Make-Up Certificates and Certification Programs

Make-up certificate programs offer training in make-up application, contouring and skin preparation by combining lecture-based classes with salon training. Generally, no admissions requirements exist beyond a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Essential Information

Students in make-up certificate programs are taught how to maintain a hygienic make-up station and how to function as part of a team in a professional setting, in addition to traditional training. Some programs may allow students to select a specialization, such as stage make-up, make-up products or skin preparation. Online courses to earn a make-up certificate may also be available.

These programs may prepare students for professional licensure, though it's usually not required unless a make-up artist also offers skincare or cosmetology services, like facials or hair styling.

Certificate in Make-up Artistry

The curriculum of a make-up certificate program covers proper make-up application, tools, safety and techniques. Students learn about basic concepts, such as color and blending. Courses cover face shapes and contouring methods, infection control and client consultation methods. Other topics covered may include:

  • Make-up products
  • Skin preparation
  • Stage make-up
  • Color selection and blending
  • Day and evening application methods

Popular Career Options

A certificate in make-up artistry can be designed to prepare students to work as make-up artists. Individuals may apply make-up for clients for everyday use or for special occasions, such as weddings. Make-up artists are also commonly required for television, movie and stage actors. Some cosmetologists may complete a make-up program in order to be able to offer cosmetic services in their own salon or to help them qualify for additional job opportunities that require both hair and make-up application skills. Graduates may find work in various environments, including:

  • Theaters
  • Television studios
  • Photography studios
  • Department store make-up counters
  • Beauty salons

Certification Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), all states require personal appearance workers to be licensed ( In some states, this could apply to make-up artists who are also involved in hair styling. Licensing usually requires meeting state-specific requirements and passing an exam. In most cases, exams include written and practical portions.

Aspiring make-up artists can pursue a Certificate in Make-up Artistry to learn make-up application techniques, sanitation, and color and contouring in order to become professionals. State licensing may also be required, but this depends on the services offered by the stylist.

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