Choosing a Makeup School. Top 40 beauty programs in the world

by Veronica

If you want to transform your creativity into your career, applying for makeup school may be the perfect solution. In the first place, on-set production makeup artists can make a very lucrative living. Equally, many makeup artists are self-taught, and school isn’t a prerequisite for a successful career. Especially in this field where practice and networking are the most important. But, there are many makeup schools that can help you get to your goal faster. That’s why we compiled the top 40 makeup schools and courses that can give you a solid foundation. The rest is on you.

What you will get in makeup school?

Of course, just being in the presence of makeup professionals and seeing them work is a great starting point. Not only you get to see how the reality of makeup artists’ workdays looks like but also you will get introduced to the industry. This will help you figure out what you are most interested in, and pursue the right career. Therefore you will learn more than applying and blending techniques. And by the time you finish your course, you will have your makeup portfolio developed. In this list, we tried to encompass schools from all parts of the world. Moreover various types and programs for different needs, from 3-year Diploma programs to intensive crash courses of a few days.

After all, if you don’t find yourself an ideal school on this list(or near you), get inspired by their galleries and curriculum. Besides, you can always use it as a reference for finding the right school(or mentor) near you.

No matter what school you choose, you will need to continually work to become a stronger and more established artist. Without a doubt, you should surround yourself with people who are as passionate as you and you will always grow.

If you are looking to launch your career with a bang – take a look at these top 20 makeup schools around the world!

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Top 20 Makeup Schools Around the World

Make Up Designory ( MUD )

Where? New York, Los Angeles, and dozens of MUD Studios and Partner Schools around the globe.

MUD is founded for makeup artists by makeup artists and from 1997 they provide a comprehensive curriculum and they offer a range of different programs and courses. With courses between 3-6 weeks and programs ranging from 12-24 weeks, MUD got it all covered.

From beauty fundamentals to master special effects. There, you will learn everything you need for working in theater, fashion, film, television, and retail. Above all, MUD focuses on hands-on practical learning. Their two main campuses are in NYC and LA but you can find on their website MUD Studio or Partner School that can be closer to you.

Academy of Freelance Makeup

Where? London, Paris, New York, Belfast, Dubai, and Online

AOF is renowned worldwide and they offer plenty of courses and programs to satisfy everyone’s needs. What is unique with AOF you may ask? Well, they provide many working opportunities. As a result, their graduates will get working and assisting opportunities in many global cities around the world. Besides, AOF promise working opportunities in high-profile magazines, film festivals, and fashion weeks only in a matter of weeks after you finish your course. Maybe the most exciting part for many is that they have online training as well. In fact, you will get your very own personal mentor to be on-hand throughout the training. How cool is that?

The Make Up For Ever Academy

Where? Paris, New York, Seoul, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Brussel, Helsinki, Nice, Singapore

As well as the previous two, The Makeup For Ever Academy educates different profiles for makeup. They have programs ranging from intensive two days courses to master courses of 6+ months. Whether you are interested in beauty, fashion, TV&film or stage, or artistic makeup, you will find something for you. Once you graduate, you have access to The Makeup Academy For Ever Tribe.  A big perk of the MUFE Academy is that you get to work with Makeup Forever products.

EI School of Professional Makeup

Where? Los Angeles, California

Located in the heart of Hollywood at the center of events, it is one of the most sought-after schools for comprehensive makeup training. Therefore their one-year program called Artistry of Makeup is compiled from 6 courses. Those 6 courses include Beauty Corrective Makeup, Theatrical Fantasy Makeup, High Fashion, Photographic and Editorial, TV HD Makeup Part 1 and 2. As well as basic Tech Labs and prosthetics for beginners. If you wish to dive into the industry and develop your artistic skills to the highest level, this might be the great start of your career.

Vancouver Film School

Where? Vancouver, Canada.

If you desire to work on the next big blockbuster, this is indeed the school for you! Another one-year study program for those determined to become a makeup designer. Because of its significant influence on the world’s cultural scene. Besides, their alumni are working around the globe, and they are the most sought-after professionals in the industry. In two months you will get a diploma in Makeup Design for Film and Television, a comprehensive portfolio, access to the alumni directory and job boards. Not only that but also industry connections that will help you guide your career. And as they say on their site – VFS doesn’t teach you about the industry, VFS IS the industry.

Cinema Makeup School

Where? Los Angeles, California

Cinema Makeup School has a reputation in Hollywood as one of the most prestigious makeup schools. As a matter of fact, there are more than one reasons they are one of the top makeup schools in the world is their instructors. Moreover, they are hiring working makeup artists who are still in demand in the film industry. And especially with Ve Neil (three times Oscar Winner) as the Director of Education, we do not doubt the expertise of their instructors. They have four diploma programs, as well as individual makeup classes and workshops, and seminars. If you are interested in special effects, CMS is one of the best places to get in-depth training. And for those who love to create characters, there are even digital FX classes.

