Makeup Artist Regulations

You do not need a license to become a makeup artist in California, US, if:

  • You’re working as a makeup artist in the theatre, television, film or radio industry
  • You’re working as a makeup artist in a retail environment (e.g. working at a makeup counter, working with a direct sales company, etc.)
  • You’re practicing makeup artistry without compensation

In the state of California, makeup application is defined as “beautifying the face, neck, arms, or upper part of the human body, by use of cosmetic preparations, antiseptics, tonics, lotions, or creams”, under the practice of a cosmetologist.

However, in the “Business and Professions Code”*, Divison 3, Chapter 10, Article  2 (7319), makeup artists who are in the theatrical, film, TV, and radio industry, makeup artists who are working in a retail environment, and makeup artists who are working without compensation, are exempted from licensing.

California Legislative Information

*Always check the Business and Professions Code (BPC) for the latest information.

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