Make-Up Certificates and Certification Programs

Get curriculum information for make-up certificate programs, and find out the details on licensing and certification. Check out a few of the course topics and popular career paths.

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Essential Information

Make-up certificate programs usually have no special admissions requirements beyond a high school diploma or equivalent. Through lecture-based courses and hands-on practical training, students can learn standard cosmetic application techniques in the industry. They are also taught how to maintain a hygienic make-up station and how to function as part of a team in a professional setting. Certification or licensure as a make-up artist is usually an optional credential, unless a make-up artist also offers skincare or cosmetology services, like facials or hair styling.

Course Options

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 (www.bls.gov). 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.

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  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Communication Studies
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
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    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Forestry and Wildlands Management
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Natural Resources Management
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
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    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Natural Resources Management
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • English Composition
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Forestry and Wildlands Management
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Natural Resources Management
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
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    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Georgetown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
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    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Agricultural Business
      • Animal Science
      • Food Sciences and Technologies
      • Plant Science
      • Soil Science
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    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Cornell University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services

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