Makeup Artist Schools in Iowa

So you love makeup. So do we! We're pretty passionate about it, actually!

We get a LOT of question from people across the country about the actual places where people can learn more about makeup. To help you out, we put together a list of training options below. Some people want to start full-time careers; others just want to learn about new application techniques and beauty routines. We've got guidance about both, as well as a list of schools you can attend. We hope it helps!

Makeup Artist Schools in Iowa

Choose A Type Of School​

Ever notice that there are many hairstyling schools in Iowa, but not too many schools dedicated to makeup artistry? That's true for most places in the United States. Schools that teach makeup application and makeup techniques are actually pretty rare. There are some full-time schools in New York, California, Florida, Illinois, and Texas, but most states don't have schools that specifically teach makeup.

That said, where can you go if you live in Iowa and you want to learn about makeup and/or become a makeup artist? These are the options you've got:

1. Go to a cosmetology school. Cosmetology schools usually incorporate many different disciplines, and teach students how to style hair, how to use cleanse and take care of the skin, how to decorate nails, and in many cases, how to use and apply makeup. Courses usually last a couple of months, and the cost of the program is usually between $3,000 (at a community college or local school) to $10,000 (at a private school). The most advantageous thing about going to a cosmetology school is that when you graduate, you can get a license and get hired at a local salon.

2. Go to one of the makeup-only schools we mentioned earlier. Feel adventurous? You can relocate for a while! Take a look at some of the other state pages, and see if there are any makeup artist schools that look interesting to you. Programs usually last three to six months, and while the courses are expensive--it's not uncommon for makeup courses to cost $14,000 or more--you'll learn a LOT. You'll learn every conceivable way of applying makeup, insider tips on what products to use, how to run your own makeup business, and much, much more.

3. Find a local makeup artist near you and pay for private lessons. This is such a fantastic option, and it's great for people who have a more casual interest in makeup. If you want to learn more about makeup, reach out to the professionals! Most larger cities have one or more local makeup artists who work with brides and models and so on, so look for local MUAs in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Sioux City, Dubuque, Burlington, and so on. Determine what you want to learn, negotiate a price, and make it happen! Not only will you learn more about makeup, but if you hit it off with the makeup artist teaching you, you'll have a new business connection you can leverage in the future.

4. Look for short-term workshops. Also another great option regardless of your commitment to makeup, and it may also afford you a chance to travel! MUAs often go "on the road" and hold workshops in different cities. The classes are usually short-term and low-cost, so you don't have to make a big commitment. Sites like and often list these types of events, so check those out.

Learn About Licensing​

In the last section, we mentioned licensing. If you become a makeup artist, will you need a license?

There is no "makeup artist license" offered by the state of Iowa, and if you look online, you'll see that there are many independent artists--the kind who work on models, actresses, brides, and so on--who do *not* have any license related to the beauty industry. There are also plenty of makeup artists who work in department stores and cosmetic shops who don't have a license.

It's not unthinkable, though, that Iowa will pass some kind of law requiring makeup artists to get a license (or that they get serious about making independent or self-employed artists get a cosmetology license or an esthetics license).

Here's something that is for sure: if you decide to work in an Iowa beauty salon or Iowa salon and apply makeup to paying customers, you'll need to attend a cosmetology school and get an Iowa cosmetology license or attend an Iowa esthetician school and get an Iowa esthetician license.

Keep in mind, rules about licensing are determined by the state of Iowa, so you should check with the Iowa Board of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences for more information.

Find The Right Career Path​

If you're longing to become a makeup artist, what path should you choose?

Our advice is to gather alllll the information you can. Check out local cosmetology programs, esthetician programs, and workshops in nearby cities. Watch tutorials online (and browse through our site--we have a TON of information about how to become a MUA).

We wish you all the best in your career, and if you have any questions, drop us a line!

​Makeup Training in Iowa

At current, there are no makeup artist schools in Iowa that focus solely on makeup application. However, many makeup artists get their professional start at a cosmetology school, so here's a list of beauty schools in Iowa that you can attend. 

If you have any questions, don't be shy! Click over to our "Contact" page and send us a note. We reply to every message we receive.

If you wish to become a professional makeup artist, we're pulling for you! After all, other people have made it work, so you can too!​

Northeast Iowa Community College — Calmar Campus
1625 Highway 150 South
Calmar, IA 52132
(800) 728-2256

EQ School of Hair Design
536 West Broadway
Council Bluffs, IA 51503
(712) 328-2613

Total Look School of Cosmetology and Massage Therapy
806 Third Street West
Cresco, IA 52136
(563) 547-3624

Paul Mitchell The School Davenport
4020 Brady Street
Davenport, IA 52806
(563) 323-4700

American Hair Academy
910 Avenue G
Fort Madison, IA 52627
(319) 372-6248

Le Mars Beauty College
128 Central Avenue Southeast
Le Mars, IA 51031
(712) 546-4195

Faust Institute of Cosmetology — Storm Lake Campus
1290 North Lake Avenue
Storm Lake, IA 50588
(712) 732-6571

Faust Institute of Cosmetology — Spirit Lake Campus
1543 18th Street
Spirit Lake, IA 51360
(712) 336-0512

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