Makeup Artist Schools in Virginia

​We get a LOT of email from people who are passionately devoted to makeup, and want to learn more. Many of them would loooove to turn makeup into a career. The question we get over and over again is:

Where Can I Get Makeup Training?

So, because we want to make you happy and achieve all of your dreams, we wrote this post :). In it, we go over the various types of making training you can receive, talk about whether you'll need to apply for a makeup license, and list all of the makeup artist schools in Virginia that you can apply to.

Are you ready? Here's the first type of training:

Full-Time Makeup Artistry Schools

Cost: Anywhere from $9,999 to $25,000

Time Required: Full-time programs usually run six to twelve months

Who Should Go? People who want to become professional makeup artists

If you can attend a full-time school devoted to makeup artistry, it can be an incredible professional opportunity. The schools provide an extensive look into the basics--and then the advanced techniques---of makeup application. You'll learn:

  • Dozens of applications styles, and ways to use those styles on different skin tones and facial shapes;
  • Ways to arrange your work in a professional artist's portfolio;
  • How to pull together high-end products in a makeup artist kit;
  • How to find clients and build a small business.

The programs are a little pricey, but they can be an INCREDIBLE start to a makeup career.

Cosmetology Schools

Cost: Anywhere from $4,999 to $15,000

Time Required: Full-time programs require students to complete 1,500 hours of training (which usually takes about a year)

Who Should Go? People who want to start a professional makeup career or become a "generalist" in the beauty industry

Remember how we said that makeup schools go into great detail about the subject of makeup? Cosmetology colleges do the exact opposite: instead of introducing you to one aspect of beauty, they introduce many aspects (skin, hair, nails, makeup, and safety procedures). It's a great way to get learn the basics of every important aspect of the beauty business, and have the basic skills to enter a variety of different jobs in the industry.

Besides the lower price, there are some other advantages that a cosmetology school offers:​

  • Graduates of a cosmetology program can apply for a Virginia state cosmetology license, and work in a beauty salon or day spa. That's not the case for people who graduate from a makeup artistry school--graduates of those programs are only allowed to become freelance makeup artists (we'll explain more on that in one of the following sections).
  • Having a degree from cosmetology school can help you have a "competitive edge" when you're in business and looking for work. If people see that you can do hair and makeup, and another job candidate can only do makeup, you'll look like the better candidate.
  • Ease of Access. Cosmetology schools are located in every city in every state; makeup artistry schools are a little harder to come by.

Workshops and Short-Term Classes

Cost: Anywhere from $49 to $1,500

Time Required: Anywhere from a single one-hour class to a two-week "intensive"

Who Should Go? Everyone! These classes are great for hobbyists and people who want a career doing makeup.

These are a "lower commitment" option if you want to learn about makeup. Makeup artists will set up a one-time makeup class in a beauty salon, hotel conference room, convention center, community college, or studio, and teach lessons to people who have signed up and paid the entrance fee. Participation is usually on a "first-come, first-serve" basis, so if you find a class, be sure to sign up early.

You can find upcoming classes on sites like EventBrite,,, GigSalad, and Craigslist (sometimes). These shows usually take place in larger cities, and luckily, Virginia is home to a number of big cosmopolitan centers with high populations: there's Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Newport News, Richmond, Roanoke, and Portsmouth. Take a look on the sites above to learn about courses you're interested in.

Private Instruction by a Professional Makeup Artist

Cost: Anywhere from $49 per session to a couple hundred dollars (if you get a sought-after makeup artist)

Time Required: A single day

Who Should Go? Everyone! Another great way for career starters and fashion-lovers to get instruction.

This can be a VERY fun option--especially if you bring friends. Instead of waiting for a workshop to pop up, contact a makeup artist directly, and ask about personal coaching. Many makeup artists already offer private classes (it's a great way for them to bring in some extra money), so see if they've already got a schedule of classes. If not, you can negotiate a per-session rate, and you can ask them to teach you *exactly* what you want to learn (which is pretty fantastic).

Makeup Artist Schools in Virginia

What Do I Need To Know About Makeup Licenses?​

In the "Cosmetology Schools" section above, we mentioned licenses. Here's the info you need to keep in mind:

If you want to do makeup--or be paid to provide any kind of beauty services--in a Virginia beauty salon or spa, you'll need a license. Most people either get a cosmetology license (if they want to do skin, hair, and nails) or an esthetician license (if they want to focus on skin care). The laws of Virginia are very clear about that.

