Art of Makeup School


The Art of Makeup, an independently owned boutique school, is the Pacific Northwest’s only licensed career school exclusively dedicated to education in the art, business, and techniques of professional makeup artistry.

Art of Makeup’s training and education environment provide the necessary foundation to learn makeup artistry skills from successful working makeup artists current in fashion and makeup trends, film, television, stage and HD makeup. Art of Makeup is located in the Southwest area of Portland, OR.

Art of Makeup was founded in 2012 by Los Angeles makeup artist and educator Celena Rubin who moved to the Northwest in 2011. As well as being the lead instructor, Celena also directs a team of instructors who specialize in different areas of makeup artistry. All instructors are successful working professionals and are highly regarded in the industry in their respective field of specialty. Instructors’ active clients include production and media brands such as: Grimm, Portlandia, Adidas, Intel, Nike, People Magazine, Apple, Portland Bride & Groom Magazine, 20/20, Oregon Ballet Theater, Portland Opera and more.

Pacific Northwest's school of makeup artistry.

School Highlights

classroom celena
  • Art of Makeup is quickly gaining national recognition.
  • Students from all over the world have enrolled in programs at Art of Makeup.
  • Art of Makeup teaches students with many different goals, whether for personal gain, hobby, or professional ambitions.
  • A photography studio is incorporated into the classroom to document each makeup look and images are supplied for portfolio building.
  • Classes suit all skill levels, and kept small for individualized attention.
  • Art of Makeup is a proud member of Northwest Career Colleges Federation/NWCC, Washington Filmworks/NW Film and Oregon Media Production Association (OMPA/Source Oregon) and is active in legislation to protect makeup artist rights.
  • Local and discounted housing accommodation referrals available for out of town students.
  • Art of Makeup is a resource for local film production companies, filmmakers, theater, models, actors, apparel brands, media, and photographers.
  • Art of Makeup networks and engages with the local production industry community and connects students to paid and non-paid jobs and real work experience.
  • Certificate Program graduates are placed on a private job board where makeup jobs and opportunities are regularly posted to the group. Graduates have worked with AofM collaboration partners such as Oregon Ballet Theater, Horizon Air, movie premiers (ie, Avengers Age of Ultron, Insurgent, Age of Adaline), Couve Couture, Storm City Roller Girls and many more indie productions (browse our facebook page).
  • The kits supplied for each class contain the most professional makeup and tools in the industry.
  • Certificate of Completion provided upon successful program graduation.
  • Art of Makeup’s education program is unique for the Northwest and will not be found in any esthetics or cosmetology school in the nation!
  • Art of Makeup is among the only schools in the Northwest eligible for the M.A.C PRO Student Program and is an Urban Decay Pro Approved School.
  • IN THE NEWS: See our Press page for recent features and videos in local and national media.




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“You are the greatest teacher that I could have asked for! Finding your school was a little miracle for me, and I am so glad that I have had the good fortune of learning from you. All the students I have met who studied under you feel the same way, too. You really are an awesome teacher!”
~Lena W



The Art of Makeup School is conveniently located in the Southwest area of Portland, Oregon right on the border of Lake Oswego near the 5 Freeway and directly across the street from PCC – Sylvania Campus (Portland Community College).   On-site free covered parking is available. The school is in a comfortable setting with customized makeup stations, professional lighting, SFX lab, and a photography studio.  There is a break area with a kitchen for student use, PCC public facilities and food court are available, as well as nearby restaurants.  It is handicap accessible.

Private tours are available 7 days a week. Please contact us to schedule an appointment or to get on our Open House mailing list.

*Tours by appointment only please.


Celena Rubin

Celena Rubin founder & director

Celena Rubin is a professionally trained working makeup artist from Los Angeles with over twenty years of experience in the field. Starting at the age of sixteen, she studied theater makeup at Hollywood High Performing Arts Magnet, and went on to study advanced makeup techniques during her university theater major. Celena then studied at a boutique private school with Emmy Award Winning makeup artist, David Dittmar, taking lessons from a successful working professional. Learning never stops though. Since then, she has taken many classes in fx, hairstyling, and more makeup! She has worked in theater, TV and film, print, commercials, advertising, music videos, runway and bridal. Celena has worked with some of the top celebrities and directors in Hollywood, and working for Good Morning America and 20/20, she has also worked with some of the top politicians in the country, including US Presidents and their families. Celena¹s makeup work has been spotted in W, Oprah, Rolling Stone, Time, Vanity Fair and many more top publications throughout the world.

