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Makeup Schools in Wisconsin

There are many reasons to consider attending a makeup school in Wisconsin, regardless of your level of experience or expertise. If you’re just starting out, makeup school can give you the foundations you need to become a successful makeup artist. Even if you’re already experienced, attending makeup school can help you take your skills to the next level. And if you want to pursue a career in special effects makeup, there are few better places to learn than Wisconsin.

State Requirements for Makeup Artist Licensing in Wisconsin

If you plan to work in a retail setting, such as a makeup counter, or do makeup in the entertainment industry, Wisconsin does not require any licensing. However, the state requires a minimum education for those that want to get involved in professional makeup application at salons and spas. These are:

  • Has acquired an esthetics license within a program that is at least 450 hours in less than 11 weeks and no more than 30 weeks in duration


  • Has acquired a cosmetology license consisting of 1,550 hours of training or has completed an apprenticeship that includes at least 4,000 hours of theory and practical development

How Much Do Wisconsin Makeup Schools Cost?

Makeup artists have a couple of options for licensing programs in Wisconsin. First, they can take an esthetics program, which will cost a little under $10,000 on average according to The other option is taking a cosmetology program, which will typically set you back about $19,000. There are pros and cons to pursuing each license, so be sure you do your homework to see what the pros and cons are of each license as you pursue work as a makeup artist in Wisconsin.

Required Skills and Classes

Regardless of the chosen school, the Board of Wisconsin will have a predetermined list of courses for every program.

  • Esthetics – each of the subjects included within the program will be based on Wisconsin’s esthetician rules and regulations such as:
    • Basic facials
    • Facial skin cleansing
    • Eyebrow tweezing and waxing
    • Manipulations on faces, necks, and shoulders
    • Applying masks
    • Applying makeup
  • Cosmetology – for those that prefer traditional learning as opposed to an apprenticeship, students must learn the following through an accredited school such as:
    • Personal development
    • Hygiene and grooming
    • Sterilization and sanitation
    • Cosmetology equipment and tools
    • Hair, skin, and nail anatomy and physiology
    • Hair cutting and styling techniques and approaches
    • Hair straightening and relaxing
    • Shaving and beard/mustache trimming
    • Manicuring and nail enhancements
    • Product knowledge, sales, and information
    • Cosmetology laws, rules, and ethics
    • Industry trends and cosmetology student needs

State Licensing Exams

When you’re ready to take on the licensure exams, you must register with Pearson VUE via an online application. Once approved, you will be given details regarding the time, date, and place of the exams. The licensing and exam fee for both esthetics and cosmetology costs $391 each.

  • Esthetics – examinees must bring 2 valid IDs with signatures on both and must arrive 30 minutes before both exams.
    • Theory Exam – test-takers must answer a total of 85 questions, 10 for Wisconsin state laws and regulations and 75 on general esthetician practice. Topics will revolve around the following:
      • Rules, regulations, and safety
      • Esthetic science and skin analysis
      • Facials
      • Hair removal
      • Makeup
      • Electricity and electrotherapy
    • Practical Exam – this test will mimic the environment within a salon or spa and will revolve around the services that an esthetician provides. All the supplies used in this test will not be provided and must come from the test-takers themselves. All standard procedures and safety practices will be taken into account when performing the following:
      • Basic facial – 15 minutes
      • Facial skin cleansing – 15 minutes
      • Eyebrow tweezing (singular brow) – 5 minutes
      • Wax eyebrow – 5 minutes
      • Wax full upper lip – 5 minutes
      • Wax chin – 5 minutes
      • Manipulations of the face, neck, and shoulder – 15 minutes
      • Masque application – 15 minutes
      • Makeup application – 15 minutes
      • Skin analysis – 3 minutes
  • Cosmetology – candidates can prepare for the exams by consulting the Wisconsin Cosmetology Candidate Handbook.
    • Theory Exam – this test will be comprised of 140 questions in total, 20 of which will cover the Wisconsin state laws and regulations related to the practice of cosmetology and 120 questions about general cosmetology topics. Such topics are as follows:
      • Cosmetology safety, sanitation, rules, and regulation
      • Trichology
      • Shampooing
      • Scalp analysis
      • Styling
      • Hair coloring, bleaching, tinting, and lightening
      • Hair cutting
      • Perms
      • Chemical relaxing and straightening
      • Esthetics
      • Nails
    • Practical Exam – hands-on tests are designed to mimic the working environment of the discipline in question. Participants are required to bring their own supplies which will be used on a mannequin to perform the following procedures:
      • Safety and infection control
      • Hair cutting
      • Hair styling
      • Hair bleaching, highlighting, and coloring
      • Chemical relaxing
      • Perms
      • Esthetics and skin care
      • Manicure

How Much Do Makeup Artists Get Paid in Wisconsin?

Makeup artists in Wisconsin make an annual average wage of $22,028 according to 80% of makeup artists in the state will make between $17,000 and $28,500, so there is quite a bit of variance in pay based on location and employer.

Does Wisconsin Have Continuing Education Requirements for Makeup Artists?

Estheticians and cosmetologists must complete four hours of continued education during each two-year license renewal period.

Contact Information for Licensing Board

Department of Safety and Professional Services
Address: 4822 Madison Yards Way, Madison, WI 53705
Website: Department of Safety and Professional Services
Call: 608-266-2112