As for freelance makeup artists--that is, makeup artists who do not work for a beauty establishment like a spa or salon, but instead work at photo shoots, weddings, and movie/TV sets...

We checked on the website for the Virginia Board for Barbers and Cosmetology, and we could not find any laws or statutes that mention a makeup artistry license. And, we know of many freelance makeup artists who do not have any kind of license. At present, the state of Virginia seems to be "looking the other way" when it comes to freelance makeup artists who work independently of salons and spas, but that may eventually change, and the state may eventually write laws requiring freelance makeup artists to get a license (or simply start paying a lot more attention to people who practice without a beauty license).

If you have questions, we'd recommend calling the Virginia Board of Barbers and Cosmetology at (804) 367-8509. They are in charge of making sure that beauty professionals in the state of Virginia comply with the laws made by the state, so they can help you with any individual questions you may have.

Virginia Schools​

There are some truly excellent makeup schools in Virginia, and we've gone through our database to find the following locations:​

College of Beauty and Barber Culture
1975 South Military Highway
Chesapeake, VA 23320
(757) 216-2420

Blackthorn Academy
1782 Jefferson Highway
Fishersville, VA
(540) 649-2074

425 Strawberry Street
Richmond, VA 23220
(804) 822-0511

L B Beauty and Training Academy
3122 West Marshall
Richmond, VA
(804) 249-6200

The Esthetic Institute
8381 Old Courthouse
Vienna, VA
(703) 288-4228

{The Makeup Studio}
228 North Lynnhaven Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
(757) 761-5287

Keep in mind, many makeup professionals get their start at a makeup school, but there are just as many–probably many more–who go to a beauty school. If that’s a career path you’d like to take, here are a few schools where you can get your start.

As always, we wish you all the best!

Southside Virginia Community College
109 Campus Drive
Alberta, VA 23821
(434) 949-1000

Beatriz International Salon and Beauty Academy
210 West Glebe Road
Alexandria, VA 22305
(703) 683-000 or (703) 683-3030

Star of USA Beauty Academy
3800 Mount Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22305
(703) 548-1910

Annie Beauty School
4220 Annandale Road
Annandale, VA 22003
(703) 916-1222

Springfield Beauty Academy
4223 Annandale Road
Annandale, VA 22003
(703) 256-5662

Victor Beauty Academy
7254 Maple Place
Annandale, VA 22003
(703) 256-3760

Shenandoah Beauty Academy
629 East Main Street
Berryville, VA 22611
(540) 955-9988

Cana Virginia Beauty College and Beauty Salon
16096 Fancy Gap Highway
Cana, VA 24317
(276) 755-4000

Columbia College
5940 Centreville Crest Lane
Centreville, VA 20121
(877) 307-2232

Chester Career College
751 West Hundred Road
Chester, VA 23836
(804) 751-9191

Chesterfield Technical Center
10101 Courthouse Road
Chesterfield, VA 23832
(804) 768-6160

Chamar Academy of Cosmetology and Nail Technology
1586 Roanoke Street
Christiansburg, VA 24073
(540) 382-0491

Trojan Beauty and Barber College
26 Pickwick Avenue
Colonial Heights, VA 23834
(804) 451-5432

Culpeper Cosmetology Training Center
509 South Main Street
Culpeper, VA 22701
(540) 727-8003

Columbia College
8300 Merrifield Avenue
Fairfax, VA 22031
(877) 307-2232

Metamorphosis Academy
10560 Main Street
Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 691-0219

Career Training Solutions
10304 Spotsylvania Ave
Fredericksburg, VA 22408
(540) 373-2200

Cosmetology Training Center
557 Lafayette Boulevard
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
(540) 373-1227

4 Seasons Beauty Academy
1080 Virginia Center Parkway
Glen Allen, VA 23059
(804) 266-8388

Dominion School of Hair Design
1755 George Washington Memorial Highway
Gloucester Point, VA 23062
(804) 684-9150

Jolie Hair Academy
10132 Colvin Run Road
Great Falls, VA 22066
(703) 606-9424

Styles Unlimited Beauty School
120 Edmunds Boulevard
Halifax, VA 24558
(434) 476-1277

Beyond Beauty Academy
2502 Build America Drive
Hampton, VA 2366
(757) 354-2773

Hair 4 U International Beauty and Barber College
820 B Kecoughtan Road
Hampton, VA 23661
(757) 244-1121

Virginia School of Hair Design
101 West Queens Way
Hampton, VA 23669
(757) 722-0211