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IG| @cinemamakeupschool

Huxley School of Makeup

Where? Gold Coast, Australia

If you live in Australia and want to pursue a makeup career, this is a place to be! It has international accreditation, and it is recognized as a brand nationally and internationally. Unlike many others, they have an intense application process, so you’ll know that other students will have the same passion and drive as you. Besides makeup, hair styling, special effects training, you also have online courses. Consequently, that course can be completed in your own time and is suitable for people unable to access the school. 

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Tom Savini’s Special Makeup Effects Program

Where? Monessen, Pennsylvania

One of the most known names in the special effects industry is Tom Savini. Tom Savini’s Special Effects School is a specialist program, and it is not for everyone. But, if you love watching horror movies then this might be the right place for you as legendary Tom Savini revolutionized the genre. It is anything but an ordinary school where you will get loads of fun and experience. Many of Tom Savini’s graduates competed in Sy-Fy Series “Face Off, so you binge the show and see what amazing skills they have.

Make Up Institute

Where? Stockholm, Sweden & Online

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Heading to the other side of the world, if Nordic countries appeal to you – then Makeup Institute in Stockholm is worth considering. They accept international students and organize accommodation for students who are not local. At the end of any course, students receive a portfolio with 50 professional shots of their own works, which is very useful for upcoming job interviews. They have many different courses for both beginners and working makeup artists.IG| @makeupinstitute

London College of Fashion – BA (Hons) Hair, Make-up and Prosthetics for Performance

Where? London, UK

Graduates of makeup courses at London College of Fashion have worked on many big titles including Harry Potter and War Horse. They are well-established in the industry, and they have highly qualified instructors that teach a variety of skills. If you have a strong interest in design and performing arts and the potential for creative problem solving, this school can open a big door for you.

Chic Studios Makeup School

Where? New York, Los Angeles, Denver

Chic Studios offer everything from beginner to professional courses. At Chic Studios, they are mostly focusing on bridal beauty and business for beginners and fashion and runway makeup for advanced level. Their Chic Pro community offers career advice, networking opportunities, and access to job boards, fairs, etc. They are located in the artsy, fashion districts of Denver, LA, and NYC, but their courses slightly differ in each city. With this in mind, it is best to check courses on their site and call them for all the info.

Christine Blundell Make-up Academy

Where? London, UK

Christine is Oscar & BAFTA winning Make-up Designer still working in the industry. She designed an intensive 4-month hair & makeup course. When creating the class she concentrated mainly on hair and make-up for a film as it is her area of expertise. As a student, you will get a chance to work with Christine on the set. And that kind of experience is of precious value. Instructors in school are all makeup artists who are in-demand and who can well prepare you to start working as a makeup artist. Finally, if you would like to experience what it is like to be a professional MUA in the film industry, look no further!

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Gorton Studio

Where? Aylesbury, UK & Online

Neill Gorton is one of the most sought-after people in the makeup industry.

Gorton Studio offers a world-renowned 7-week course that will provide you solid fundamentals in the prosthetics sphere. Neil’s graduates worked on films including Maleficent, World War Z, and Hellboy 3 to name a few.  What is awesome is that Gorton Studio has besides standard courses, bespoke and online courses. In short, if this is something you are interested in, Neil’s courses will get you into a career you could only dream of.

Cosmix School of Makeup Artistry

Where? Lauderdale, Florida

Enroll in a full diploma program or if you have time or a budgetary restraint, you may sign up for individual makeup classes. Some courses you take without prerequisites like Airbrushing, Character Makeup, or Special FX Prosthetics Makeup. Other makeup classes have prerequisites.

If you attend one of their makeup courses, as a Cosmix graduate you are eligible for a $1000 alumni scholarship for their skincare program. Specifically, this option will make you well-rounded, and you will have another stream of income and also more employment opportunities with skincare services.

The Institute of Makeup Artistry

Where? Online

This makeup course is provided online, allowing you to study at home. So no matter where you live, or how your lifestyle looks – you can apply. And therefore learn at your own time and pace. What does the program look like? Well, you have 12 knowledge and skill-based assignments, and 24+ hours of video content. You will get feedback on all your homework, video, and image submissions from a personal tutor. Learn Bridal, Fashion, Film & TV, and Theater makeup. The instructor is Rachel Dal Santo who has in her resume popular movie titles such as “The Matrix” and “Mao’s Last Dancer.”

CMC Makeup School

Where? Dallas, Texas

CMC Makeup School offers everything from basic to advanced makeup courses. You will also get a career and marketing education, as well as portfolio development as it is essential for artists and freelancers to know how to stay booked and busy. Makeup training and workshops are held in Dallas, Texas, and destination workshops in Yucatan, Mexico!