Always looking for diversity and new challenges, she became a guest teacher at the industry renown Cinema Makeup School in Hollywood, discovering her love of education. She then decided to move to the Northwest and open her own makeup school. Celena is an advocate for encouraging local production and protecting makeup artists rights. By working with her legislators, the makeup artist community, and industry leaders, she initiated Senate Bill 836, which was unanimously passed by both the Senate and House and introduced into law on May 17, 2013.   Teaming up again with her legislators, an expansion to the bill, Senate Bill 699, was passed on July 3, 2015.  Makeup artists who work in film, TV, stage and professional photo shoots are now able to apply makeup and style hair in Oregon without needing a cosmetology or esthetic license.
See feature in Makeup Artist Magazine (issue #103)Make-up Artist Celena Rubin Creates Change at Capitol

Celena has continued her free-lance career in Oregon & WA, working on commercials such as Intel for Walmart, Asus, and Infinity; ad campaigns for Apple, Nintendo and Adidas; editorials for People Magazine, Women¹s Magazine, First Magazine, Portland Bride and Groom; and TV shows such as Grimm, DVD on TV and 20/20.

View her portfolio here.

kelli thomsen

Kelli Thomsen instructor

Kelli Thomsen is a licensed esthetician and trained Temptu airbrush artist. She owns her own salon, Elixir Beauty, where she practices skincare, makeup, and nutritional health for her clients. She is a successful bridal makeup artist and popular in the local Portland fashion scene where she regularly does makeup for models on fashion photo shoots, specializing in flawless airbrush makeup application.

Kelli Gasaway

Kelli Gasaway instructor

Kelli Gasaway graduated at Beau Monde College of Hair Design as a fully licensed cosmetologist. Not long after, she studied at Cinema Makeup School in Los Angeles, and then took her studies abroad to learn state-of-the-art haircutting and makeup techniques at the L’Oreal academy in Rome, Italy. Upon completion, she received her Instructor’s License to teach cosmetology. Kelli owns her own salon, Kelz Beauty, but spends much of her time on set for photo shoots, film and fashion events such as True Religion, Rock and Republic, and LA Fashion Week.  She won 2012 Portland, OR Makeup Artist of the Year.


Thomas Surprenant instructor & sfx program designer

Thomas Surprenant is a two-time Emmy Award winning special effects makeup artist with over 30 years experience in film, TV and theater. He has worked on many notable TV shows and films including Star Trek, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, X-Men: The Last Stand, and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. He is also the creator of specialty product line Thomas Surprenant Creations and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to The Art of Makeup.


Christina Carlsson instructor

With over a decade of experience in the beauty industry,  Christina brings her highly creative vision, technical expertise and eclectic experience (from salon & television in Los Angeles to runway & stage in New York City) to the world of Portland fashion & bridal.

Christina also owns Marquee Salon + Studio in Vancouver WA, a destination for creative hairstyling and bridal artistry.


Sarah Prevo instructor

Sarah was one of The Art of Makeup’s first Certificate Program graduates. She has gone on to be a full time and well respected makeup artist specializing in film, print, and Special FX makeup. She has worked on locations all over Oregon and throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Kendra Barber

Kendra Barber fashion photographer

Kendra is one of the top professional fashion photographers in the Portland Metro Area and also one of the primary Fashion Photo Shoot Day photographers for AofM certificate program students. She graduated from the New York Institute of Photography in 2012 with a focus in Professional Photography.  Her stunning work has been featured nationally and worldwide in many publications, including:

Vogue Italia
Ellements Magazine
Elegant Magazine
Kirameki Magazine
Like a Lion Magazine (Aus)
Lost Freedom Magazine
Jute Magazine
Quiescent Magazine
Beau Nu Magazine
Editorial Magazine
Giuseppina Magazine
Glacier Magazine
Midnight Muse Magazine
Lively Magazine
Full Blossom Magazine
Substream Music Press

Kendra has worked with AofM student graduates on a number of successful collaborations, including several published fashion shoots. You can check out her beautiful portfolio here and also find her work with AoffM students and graduates throughout the AoM Facebook page.

Success Stories

Student Jennifer Knauss
Program Art of Makeup Master Class
From Sherwood, OR
Currently Residing Portland, OR

Jennifer Knauss came to Art of Makeup after leaving cosmetology school when she became discouraged upon discovering there was no focus on makeup. Makeup was what she really wanted to learn and by discovering Art of Makeup she was able to pursue her dream career of becoming a professional makeup artist. Since Jennifer graduated AOM, she has been working non-stop on film features, shorts and web series (you may have even noticed her as an extra on Grimm!). Her strength has become fx makeup! Her resume in just over a year since graduation includes: I’m Sorry Alligator, Daughter of Time, Theft Money Passion, and Future Certain.

