Makeup Artist Schools in Massachusetts

For most jobs in the beauty business, it's pretty clear where you need to go to school. If you want to become a cosmetologist, you go to a cosmetology school; if you want to become an esthetician, you go to an esthetician school. But where do you go if you want to become a makeup artist? And, where do you go if simply want to pick up a couple of new makeup techniques?

Makeup Training Options

Basically, there are four different ways to learn about makeup. We'll take a look at each option, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each, and after that, list all of the makeup artist schools in Massachusetts (along with some other schools that might help you).

First up...​

1. Cosmetology Schools. If you're looking for a broad education that will introduce you to all aspects of beauty (skin, hair, nails, and makeup) then "cosmetology school" is what you're looking for. You'll learn how to style, color, and cut hair, how to beautify a customer's skin, how to perform professional manicures, as well as the basics of makeup application. There are plenty of cosmetology schools in Massachusetts, and many of them are affordable (community colleges tend to be the most affordable, with private schools such as Paul Mitchell, Empire, and Marinello getting a little more expensive).

The best aspect of a cosmetology school is that you'll have a solid understanding of beauty essentials, and you'll be able to apply for a Massachusetts cosmetology license after you graduate. That's important, because it'll allow you to work in any salon or spa in Massachusetts. The downside is that you'll probably need to continue to learn more about makeup after you graduate, because cosmetology schools teach introductory makeup courses, and not "expert-level" makeup courses.

2. Makeup Artist Schools. Whereas a cosmetology school will provide a "generalist" education where you learn about each professional area of beauty, a school that teaches only makeup will go into great detail about application procedures, color theory, airbrush techniques, building a professional makeup kit, gathering images to make an artist's portfolio, how to manage skin imperfections, and much, much more.

The education at makeup schools is in-depth and extensive, BUT they get very pricey. It's not uncommon for makeup programs to cost $12,000 or more. The other negative is that upon graduation, you won't be able to apply for a Massachusetts state cosmetology license--meaning that you'll be able to work as a freelance makeup artist, but not as a makeup artist in a salon or spa. If that's confusing, don't worry--we'll discuss licenses more in a section below.

Remember how we mentioned that these schools are rare? They are! There's only a couple dozen such schools in the United States. Luckily, there are a couple located in the Boston metro area. There are also schools in Medford and Peabody. We've included their contact information below.

​3. Makeup Workshops. In every city, there are pop-up makeup workshops that you can attend. Some of them may be very general (like a class on how to use mascaras) whereas others might be very specific (like the business aspects of doing bridal makeup). Workshops--sometimes also referred to as "intensives"--are usually short-term, and last anywhere from a single afternoon to a week or two. The pricetag is usually on the reasonable side, and classes can range anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to $2,000 or $2,500. If you're interested in workshops, check on Event Brite, Yelp, ThumbTack, Groupon, and, and look in cities like Boston, Worcester, Cambridge, Lowell, Springfield, Quincy, Newton, Somerville, Framingham, and Waltham.

4. Private Lessons. We love this option. Rather than waiting for a workshop to come to town, contact a makeup artist in your nearest city and arrange for lessons. Most MUAs are totally up for giving lessons because it brings them some extra income and helps them round out their schedule. To bring down the price, you can recruit a couple of friends and split the cost.

The best part about private lessons is that you can ask the artist to teach you exactly what you want to know. The other positive is that the artist becomes someone you know and can add to your professional network, and maybe even contact in the future for a job.

Makeup Artist Schools in Massachusetts

Where Can Your Career Take You?​

So now that you have an idea on how to receive an education, what area of makeup are you actually interested in? We go into great detail about jobs on our homepage, but we'll give you a quick refresher.​

  • Fashion Makeup Artists prepare models for photo shoots, runway shows, and product releases. A very important aspect of fashion makeup--and one that requires a lot of practice--is how to apply makeup so that it looks great in front of flash photography.
  • Bridal Makeup Artists get brides and grooms (mostly brides) ready for their trip down the aisle. This is another exciting area of makeup, and one where artists need to learn how to make brides look great in front of flash photography.
  • Cinema Makeup Artists get actors, actresses, and stage performers ready for the camera. As you'd imagine, makeup for films and television is VERY competitive, and you've got to be at the top of your game to make it. This would include special effects makeup, which is very, very different than fashion makeup.
  • Live Events Makeup Artists work for theatrical productions, music bands, and other live entertainers to make sure they radiate onstage. This can be a challenging area of makeup, because the lighting used in live events can be very complex.

Finally, there's one more area of makeup that we'd like to highlight, because people often forget about it, and that's business side of makeup. Cosmetics companies need creative people to develop new and exciting products, advertise those products, and teach shop owners how to use and sell them. It's not what people think of when they think "makeup artist," but it is a GREAT way to make a living, and a very reliable source of income. Something to think about!

Do You Need A License?​

We talked a little about this in one of the sections above. We've read the rules relating to cosmetology in the state of Massachusetts, and we could not find anything requiring people get a makeup artist license, and we know of many, many makeup artists who do gigs and do not have any sort of beauty license.