Related: The Magic of Movie Makeup – 50 Makeup Transformations

SMA Makeup Academy

Where? Bangkok, Delhi, Pune & Yangon

SMA is the leading makeup school in Asia, located in India, Thailand, and Myanmar. They offer professional programs for future makeup artists, hairstylists, and beauticians All classes are in English, and their instructors are all international top-notch makeup artists. SMA covers every angle of the makeup industry, including bridal, airbrush, special effects, fashion, photography, and creative makeup.

Glauca Rossi
Where? London, UK

“I attended the incredible Glauca Rossi School of Makeup where I learned the skills and tricks that I still use today.” – Charlotte Tilbury

Is there anything more we should add?

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Blanche Macdonald Centre

Where? Vancouver, Canada

Learn anything from winning eye makeup techniques to the latest special effects makeup technology in Blanche MacDonald Centre. Their makeup courses cover every aspect of the business. So, whether you hope to be a TV & Film professional, bridal specialist, freelance makeup artist, or special effects master, they will prepare you. You will be ready to join the ranks of key makeup artists who are shaping the Makeup world. They have a 1-year Makeup program, open for international students as well.

Hasso Von Hugo 

Where?Berlin, Germany

Educational quality in Hasso Von Hugo’s school comes from instructors’ and lecturers’ extensive experience in theater, tv, film, fashion shows, photoshoots, and other events.

1,512 supervised practice lessons in total over the course of three years will make you the master of the craft. Hasso Von Hugo provides professional makeup training for people around the world for 26 years now. Besides, Hasso Von Hugo is one of the most well-known and recognized people in the makeup industry. If you have the passion and dedication, and you want to learn from the best, Hasso Von Hugo is calling you!

Related: How to grow your reputation as a Makeup Artist

Toni Malt Makeup School

Where? Dubai, UAE

Do you often yourself staring at the glossy covers of fashion magazines amazed by makeup? If that may be the case, Toni Malt is an internationally recognized editorial makeup artist who knows how to help you get published on the cover of your favorite magazine. Her stunning work has appeared in VOGUE, ELLE, L’Officiel, Marie Claire, to name a few. Furthermore, ELLE Arabia described her as “the darling of all fashion directors and makeup extraordinaire.” She opened the school in Dubai in February 2018. Toni Malt will train you to be the editorial makeup artist in a 5, 10, or 30-day full master course.

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The London School of Beauty and Make-up 

Where? London, UK and Mumbai, India

Mostyn Barnard has worked for over thirty years in the beauty, fashion, and make-up industry. Also, she spent eighteen years as Founder & and Managing Director of London Esthetique (known as The London School of Beauty & Make-up), Mostyn Barnard set up an independent school devoted entirely to education in make-up application and its allied industries.

Stick Art Studio  
Where? Barcelona, Spain

Who hasn’t dreamed of living in Barcelona? Stick Art Studio is one of the oldest artistic makeup academies in Spain. Also, they have been the first to offer a global vision of the profession through a comprehensive training course. It’s equally important that their training is known for providing teachers of the highest level and reputation.

Where? Boca Raton and Parkland, Florida

First thing first – there are two campuses located in sunny Florida. Boca Beauty Academy is a partner school with Sassoon Academy | School Connection, meaning you will be provided with the foundation needed to enter the beauty industry with confidence. You will also be given the chance to work with the top products in the industry, including MAC, OPI, MATRIX, etc.

About FACE Academy
Where? London, UK

Are you passionate about dermal procedures such as fillers, skin peels, and micro-needling? If yes – that’s the place for you. You will be able to learn from people who run their own aesthetic and cosmetic clinic and have worked and trained in London’s Harley Street with the very best Doctors in the Aesthetics industry.

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Fashion Institute of Technology
Where? New York City, New York or Online

FIT’s Beauty Industry Essentials online program provides an in-depth introduction to critical aspects of the beauty and cosmetics industries and provides you with the tools and skills you need to launch or advance a successful career in the beauty industry. In addition to that, the length of each course is 2-3 hours. Also, each course is broken into several shorter modules that you complete at your own pace.

Australian College of Makeup and Special Effects
Where? Sydney, Australia

The Australian College of Make-up and Special Effects (ACMUSE) was originally known as Film Make-up Technology, providing industry training for 40 years.

The best part is that it aims to support the entertainment industry through the provision of expertly trained graduates, suitable for the immediate contracts to the industry.

