Makeup Artist Schools in New York

If you live in or near New York and you want to learn more about makeup, you are VERY lucky! New York is one of the best states in the country to learn about makeup and/or become a makeup artist, and there are plenty of makeup artist schools in New York to choose from.

On the page below, we'll discuss the various types of makeup training available to you, have a super-quick discussion about beauty licensing, and then provide a list of all the makeup schools you can attend. ​

Makeup Artist Schools in New York

Different Types of Makeup Artist Training​

If you'd like to become a full-time, professional makeup artist--or if you'd simply like to learn more about makeup artistry--here are your training options:

Makeup Schools. This is, perhaps, the most effective way to train to become a makeup artist. The makeup schools in New York prepare students with career-specific skills, such as:​

  • How to determine high-quality products from low-quality products, and build a fully-equipped makeup artist kit;
  • Ways to use color theory and determine the right look for models of different skin types, skin tones, and facial structures;
  • The best approach to building an impressive makeup artist portfolio, and how to get new work using your portfolio;
  • Strategies on how to work with professionals in the fashion world, such as photographers, agents, and creative directors; and
  • Different styles of makeup, such as bridal, fashion, avant-garde, etc.
  • (Just a quick note: special effects makeup schools--aka SFX makeup schools--are a little different, and we'll talk about those below).

Many of these schools are located in Manhattan, but there are a few others on Long Island and upstate.

There's only one catch: makeup schools in New York (and especially makeup schools in New York City) can be *VERY* pricey. It's not uncommon for a full-time program that lasts five to twelve months to cost $12,000 to $25,000. That is a LOT of money! That said, if you're serious about makeup, instruction from a makeup artist school is probably the best instruction you can buy.

Cosmetology Schools. Whereas there are only a few makeup artistry schools, there are many, many cosmetology schools (aka beauty schools, aka hairstyling schools) in New York state. They provide a solid beauty education, and expose students to most aspects of the beauty business, including:​

  • Haircutting, hair coloring and texturing, and hair styling;
  • Skin care, esthetics, and basic makeup application;
  • Manicuring and pedicuring;
  • State rules related to customer service and sanitary practices; and
  • Basic business knowledge, such as how to run a salon and do basic accounting.

Cosmetology schools don't go into too much detail about any of the topics they teach; instead, they give you the basics, and provide a base for you to grow your skills.

Here's a question you may be wondering: why would someone who wants to start a career in the makeup arts want to attend a cosmetology school, if makeup is such a small part of the curriculum?

There are three reasons why a cosmetology degree can be a really, really good idea:

1--After you graduate from a cosmetology program, you'll be able to get a cosmetology license and work in any beauty salon in the state. You won't be able to get a cosmetology license if you graduate from a makeup-only type school. A cosmetology license can be very useful, and we'll talk more about licensing in one of the sections below.

2--Having a cosmetology license will help you stand out among other makeup artists--especially when you're vying for the same jobs. Jobs for makeup artists can be scarce, and if you can do makeup and hair, and another applicant can only makeup, you'll have a competitive advantage.

3--Training is much, much cheaper! Schooling is almost always worth it, but student loans can be an awful burden.

Makeup Classes and Workshops. These types of instructional workshops are an incredible way to gain knowledge quickly. They're short-term--most only last a single day or a couple of days--and they're a lot more affordable than schools: a single program may cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000. The topics can be very specific (such as how to be a wedding makeup artist, or how to work with flash photography) or very broad (such as "general makeup").

You can check for workshops in larger metropolitan areas, such as Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, Rochester, Albany, Syracuse, Hempstead, Brookhaven, Oyster Bay, and Buffalo. They're usually held in conference centers or hotels or colleges, and some may even be located in larger beauty salons.

Sites such as EventBrite, Yelp, CourseHorse, GigSalad, and Thumbtack will tell you if there are workshops in your area.

Private Coaching. Instead of signing up for a class, simply reach out to a working makeup artist in your area, and ask about private lessons. This is a super-fantastic option, because you can cater it to your own wishes. Plus, if you get a bunch of friends to come with you, it can be super fun.

