OPEN for Business: Arizona Legislature Clears Way for Innovative Makeup Studio

Matt Powers
Matt Powers · March 25, 2015

Phoenix, Az.—With Governor Doug Ducey’s signature, SB 1320—a bill that frees Arizona makeup artists to practice their craft without threat of being shut down or fined by the government—is now law in Arizona. The legislation, which was sponsored by Senator Kimberly Yee, exempts makeup artists from having to obtain an aesthetics or cosmetology license to practice makeup artistry.

In June 2014, the Institute for Justice (IJ), a national libertarian law firm, teamed up with professional makeup artist Leiah Scheibel and her business partner, Alexandra Bradberry, to reform Arizona’s burdensome cosmetology law. The law prevented them from opening their innovative makeup studio, The Sparkle Bar, last fall. Under the now-defunct law, these women—and anyone else who practiced makeup artistry—had to acquire a minimum of 600 hours of training and spend thousands of dollars to obtain an aesthetics or cosmetology license just to apply the same makeup that women apply to themselves every day. Not only was this requirement unnecessary, it was completely irrelevant—as the law did not even require that makeup artistry be taught in the curriculum.

“By passing the bill, it means that makeup artists across the state will no longer go to work with the fear that they’ll be fined or shut down,” said Kileen Lindgren, with the Institute for Justice’s Arizona office. “Makeup artistry is a thriving industry in Arizona, and the old law did nothing to preserve public health or safety. Instead, it only served to prevent artists from working. By signing SB 1320 into law, it means that Leiah, Alexandra, and all other makeup artists in Arizona are now free to practice their craft openly and successfully, providing services and contributing to their local economies.”

The new law will go into effect 90 days after Arizona’s legislative session ends, and The Sparkle Bar will be open for business later this year.

“The government has no business licensing something as safe and common as makeup artistry,” said Tim Keller, managing attorney of the Institute for Justice’s Arizona office. “This isn’t the first time IJ has intervened to help entrepreneurs in Arizona vindicate their right to earn an honest living—including securing similar exemptions for hair braiders and eyebrow threaders. We will continue to challenge burdensome laws, like the cosmetology statute, because Arizona should protect the rights of its entrepreneurs not violate them.”

“After years of hard work and planning, we are thrilled that our dream of opening our own makeup studio will be a reality,” said Leiah Scheibel, an accomplished makeup artist with over a decade of professional experience with well-known makeup product lines. “Alexandra and I look forward to hiring other talented entrepreneurs who will achieve their American Dream through The Sparkle Bar, as well.”

IJ is currently challenging Nevada’s arbitrary regulation of makeup artistry instructors. Litigation in the Ninth Circuit is pending, as Nevada lawmakers seek to address the issue legislatively during this year’s session. Nevada recognizes the right of makeup artists to provide makeup application services but not to teach their techniques. With the help of Representative Victoria Seaman, IJ is supporting a bill that will enable Nevada to do the right thing and recognize the right of makeup artistry instructors to earn an honest living teaching their craft.