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Westmore Academy of Cosmetic Arts 

Where? Burbank, California

The program is quite efficient and it offers eight workshops which can be taken privately or in groups. Each workshop is approximately three hours long. Also, each student is required to bring cosmetic supplies which should be carried in a professional makeup artist case. Therefore bringing a model to class is highly encouraged. Certification is awarded upon completion of the eight workshops. You may take photos/videos of your personal classwork so you have the knowledge forever with you.

Cinema Makeup School
Where? Los Angeles, California

Cinema makeup in LA – name a better combination. Without a doubt, the Cinema Makeup School is dedicated to educating the next generation of makeup artists for the film, television, fashion, and entertainment industries. Clearly, their main goal is to provide students with all of the skills needed to succeed as makeup artists and to give them a solid foundation for any job they seek.

Joe Blasco Makeup Center

Where? Orlando, Florida

Joe Blasco is a well-known name in the beauty industry. Finally, all aspiring makeup artists will have the amazing opportunity to learn from the best.


Where? Orlando, Florida

The Vocational Academy of Makeup and Prosthetics (VAMP) is a professional makeup training school. Also, all of the team members are working makeup artists with experience in film, television, photography, theater, and more. 

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CMU College of Makeup Art & Design

Where? Toronto, Canada

College of Makeup Art and Design is committed to delivering the best possible education to aspiring makeup artists and the best part is that they believe in diversity and inclusivity. Equally important is their statement on the official website: “We want to ensure that black, indigenous, and people of color are welcomed, better represented, given a greater voice, and provided with stronger supports for success within our college and the industries we represent.  So, we set five goals for actionable change and improvements at CMU.”


Where? Vancouver, Canada

VMMA was founded by Vanessa Mills who has been working professionally as a makeup artist for over a decade. As a matter of fact, she has been a featured makeup artist for a number of national and international publications. Also, Her work ranges from celebrities, runway, fashion, and editorial to avant-garde. What’s better than learning from the source?

Jobs Mua - Choosing a Makeup School. Top 40 beauty programs in the world

Atelier de Maquillage

Where? Paris, France

The brand,  Atelier Maquillage Paris, aims to raise awareness among women of a new potential for simple and accessible beauty.  Thus, it democratizes the beautification of the look. They aim to inspire new makeup artists so they’ve created a course in beautiful Paris. There are Individual or group training courses followed and certified will be provided in our showroom in Paris. You can sign up on their website. 

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University of the Arts London 

Where? London, UK

Another amazing school in London. The best part of the BA Make-up and Hair program is that the school has great Industry links. In addition, The course has strong relationships with the industry, with studios and theatres being easily accessible. Previous work experience opportunities have included The English National Opera and Pinewood Studios.

London Metropolitan

Where? London, UK

We wanted to include something for the makeup lovers that want to learn more about the business side. Therefore we added the London Metropolitan to this list. They offer an amazing program in Beauty Marketing and also you will gain insight into the global beauty industry. You’ll learn about beauty through the ages and the psychology of industry as well as studying broader fashion-focused modules.

Uptodate Fashion Academy 

Where? Milano, Italy

If you want to spend 6 months in Italy and learn all about the beauty industry with regards to fashion, cosmetics, and the entire field of well-being then the “Master Beauty Consulting” course is for you. You can apply via the link we’ve provided.

Pop Makeup Academy 

Where? Roma, Italy

The Pop Makeup Academy in Rome, Italy offers professional makeup artist training to students of all levels. On the other hand, Pop Makeup Academy was originally established in Los Angeles, California by the talented Margaret Kimura and provides makeup artists to some of the biggest celebrities in Hollywood. Therefore we can be sure that courses combine technology and creativity.

Vizio Makeup Academy

Where? Online

We have amazing options for the people who can’t travel right now. If you want to learn we also have some online equivalents. The Vizio Makeup Academy will provide you with great makeup education. Don’t forget that if you want to learn there is always an opportunity.

Bombshell Beauty Academy 

Where? Online

Bombshell Beauty Academy has makeup, lash, brow, and beauty therapy training. In addition to that, all the courses are available online and you can choose and pick your favorite part of the beauty world. Therefore you should be brave and DIVE IN.

Your favorite school is not in our top 40 makeup schools? Follow us on Instagram and Pinterest and let us know which one is that in the comments below!

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Sahil 08/11/2021 - 3:07 AM

School in mumbai

Mischa Murphy 12/03/2022 - 11:45 PM

Studio Crush School of Makeup in Atlanta Georgia!!! A makeup school with a work while learning approach. It’s a portfolio building makeup school where students work on 8 fully styled photoshoots while learning the art and business of makeup.

Mischa Murphy 12/03/2022 - 11:47 PM

Studio Crush School of Makeup in Atlanta Georgia!!! A makeup school with a work while learning approach. It’s a portfolio building makeup school where students work on 8 fully styled photoshoots while learning the art and business of makeup.


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