Whether you are preparing for a makeup artist career at a studio in Tulsa’s Blue Dome district or chic East Village neighborhood, or are more interested in working in the performing arts or the broadcast entertainment industry, there is a place for you in Oklahoma.
Pursuing a career as a makeup artist in Oklahoma is attractive for several reasons. As a professional in the field you will find good pay, the freedom to work independently as your own boss, along with a high degree of respect and personal satisfaction directly tied to your artistic skill and perseverance.
Each year Tulsa hosts the Tulsa United Film Festival as well as the Tulsa Overground Film and Music Festival. Festivals like these call for skilled and licensed makeup artists to cater to the celebrities that attend these events, and also signify that Oklahoma, and particularly Tulsa, have made a commitment to support the arts. With your license in hand, you can start pursuing your dreams in fields like theatre, broadcast media or film, as well as the salon industry.
How to Become a Makeup Artist in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, makeup artists are also referred to as cosmeticians. State law requires you to have a cosmetician license if you work professionally as a makeup artist. The Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering issues this license after you’ve met specific education and training requirements.
Makeup Artist Education
The first step in becoming a cosmetician is to earn an education. To become licensed you need to graduate from a Board-approved school that offers at least 600 hours or 20 credit hours of cosmetician classes.
There are several dozen public and private cosmetology schools in Oklahoma that are approved by the Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering to prepare professional makeup artists for licensure:
- 14 in Oklahoma City
- 10 in Tulsa
- 3 in Norman
- 2 in Broken Arrow
- 3 in Lawton
- 2 in Enid
- 2 in Midwest City
- 2 in Stillwater
Your cosmetician courses will include the following subjects:
- Bacteriology, sanitation, and sterilization – 60 hours
- Makeup application, including lipstick, eyeliner, eyeshadow, mascara, and rouge – 200 hours
- Hair arranging, including the use of curling irons, combs, hot rollers, brushes, and related products or accessories – 200 hours
- Salon development, such as business administration, insurance, law, ethics, record keeping, advertising, hygiene, and public health – 90 hours
- Cosmetology laws, rules, and regulations – 50 hours
In lieu of a traditional 600-hour curriculum, you also have the option of completing a 1,200-hour cosmetician apprentice program if you can find an instructor who is willing to apprentice you.
Makeup Artist Exam and Application
Once you have completed your education you will need to pass a cosmetician exam that is administered by the Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering. Your cosmetician school will assist you in preparing for this exam, which consists of a written and a practical portion. When you have passed the exam with a score of at least 75 percent you can apply for your license from the Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering.
To complete this process you can use the following forms:
You will need to renew your license each year by the last day of your birth month.
Career Opportunities for Makeup Artists in Oklahoma
Oklahoma offers many different exciting opportunities for makeup artists. These range from working in television and film production studios to working in beauty salons or with performing artists. You can also find enjoyable gigs as a makeup artist for special festivals and events. Becoming a makeup artist in Oklahoma often starts with pursuing available jobs in these fields:
Performing Arts in Oklahoma
If you want to work in the performing arts you may be able to find makeup artist jobs with some of Oklahoma’s well-known dance and acting troupes:
- Oklahoma City Ballet
- Oklahoma City Opera
- Tulsa Ballet
- Heller Theatre in Tulsa
- ArtWorks Academy of Performing Arts in Norman
In addition to regular performances, each year the state hosts a number of festival events:
- Oklahoma City’s Bricktown entertainment district hosts the annual Bricktown Art Festival in mid-July
- Tulsa’s annual downtown arts and crafts festival attracts hundreds of thousands of people every year, and the city was recently ranked as having one of the best music scenes outside of LA, New York, and Nashville
- Norman hosts two well-known festivals every year:
- May Fair arts festival at Andrews Park
- Midsummer Nights’ Fair arts festival held over the course of two evenings in June
Oklahoma’s Beauty and High Fashion Opportunities
As you might expect, many of Oklahoma’s makeup artists work in the fields of beauty and modeling. With experience you may work your way up to join one of the state’s hottest establishments, including:
- Cottonwood Salon Spa in Edmond
- Artistic Glam/Oklahoma City Stylists
- Ihloff salon in Tulsa
- Renaissance Salon and Spa in Oklahoma City
- Salon Three Sixty in Norman
Film and Television Production in Oklahoma
Oklahoma is home to several film production studios where the skills of makeup artists are often called upon:
- Steelehouse Productions in Tulsa
- ReelCast Productions in Shawnee
- Garman Productions in Oklahoma City
Television studios are also important employers of makeup artists, with each of the state’s largest cities containing NBC, CBS, ABC, and PBS broadcasting studios.