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To provide a service for any client will require an establishment license if you are renting a building or a suite which is referred to as a city business license certificate and a seller’s permit if you are going to retail any products.

In the field of beauty, makeup artistry you will find many definitions of how you will define your business such as consultant, advisor, teacher, representative of a cosmetic company, Avon, Mary Kay and so on. In today’s work force many department stores request a makeup certificate to sell cosmetics or an esthetics license if you are working for a brand like Anastasia Beverly Hills who offers brow shaping. It has become popular to work for these brands which makes them in high demand and by asking for these certifications it helps eliminate the mass of applicants. Somethings are not going to be on point at the time of your research and may be a little miss guided. Yet, this is our world we live in, everyone has an opinion so embrace it with the good and bad. Never stop learning and always be willing to listen, young or old there will always be something of interest to spark motivation or stimulate you to learn more.

This is a wonderful career that doesn’t stop at a license or certificate you will find many areas to specialize in to add to your knowledge and expertise.





A career in makeup artistry is known to be an addition to cosmetology, barbering or esthetics license. You will receive a few pointers in makeup application and you must have 100 hours as required by state board to qualify for a cosmetologist or estheticians license.

However, it will not cover the necessary knowledge needed to pursue it as a full-time career. In short there has been a lot of controversy surrounding a makeup artist license and to date it still remains unsolved by the United States Government. Due to the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology  and the Make-up Artist & Hair Stylists Guild I.A.T.S.E. Local 706 which will vary by state.


Taken from the State Board  California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology


1. What services can be provided in a salon? Who can perform these services?
Our licensees are able to perform services for beautification only. They may not perform procedures that penetrate the skin or affect any living tissue (with the exception of the electrologist who may penetrate the skin with the appropriate tools in the scope of their license).

  • Cosmetologist can prep, style, cut, color hair on the body including tinting eyelashes. They may also perform facials and remove hair by waxing or tweezing. Their license also allows them to provide the services of a manicurist and esthetician.
  • Barbers can prep, style, cut and color hair. They may also apply cosmetic preparations, antiseptics, powders or lotions to the scalp, face or neck. Barbers are the only licensees who can perform a shave on a consumer.
  • Estheticians can perform facials; remove hair by tweezing or waxing. They may also apply makeup and false eyelashes.
  • Manicurists can give manicures and pedicures and apply, false nails (using gel, acrylic or silk). Their licenses limit their contact to the hand and foot area only.
  • Electrologists perform their services with a needle or probe to remove the hair on the body of a person using electric currents. This is the only license that allows a licensee to use a needle.

For further information of the scope of practice for our licensees you may view sections 950.1 – 950.5 in our regulations.

2. Are laser treatments regulated by the Board?
No. Our licensees are not allowed to penetrate the skin of a consumer or do any invasive procedure. It is against the law for a Board licensee to operate a laser unless they also have a medical license. Please refer to the Medical Board to inquire about the regulations on this type of treatment.

3. Is Botox regulated by the Board?
No. Our licensees are not allowed to penetrate the skin of a consumer or do any invasive procedure. It is against the law for a Board licensee to operate a laser unless they also have a medical license. Please refer to the Medical Board to inquire about the regulations on this type of treatment.

4. Is teeth whitening regulated by the Board?
No. Our licensees have not been trained to perform this type of service under their license. Contact the Dental Board for more information about the regulations on this type of activity.

5. Who can provide waxing services?
Cosmetologists and estheticians can perform waxing on the entire body.

6. Are spa/bridal parties in a home office or church legal in California?
Not if a licensee is providing the services. Any type of service that is regulated by the Board needs to be performed by a licensee in a licensed establishment. The Board must be able to inspect the tools and the location where services are being provided for the safety of the consumers of California. At this time, individuals providing spa/bridal parties at an unlicensed location can be cited for a violation of Business and Profession Code Section 7317. Practice of Barbering, Cosmetology, or Electrolysis for Compensation Without License which carries a $1,000 fine.

7. Can a cosmetologist, esthetician, , electrologist, or manicurist work in a doctor’s office? What types of services can they provide?
Only if the doctor’s office has an establishment license issued from the Board. And they may only perform services within their scope of practice. They may not penetrate the skin (with the exception of an Electrologist using a electrology needle or probe) or perform any services that would affect living tissue. Please refer to the Medical Board for additional restrictions.

8. Is threading, hair braiding, wig-styling or wig-making regulated by the Board?
These services are not regulated by the Board and do not need to be performed by a licensee.

9. Is permanent make-up regulated by the Board?
The Board does not regulate permanent make-up. This is considered an invasive procedure. You may contact your city or county for more information regarding permanent make-up and tattooing services and requirements.

Licensees who would like to perform this service cannot practice this service under the scope of their license or lead the public to believe the service is included in the scope of their license. The Board recommends licensees who provide the service do so in a separate room designated for this practice alone.

10. Do employees who only shampoo the hair of consumers need to be licensed by the Board?
Only a licensed barber, cosmetologist or apprentice can wash a consumer’s hair. The Board does not have a shampoo person’s license. Unless the employee has one of the above mentioned licenses, he or she cannot perform this service on a customer.

11. Are “Fish Pedicures” legal in California?
No. After researching “Fish Pedicures” the Board determined that disinfection methods were not consistent with Board regulations. You may view the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology Statement on “Fish Pedicures”.

12. Are certified massage therapists, acupuncturists or reflexologists regulated by the Board?
No. The Board does not regulated massage therapists, acupuncturists or reflexologists.

13. Are tanning salons regulated by the Board?
No. The Board does not regulate tanning salons. However, if the tanning salon offers services regulated by the Board, the salon will be subject to Board inspections.