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Makeup Schools in Washington

Makeup schools in Washington can provide you with the tools and training you need to become a successful makeup artist. If you’re looking for a career in makeup, finding and applying to one of these schools is a good idea.

There are many different schools located throughout Washington, so there’s sure to be one that’s right for you. Each school offers its own unique curriculum, so it’s important to do your research before making a decision.

State Requirements for Makeup Artist Licensing in Washington

The Washington Department of Licensing does not require an esthetics or cosmetology license to practice makeup artistry. However, you’ll find that many salons and spas will require these licenses before they will hire you. To earn one of these licenses, you’ll need to spend some time in a training program.

  • An esthetician graduate that has invested 750 hours of combined classroom and practical training
  • A cosmetology graduate that has invested 1,600 hours of combined classroom and practical training

How Much Do Washington Makeup Schools Cost?

If you do choose to go to school for an esthetician or cosmetology license to pack some credentials behind your makeup artistry, you’ll find that the average cost for an esthetician program in Washington is about $13,000 while a cosmetology program will be about $18,500 according to Many schools offer financial aid packages, so be sure to ask about that as you explore your educational options.

Required Skills and Classes

For those pursuing one of the aforementioned licenses, the first step in becoming a budding makeup professional is to arm yourself with the necessary knowledge to perform the tasks at hand.

  • Esthetics – an approved program by the Washington Department of Licensing consists of the following components:
    • Care of the skin
      • Compresses
      • Facials
      • Wraps
      • Masks
      • Exfoliation
      • Use of electrical or mechanical appliances or chemical compounds
    • Temporary removal of superfluous hair of the skin by the following means:
      • Tweezing
      • Waxing
      • Taping
      • Chemicals
      • Lotions
      • Creams
      • Sugaring
      • Threading
      • Mechanical or electrical apparatus or appliances
    • Sanitizing and disinfecting workstations, equipment, tools, and the proper use and storage of linens
    • Diseases and disorders of the face, neck, and hands
    • Safety, including the proper use and storage of chemicals, electrical appliances, and implements
    • First aid related to esthetics
  • Cosmetology – a 1,600-hour program will consist of the following subjects:
    • Theory of the practice of cosmetology including business practices and basic human anatomy and physiology
    • Application of manicuring and pedicuring services (100 hours)
    • Application of esthetics services (100 hours)
    • Shampooing including draping, brushing, scalp manipulations, conditioning, and rinsing
    • Scalp and hair analysis
    • Hair cutting
    • Use of scissors, razors, thinning shears, and clippers
    • Hairstyling including wet, dry, and thermal styling and braiding
    • Cutting and trimming of facial hair
    • Artificial hair
    • Permanent waving
    • Chemical relaxing
    • Hair coloring and bleaching
    • Cleaning and disinfecting of individual work stations
    • Diseases and disorders of the scalp, hair, skin, and nails
    • Safety and proper use and storage of chemicals, implements, and electrical appliances
    • First aid related to cosmetology

State Licensing Exams

Once a student of the aforementioned disciplines completes the state-approved education, the next step is to apply for the licensure exams.

  • Esthetics – the National-Interstate Council on State Boards of Cosmetology administers both the written and practical exams. Candidates can opt for a practice test that costs $25. For additional information, please refer to the NIC Exam Preparation Guide.

Before being allowed to take the side exams, candidates must first meet or provide the following:

  • At least 17 years of age
  • Provide a referral from the esthetician program or apprenticeship
  • Two valid government-issued IDs

Once candidates have passed both the written and practical exams, they can apply for the license by paying the associated fees ($25 licensing fee and $5 processing fee).

  • Cosmetology – the National Testing Network (NTN)/Ergonomics administers both exams. For additional information, please consult the Washington Cosmetologist Exam Preparation Guide.
    • Written Exam – examinees are given 90 minutes to complete the multiple-choice questions in front of the computer that covers the following areas:
      • Hair care and services – 60%
        • Trichology
        • Hair cutting procedures
        • Chemical services
        • Hair coloring procedures
        • Shampooing, conditioning, and draping
        • Hairstyling procedures
        • Wigs, enhancements, and extensions
        • Chemical procedures and hair coloring
      • Scientific concepts – 40%
        • Infection control
        • Human anatomy and physiology
        • Body positioning and ergonomics
        • Basic principles of electricity and chemistry
      • Practical Exam – examinees will perform the following procedures within the given time limit which will be graded by an evaluator. Please note that the mannequin head used for the procedures will not be provided and instead must come from the examinees themselves.
        • Client protection and set up – 10 minutes
        • Thermal curling – 10 minutes
        • Hair cutting – 30 minutes
        • Chemical waving – 20 minutes
        • Virgin hair lightening, hair relaxing, and retouching – 10 minutes, 10 minutes, and 20 minutes, respectively
        • Facial – 10 minutes
        • Manicure – 20 minutes

How Much Do Makeup Artists Get Paid in Washington?

Washington currently offers one of the most competitive pay rates for makeup artists in the country at an average of $23,884 per year according to  

Does Washington Have Continuing Education Requirements for Makeup Artists?

Unlicensed makeup artists in Washington obviously have no continuing education requirements. The same also goes for estheticians and cosmetologists, though they will have to renew their licenses every two years and pay a renewal fee.

Contact Information for Licensing Board

State of Washington Dept. of Licensing, Cosmetology Licensing Program
Address: 405 Black Lake Boulevard Southwest, Olympia, WA 98502
Website: State of Washington Dept. of Licensing, Cosmetology Licensing Program
Email: [email protected]
Call: 360-664-6626
Fax: 360-664-2550