Makeup Artist Schools in Wisconsin

If it's your dream to become a highly-trained, professional makeup artist (MUA), where can you go to learn the professional skills you'll need to stand out in the beauty industry?

Or, if you're just a person who loves, loves, loves makeup, where can you go if you want to pick up a couple of new techniques?

There are actually a couple of different options when it comes to makeup schooling. On the page below, we'll take a look at each option, see which one is right for you, and provide a full list of makeup artist schools in Wisconsin.

Types of Training Options​

The first training option is the most "glamorous." It is: ​

Full-Time Makeup Artistry College.

A makeup school will teach application techniques, different makeup artistry styles, and how to work with models of different facial structures, skin tones, and skin imperfections. They will also instruct students about the professional side of makeup artistry, including how to:​

  • Put together a top-notch makeup portfolio, with photos from shoots and fashions shows;
  • Select the highest-quality-and-yet-most-affordable makeup products for a makeup artist kit;
  • Build and utilize a professional network to expand the reach of a makeup business; and
  • Get new clients and job offers.

There's a lot else that makeup artistry schools teach, but that gives you an idea of what you'll learn. Because makeup schools are a big commitment--they usually cost more than $10,000 and take six months to a year to complete--these schools are a great option for men and women who are serious about makeup careers.

Beauty Schools / Cosmetology Colleges.

These are another option for people who are serious about starting a career in beauty. We just detailed how makeup artistry programs provide an in-depth look at makeup; cosmetology schools do just the opposite: they introduce a wide range of beauty skills, and give you a head start on a more well-rounded beauty education.

Beauty schools will teach:​

  • Different hair-cutting techniques, as well as ways to shape/curl/straighten/color hair;
  • Ways to beautify different skin types, and determine which skin care routine is right for specific people;
  • How to give clients a range of manicures and pedicures in different styles; and
  • General instruction on how to apply makeup to people of different facial geographies and tones.

There are two terrific advantages to attending a cosmetology school: 1) being able to do hair and makeup will help you stand out as a makeup artist in your local market, and, more importantly, 2) after going to cosmetology school, you'll be able to take the Wisconsin state cosmetology exam and get a cosmetology license. We'll talk more about licenses in the section titled "WHAT You'll Need to Practice."

Makeup Conventions/Workshops.

These are a VERY fun way for everyone--not just people who want to become professional makeup artists--to learn about makeup. Every once in a while, a professional makeup artist will visit a metropolitan area (such as Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, or Kenosha) and give short-term makeup lessons. He or she will rent out space on a college campus, in a hotel convention center, or in a large beauty salon, and teach a couple of classes about particular subjects ("how to do bridal makeup" is usually a popular one; "how to create your own portfolio" may be another).

Classes are usually affordable (they usually cost about $50 for a shorter, one-day class, to a couple hundred bucks for classes that last a day or two), and they are a phenomenal way to learn new skills and meet other community members who are interested in makeup (or maybe even have their own makeup companies). Check out sites like EventBrite,, Yelp, and (sometimes) Craigslist for upcoming events near you.

Private Makeup Coaching.

If you don't have the patience for a workshop to come to town, take control of your destiny and arrange for some private lessons! This is another very fun way to get makeup training (especially if you include some friends). Local makeup artists usually looooove to give private lessons (especially bridal makeup artists), because it's an easy, no-stress way for them to make some extra cash.

Makeup Artist Schools in Wisconsin

WHAT You'll Need To Practice​

We hinted above about licensing, so let's talk more about that. If you decide to embark on a makeup artist career, will you need a license of any kind? Here's what we know:​

  • You need a license if you're going to work in spa or salon. You can get a cosmetology license if you're going to provide haircare services, an esthetician license if you're going to provide skincare services, and an manicurist license if you're going to provide nail tech services. Because makeup artists usually have ups and downs in their careers, it can be good to have a license to fall back on, because that means you can always find work at a salon or spa.
  • According to the Wisconsin Cosmetology Board homepage, there is no license for makeup artists. We know of many freelance makeup artists--that is, artist who do not work in a salon, but instead go to weddings and do bridal makeup, go to fashion shows and do model makeup, and go to TV/movie sets and do actors' makeup--who do not have any kind of license. Remember, if you want to work in any kind of salon or spa, you'll need a license.
  • The state of Wisconsin may eventually become more strict about making freelance makeup artists get licenses (in fact, it's very likely that they'll become more strict about it, sooner or later). The laws related to beauty careers in Wisconsin change all the time, so be sure to check back with the Wisconsin Cosmetology Board at (608) 266-2112 if you have any other questions.

Wisconsin Makeup Training

There are three makeup schools in Wisconsin:​

Aveda Institute Madison (makeup)
353 East Campus Mall
Madison, WI 53715
(608) 250-3100

The Institute of Beauty and Wellness
327 East St. Paul Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 227-2889

Salon Professional Academy
566 Theater Road
Onalaska, WI 54650
(608) 783-7400

If those don’t suit your fancy, there are PLENTY of beauty schools you can attend. They can be an affordable alternative to makeup schools, and there are many, many makeup artists who started their professional careers at cosmetology schools. Contact the ones near you, and–good luck! We wish you all the success in the world! 🙂

Fox Valley Technical College
1825 North Bluemound Drive
Appleton, WI 54912
(800) 735-3882

Empire Beauty School
940 Hansen Road
Ashwaubenon, WI 54304
(920) 264-0744

Chippewa Valley Technical College
620 West Clairemont Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54701
(800) 547-CVTC

Moraine Park Technical College — Fond du Lac Campus
235 North National Avenue
Fond du Lac, WI 54936
(800) 472-4554

Regency Beauty School — Greenfield Campus
7995 West Layton Avenue
Greenfield, WI 53220
(800) 787-6456

Madison Area Technical College — Downtown Education Center (DTEC)
211 North Carroll Street
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 258-2300

Regency Beauty Institute — Madison
2358 East Springs Drive
Madison, WI 53704
(608) 819-0469

Kristy Marie’s School of Cosmetology
1444 Horicon Street
Mayville, WI 53050
(920) 296-7512

Empire Beauty School
5655 South 27th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53221
(414) 455-0534

Milwaukee Area Technical College
Downtown Milwaukee Campus
700 West State Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 297-MATC

Vici Beauty Schools
5780 North Port Washington Road
Milwaukee, WI 53217
(414) 967-2000

Vici Beauty Schools
353 East Campus Mall
Madison, Wisconsin 53715
(608) 250-3100

Bella Academy of Cosmetology
338 Pearl Avenue
Oshkosh, WI 54901
(920) 230-8897

The Wisconsin Academy — A Paul Mitchell School
880 Frontage Road
Peshtigo, WI 54157
(715) 582-4104

Paul Mitchell The School — Pewaukee
2000 Silvernail Road
Pewaukee, WI 53072
(262) 549-3100

Waukesha County Technical College
800 Main Street
Pewaukee, WI 53072
(262) 691-5566

Gateway Technical College — Racine Campus
1001 South Main Street
Racine, WI 53403
(800) 247-7122

Nicolet Area Technical College
5364 College Drive
Rhinelander, WI 54501
(715) 365-4410

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College — Rice Lake Campus
1900 College Drive
Rice Lake, WI 54868
(715) 234-7082

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College — Superior Campus
600 North 21st Street
Superior, WI 54880
(715) 394-6677

Advanced College of Cosmetology
25 West Main Street
Waupun, WI 53963
(920) 324-3427

Mid-State Technical College
500 32nd Street North
Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494
(715) 422-5300

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