Makeup Artist Schools in Oregon

How do makeup artists acquire the skills they'll need on the jobsite? And how do people who simply love makeup learn new techniques and application methods?

On this page, we'll take a look at each of the training options available to people who want to learn about makeup, discuss makeup artist licensing, and then list all of the makeup artist schools in Oregon.

"High Commitment" and "Low Commitment" Makeup Schools

Basically, there are makeup schools that will take up a LOT of your time (and get your ready for a makeup artist career) and makeup schools that'll only take up a few days of your time (and teach you a few new strategies). Here's how it plays out:

High Commitment Method 1: Enroll in a School for Makeup Artistry. These are full-time programs that go deep and teach every aspect of the makeup profession. Students learn how to match products, how to match skin tone with color, how to interact with photographers, how to brainstorm with creative directors to figure out a shoot's "look," different styles of makeup, such as bridal, avant garde, runway fashion, and so on. If you're aiming to become a makeup artist, a makeup artistry program can be the start of a great career.

Programs usually last four the twelve months, and they can be very pricey: it's not uncommon for a full-time or part-time slate of classes to cost $12,000 or more. Something else to keep in mind: makeup artistry schools are a good fit if you want to become a freelance makeup artist. If you want to work in a salon or spa, you'll need to go to a cosmetology school. More on that later!

There are a number of top-tier makeup schools in the country, and we've included a listing of schools below.

High Commitment Method 2: Enroll in a Cosmetology School. While makeup schools go into great detail in their makeup instruction, cosmetology schools (aka beauty schools) provide a more rounded education. Students learn various ways to cut, color, and shape hair; how to perform different types of manicures; how to properly clean the skin and develop skin care routines; how to keep a safe and sanitary workstation; and how to apply makeup to clients.

Programs in Oregon last about a year, and provide students with a solid introduction to the beauty business. Most schools are reasonably priced, and while some private schools cost $10,000 or more per program, many schools offer affordable programs that cost a couple thousand dollars. The best thing about cosmetology schools is that upon graduation, students are able to apply for a cosmetology license, and that will enable them to work in any Oregon beauty salon/spa. That's not true for makeup schools.

Now for the "low-commitment" options:

Low-Commitment Option 1: Short-Term Classes. In some of Oregon's larger metropolitan areas, such as Portland, Eugene, Salem, and Hillsboro, you can attend makeup classes that last only a single day or a single week (these are sometimes referred to as "intensives"). These can be phenomenal learning opportunities where you can build your skills one at a time (particularly if you're interested in bridal makeup--those have been very popular over the last few years).

These kinds of classes are not a fantastic way to get an extensive makeup education, but they can be a GREAT way to start. And, best of all, they're usually pretty cheap: you can look on Yelp or ThumbTack or Meetup and find a few for $100 (for the shorter ones) to $500 (for the longer ones).

Low-Commitment Option 2: One-Time Classes with a Real-Life Makeup Artist. Instead of waiting for an intensive to roll through town, grab control of your future and arrange private lessons with a makeup artist! Because you can request any kind of lesson you want, private coaching may be a miraculous way of learning exactly what you need to learn, when you need to learn it. The cost is usually very reasonable, and you can discuss pricing with the artist.

Low-Commitment Option 3: Online Instructionals. You're probably all over this option already, but it truly is a great way to open yourself to new ideas. Get creative--don't just stick with Michelle Phan and the Makeup Geek, but instead watch as MUCH as you can. There's a lot of lousy stuff out there, but there are some gems (and, also, check out collection of the best tutorials--it'll save you some time!).

The Makeup Artist Business Person?​

If you're at the beginning of your career, you're probably feeling a little overwhelmed. All you know is that you want to make makeup a big part of your life, but you're not sure how to make that happen. We always urge people to check out cosmetology schools, because a large number of the people who visit our site are actually interested in a cosmetology career.

However! We'd also urge you to keep an open mind about the business side of makeup. Makeup companies are HUGE--many of them literally employ thousands of people--and they need creative people to daydream new products, artistic people to figure out ways to advertise those products, and a bunch of outgoing salespeople to sell those products. If you have a knack for business, the corporate side of makeup can be VERY lucrative.

We obviously want you to become a highly-paid and hugely successful makeup artist, but we just want you to know what else is out there!

Makeup Artist Schools in Oregon

Obtaining A State License​

We give a little information about this in an above section; let's hash it out a little further.

If you decide to become a full-time makeup artist, will you need to get a makeup artist license?

We looked on the Oregon Board of Cosmetology website, and we could not find anything about makeup artist licenses. The only thing would could find said that, according to a bill that was passed in 2013, if you work in film, theatre, or television production, you do not need a license. Hooray!

Here's what you need to keep in mind: if you want to work as a freelance makeup artist, and do makeup for actors in movies and plays, brides and weddings and photoshoots, and models at fashion shows, then it does not seem like you need to get a license. If you want to work in a beauty salon or spa--and do makeup, hair, or anything else--then you will have to get a license after going to a cosmetology school or an esthetician school.

So why wouldn't anyone get a cosmetology license, if you don't need one? There are two reasons:​

  • It can be a "competitive advantage" when you are up against other makeup artist for a job. If you've been trained to do hair, nails, AND makeup, you'll be a better job candidate than if you had just learned how to do makeup.
  • If your makeup business ever slows down (and it might, over time--every business has its ups and downs), you'll be able to get a job in a salon or spa. That kind of job security can be a valuable thing.

If you have questions or concerns, contact the Oregon Board of Cosmetology at (503) 378-8667. They have the "final say" when it comes to laws and regulations related to beauty careers in Oregon.

Oregon MUA Training​

There are two main makeup schools in Oregon (or, in the Oregon area):

Pat Warren’s Faces Unlimited
25 NW 23rd Place
Portland, OR 97210
(503) 227-7366


Art of Makeup in Vancouver, WA
400 East Evergreen Boulevard
Vancouver, WA 98660
(360) 553-3855

Remember, a makeup school can be a great way to get your start, but you can also go to a cosmetology school–and for plenty of people, that’s a GREAT option. Here’s a list of schools you can look into:

Mount Hood Community College
26000 SE Stark Street
Gresham, OR 97030
(503) 491-6422

Tangled Ends Hair Academy
136 Chemawa Road North
Keizer, OR 97303
(503) 584-1159

Hair We Are Beauty College
2596 Broadway Street
North Bend, OR 97459
(541) 756-2910

Pendleton College of Hair Design
326 South Main Street
Pendleton, OR 97801
(541) 276-0328

Aveda Institute Portland
325 NW 13th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 294-6000

Johnny Matthew’s Hairdressing Training Systems
255 Liberty Street NE
Salem, OR 97301
(503) 902-5288

You can also look for Phagan's Beauty Schools in:

  • Happy Valley, Medford, Portland, Bend, Corvallis, Salem, Grants Pass, and Newport

...and you can also look at the following campuses of Northwest College:

  • Tualatin, Clackamas, Hillsboro, Beaverton, Eugene, and Medford.
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