Makeup Artist Schools in New Jersey

If you want to increase your knowledge of makeup--either to become a professional makeup artist, or just simply because you love makeup--there are many different ways you can build your skills. Below, we'll take a look at some of the educational opportunities available to you, have a quick discussion about beauty licenses and how they affect makeup artists, and then we'll list all the makeup artist schools in New Jersey that you can apply to.

Different Types of Educational Options

Basically, you've got five options if you'd like to have formal makeup training. You can go to:

Makeup Artistry Schools.

In many parts of the country, there are no schools dedicated solely to the art of makeup. In New Jersey, however, there are a quite a few (and we've put together a list of New Jersey makeup schools below). These schools are a truly effective way to learn about makeup, and they teach a broad range of skills, such as:

  • how to use color theory and apply it to models of different skin types and skin tones;
  • how to work with creative directors, photographers, and various other artists on a model's look;
  • how to slowly build an impressive makeup artist portfolio, and how to advertise your services in the local economy;
  • how to choose the right products for a model or client, and eventually build a professional-style makeup kit; and, of course
  • how to apply makeup using hundreds of different techniques and styles.

NOTE: Special effects makeup schools are a little different, and we'll talk about that below.

The best part about makeup artistry schools is that you'll gain an extensive knowledge of makeup and the makeup business, and make some professional connections you can use down the road. The only negative is that makeup schools can be very expensive--a full-time program will last for six months or more, and cost anywhere from $10,000 to much, much more--and after you graduate, you will not be able to apply for any kind of license (ie, a cosmetology license, an esthetician license, and so on). You will be able to be a freelance makeup artist and work on models, actors, brides, and so on, but you will not be allowed to work in any kind of beauty salon, because you need a cosmetology license or esthetician license to work in a salon. If that's a little confusing, don't worry--we'll discuss that more in a section below.

Cosmetology Colleges and Schools.

Cosmetology schools are another great way to start a career as a makeup artist. Whereas makeup artistry schools teach the A-to-Z of makeup application, cosmetology colleges (aka "beauty schools") teach the basics of many different types of beauty. A common beauty school curriculum will teach the following:

  • how to style, shape, and color hair;
  • how to perform professional manicures using different techniques and tools;
  • how to beautify the skin and develop skin care routines for clients; and
  • how to apply makeup using various products and styles.

Cosmetology schools don't go "in-depth" in terms of teaching makeup; instead, it's usually part of a larger curriculum.

So if makeup isn't a big part of a beauty school curriculum, why can cosmetology school be a good choice for someone who wants to become a makeup artist? There are a couple reasons. First, having a cosmetology degree can set you apart when it comes to getting makeup jobs. There are many jobs for people who can do makeup, but there are many more jobs for people who can do makeup AND hair. Second, cosmetology schools are a LOT more affordable. You can attend a private beauty school for $10,000 or so, and a cosmetology program at a community college will only cost you a couple thousand dollars. Lastly--and perhaps most importantly--having a cosmetology license can be FANTASTIC professional insurance. Most makeup artist have "down" times where work gets tight, and having a cosmetology license and being able to find work in beauty salons can be a great fallback.

Because cosmetology schools are something of a commitment, you should only go if you want to become a makeup artist or cosmetologist. If you're interested in makeup solely as a hobby, the next couple of options might be a better fit for you.

Intensives and Workshops.

Makeup schools and cosmetology schools are great if you're looking to start a beauty career, but if you're looking for short-term exposure to the makeup arts, workshops are the way to go.

Makeup artist rent a commercial space--either in a hotel or conference center or even a salon--and provide group lessons. The price is usually reasonable (anywhere from $100 to $1000) and the topics range from avant garde makeup to how to use airbrush makeup techniques.

And, because much of northern and central New Jersey have access to Manhattan, you'll have maaaaaany opportunities to attend some incredible workshops (don't worry, south Jersey--if you're near Philadelphia, there are some absolutely fabulous workshops there, as well!).

To check out workshops coming to your area, check sites like ThumbTack, EventBrite, Yelp, CourseHorse, GigSalad, and Craigslist.

Makeup Classes with a Makeup Artist.

This is a very inventive way to increase your knowledge of makeup. Instead of attending a workshop or going to school, you can schedule personalized makeup classes with a professional in the field! Many makeup artists jump at the opportunity to give classes, because it's a great way for them to make some extra $$$ on the side. Contact a makeup artist in your area, and negotiate a rate. If they're used to giving classes, they may already have a price structure established.

You may not be able to get some of the highest-paid makeup artists to give you private lessons--actually, you definitely won't--but you will most definitely be able to get a local makeup artist who has done wedding, photo shoots, and so on, and they can be INCREDIBLY helpful to you.

Plus--it can be a lot of fun! Gather some friends together and have a makeup class with some people you love. How great would that be?

Online How-Tos.

As you surely know, there are thousands, literally thousands, of makeup tutorials online. We'll be honest--some are truly terrible. But there are excellent ones out there (and we've gathered some of the best ones for you to look at).

