Tucson, Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, and Flagstaff.​

If you're really serious about makeup, you have some more "thinking outside the box" options, as well. You can:

Contact local makeup artists. There are plenty of makeup artists in Phoenix, Tucson, and Scottsdale, and they LOOOOOVE to give private lessons. It's a great way for them to bring in extra money, and many of them enjoy teaching. Go by yourself or bring a friend--or, even arrange a makeup party, and negotiate a rate with the makeup artist. It can be very informative, and very fun.​

Look on or You'll often find upcoming events related to makeup. It may be a conference of makeup professionals at a local convention center, or an instructional course at a spa or salon. Again, these are usually located in the bigger cities, but they can be a great opportunity.

Go online. There are so, so many online tutorials--it's possible to develop a strong understanding on makeup and makeup theory from your laptop or phone. You'll still need to practice with real live people, but online tutorials are a fantastic way to start learning.​

It's nice to know that if you live in Arizona and you love makeup, you've got plenty of options to develop your skills!

Ways To Get Paid Doing Makeup​

How do makeup artists actually get paid to do what they love? Here are the most common ways:​

  • Fashion Photography Makeup. This is the "dream career" for most people who want to become makeup artists. It's very exciting, and very competitive. MUAs in the fashion world get models ready for photo shoots that appear in print and online. Some of the work includes "classical" or "clean" makeup, and some of it requires a very creative touch.
  • Bridal Makeup. In every town and every state there are women who are getting married, and many of them are opting to have a professional get them ready for their big day. In certain U.S. cities, it's possible to do bridal makeup full-time, although it can be a great part-time gig, as well.
  • Television and Film. Any time there's a camera rolling, there are makeup artists getting the actors ready for the shoot. Most of this work is in Los Angeles and New York, but there are local TV shows (such as news programs) in every city that require makeup artists. "TV and film" would include special effects makeup, although usually there's a division between beauty makeup (ie, work with eyeshadow, blush, lipstick, and so on) and special effects makeup (ie, making people look like aliens or vampires or gunshot victims), and MUAs usually do one or the other.
  • Business / Corporate Makeup. This is a fantastic way to make a living, and it's a lot more sustainable than being a freelance makeup artist. Many people who love makeup get jobs at makeup counters, and some even move into corporate positions, where they develop and market new products. It's not for everybody (and it's not the most romantic way to do makeup) but there are some definite benefits, including job stability and advancement opportunities.

It can be difficult to make a living as a makeup artist (especially if you want to do it full time or work in tv or film). But--plenty of other people have done it, so you can too, right?

Licensing: A Cheat Sheet​

If you decide to become a makeup artist in Arizona, will you need a license? At the time we posted this article, there are no requirements about freelance makeup artists. There are, however, some things you'll need to know:​

  • If you're going to do freelance makeup for brides, models, actors, and so on, you don't need a license.
  • If you're employed by any kind of established business (like a beauty salon or a day spa), then you'll need to get a cosmetology license or esthetician's license. We'll talk more about this below.
  • If you decide to do permanent makeup (such as tattoos or permanent coloring to the skin), you'll need a license.

Keep in mind, that the state laws that govern the beauty industry change all the time, and you should always check with the Arizona State Board of Cosmetology to learn about state requirements.

Makeup vs. Cosmetology

People at the start of their careers are often uncertain about what they'd like to do for a living. Usually, it comes down to makeup artistry versus cosmetology. We'll quickly go over some of the pros and cons of each beauty career, and see if we can discover the path that's best for you.

Pros Of A Makeup Artist Career:

  • You own your own freelance company, and you're your own boss (that's a very big plus for some people!)
  • You don't need a state license to get started.
  • If you love makeup and you don't want to do it full-time, you can make makeup your side gig, and do bridal makeup on weekends for extra cash.

Cons Of A Makeup Artist Career:

  • It can be very tough to make a living as a makeup artist, and those who "make it" may not earn huge salaries.
  • The hours can be rough. Photo shoots start very early, and bridal makeup can take up most of your weekends.
  • Work can dry up quickly. If you're a full-time makeup artist and you find yourself without clients, that can be very scary.

Pros Of A Cosmetology Career:

  • You'll be licensed, and you'll almost always be able to find work. There are dozens of beauty salons in every city and town, and every human being alive gets haircuts. There's no better job security than that.
  • Your salary may be more reliable. Makeup artists have to drum up all the new business they get, whereas cosmetologists and beauticians generally have new business come to them.
  • You can eventually open your own salon, and increase your earnings dramatically. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, opening your own place can be very exciting.

Cons Of A Cosmetology Career:

  • You'll need to go to school (and that costs money), whereas many makeup artists learn techniques on their own.
  • You'll work for someone else when you get started, and that can be a drag.
  • You'll do all aspects of beauty, and not focus specifically on makeup.

So, what's right for you? Only you can decide! If you makeup to be your life's work, you'll find a way to make it happen. And if you love both aspects of the beauty industry--makeup and hairstyling--cosmetology is a fun and satisfying career as well.

Arizona Makeup Schools and Classes​

The makeup schools below have a program that is dedicated solely to makeup instruction. If the schools aren't what you're looking for, be sure to check out the options we mentioned above. Good luck!​

The Skin and Makeup Institute
7547 W. Greenway
Peoria, AZ 85381

Maxima Makeup Artistry
4210 North Brown Avenue
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 429-3784

Carsten Institute of Cosmetology
3345 S. Rural
Tempe, AZ 85282
(480) 491-0449

Ps--if you know of any makeup schools in Arizona that we've missed, contact us and we'll add them!

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