How Do I Become a Permanent Makeup Artist in Kentucky

How Do I Become a Permanent Makeup Artist in Kentucky?

Do you love makeup and are exceptionally good at it? Perhaps you have a keen eye for skin tones, contrast, and angles. What if we tell you that you can turn this passion into a full-time career and not just have a fulfilling life but also earn some good bucks for it?

All the aspiring makeup artists in Kentucky with steady hands, you’d be glad to know that turning into a trained, professional, and licensed artist isn’t that difficult at all. By taking the right path towards your dream, not only can you become a great artist but even open your salon.

Here’s how you can become a permanent makeup artist in Kentucky:

Get a License

You cannot practice any form of makeup artistry in Kentucky unless you abide by the state laws and acquire a license to practice. The license for makeup artistry is under the control of the Kentucky Board of Hairdressers & Cosmetologists.

However, makeup is a massive industry and it can be difficult to pinpoint your area of interest and the kind of license you would need to practice in your niche.

We are here to simplify the process for you. To become a permanent makeup artist in Kentucky, you can either get a cosmetologist license or an esthetician license. Either will give you legal rights to practice your art in exchange for monetary compensation.


Many aspiring makeup artists are under the impression that makeup certification will allow them to start practicing artistry in Kentucky. That is not the case. Although certification holds its value and is a well-recognized professional credential, it is not the same as a license.

Only esthetician or cosmetology license holders are allowed to practice and either of these licenses is legally mandatory to become a makeup artist. On the contrary, certification is voluntary and you can go for one to add to your list of credentials, hone your skills, learn the newest and the latest techniques, and further cement your position as a professional makeup artist. You get a license after enrolling in a program at an Accredited Makeup Artistry School. During the program, you go through proper training and education to become an MUA.

General Requirements for A Makeup Artist License in Kentucky

Now that you know the first step to becoming a permanent makeup artist in Kentucky, your next step is to decide between a cosmetology license and an esthetician license.

The following are the general requirements of both licenses:

Cosmetology License

A cosmetology license covers all kinds of hair, skin, and nails treatment. A cosmetologist can practice in all three areas or have a specialty in one. To secure a cosmetologist license, you’d need to undergo education and practical experience for a few years. Here are the main requirements you need to fulfill to get the license:

  • At least 16 years of education, including a high school diploma or a GED equivalency certificate
  • 1800 hours of training and education from an accredited cosmetology school

You’d also have to take a theoretical and a practical exam at the end of your training and education  

The theoretical examination covers topics such as:

  • State regulations
  • Hygiene
  • Client Services
  • Anatomy

The practical examination will cover topics such as:

  • Hygiene
  • Clean up
  • Chemical services
  • Physical services
  • Manicures
  • Customer interaction


Esthetician License

An esthetician license covers skincare treatments and all the skincare needs that are only concerned with the superficial layers of the skin. Note that estheticians are not licensed to treat medical skin conditions or prescribe medicines. That is an area of skin doctors or dermatologists.

Estheticians are mainly concerned with the appearance of the skin and provide services of facials, blackhead extractions, acne treatments, masks, hair removal, scrubs, body wraps, microdermabrasion, etc.  

Since estheticians only work with skin matters, the training period is much shorter than that of cosmetologists.

Here are the main requirements you need to fulfill to get the license:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED equivalency certificate
  • At least 1000 hours of training and education from an accredited makeup school. 

You’d also have to take a theoretical and a practical exam at the end of your training and education  

The theoretical examination covers topics such as:

  • Product knowledge
  • Equipment
  • Physiology
  • Services
  • State laws and regulations
  • Hygiene and safety precautions
  • Anatomy
  • Skincare

The practical examination for an esthetician license involves the candidates bringing their tools, arranging their setup, and following a given script that tests the following (and more):

  • Facial cleansing
  • Makeup application
  • Hygienic setup
  • Hair removal
  • Facial mask

License Renewal

Once you have acquired your cosmetologist or esthetician license, you need to remain mindful of its expiration and be diligent in its renewal.

There’s a difference in the renewal fee of both licenses and this is a long-term expense. If your practice is successful, you’d have no issue paying for the renewal fee.

In Kentucky, the cosmetology renewal fee is $20 and the fee for an esthetician license is $50. This fee becomes due on July 31st of every year and the date of renewal begins on July 1st.

Enhance Your Permanent Makeup Skills with the Brow Babes

To become a permanent makeup artist, you need a license to practice in Kentucky, but to stand out as one of the best makeup artists in your city, you’d need more than just a license to prove your skills. We suggest adding certifications to your credentials, and getting your training and education from an institute that keeps you in the loop on the newest and latest in the industry.

Aspiring makeup artists can reach out to The Brow Babes in Louisville, KY. We are one of the leading permanent makeup schools in Kentucky and we focus on training our students in what’s trending. As the industry is shifting more towards natural makeup and appearances, we make sure our students know how to provide the best services when clients walk into their future salons with great expectations.