Makeup Artist Schools in Montana

If you have an interest in learning more about makeup, here a few ways you can develop new skills and maybe even become a professional makeup artist. We'll go through each of your options, talk a bit about beauty licenses, and then list cosmetology schools and makeup artist schools in Montana.

1. Attend a Cosmetology Program. For most people interested in a career as a makeup artist, cosmetology school is a great option. You'll learn all the "beauty basics," such as hair, nails, skin, and makeup, and you'll also get an understanding of how a salon is run. The only downside is that you won't get a truly in-depth makeup education. You will, however, be able to take the Montana state cosmetology exam after you finish, and with a cosmetology license, you'll be able to work in any Montana beauty salon.

2. Go to a School that Specializes in Makeup Artistry. These schools are a little more rare, but they provide an incredible education for people who want to become makeup artists. Instead of the broader educational experience that a cosmetology school will provide, a makeup school will go in-depth about makeup artistry and teach you application techniques, how to put together a functional makeup kit, how to use color theory on different models, and the particulars about running a business (after all, as a professional makeup artist, you'll be running a small business!). Makeup schools are an INCREDIBLE opportunity, but they have a few negative aspects: they can be quite expensive--usually more than $10,000 per program--and after you graduate, you will not be able to get a cosmetology license. You'll be able to work as a freelance makeup artist on brides, photo shoot models, actors/actresses on set, and so on, but you will not be allowed to do makeup or beauty in a salon.

3. Attend an Intensive. These are great opportunities to learn about makeup over a short-term period. Very often, makeup artists will rent a public space (either in a hotel, convention center, beauty salon, or warehouse) and teach a short-term makeup course. The class may be a single day or a single week, and may cover a single topic or many topics. The cost is usually reasonable (a couple hundred dollars) and you'll meet like-minded men and women who are interested in careers in makeup. You can look in cities like Billings, Missoula, Great Falls, Bozeman, Butte, and Helena for workshops.

4. Seek Out A Working Makeup Artist. Another great way to build your makeup skills. Look up a professional makeup artist in your area (or, if you live in a rural area, your nearest local city) and ask them to give you a few private lessons. Negotiate a price, tell him or her what you'd like to learn, and then show up on time! Private sessions are a fantastic way to learn about *all* aspects of the makeup business from someone who does it for a living.

5. Search Online. The number of online beauty tutorials is mind-boggling. There are quite literally thousands of how-to makeup videos on the internet. Some are good, some are bad, and some are just funny (we actually collect the best and most helpful ones, so check out those posts!). Keep in mind that online tutorials aren't really a way to get *better* at makeup, because you'll still need to practice on real-live people.

Makeup Artist Schools in Montana

Montana Licensing​

In the previous section, we mentioned cosmetology licenses a couple of times. That may seem like a somewhat boring topic, but it's important. Here's what you need to know:​

  • If you plan on working in a beauty salon--an ANY capacity, as a hairdresser, stylist, makeup artist, and so on--you'll need a cosmetology license or an esthetician license. It's against the law to work in a salon without a cosmetology license.
  • Many makeup artists who do freelance makeup OUTSIDE of a business establishment--that is, as self-employed makeup artists, doing makeup for brides and models and so on (or selling makeup at a makeup counter), do not have any kind of beauty license, and it doesn't look like the state of Montana offers makeup artist licenses (as far as we could see on the Montana Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists website). That may change eventually, and we'll let you know if it does.

So why would a person go to cosmetology school, instead of just jumping right into a freelance makeup career? There are a couple of different reasons, but the most relevant are: 1) It can be tough to make it as a makeup artist, and having a cosmetology job to fall back on can provide career stability; and 2) Having a cosmetology degree can set you apart from other makeup artists, and it's something that certain employers look for.

If you have any questions, contact the Montana Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists. They are the highest authority when it comes to beauty careers in Montana, and they'll be able to give more specific answers to any questions you may have.

Schools and Classes in Montana​

​While there are no makeup schools in Montana that spend all their time on makeup, the Montana Academy of Salons teaches 150 hours of esthetics in their cosmetology course, and makeup application is included in that section.

Montana Academy of Salons
501 2nd Street South
Great Falls, MT 59405
(406) 771-8772

Remember, just because there are no makeup schools in Montana doesn’t mean you can’t be a makeup artist. In fact, most makeup artists in the United States got their start through a cosmetology program. If that’s something you’d like to pursue–and we would recommend it!–here are some schools you can contact:

Academy of Cosmetology
133 West Mendenhall
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 587-1264

Bitterroot School of Cosmetology
2079 B North 1st Street
Hamilton, MT 59840
(406) 363-3355

Blanco Blanco Cosmetology School
901 24th Street West
Billings, MT 59102
(406) 652-2700

Butte Academy of Beauty Culture
303 West Park
Butte, MT 59701
(406) 723-8565

Modern Beauty School
2700 Paxson Street
Missoula, MT 59801
(406) 721-1800

Montana Beauty College
7 North Prairie
Miles City, MT 59349
(406) 234-4884

Pela Beauty Academy
6475 Highway 93 South
Whitefish, MT 59937
(406) 862-7575

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