Top rated makeup artist schools of 2017


Makeup artistry is a profession based on applying makeup to clients for photoshoots, filming, and special occasions. If you’re fascinated by shows like Face Off, love the makeup looks you see on fashion runways, or even just have a passion for doing makeup on yourself or others, you should consider a career in makeup artistry. Makeup artist school will help you reach your potential in this diverse and exciting field.

Cosmetology school may be fine for most people, but if you’re looking to become a makeup artist, you should consider makeup artist school. This offers an educational experience more tailored to your needs. Even better, a top tier makeup artist school can really make all the difference. It gives you the edge you’ll need to succeed in this industry.

Maybe this is something you’re looking into because you’re tired of working a dull job that you’re not passionate about. One thing is certain: as a makeup up artist, your days will never be boring. Every day is an exciting new adventure.

There’s no reason not to turn your passion for makeup and your eye for perfection into a lifelong career by attending makeup artist school. There’s millions of people getting married every day that need wedding makeup, in every city there’s advertising agencies that need makeup for their commercials and print work. It’s in demand wherever you go!

What are the benefits of a makeup artist school?

So if you don’t always need a license to practice, why should you go to makeup artist school? If you want to make your passion for makeup into a career, schooling is the right way to go about it. Graduation from the most prestigious of makeup artist school will give you a valuable certificate, and a portfolio.

Attending a makeup artist school makes clients more likely to hire you, though it’s not always required by law. You’ll have a harder time getting work if you don’t attend makeup artist school. Prepare your career to be more successful and grow your skills by going to school!

What will I learn at makeup artist school?

The basics of makeup are the first thing you will learn at any makeup artist school. However, this won’t be the type of information you find on YouTube. The basics you learn will be guidelines for professional makeup artists. You will have classes on the application of makeup, especially airbrush makeup. You will learn about contouring and highlighting to add depth and definition to the face.

Other common topics include sanitation of makeup tools, and bridal makeup. You will even learn about skincare and how to run your own business.

Once you graduate from makeup artist school, you will be eligible to take a state licensing exam, if your state has one. If you work in a salon as a makeup artist, licensing is usually required.

Cost of schooling

The cost of attending makeup artist schools is more expensive than cosmetology school. A cosmetology school can cost as little as $3,000 for a program. Makeup artist programs are usually more in the range of $10,000 to $20,000. You get what you pay for. This is true for education, just like it’s true for life. There’s nothing more important than investing in yourself and your goals.


Salary as a makeup artist can vary wildly. Many makeup artists work freelance, meaning they do not have one set employer, and instead work for themselves. The national average for makeup artists is around $60,000 per year.

However, broken down by area, the range of earnings for makeup artists is more apparent. Makeup artists located in New York tend to make the most money, averaging at about $90,000 per year. This is followed by California at about $70,000. In most other areas of the United States, salaries are in the range of $30,000 to $40,000 per year.

These are all averages, and like many other fields, earning potential depends on your ability to market yourself. Some makeup artists make much more and some make much less. The earning potential is part of what is so attractive about being a professional makeup artist.

Need help choosing a makeup artist school?

We’ve gathered the top rated makeup artist schools to help you pick your dream makeup artist school. It’s all here, from background information to the special thing that makes your future school stand out from the crowd!

Make-up Designory

The Make-up Designory, better known as MUD, is referred to as the Harvard of the makeup artist school world. MUD is the biggest makeup artist school in the nation. It was founded in 1997 by industry professionals.

There are two MUD campuses, one in New York City, and one in Los Angeles. Both are located at the epicenter of the film and television industries. Graduates of this makeup artist school have worked on high-profile projects such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Vanity Fair, HGTV, MTV, Food Network, and even worked with celebrities such as Rihanna.


The price of MUD varies from program to program. You have the option to only take select classes at this makeup artist school. Programs and classes have different lengths. As an example, here are the price differences in a two different programs.

Tuition price by program:

  • Master Make-up Artistry $18,270
  • Fashion Make-up Artistry $8,820

Individual classes are priced as follows:

  • Special Make-up effects $4,725
  • Fundamentals of Beauty Make-up $4,725

As is the norm for a makeup artist school, you will also have to pay for your own materials. This can cost anywhere from $300 to $3,500 depending again on program or class chosen. MUD is a makeup artist school that accepts and offers financial aid, as well as private and federal loans.


All of the programs and courses at MUD are taught by experienced makeup artists. Who are also state certified makeup artist school instructors. This is a priceless opportunity. Some of the courses offered include:

  • Fashion Make-Up Artistry
  • Film and Television Make-Up Artistry
  • Character and Special Make-Up Effects
  • Prosthetics Lab Techniques

All of these are essentials if you want to break into any specific part of the highly diverse field of makeup artistry.

