Phillip Suderman · May 3, 2024


CONTACT: Phillip Suderman, [email protected], (850) 376-4110

ARLINGTON, Va.—Yesterday, Senate Bill 354, a bill supported by the Institute for Justice (IJ), was signed into law by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. The bill exempts beauty artists who perform only blow-dry styling or makeup application from licensure. These exemptions will create more accessible opportunities for people wanting to work in the industry who cannot afford the steep costs of full-service licensure. The bill will also allow salon owners to hire those whom they see fit to provide limited services, creating jobs and economic growth for the state.

“This will free me up to do the art I love to do,” said Diamond Cherry, a self-taught and successful freelance makeup artist in the Atlanta area. “I know that a license doesn’t make me a professional—skills and experience do.”

“This is a win for Georgians—especially talented women of modest means– who want to work in the beauty industry but can’t afford to attend cosmetology school to get a full-service license,” said Meagan Forbes, director of legislation and senior legislative counsel at IJ. “We applaud the enactment of this important bill that will create more opportunity in the state.”

Previously, Georgia law required 1,000 hours of traditional schooling to become a makeup artist, and at least 1,140 hours to blow-dry style hair. That training is conducted through cosmetology schools, which have a high incentive to keep hours high as they collect tuition from their students. The schools lobbied heavily against SB 354.

Georgia joins a growing number of states that have sought to make it easier for people to work in the beauty industry. Thirteen other states don’t require a license for makeup application and six other states exempt blow drying.

The Institute for Justice is a nonprofit organization that has worked alongside beauty professionals and other workers nationwide for 30 years to help change laws that create unnecessary barriers to earn a living in a chosen industry. Beauty, Not Barriers is dedicated to working with beauty professionals to change state laws that make it difficult and costly to work in the industry.

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 To arrange interviews on this subject, journalists may contact Phillip Suderman, IJ’s Communications Project Manager at [email protected] or (850) 376-4110. More information on the case is available at: