Makeup artists don’t just have one career. If you pursue your passion in the beauty industry, you could be working in theatre, in television production companies, in high end salons, or even freelancing in spas throughout Virginia. If you’re looking for that kind of freedom in your career, starting at one of Virginia’s beauty schools can help you get your license, and make your career aspirations come true. Virginia’s training centres aren’t as plentiful as Tx or CA but they are every bit as good!

Alexandria, Virginia skyline
Alexandria, Virginia skyline by Ser Amantio di Nicolao at English Wikipedia [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

How Long Is School Before You Can Qualify For A Virginia Makeup License?

VA’s state requirements mean that you will choose between getting an esthetician or cosmetology license.

Estheticians study skin care, bacteriology, facial massage, and makeup application.

Cosmetology will study all of this, and also manicures, pedicures, hair styling, chemical treatments, and hair removal and more.

An esthetician’s license will focus more on skin care and makeup, including foundation composition, and be perfect to begin a career as a makeup artist. It’s also a lot shorter, with 600 hours of required education, to a cosmetologists 1500 hours of study. However, a makeup artist with a full cosmetologist license will also be able to command a higher salary at a salon or spa. Check which schools are closest to you by using your ZIP in the app below:

Your Virginia Makeup License

Once you are within 80 hours of completing your education, you can apply for the exams.

You’ll need to take two exams, including a written and practical.

You will need to bring your own kit and mannequin to the practical exam, where you will be required to demonstrate proper setup and sanitation, along with the basics of a variety of practices, including makeup application and skin treatments.

You will be allowed to apply for a temporary permit so that you can work while waiting for your exams.

If you fail your exam, or it takes longer than 6 months, your temporary license will be revoked, and you cannot renew. You will receive your grades one week after your exam.

Moving To VA From Another State?

Virginia does not have reciprocity agreements for a cosmetology, makeup artist, or esthetician license. However, if your home state licensing requirements is at least 80% those of Virginia’s, and your current license is active and in good standing, you may be eligible for licensure by endorsement. You will need to sit another exam based on the knowledge required by your home state. And you will need to pay the fee to transfer when you apply.

License Renewal

Cosmetology licenses in Virginia are good for two years. Your renewal date is the last day of the month in which the original license was issued. You will need to apply for renewal online and pay the fee.

If you have a permanent makeup license in addition to your cosmetologist or esthetician license, you are required to prove 5 hours of continuing education to update your safety and sanitation certifications. Otherwise, no continuing education is required.

MUA Work Options In VA

Virginia’s beauty scene may not put you in the heart of Hollywood, but the live theatre and entertainment sector in Virginia is enough to keep any new makeup artist busy.

There are a wide variety of salons and spas, from high end luxury to the quieter spots in which to start your career and get a good salary.

If you’re looking for some freedom, you may choose to rent your own chair so you can move through established salons and spas, or open up your own place. Try one of Virginia’s top job sites, and put yourself out there!

Some Makeup Artist Schools in Virginia

The Makeup School by Sarah Rillon – 620 Village Drive d, Virginia Beach, VA 23454

Kenny’s Beauty Academy – 3461 Washington Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201

Luckes Beauty Academy – 888 J Clyde Morris Boulevard, Newport News, VA 23601

Annie Beauty &Tech school – 7361 McWhorter Place #310, Annandale, VA 22003

Dermal Science International Aesthetics & Nail Academy – 11301 Sunset Hills Road A-5, Reston, VA 20190

Miracle Beauty-Nails Academy – 3420 Holland Road # 102, Virginia Beach, VA 23452

Academy of Esthetics – 5900 Fort Drive, Suite 202, Centreville, VA 20121

Other Virginia schools for nail technicians, estheticians, barbers and cosmetologists

Some School URLs:

Did we miss any makeup academies in Virginia? Please contact us to let us know.