Special features

  • MUD has drawn upon their significant knowledge and experience as a makeup artist school to create their own makeup line. You’ll get to use these in your coursework.
  • No other makeup artist school has such renown.

Graduation from MUD helps boost your career, and thanks to the size of this makeup artist school, students will make many industry connections during their study. This is not without sacrifices. MUD is one of the most difficult schools, and it takes a lot of work to make it through. The work it takes is definitely worth the results of graduating from this makeup artist school. The main difference between this school and the others is how well known MUD is.

Elegance International School of Professional Makeup

Elegance International, or EI for short, is the world’s first makeup artist school, founded in 1966 by industry professionals. EI is located in Hollywood, California. This makeup artist school is situated in the prime location for makeup artists, as this is where they are needed most.

Graduates of EI have been nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won three times. Graduate honors also include nominations and wins for Emmys in both daytime and primetime award categories. The number of very successful graduates is impressive for any makeup artist school.


One of EI’s unique features is that it only has one program available, the Artistry of Makeup program. The tuition for this program is $16,500 and the cost of materials is approximately $2,000. The total cost, including fees for the program is about $19,557.

This is a good price for a makeup artist school program that is all-inclusive. EI also accepts financial aid for those who qualify.


As mentioned previously, EI has one program available, the Artistry of Makeup program. While many makeup artist school programs are focused on individual fields of the makeup industry, the Artistry of Makeup program is a one year course based on the fashion, film and television industry. You learn every aspect of makeup needed for an entry-level position in those fields.

Additional seminars and workshops are also available on occasion. These will go even more in depth and are best for brushing up on any number of specific skills.

Special features

  • The EI program advisory board (PAC) meets twice a year to review curriculum. Most makeup artist school PACs meet only once a year.
  • Alumni of EI’s Artistry of Makeup program have the opportunity to attend a number of single workshops and seminars to stay on top of their game. No other makeup artist school that I’ve come across offers anything like this. These free courses could have otherwise cost hundreds of dollars.

The main difference between this school and the others is its unique curriculum and alumni policy.

Cosmix School of Makeup Artistry

Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Cosmix is the odd one out. Cosmix is the only makeup artist school in South Florida. It’s not in New York or California, the most popular places for a makeup artist school to be. Don’t let this deter you! Cosmix is still one of our top rated schools because of it’s commitment to educational excellence.

Why are we so convinced? Alumni from this makeup artist school rave about its dedication to each student’s professional success. At Cosmix, you will gain an understanding of the industry from teachers who are working professionals. The benefit of working with teachers who understand what students are going through is priceless.


Cosmix, as an accredited makeup artist school offers financial aid for anyone who is eligible. The tuition for their Master Makeup Artistry program is $15,740. Course materials are $3,510. The tuition cost for the Master Makeup Artistry program and other Cosmix programs are in the more affordable range.


At this makeup artist school there is nice variety of programs to choose from. You have the opportunity to train in any part of the professional makeup world. You will get to know all the basics, as well as current trends and styles.

  • Master Makeup Artistry
  • Special FX Makeup Artistry
  • Fashion Makeup Artistry

Cosmix offers all of these programs, in addition to individual classes in each of the various niches of the makeup industry. The method of education ranges from hands-on training to lecture classes. Your time at a makeup artist school is usually spent on hands-on work, but everyone learns differently, so a variety of class types are ideal.

Special features

  • Cosmix’s location offers unique accommodations. Sun and fun! While you’re attending makeup artist school you can take a trip to the beach!
  • Cosmix offers a variety of scholarships. One lucky makeup artist each year earns their $10,000 Jay Cannistraci Scholarship.
  • Cosmix even accepts international students! If needed, you can get a student-visa through Cosmix to stay in the United States for the duration of your study.
  • The cost for Cosmix programs are lower than many others. This means it’s financially easier to attend.

This school clearly cares about its students. They offer so many options to students to make sure they have the best experience possible. Teachers are understanding and kind. If you need clarification on anything, you can ask your teachers for help. This is true for all of these great makeup artist schools, but teachers at Cosmix are known for going above and beyond.


That’s it, the Top Rated Makeup Artist Schools of 2017! It’s a lot of information to take in. No matter what you decide, remember this:

Having the dream of becoming a professional makeup artist can be difficult at times, but attending makeup artist school can help your dreams come true. If your dream is to become a makeup artist, we say go for it! You’re the only person who can make your ambitions a reality.

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