List of Make-Up Schools in California with Program Descriptions

California has more than 100 schools that offer make-up courses or programs. Learn about degree programs and certificates, tuition info and program options for the 10 largest schools to make an informed education decision.

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Make-Up Program Options in California

Make-up programs aren't offered at any public schools in California, but make-up application is part of many cosmetology and esthetician programs. To become a cosmetologist or skincare specialist, students must complete a state-approved cosmetology or esthetician program. After completing a program, they're eligible to take the state-board certification exam to earn a license, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology's examination consists of written and practical components.

Below are overviews of the 10 largest schools in California that offer cosmetology or esthetician programs that include make-up coursework. All of them offer state-approved programs that prepare graduates for licensure.

Cerritos College

Cerritos College in Norwalk has a cosmetology department, through which students can earn an Esthetician Certificate of Completion or a Certificate of Completion in Cosmetology. Students have the opportunity to practice their skills on their classmates. The esthetician program includes 600 hours of hands-on experience, and students learn to give facials, cleanse skin and apply make-up for special occasions or camouflaging. Students in the cosmetology program complete 1,600 hours of hands-on experience that addresses hair care, nail care and other topics covered in the esthetician program. For both certificate programs, students can select from day and evening options and complete additional coursework to earn an Associate in Arts.

El Camino Community College

El Camino Community College is located in the South Bay area in Torrance. The school offers an Associate in Science in Cosmetology, Certificate of Accomplishment in Cosmetology and Certificate of Achievement in Cosmetology. Through these programs, students learn to cut, dye and style hair, apply manicures and pedicures and give facials. They complete between 500 and 1,600 hours of cosmetology practice, depending on the type of award being pursued. Completing 1,600 hours prepares students to sit for the state exam.

Fullerton College

The Cosmetology Department at Fullerton College in Fullerton offers an Associate in Science in Cosmetology, along with a vocational certificate in the subject. The department emphasizes cosmetology trends, theories and applications through five levels of cosmetology courses. The program is designed so that students can pursue a variety of occupations, including work as make-up artists. Cosmetology students can also join the Trendsetters Club.

Pasadena City College

At Pasadena City College, students can pursue a Certificate of Achievement in Cosmetology or a Certificate of Achievement in Instructional Techniques in Cosmetology. Students explore the theory and application of cosmetology principles, including hair coloring, cutting and styling, make-up application and doing manicures and pedicures. The cosmetology certificate consists of 1,600 hours, and the instructional techniques program consists of 600 hours beyond the cosmetology certificate. Graduates of the cosmetology program are eligible for the Bureau of Barbering and Cosmetology Examination, and those who complete the instructional program should be prepared for the California State Board Instructors Examination.

Riverside City College

Students at the Riverside City campus of Riverside City College can earn a Certificate of Completion in Cosmetology or Certificate of Completion in Esthetician. The cosmetology program emphasizes hair care, skin care and nail care. This program includes 1,600 hours of instruction and has both day and night class options. The esthetician program is offered in the evening hours and focuses on skin care and make-up through 600 hours of training. Students can also join the Cosmo Organization, a club intended for cosmetology students.

Sacramento City College

At Sacramento City College, students can earn an Associate in Science in Cosmetology or a Certificate of Achievement in Cosmetology. Through the programs, students learn to cut, dye and style hair, give manicures and pedicures, apply facials and explore the business of cosmetology. Some courses, such as the basic foundation of practical skills and skills building for cosmetology, address make-up application.

Saddleback College

Saddleback College, which is located in Mission Viejo, offers a Certificate of Achievement in Cosmetology and a Cosmetician Occupational Skills Award. Classes aren't available on-campus; students must travel to Advance Beauty College or Hair California Beauty Academy, which are state-approved providers, to attend class. The 1,600-hour cosmetology program consists of four courses, and the cosmetician program is comprised of a single 600-hour course.

San Diego City College

San Diego City College offers a variety of cosmetology services provided by students, allowing them to gain experience while they study. Enrollees can earn an Associate in Science in Cosmetology or Certificate of Achievement in Cosmetology. To be admitted into the program, students must be at least 16 years old. The cosmetology programs cover cosmetology basics, chemical services, healing skin disorders and business practices. Through the 1,600-hour program, which provides the education needed to sit for the board exam, students can gain practical experience applying make-up and providing other hair and skin care services.

Santa Barbara City College

Through Santa Barbara City College's cosmetology department, students in the Goleta area can earn an Esthetician Skills Competency Award, Certificate of Achievement in Cosmetology or Associate in Science in Cosmetology. The 600-hour esthetician program trains students to care for skin and apply make-up. Through the 1,800-hour cosmetology certificate program, students explore trends in cosmetology as well as procedures for styling hair and skin care. The associate's degree program also consists of 1,800 hours and includes a combination of lectures and hands-on training. All three programs meet the academic qualifications for licensure set forth by the state board.

Santa Monica College

The Cosmetology Department at Santa Monica College in Santa Monica offers an Associate in Science in Cosmetology, Certificate of Achievement in Cosmetology and Department Certificate in Skin Care to adults and high school juniors and seniors. Courses cover hair coloring, cutting and styling, caring for nails, giving manicures and pedicures, skin care, make-up techniques and salon management. The advanced make-up course profiles bridal, film, fashion and evening glamour application, among other topics. Some courses also provide students with the opportunity to get hands-on experience in a salon-like environment.

School Comparison Chart

School Name School Type and Setting Make-Up Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2012-2013)
Cerritos College 2-year, public; small city Esthetician Certificate of Completion,
Certificate of Completion in Cosmetology,
Associate in Arts in Esthetician,
Associate in Arts in Cosmetology
$1,340 in-state; $6,072 out-of-state*
El Camino Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Certificate of Accomplishment in Cosmetology,
Certificate of Achievement in Cosmetology,
Associate in Science in Cosmetology
$1,142 in-state; $6,204 out-of-state*
Fullerton College 2-year, public; midsized city Vocational Certificate in Cosmetology,
Associate in Science in Cosmetology
$1,138 in-state; $6,010 out-of-state*
Pasadena City College 2-year, public; midsized city Certificate of Achievement in Cosmetology,
Certificate of Achievement in Instructional Techniques in Cosmetology
$1,152 in-state; $6,504 out-of-state*
Riverside City College 2-year, public; large city Certificate of Completion in Cosmetology,
Certificate of Completion in Esthetician
$1,413 in-state; $6,813 out-of-state*
Sacramento City College 2-year, public; large city Certificate of Achievement in Cosmetology,
Associate in Science in Cosmetology
$1,104 in-state; $7,200 out-of-state*
Saddleback College 2-year, public; large suburb Certificate of Achievement in Cosmetology,
Cosmetician Occupational Skills Award
$762 in-state; $4,694 out-of-state*
San Diego City College 2-year, public; large city Certificate of Achievement in Cosmetology,
Associate in Science in Cosmetology
$1,140 in-state; $5,532 out-of-state*
Santa Barbara City College 2-year, public; small city Esthetician Skills Competency Award,
Certificate of Achievement in Cosmetology,
Associate in Science in Cosmetology
$1,374 in-state; $7,254 out-of-state*
Santa Monica College 2-year, public; small city Certificate of Achievement in Cosmetology,
Department Certificate in Skin Care,
Associate in Science in Cosmetology
$1,140 in-state; $6,012 out-of-state*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.

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