Several hair and makeup artists have filed a lawsuit against the Minnesota Board of Cosmetologist Examiners to get rid of a state law that forbids them from styling hair and applying makeup at weddings and other special events.
Last December, the Minnesota Board of Cosmetologist Examiners created a law that declared that applying makeup and styling hair at special events could only be done by licensed salon managers, a credential that can take over 4,000 hours of training. The Board has ordered makeup artists to cease and desist and slapped them with thousands of dollars in fines.
While the new law prohibits makeup artists without the proper license from doing a bride’s hair and makeup before her actual wedding, it doesn’t require a license to provide hair and makeup services for fashion, film, media productions, photoshoots, TV or theater.
The hair and makeup artists who brought the lawsuit argue that new regulations violate their “right to pursue a chosen livelihood and operate a lawful business without arbitrary and unreasonable governmental interference.”
In order to legally work at weddings and other special events in Minnesota, makeup artists need at least 3,300 hours of classes and experience, and hairstylists have to finish 4,250 hours of training.
A makeup artist has to become a licensed esthetician, which require at least 600 hours of classes. Beauticians who also want to style hair have to complete 1,550 hours of training for a license in cosmetology. This can cost as much as $20,000.
The lawsuit alleges that most of those classes are irrelevant because at least two-thirds of the cosmetology and esthetics curricula don’t relate to special event hair and makeup services.
A hair or makeup artist then needs a license to become a salon manager before they can obtain a special events permit to perform at weddings and other special events. To become a salon manager, beauticians have to complete 2,700 working hours in a salon.
Melanie Rivers, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, has been a licensed makeup artist since 2012 and still can’t legally do makeup and hair at special events. She had to take time away from her growing business in order to earn her salon manager’s license.