Massachusetts may become less lenient with makeup artists and eventually become more aggressive about requiring them to prove they have licenses, but for now they seem to not be extremely concerned. If that changes, we will most definitely write about it.

With that in mind, you may need a license if you want to work in certain places: If you want to work in a Massachusetts salon or a Massachusetts spa and do makeup, you'll need to get a cosmetology license or an esthetician license.

If you have any questions, you should check with the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Cosmetology and Barbering. They are the ultimate authority when it comes to beauty careers in Massachusetts.

​Massachusetts Makeup Schools and Training

There are some top-notch makeup schools in Massachusetts. Check out each of the following institutions to learn more: ​

Bobbi Brown Program in Makeup Artistry
Emerson College
120 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 824-8280

Katrina Hess
115 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116
(781) 710-6865

Elizabeth Grady School of Aesthetics
222 Boston Avenue
Medford, MA 02155
(781) 391-9380

Face Forward
83 Pine Street
Peabody, MA 01960
(978) 535-5888

Anemone Makeup
Loring House
211 Summer Avenue
Reading, MA 01867
(508) 208-6024

Contact the ones that seem like a good fit and learn more, but remember: you don’t *need* to attend a makeup school to become a makeup artist. You can also attend a cosmetology program, and for many people, that’s a GREAT fit. Here are some schools you can look into.

Empire Beauty School
30 West Street
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 266-2661

Upper Cape Cod Regional Vo-Tech — Adult Education
220 Sandwich Road
Bourne, MA 02532
(508) 759-7711

Shawsheen Valley Technical High School — Adult Education
100 Cook Street
Billerica, MA 01866
(978) 667-2111

Toni and Guy Hairdressing Academy
727A Granite Street
Braintree, MA 02184
(781) 428-3099

Aliano School of Cosmetology
541 West Street
Brockton, MA 02303
(508) 583-5433

LaBaron Hairdressing Academy
240 Liberty Street
Brockton, MA 02301
(508) 583-1700

Bay Path Vocational Technical High School — Adult Education
57 Old Mugget Hill Road
Charlton, MA 01507
(508) 248-5971

La Newton School of Beauty
350 Blue Hill Ave
Dorchester, MA 02121
(617) 427-6886

Flavia Leal Beauty Institute
20 Chelsea Street
Everett, MA 02149
(781) 281-1482

B.M.C. Durfee High School — Adult Education
360 Elsbree Street
Fall River, MA 02720
(508) 675-8100

Alexander Academy
112 River Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420
(978) 345-0011

Henri’s School of Hair Design
276 Water Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420
(978) 342-6061

Empire Beauty Schools
624 Worcester Road
Framingham, MA 01702
(508) 370-3700

North Shore Community College — Adult Education
562 Maple Street
Hawthorne, MA 01937
(978) 762-4000

Empire Beauty Schools
259 North Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
(508) 771-1680

Lawrence Training School Academy of Cosmetology
530 Broadway Street
Lawrence, MA 01841
(978) 794-0449

V.I.P. Hair and Nail Academy
100 Water Street
Lawrence, MA 01841
(978) 683-0407

Empire Beauty Schools
231 Central Street
Lowell, MA 01852
(978) 459-9959

Lowell Academy Hairstyling Institute
136 Central Street
Lowell, MA 01852
(978) 453-3235 or (978) 452-8686

Empire Beauty Schools
347 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148
(781) 397-7400

New England Hair Academy
110 Florence Street
Malden, MA 02148
(781) 324-6799 or (781) 324-0523

North Shore Technical High School — Adult Education
30 Logbridge Road
Middleton, MA 01749
(978) 762-0001

LaBaron Hairdressing Academy
281 Union Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
(508) 996-6611

Rob Roy Hair Academy — New Bedford Campus
1872 Acushnet Avenue
New Bedford, MA 02746
(508) 995-8711

Kimarie Beauty School
319 Newport Ave
Quincy, MA 02170
(617) 472-8088

Mansfield Beauty School
200 Parking Way
Quincy, MA 02169
(617) 479-1090

Mansfield Beauty School
266 Bridge Street
Springfield, MA 01103
(413) 788-7575

Springfield Tech Community College
1 Armory Square
Springfield, MA 01105
(413) 781-7822

Rob Roy Hair Academy — Taunton Campus
1 School Street
Taunton, MA 02780
(508) 822-1405

Hairs How Modern School of Beauty
99 Preston Street
Wakefield, MA 01880
(781) 224-4800

Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vo-Tech School — Adult Education
100 Hemlock Road
Wakefield, MA 01880
(781) 246-0810

Digrigoli School of Cosmetology
1578 Riverdale Street
West Springfield, MA 01089
(413) 827-0037

Kay Harvey Hairdressing Academy
11 Central Street
West Springfield, MA 01089
(413) 732-7117

Monarch School of Cosmetology
2701 Boston Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
(413) 599-4600

Toni and Guy Cosmetology Program
6 Park Ave
Worcester, MA 01605
(508) 756-6060

Worcester Vo-Tech High School — Adult Education
1 Skyline Dive
Worcester, MA 01605
(508) 799-1940

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