Pro-tip: It can be difficult to get a sought-after fashion makeup artist to give private lessons--their time is usually very expensive!--so a much better bet is to contact local wedding makeup artists. Often times, they're just as talented and capable as fashion makeup artists, and they really know the trade.

Blogs and Tutorials. If we asked you how many beauty blogs there are, how many would you guess? 10,000? 100,000?​


The answer is a bazillion. Seriously. We spend a LOT of time online reviewing beauty blogs and beauty tutorials, and there is a mind-boggling number of beauty blogs out there. How you ended up on our beauty blog is kind of a miracle 🙂

As you probably know, there are some pretty lousy tutorials out there, but there are also some AMAZING ones. We've collected a lot of the amazing ones for you, so take a look. You'll still have to practice on real-live human beings, but you'll be introduced to new techniques and application styles.

So Which Type of Schooling Is Best For You? Here's what we recommend: if you're interested in makeup as a hobby, workshops and private lessons are your best bet. If you want to become a professional, on-the-job makeup artist, you should look at the makeup schools in New York, as well as the cosmetology schools in your area.

A Quick Guide To Licensing​

If you take the leap and decide to start a career as a makeup artist, will you need a license to practice?

We consulted the "Cosmetology" page of the New York Division of Licensing Services, and we could not find any rules or regulations related to the licensing of makeup artists. Also, we know of many makeup artists-- who work at various makeup counters, or who are self-employed and work with actors, models, brides, and so on--who do not have any kind of license. New York may, eventually, decide to get more strict about makeup licensing, but they seem to be kind of relaxed for the time being.

HOWEVER--if you want to work in any spa or salon in New York, you WILL need to get a cosmetology license.

In other words, if you want to do freelance makeup--do weddings, TV and film, fashion shows, and so on--it seems that you don't need a makeup license. If you want to work in a beauty salon or beauty spa--doing makeup, hair, or anything else--you will need to go to a cosmetology school or esthetician school and get a license.

So should you get a license? If you are 100% that you want to become a freelance makeup artist, it looks like you don't need one. However, having a license is never a bad thing (for the reasons we stated above), and it can open a lot of career opportunities for you. It's up to you.

Our advice is to look at all your options. Find cosmetology schools in your area, and contact full-time makeup schools and ask about their prices, classes, and so on. Gather all the information you can, and make an informed decision.

Special Effects Makeup Schools In New York​

So far, we've talked mostly about fashion makeup. If you want to get involved in special effects makeup--aka SFX makeup--where can you go?

You're in luck! There are a few FANTASTIC special effects makeup schools in Manhattan (as well as a few in New Jersey, surprisingly!). We've listed them and their contact information below.

Makeup Schools and Training Programs

If you want to study makeup, New York and California are the places to be. Here's a full list of the makeup artist schools in New York:

Austin’s School of Spa Technology
855 Central Ave
Albany, NY
(518) 438-7879

Ferrara’s Beauty School
Forest Hills, NY
(718) 544-8100

NY Institute of Beauty
11 Oval Drive
Islandia, NY
(631) 582-4737

Aesthetic Science Institute
1202 Troy Schenectady Avenue
Latham, NY
(518) 786-0760

Long Island Nail & Skin Care Institute
3709 Hempstead Pike
Levittown, NY
(516) 520-4800

Capri Cosmetology Center
251 W. Route 59
Nanuet, NY
(845) 623-6339

Carsten Institute
22 E. 17th
New York, NY
(212) 675-4884

Lia Schorr Institute of Cosmetic Skin Care Training
686 Lexington Ave
New York, NY
(212) 486-9670

The Makeup School / CHIC Studios NY
139 Fulton Street
New York, NY 10038
(917) 974-8755

Make Up Forever
555 Broadway
New York, NY 10012
(212) 431-4510

Make-up Designory — MUD — Main Campus (New York)
65 Broadway
New York, NY 10006
(212) 925-9250

Media Make Up Academy
88 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10016
(917) 334-6155

Academy of Freelance Makeup
318 West 39th Street
New York, NY 10018
(212) 710-1334

