brushes combs

These are not the same tools, and neither are the skills needed to use them. Let me ‘splain the deal.

1) Cosmetology = hair. I know, it’s misleading, because the word sounds like “cosmetics.” Damn you, Latin! Anyway, yes that is correct. However, cosmetology is a training course that focuses on hair. I haven’t gone to cosmetology school, but from what I gather, the vast majority is hair (cutting, coloring, and styling). I believe they spend about 1 week on makeup and 1 week on skincare, and that’s it. And at the end of the program, you get your cosmetology license, which allowing you to conduct hair services in the state in which you were licensed.

2) Aesthetics = skin. An aesthetician is the lady that gives you facials, or other spa treatments. A laser technician at a medical spa will most likely have trained as an aesthetician. They are proficient in skin treatments, body treatments, and hair removal. And the same thing applies – at the end of your training course, you’ll be a licensed aesthetician.

3) Makeup = makeup! And what most people don’t realize is that there’s no license to legally become a makeup artist. Much like a painter doesn’t necessarily have to go to art school to become a painter, same with makeup. There are plenty of makeup artistry schools out there. Some are great, some are not, but none of them are able to provide their students with anything legal. Just a certificate of completion.

Some makeup schools focus on beauty, while others lean more towards special effects for film and tv. That’s a very small, competitive field, where you have to join the union to even be able to work in Hollywood at all. And in both Beauty and FX makeup, a more common practice is to become a master artists’s apprentice, and learn your craft that way. No license involved.

So… this is why, in my experience, hairstylists that also do makeup tend to do it poorly. And makeup artists who do hair do that poorly (that would be me!). It’s kind of like the difference between painting and sculpting. If you’re awesome at one, you probably aren’t great at the other. Or, you’re mediocre at both. Which is why I always suggest people hire specialists. :)