The only bad part about online tutorials is that they'll increase your knowledge, but they won't increase your skill. You'll still need to practice on actual people. Nonetheless, they're worth checking out.

Special Effects Makeup Schools In New Jersey

We mentioned above that special effects makeup is different than fashion makeup, and it truly is. Fashion makeup is an effort to beautify people; special effects makeup is often the opposite!

If you're interested in SFX makeup, you're in luck, because there are some fantastic options in New Jersey (seriously--you're very lucky, because most states have zero SFX schools).

We've listed the schools below, along with their contact information.

Makeup Artist Schools in New Jersey

Licenses Required For Different Beauty Careers

We talked a little bit about licenses, but here's a clearer explanation of the topic, in question/answer form:

Q: Will I need to get a makeup artist license if I want to become a makeup artist?

A: We've read everything we could find on the New Jersey Board of Cosmetology website (both here and here) but we couldn't find any rules or laws related to a license for makeup artists.

Q: So what kind of licenses to makeup artists usually get?

A: Many makeup artists get a cosmetology license and/or an esthetician license. However, many artists who work at makeup counters, or have private clients, or do makeup for brides / models / actors / and so on, have no type of beauty license. The state of New Jersey may eventually get a little bit more strict about that, but for now, many freelance makeup artists operate without a licenses.

Q: Is there any situation where a makeup artist MUST have a license?

A: Yes. If you work in any kind of New Jersey beauty salon or New Jersey spa--doing hair, makeup, or providing any kind of beauty services--you will need a cosmetology license or an esthetician license. It's against the law in New Jersey to work in a spa or salon without a license.

Q: Where can I go for more information?

A: You can contact the New Jersey Board of Cosmetology at (973) 504-6400. They are the final authority when it comes to beauty careers in the Garden State, so be sure to contact them if you're interested in any kind of beauty-related career in New Jersey.

Makeup Programs in Your Area

As you would imagine, there are some truly exceptional makeup artist schools in New Jersey. They include:

PB Cosmetology School
110 Monmouth Street
Gloucester, NJ 08030
(800) 336-HAIR
(856) 456-4927

The Glam Fairy / Artist Makeup Academy
720 Monroe Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
(862) 684-1419

Robert Fiance Makeup Academy (beauty, film and TV, special effects)
314 State Street
Perth Amboy, NJ 08861
(732) 442-4313

Blush Bar Makeup Studio
112 South Broadway
South Amboy, NJ 08879

Vargas Studios (beauty, film and TV, special effects)
5611 Bergenline Avenue
West New York, NJ 07093
(201) 766-9000

There are two things you should remember:

  1. If you can make into Manhattan, there are some world-class makeup schools you can attend. Go to our Makeup Artist Schools in New York page for more information.
  2. If you don’t want to go to a makeup school, you can always go to a cosmetology school (and remember, MANY makeup artists got their start at a beauty school). They provide a well-rounded education, and many makeup professionals get their start at a cosmetology school. 

Here’s a list of cosmetology programs in New Jersey, should you decide to go that route:

The Hair Design School
9-15 Ward Street
Bloomfield, NJ 07003
(973) 680-0099

Raritan Valley Community College
118 Lamington Road
Branchburg, NJ 08876
(908) 526-1200

Empire Beauty School (EEG)
610 Route 206
Bordentown, NJ 08505
(609) 298-1058

Paul Mitchell—The School
712 Route 70
Brick, NJ 08723
(732) 575-7554

Empire Beauty School
2100 State Highway 38
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
(856) 667-8887

Morris County Vocational School District
400 East Main Street
Denville, NJ 07834
(973) 627-4600

New Concept Beauty School No. 2
263 North Broad Street
Elizabeth, NJ 08805
(908) 355-9595

The Lab—A Paul Mitchell Partner School
25 Scotch Road
Ewing, NJ 08648
(609) 406-0444

The Hair Design School
2800 Kennedy Boulevard
Jersey City, NJ 07306
(201) 659-0303

Empire Beauty School (EEG)
1305 Blackwood-Clementon Road
Laurel Springs, NJ 08021
(856) 435-8100

Artistic Academy
301 Gibraltar Drive and Route 10 East
Morris Plains, NJ 07950
(973) 656-1401

Blanco’s Barber and Beauty Academy
1 Bloomfield Avenue
Newark, NJ 07104
(862) 234-2976

The Hair Design School
Middlebrook Plaza
Route 35 and Deal Road
Ocean Township, NJ 07712
(732) 493-1355

Bella Cosmetology Institute
532 10th Street
Palisades Park, NJ 07650
(201) 944-3739

Empire Beauty School (EEG)
322 Route 4 East
Paramus, NJ 07652
(800) 303-0267

Sussex County Technical School
105 North Church Road
Sparta, NJ 07871
(973) 383-6700

The Hair Design School
1126 Morris Avenue
Union, NJ 07083
(908) 686-4422

Total Image Beauty Academy
3900 Bergenline Avenue
Union City, NJ 07087
(201) 766-2355

Cosi Bella Academy of Beauty
6020 Bergenline Avenue
West New York, NJ 07093
(201) 552-9400

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