DEX New York Studios
46 East 65th Street
New York, NY 10065
(212) 643-6600

Capri Cosmetology Learning Center
39 North Plank
Newburgh, NY
(845) 563-3090

Midway Paris Beauty School
54-40 Myrtle Ave
Ridgewood, NY
(718) 418-2790

Finger Lakes Technical and Career Center
(A Program of Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES)
3501 County Road 20
Stanley, NY 14561
(585) 526-6471

Salon Professional Academy
2309 Eggert
Tonawanda, NY
(716) 833-8772

It’s important to keep in mind that to become a makeup professional, you don’t really need a makeup school. In fact, many people attend a cosmetology program and get a more “rounded” education. If you decide to look into cosmetology schools, here are some you can contact.

As always, we wish you the best of luck! Come back and visit us when you’re rich and famous!

Orlo School of Hair Design
232 North Allen Street
Albany, NY 12206
(518) 459-7832

Empire Beauty School
38-15 Broadway
Astoria, NY 11103
(718) 726-8383

Continental School of Beauty Culture
215 Main Street
Batavia, NY 14020
(585) 344-0886

Ann Marie’s World of Beauty School
389 West State Street
Binghamton, NY 13901
(607) 724-1113

Anousheh School of Hair
1152 Vestal Avenue
Binghamton, NY 13903
(607) 238-7736

Beyonce Cosmetology Center (yes, that Beyonce)
Phoenix House Career Academy
50 Jay Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 222-6600

Empire Beauty School
2384 86th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11214
(718) 373-2400

Hair Design Institute at Fifth Avenue
375 86th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11209
(718) 745-1000

Huaqiao Yihu Institute
763 58th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11220
(718) 492-4929

Continental School of Beauty Culture
326 Kenmore Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14223
(716) 833-5016

Empire Beauty School
2190 Walden Avenue
Cheektowaga, NY 14225
(716) 206-3386

ABC Beauty Academy
136 Roosevelt Avenue
Flushing, NY 11354
(718) 461-2266

Adirondack Beauty School
108 Dix Avenue
Glens Falls, NY 12801
(518) 745-1646

Long Island Beauty School
544 Route 111
Hauppauge, NY 11788
(718) 724-0440

Long Island Beauty School
173A Fulton Avenue
Hempstead, NY 11550
(516) 483-6259

Marjon School of Beauty
144 Main Street
Lockport, NY 14094
(716) 433-0628

Arrojo Cosmetology School
56 King Street
New York, NY 10014
(212) 242-7786

Beauty Beauty International School
41 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10014
(212) 343-1983

Empire Beauty School
22 West 34th Street
New York, NY 10001
(212) 967-1717

Hair Design Institute at Fifth Avenue
500 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10018
(212) 868-7171

Leon Studio One School of Hair Design
174 Sweeney Street
North Tonawanda, NY 14120
(716) 260-1652

Continental School of Beauty Culture
517 North Barry Street
Olean, NY 14760
(716) 372-5095

Empire Beauty School
19 Bank Street
Peekskill, NY 10566
(914) 739-8400

Huaqiao Yihu Institute
37-20 Prince Street
Queens, NY 11354
(718) 445-5888

Empire Beauty School
340 Elm Ridge Center Drive
Rochester, NY 14626
(585) 255-4796

Paul Mitchell The School
411 State Street
Schenectady, NY 12305
(518) 370-4590

Marjon School of Beauty Culture
1154 Niagara Falls Boulevard
Tonawanda, NY 14150
(716) 836-6240

Jefferson-Lewis-Hamilton-Herkimer-Oneida BOCES
20104 NYS Route 3
Watertown, NY 13601
(315) 779-7000

Leon Studio One School of Hair Design
5385 Main Street
Williamsville, NY 14221
(716) 631-3878

New York Institute of Esthetics
4701 Transit Road
Williamsville, NY 14231
(716) 633-4642

Formula B Parisien Beauty School
50-15 Roosevelt Avenue
Woodside, NY 11377
(877) 858-3128

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