Makeup Artist Schools in Colorado

You love makeup. Maybe you want to become a makeup artist, or maybe you simply just want to learn a few new techniques to make yourself look even more fabulous (as if that were possible!). But where can you go to develop the skills you need?

Below, we'll outline each of the makeup schools and events you can attend, and then provide a list of makeup artist schools in Colorado (as well as cosmetology schools, if you're looking for a more "rounded" education).

Different Types of Makeup Training​

​In the United States, there are a limited number of schools that teach makeup alone. There are, however, a number of places you can learn new makeup techniques, including:

  • Workshops and "Intensive Courses." These are short-term classes that last a couple of days, and cost anywhere from $50 to $2,000. Most of the time, they focus on a specific area of makeup, like how to apply makeup for flash photography, how to apply bridal makeup, or how to run a makeup salon. They're usually scheduled to take place in larger metropolitan areas, so you can check sites like or ThumbTack to see when there are classes coming up in your area. You should also check Denver, Colorado Springs, Aurora, and Fort Collins, as those are some of the most populated cities in Colorado. You can also check Lakewood, Thornton, Boulder, Longmont, and Loveland.
  • Cosmetology Schools. Most cosmetology schools have a curriculum that is determined by the state (for example, the lessons you learn in a Colorado beauty school will be created by the Colorado Office of Barber and Cosmetology Licensure). However, some schools have short-term programs dedicated solely to makeup. Just like intensives, these tend to be one-time events, so you'll need to stay alert and check in with schools in your area.
  • Lessons From Makeup Artists. This is a FANTASTIC option, and it can be a great substitute for an actual makeup school. Most cities have a few makeup artists who do fashion and bridal makeup, and they can be an excellent resource for you. They know the game, so call them up and arrange a lesson (or even a few). Most MUAs love giving private lessons because 1) teaching something you love to people who are interested in it is a lot of fun, and 2) it's a great way for them to earn some extra money. If you're persistent and charming, you might even be able to get a makeup artist assistant job out of it. Pro tip: get a few friends to go in on the lessons with you. It'll cost you less, and the MUA will end up making more. Everybody wins!
  • Local Makeup Counters. These are another great source for impromptu makeup lessons. Many makeup counters will hold makeup lessons in the evening, so call your local shopping mall or department store and see if they have anything coming up. If you're in a rural area, contact stores in your nearest metropolitan area.

There's one other place you can learn more about makeup, and that is online. Over the last few years, the number of people posting tutorials has skyrocketed, and while some of them are pretty awful, there are tons of them that are truly helpful.

Makeup Artist Schools in Colorado

How To Get Paid To Do What You Love​

​So now that we've talked about makeup schools and you've figured out where to receive instruction, how can you take your love of makeup and transform it into a viable career?

Here are the most common ways that people make makeup their livelihood:

Fashion Makeup for Print/Digital Media. Clothing lines, cosmetics companies, and accessories brands sell their products by hiring models to look great wearing them and by getting world-class photographers to capture the model's look. None of that is possible without a makeup artist to contour a model's best features. Fashion makeup is wildly competitive, but it's very exciting.

Entertainment Makeup for Television and Film. Wherever there is a live or filmed performance, there are makeup artists getting actors and television personalities ready for the audience. That can be a wide range of events: a television show, a movie, a theatre event, a commercial for a local market, even a morning show filmed in your nearest city. Wherever there are people appearing live in front of other people, there are makeup artists there, making them look presentable!

Bridal Makeup. This is a HUGE one. Whereas much of the work for TV/film makeup artists is in NYC and LA, bridal makeup artists can work literally anywhere. Most brides now hire someone to do their makeup, and being a bridal MUA can be a good business (or a great side gig).

Corporate Makeup. We always say that this is the least romantic but most profitable way to make makeup your profession. Many people work for cosmetic companies, and that work can often be very creative. People create new makeup products, figure out more effective ways to market those products, and travel from store to store teaching people how to apply and wear the makeup. It's a great way to do makeup for a living and have some added stability.

There's one other place where you can do makeup, and that's in a salon or spa (seems kind of obvious, right?). You'll need a license to do that--and we'll talk about that in the next section--but it can be a fantastic place to do what you love.

Colorado Beauty Licenses​

Most people know that in order to become a cosmetologist, you need to go to a cosmetology school and get a cosmetology license. Same for estheticians--you'll need to go to an esthetics program and get an esthetician's license. But what about makeup artists?

