Tourism remains a major driver of Arizona’s economy. In fact, a 2012 Arizona Business Magazine article said that the Arizona tourism industry has a “billion-dollar impact on the economy” – to the tune of $17.7 billion annually.
And it’s not just hotels and golf courses that are positively affected by the State’s tourism. Everyone from police officers and waiters to taxi drivers and street cleaners are benefitting from the more than 37 million overnight visitors that make their way to Arizona every year.
And that certainly includes makeup artists, who are reaping the rewards of the thriving hotel and resort industry here. In fact, these cosmetology professionals often find abundant professional opportunities through salons and spas within resort destinations and other vacation hot spots. For example, tourism remains Scottsdale’s major industry and largest employer, with the city home to more than 60 hotels and resorts – many of which have spas and salons that cater to guests who want to treat themselves to a day of pampering.
If you have a way with a makeup brush and you enjoy being part of the vibrant beauty services industry, a career as an Arizona makeup artist may very well spell success for you.
How to Become a Makeup Artist in Arizona: Licensure and Education Requirements
Thanks to a new law that went into effect in March 2015, makeup artists are no longer regulated by the state of Arizona. This means you will no longer be required to qualify for a license through the Arizona State Board of Cosmetology if the services you provide as a makeup artist are limited to:
- Applying makeup, cosmetics or oils in any setting
- Applying theatrical makeup as an employee of a theatrical group
- Perform airbrushing or spray tanning
- Applying eyelash extensions
Your only legal obligation when providing these services is to post a sign in an easy to spot location to notify clients that the services you provide are not regulated by the Arizona State Board of Cosmetology.
It is important to note that if you intend to provide any skincare services beyond just applying makeup, you would be required to qualify for an aesthetician license through the Arizona State Board of Cosmetology. As a licensed aesthetician, you will be able to provide your clients with a full range of skincare and cosmetics services.
To become a licensed aesthetician in Arizona, you must complete at least 500 hours of aesthetics training through a school that is licensed by the Board. You can view a list of licensed schools here.
Enrolling in an aesthetics program will not only provide you with the education and training necessary to become a makeup artist, but it will also educate you on the practice of skincare, which is sure to benefit your clients. You may also choose to take courses in makeup artistry only as a way to refine your skills and learn the secrets to perfect contouring and highlighting.
With formal training, you will be able to steer your career in a number of different directions. You may choose to become a theatrical makeup artist, spa or salon manager/owner, makeup distributor, makeup buyer, bridal makeup artist, or a makeup specialist at a skincare center, just to name a few.
Once you have successfully completed an aesthetics program recognized by the Board, you must then complete an Examination Application Form and take and pass a practical and written exam as the final step in the aesthetician licensing process. The Board uses Professional Credential Services (PCS) to administer its aesthetician examinations. You can learn more about taking these examinations by reading PCS’ Aesthetician Handbook.
You must renew your aesthetician license every two years (on your birthdate) to continue practicing makeup artistry in the State.
Beginning your Makeup Artist Career in Arizona
Your options for a thriving career as a makeup artist in Arizona are seemingly endless, as these cosmetology pros can be found working in a wide array of industries, including:
Many makeup artists choose to take their makeup and brushes on the road, working in a freelance capacity for production companies that produce everything from commercials and television shows to full-feature films. Arizona is home to a plethora of production companies, including:
- MarzMotion, Phoenix
- Occulus Films, Chandler
- Taz Entertainment, Tucson
- Throwing Hamsters Productions, Phoenix
- Sterling Productions, Tempe
- Jeff London Productions, Lake Havasu City
- Victory Angel Films, LLC, Tempe
- Bunch Brothers and Other Products, Flagstaff
- Blind Society, Scottsdale
Some of the best opportunities for makeup artists in Arizona begin with the cosmetic companies, as jobs may range from cosmetics buyers and distributors to makeup artists at retail establishments. In Phoenix, for example, a massive MAC Cosmetic store may be the perfect place to begin your career in makeup artistry. Other popular cosmetics companies in Arizona include:
- Healthy Solutions LLC, Scottsdale
- Arizona Natural Resources, Phoenix
- Sephora, Glendale
- CITA International, Glendale
Makeup artists who concentrate their art on theatrical makeup artistry, a unique subset of this cosmetology profession, may find a wealth of professional opportunities in Arizona, thanks to a number of major theater groups located here:
- Arizona Theatre Company, Tucson and Phoenix
- Arizona Broadway Theater, Phoenix
- Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
- Theater Works, Peoria
Resorts and Vacation Destinations
Resorts and other vacation destinations are often home to upscale salons and skincare centers, which many times include makeup artistry as a popular service. Just a few of the most popular resort destinations in Arizona include:
- The Boulders, Carefree
- Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch, Scottsdale
- L’Auberge de Sedona, Sedona
- Loews Ventana Canyon, Tucson
- The Phoenician, Scottsdale
- Royal Palms Resort and Spa, Phoenix
- Fairmont Scottsdale
- FireSky Resort and Spa, Scottsdale