by Scott McClallen
A Minnesota bill cleared the State House Government Operations Committee that aims to exempt hairstylists and makeup artists from state licensing laws.
Rep. Shelley Christensen (DFL-Stillwater) sponsored HF 3032 after the Minnesota Board of Cosmetologist Examiners (BCE) in December 2018 announced it would start enforcing license requirements for hair and makeup artists, who then faced fines and criminal charges for noncompliance.
The BCE exempts beauty services for fashion, film, media, photography and retail makeup, Christensen said, but not bridal hair and makeup artists for “special events” such as weddings.
Minnesota requires two licenses and a special-event permit for makeup and hairstylist artists to work, which would mean many artists would have to stop working and spend between $10,000 and $20,000 to earn the required education, Christensen said,
That education isn’t focused on the services that the special-event hair artists actually practice, Christensen said.
Christina Zeimer, who owns Christina Zeimer Beauty, supports the bill.
Zeimer said she’s worked as a special-event hair and makeup artist for 12 years, and that special event clients were now 80 percent of her business.
“If the law is not changed, I will have to shut down my business, and so will over a thousand other women across the state,” Zeimer said. “This is urgent and needs to be addressed now.”
Debbie Carlson, the founder of Faces Etc of MN, a Minneapolis-based media makeup school, also supports the bill.
Carlson said the BCE’s actions “disrupted an entire flourishing bridal and makeup industry in Minnesota.”
Out of nearly 40,000 licensed beauty professionals in the state in 2018, only 37 licensed professionals held the required permits to operate legally, Carlson said.
Jim Hirst, on behalf of the Salon and Spa Professional Association, said his group has “deep concerns and reservations” regarding HF 3032.
Hirst said that complete industry deregulation would lead to an increase in diseases such as pink eye from dirty mascara sticks.
“The health and safety of the individual of the consumer should be a concern,” Hirst said.
Meagan Forbes, a legislative counsel for The Institute for Justice, supports the bill.
Rep. Nolan West (R-Blaine) asked if there has been “an epidemic of people being harmed or people being maimed by makeup” since the work has been unregulated since before 2018.
Forbes said that the artists had been working unlicensed for years without an issue until the BCE’s 2018 decision.
The bill was recommended Thursday, as amended, to the State Government Finance Division.
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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.