At present, the state of Colorado has no laws that talk about makeup artist licenses, and there are many freelance makeup models who provide "one-time" makeup services for models, actors, brides, or who work at makeup counters and sell products, who do not have any type of beauty license.

However, all of the makeup artists who work in a salon or spa DO need to get a cosmetologist or esthetician license.

The difference (for now) is where you work. Colorado has "looked the other way" for independent makeup artists who operate on their own and take clients, but for people who work in a Colorado salon or spa, they're very strict, and you'll need a license to work in that kind of business establishment.​

The Colorado Board of Cosmetology may soon become more strict about licensing, so be sure to check their homepage for changes to the current beauty laws.

Colorado Special Effects Makeup Schools

So far, we've talked about beauty makeup. We haven't talked about that other awesome kind of makeup, which is special effects makeup.

If you live in Colorado and you want to do SFX makeup, you are super lucky, because there is a school in Denver dedicated solely to the topic, called Monster Makeup FX. There are only a few states that have special effects makeup schools--California, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, and New Jersey--and COLORADO!

If you're interested in special effects makeup, definitely reach out to them. We've included their contact info below. ​


There's a lot to think about when you're considering a career. If you have any questions, leave them below, or hop over to our "Contact" page and drop us a line. We'd love to hear from you!​

Training Options Near You

There are two makeup artist schools that offer classes, but remember–you’ll find many more training options by using a few of the methods above.

Monster Makeup FX
1221 South Lipan Street
Denver, CO 80223
720-432-SPFX (7739)

Simply Moore Studio
Cherry Creek North
3000 East Third Avenue
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 399-4151

Because cosmetology schools can be another great way to get into the makeup profession, here’s a list of many of the cosmetology schools in Colorado:

Red Rocks Community College — Arvada Campus
5420 Miller Street
Arvada, CO 80002
(303) 914-6010

Empire Beauty School — Aurora
16800 East Mississippi Avenue
Aurora, CO 80017
(303) 745-6300

Majestic Vocational Training Center
9635 East Colfax Ave
Aurora, CO 80010
(720) 495-0609

Nueva Imagen Beauty School
12102 East Mississippi Avenue
Aurora, CO 80012
(303) 368-4494

Paul Mitchell The School — Colorado Springs
118 West Colorado Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
(719) 636-1426

TONI & GUY Hairdressing Academy
5125 North Academy Boulevard
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
(719) 390-9898

American International Beauty College
655 South Federal Boulevard
Denver, CO 80219
(303) 922-1100

BL International Beauty College III
3465 West Alameda Avenue
Denver, CO 80219
(303) 975-8961

Cuttin’ Up Beauty Academy
8101 East Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80220
(303) 388-5700

Ergun Tercan Advanced Hair Academy
2500 West 15th Street
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 433-5544

Zuri Institute of Hair Design
3150 East Third Avenue
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 377-3377

Regency Beauty Institute
2236 East Harmony Road
Fort Collins, CO 80528
(970) 530-3044

Otero Junior College
1802 Colorado Avenue
La Junta, CO 81050
(719) 384-6831

Empire Beauty School — Lakewood
441 Wadsworth Boulevard
Lakewood, CO 80226
(303) 238-7501

Red Rocks Community College — Lakewood Campus
13300 West Sixth Avenue
Lakewood, CO 80228
(303) 914-6600

Regency Beauty Institute
98 Wadsworth Boulevard
Lakewood, CO 80226
(720) 214-0871

Lamar Community College
2401 South Main Street
Lamar, CO 81052
(719) 336-2248

Empire Beauty School — Littleton
8996 West Bowles Avenue
Littleton, CO 80123
(303) 904-4400

The Cosmetology School
17862 Cottonwood Drive
Parker, CO 80134
(303) 840-6335

Center Beauty College
228 West Third Street
Pueblo, CO 81003
(719) 542-3833

Pueblo School of Cosmetology
1827 North Norwood
Pueblo, CO 81001
(719) 544-4447

Northeast Junior College
100 College Avenue
Sterling, CO 80751
(970) 521-6600

Arts and Education Hairdressing Academy
2800 Rock Creek Circle
Superior, CO 80027
(303) 499-9107

Empire Beauty School — Thornton
3811 East 120th Avenue
Thornton, CO 80233
(303) 451-5808

Regency Beauty Institute
6755 West 88th Avenue
Westminster, CO 80031
(720) 214-1750

Summit Salon and Beauty School
110 West Midland Avenue
Woodland Park, CO 80863
(719) 686-0205

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