Heavenly Hands School and Salon of the Cosmetic Arts
625 Mount Clinton Pike
Harrisonburg, VA 22802
(540) 746-8941

Carter’s Cosmetology College
111 Jack White Drive
Kingsport, TN 37664
(423) 230-4247

Sylvain Melloul—International Hair Academy
River Ridge Mall
3405 Candlers Mountain Road
Lynchburg, VA 24502
(855) 847-6442

Daydreamers Academy
10432 Balls Ford Road
Manassas, VA 20109

Regency Beauty Institute
11740 Sudley Manor Drive
Manassas, VA 20109
(800) 787-6456

Hair Fashions Salon and Beauty Academy
123 King William Commerce Park
Manquin, VA 23106
(804) 769-2458

The Magic Mirror School of Cosmetology and Salon
113 Spruce Street
Martinsville, VA 24112
(276) 632-4261

People’s Choice Beauty Academy
34 East Church Street
Martinsville, VA 24112
(276) 632-7663

Ultimate Performance School of Cosmetology
324 Memorial Boulevard
Martinsville, VA 24112
(276) 666-4472

Paul Mitchell—The School
Tysons Corner Center
McLean, VA 22102
(703) 991-0946

The Art of Hair Academy
7291 Battle Hill Drive
Mechanicsville, VA 23111
(804) 427-4247

The Hanover Center for Trades and Technology
10002 Learning Lane
Mechanicsville, VA 23116
(804) 723-2020

Empire Beauty School—Midlothian Campus
10807 Hull Street Road
Midlothian, VA 23112
(804) 302-5084

Luckes Beauty Academy
888 J. Clyde Morris Boulevard
Newport News, VA 23601
(757) 599-0534

Perfect Styles Beauty and Barber Academy
307 Oyster Point Road
Newport News, VA 23602
(757) 249-5500

Wards Corner Beauty Academy
7525 Tidewater Drive
Norfolk, VA 23505
(757) 583-3300

Education Beauty and Barber Academy
6650 Commons Drive    
Prince George, VA 23875
(804) 722-0685

Empire Beauty School—Richmond Campus
9049 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23294
(804) 201-9939

Johnson’s Beauty Academy
402 North 2nd Street
Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 649-2572

Virginia Capital School of Hair Technology (VCS)
3279 Mechanicsville Turnpike
Richmond, VA 23223
(804) 644-3144

Virginia College
7200 Midloathian Turnpike
Richmond, VA 23225
(804) 977-5100

BARPALMA Beauty Careers Academy
3535-D Franklin Road SW
Roanoke, VA 24014
(540) 343-0153 or (888) 735-8863

Miller-Motte Technical College
4444 Electric Road SW
Roanoke, VA 24018
(888) 419-4508

Regency Beauty School
5002 Cross Road NW
Roanoke, VA 24012
(800) 787-6456

Staunton School of Cosmetology
128 East Beverly Street
Staunton, VA 24401
(540) 885-0808

Suffolk Beauty Academy
860 Portsmouth Boulevard
Suffolk, VA 23434
(757) 934-0656

Reecee’s Beauty Academy and Salon
19122 Fuller Heights Road
Triangle, VA 22172
(571) 931-0020 or (571) 606-4184

Empire Beauty Schools—Virginia Beach Campus
116 South Independence Boulevard
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
(757) 695-3149

Paul Mitchell—The School
1920 Centerville Turnpike #114
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
(757) 383-7788

Virginia Beach Beauty and Barber Academy
4312 Holland Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
(757) 463-4730

Williamsburg Beauty and Barber Academy
511 York Street
Williamsburg, VA 23185
(757) 259-9222

Heaven The School Experience
47 West Jubal Early Drive
Winchester, VA 22601
(540) 535-0888

International Beauty School
808 Berryville Avenue
Winchester, VA 22601
(540) 313-9050

Star Beauty School
2263 Valor Drive
Winchester, VA 22601
(540) 723-0725

Winchester Beauty School
44 East Piccadilly Street
Winchester, VA 22601
(540) 667-0050

J’s Hair Design Beauty and Barber Academy
13895 Hedgewood Drive
Woodbridge, VA 22193
(703) 580-9899

Paul Mitchell—The School
14445 Potomac Mills Road
Woodbridge, VA 22192
(703) 940-0252

Statements The Academy
12734 Darby Brooke Court
Woodbridge, VA 22192
(703) 497-4448

Summit School of Cosmetology
140 South First Street
Wytheville, VA 24382
(276) 228-4688

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