On October 22, 2019, Minnesota professional licensing attorney V. John Ella with co-counsel David W. Asp filed a lawsuit against the Minnesota Board of Cosmetologist Examiners on behalf of plaintiffs Cristina Ziemer, Ellyn Shun, Debra Carlson, Faces Etc of MN LLC and Melanie Rivers. The lawsuit, Ramsey County Court File No. 62-CV-19-7607, challenges license requirements for air and makeup artist on state and federal constitutional grounds.
Currently, in Minnesota, if you want to do a bride's hair and makeup on location before her wedding, you need two licenses and a special events permit, which requires passing four exams and finishing over 4,000 hours of training. But if you offer those exact same services for a bridal photoshoot, you don’t need any license whatsoever.
Minnesota requires special event hair and makeup artists who only style hair and apply makeup at weddings and other special events to become licensed cosmetologists or estheticians, licensed salon managers and to get a special event services permit. To qualify for those licenses and permit, the Minnesota Cosmetology Board requires artists to spend 1,550 hours (for hair and makeup) or 600 hours (for only makeup) in cosmetology school, plus an additional 2,700 hours working in a salon and to pass four exams.
This requirement only applies to special event hair and makeup artists who provide their services on location at weddings or for other special occasions. The Board has broadly exempted artists who provide the exact same services for photography, film, fashion, theater, media and retail.
For years, special event hair and makeup artists believed they were legally operating under the Board’s “photography” exemption. But in December 2018, the Board released a bulletin that declared that bridal services are not exempt, panicking artists who rely on bridal hair and makeup to earn a living.