Whatever draws you to a love of makeup and beauty, Tennessee schools can help you hone your skills and get your license and certifications for a rewarding career. Whether you choose to become a makeup artist, a cosmetologist, or a skin care specialist. And all you need to do is find the right beauty academy to start your career on the right foot.

Tennessee Sunset
Tennessee Sunset by JS Nature Photos [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Hours Required At TN Schools For Makeup

Tennessee doesn’t have separate license requirements for makeup artists, but you are required to get a proper beauty certification.

You have two options: studying esthetics, which is the study of skin care and makeup, or studying as a cosmetologist, which covers everything you learn in an esthetics course, plus hair styling, and manicure and pedicure services.

An esthetic’s license focuses on skin care and facial massage, with courses in sterilization, skin conditions, nutrition, masks and packs, and color theory.

Cosmetology also includes courses in natural hair treatments, hair cutting and styling, as well as courses in salon management and chemical treatments.

An esthetics course will take 750 hours of study, while a full cosmetology license takes 1500 hours of school to complete. Use your ZIP in our app below to find the closest schools:

How To Get Your Tennessee Makeup License

Whichever license you choose, you will need to pass a practical and theory exam. You must pass your licensing exams within 3 years, and apply for your license within 6 months of passing your exam.

Your written exam is a multiple choice, computer-based exam.

The practical exam will require you to being a live model with your own kit and supplies, to test your knowledge on the practicalities of the job, including skin treatments, safety procedures, and basic and advanced makeup techniques, equipment and styles. Theatrical makeup school is a different ball of wax, as they say.

You must pass both exams with 70% or higher to qualify for license. If you’re trying to get an inactive license reinstated, or you’re over 65, you may need to take the Tennessee Laws and Regulations exam in addition to the written and practical.


If you have an active license in another state and are looking to move to Tennessee to work, you will need to prove at least 750 hours of esthetics or cosmetology training, or 5 years of full-time work experience. If you do not have the equivalent of these when you apply, you may be required to take one or both of Tennessee’s licensing exams.

Renew Your License

You must renew your license every two years. You will receive notice by mail approximately three months before your renewal date. No continuing education is required unless you’re working as an instructor.

Makeup Jobs TN

Tennessee has a vibrant beauty scene. Between the Knoxville Fashion Week, the famous pageant circuit, that draws hundreds of hopeful beauty queens each year, and salons and spas that specialize in southern in luxurious style, there are plenty of places to get your career off on the right foot. Check out one of Tennessee’s job banks for a look into your bright future.

Makeup Schools in Tennessee – Listings

Academy of Makeup Arts – 299 Plus Park Boulevard Suite 100, Nashville, TN 37210

Nestle Beauty School – 210 North Brewer Street, Paris, TN 38242

Tennessee School of Beauty – 4716 Western Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921

Franklin Academy – 1605 Professional, Park Cir Drive, Cleveland, TN 37312

Jenny Lea Academy – 222 East Unaka Ave, Johnson City, TN 37601

Empire Beauty School – 804 South Highland Street, Memphis, TN 38111

Aveda Institute – 1765 Galleria Boulevard, Franklin, TN 37067

Georgia Career Institute – 1691 Memorial Boulevard, Murfreesboro, TN 37129

Tennessee Institute of Cosmetology – 2438 East Andrew Johnson Highway, Morristown, TN 37814

Love Beauty School – 1161 Murfreesboro Highway, Manchester, TN 37355

Shear Perfection Academy – 2909 US-31W, White House, TN 37188

Other TN schools for nail technicians, estheticians, barbers and cosmetologists.

Some School Websites:

Did we miss any makeup institutes in Tennessee? Please contact us to let us know.