Wednesday, September 17, 2014Partly Cloudy 16°C
Fashion & Style

The top 5 makeup artist and design schools in Toronto

Posted by Staff / July 23, 2014

makeup artist torontoThe top makeup artist and design schools in Toronto consider beauty enhancement to be a minor component to a cosmetologist's job. After all, cosmetics are not only useful for vanity's sake, but for reasons that include but are not limited to: zombie replications, drag, properly shaded bruises as an art form, celebrity impersonations, and the occasional prosthetic nose. These schools encourage the innovation of appearances, whether by creating entirely imagined characters or teaching their students how to make the elderly look young (or vice-versa).

Here are my picks for the the top makeup artist and design schools in Toronto.

Complections College of Makeup Art & Design
Complections Makeup (CMU) prides themselves in fostering an artist's freedom of expression - because makeup is art, too! The school, tucked quietly onto Lombard St. downtown, is a top destination for students hoping to break into Toronto's film industry. Those who enroll in the Complete Makeup Artist Program will pick up beauty methods for professional fashion photography, applying realistic, artificial facial hair, and designing and constructing original prosthetic creatures.

SOMA (School of Makeup Art)
Put away your eyelash curlers and blush brushes - SOMA's traded those for fake blood, silicone molds, and other eye-catching prosthetics (if you're into cringing at the sight of someone). Aspiring makeup designers can attend a six-month diploma program to learn transformational makeup practices like how to make skin look burned, old, frostbitten, or deformed. If traditional makeup is more your thing, the 36-year-old institution also offers a 3-month long fashion makeup course to teach you how to look normal, too.

Canadian Beauty College
Canadian Beauty College has seven locations across the GTA, including schools in Newmarket, Mississauga, and midtown Toronto. Their makeup artist diploma course has an impressive historical component - students can learn how to apply and identify a range of beauty styles from the 1920s to the present day. Their curriculum also supplements a business degree with marketing and entrepreneurship sections. If you're just looking to get your makeup done, you can book a student to do a basic application ($15), evening look ($20), prom makeup ($25) or bridal look ($30).

While there are many professional makeup artists in the 416 who offer makeup lessons, Paramita is likely the only one that qualifies their studies with the word "bootcamp." The intensive, one-week program covers everything from the beauty basics - skin care, foundation matching, eyeshadow techniques and the like - to developing a solid portfolio and starting a business. Paramita is not locally grown either, instead boasting an international program with locations in Dubai, the Philippines, and New York.

GLOW Academy
GLOW Academy is a M.A.C. preferred institution, which means that if you're brand-loyal and into traditional makeup artistry, GLOW's your best bet. Students can enroll in various levels of training, from a beginner makeup artist's diploma program to advanced bridal, airbrush application, fantasy, and special effects certificates. The tri-location academy (found in Mississauga, Bloor West, and Kitchener-Waterloo) comes with a photography studio, invites to high-end industry events, and a whole lot of zebra print chairs. Score. (If you want makeup help, their students will perform services from a $4 brow cleanup to facials, manicures and makeup application.)

For post-secondary makeup programs in Toronto, check out offerings from Ryerson University, Centennial College and George Brown College.

Writing by Alex Brown.



Galena / July 23, 2014 at 12:32 pm
So by top 5 you mean... all of them (since you mention the post-secondary offerings as well)?

Uh, thanks for saving us a simple Google search Blogto?

Also Paramita is a joke and just feels like a makeup artist thinking "hmm, how can I get money from people who are interested in this as a career, with my not-all-that-extensive background in makeup and the fact that I worked on a Canadian indie when Ellen page was like 15 or something?"
I took the course before attending Complections, more as a taster to see if I liked and and that's really all it is. I mean, what kind of education can you get in a week vs courses that last months. Just compare the portfolios with students from the other schools and you'll see the difference.
And sure, small class size can be a benefit, but as far as I know the classes at the other school aren't huge and it gives you an opportunity to work on a wider variety of faces while you're learning.

Save your money for the better schools or teach yourself with books and lots of practice!
Ashley / July 24, 2014 at 03:27 pm
A friend of mine recommended glow academy after graduating from there and she had great things to say about it. She absolutely loved it. I will be attending glow this fall. Can't wait!
Sarah / July 24, 2014 at 03:47 pm
The only school on that list worth going to is Complections and maybe SOMA. The fact that some of those schools use stock photos for advertising says a lot.

I've had experience with all of them except for Paramita and if you plan on going, make sure you find out a lot about the instructor as well as talk to past students. That's the best way to hear the good and the bad and decide what's best for you.
Sam / July 29, 2014 at 04:58 pm
I've had great experiences at glow. Took some courses originally a few years ago and then went back to take some advanced courses a year later. Shopped around and glow stood out to me in terms of their course offerings and price points. Locations were also easily accessible for those that rely on transit.
Andrew / August 20, 2014 at 02:39 pm
This information is not entirely accurate. I know people that have studied at some of these institutions and the training was not solid. As well you don't need to spend an arm and a leg to learn makeup. Do you homework, there other other schools out there beyond these.

Angela / August 21, 2014 at 09:49 am
You should actually mention about Body Pro beauty & Aesthetics Academy on the list. I have completed my diploma in Aesthetics from this school.

They have very friendly environment in the school.
Rachel replying to a comment from Sarah / August 28, 2014 at 02:59 pm
hi Sarah,

I was wondering about what you had said you have been to all of the school's except Paramita...well what did you think of the Canadian beauty college and the Glow Academy?? because I too am searching for a excellent beauty college and I want to do the proper research to find the best of the best in my vicinity...
Kelly replying to a comment from Rachel / September 2, 2014 at 07:02 pm
Hi Rachel,

I did my research late last year and decided to go with glow academy. They had comprehensive makeup courses, industry placement and professional portfolio shoot included. Also got an amazing makeup kit. Teachers were professionals currently working in the makeup industry too so was very relevant. Do your research, going in for tours is the best way to get a feel for what the school is like. I really enjoyed my experience and will be going back for some more courses next year.

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Montreal