“You are an awesome person Celena! A great mentor, instructor and a friend :). Your school has totally changed my life, and I know now what to do with my future. Thank you for showing me a talent that I never knew I had in me”   – Jennifer

Student Camille Rose Milroy
Program Art of Makeup Master Class
From Anchorage, AK
Currently Residing Anchorage, AK

Camille Rose Milroy came all the way from the Inupik region of Alaska to attend Art of Makeup. She wanted to be a part of the booming film industry in Anchorage, where her Native Eskimo roots lay. She completed the Art of Makeup Master Class program, took her skills back to Alaska, and made her dreams come true, only her dreams brought her more than she dreamed of! She is now doing fashion makeup for national ad campaigns for major brands such as: CarHartt, American Eagle, Chevy and more. Check out her beautiful portfolio and read about her interesting story in our blog!

“Thank you Celena for creating a school that allows your students so much individual attention. It was wonderful pursuing my dream. Learning from such a passionate, skilled professional such as yourself was invaluable!”   – Camille

Students at work

Art of Makeup Industry Collaborations Putting Graduates to Work!

Click above link for examples of AofM graduates at work.
Through a network of industry relationships, Art of Makeup assists student certificate program graduates obtain work and experience in a variety of ways, such as exclusive membership on the AofM Job Board. Please also view our facebook page for additional student at work profiles.

Attention Northwest Production Community:  Makeup Artists Available for your Production Needs

Hire a Makeup Artist!  We have many talented Certificate Program graduates well trained in all areas of makeup artistry located throughout Oregon and Washington. Please contact us if you are interested in hiring a makeup artist or collaborating with Art of Makeup School. Send as many details about your production needs as possible. You may also call us at: 503-244-1558

Makeup Artistry Career Opportunities

Opportunities for local makeup artists are at an all time high as a result of the growing number of media productions, new legislation’s, and financial/tax incentives set forth to attract even more business to the Pacific Northwest.

With makeup artists essential to the crew of every type of media production, there are more reasons now than ever before to establish a solid need for an educational institution in the Northwest that teaches the craft of makeup artistry. Up and coming burgeoning makeup artists can finally actualize their dreams. Many national media publications have recently been touting the regional production boom. MovieMaker, the nation’s leading resource on the art and business of making movies, recently published their annual list: Top 10 Cities to Be a Moviemaker: 2013. Seattle is #3 and Portland is #5 on the list!

Prior to Art of Makeup there were no schools in the Northwest exclusively dedicated to makeup artistry. Art of Makeup is now the only licensed regional educational destination teaching the trade and craft of makeup artistry.

Makeup artistry is a separate profession outside of cosmetology that requires very different training and comes with a different set of professional goals and opportunities. For example, awards given for the makeup artistry profession in the entertainment industry include the Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, and the Golden Globes for Best Makeup. Cosmetology and esthetic schools provide little to no makeup training. Cosmetology school graduates might work in salon, skin care and medical spa environments.

Graduates will leave Art of Makeup with a competitive advantage as they enter into the career market of professional makeup artistry.

Makeup Artistry Careers

A makeup artist does everything from make Jennifer Lopez look completely flawless to turning Anthony Hopkins into Alfred Hitchcock and transforming Meryl Streep into one of her many Oscar nominated and winning character roles. Makeup artistry is an essential part of the entertainment industry as it helps breathe life into a character by making them more three dimensional.

An actor has a much easier time being able to commit to a role if they truly believe that they have been transformed into the character they are playing. This belief is mandatory for the audience as well. For the audience to believe the story, they need to believe that there is actually a robot under Schwarzenegger’s skin, or that actors look like Hobbits from Middle Earth.

The best makeup artists are those whose work you never really notice, it is a true art form.

There are different jobs in a film/TV makeup department depending on project needs and budget:

  1. Head Makeup Artist: They are in charge of the makeup department. They collaborate with the director and writer to design the look for each actor, apply makeup on principal actors, and hire a team of makeup artists to assist.
  2. Key Makeup Artist: They are in charge of a team of makeup artists working on a production.
  3. Makeup Artist: They work the magic and are part of a team that applies themakeup.
  4. Makeup Assistant: They help the more established makeup artists with extras or on set touch ups for example.
  5. Special FX Artist: They design and create special make up effects using for example makeup products, prosthetics, and latex.

Industries where makeup artists find rewarding careers:

Makeup artists collaborate with photographers and models in one of the most broad areas of makeup artistry work. There are thousands of newspapers, magazines, billboards, album covers, company brochures, advertising collateral, posters and catalogs printed annually, and millions of photographs on the web. Fashion makeup artists are also key players in the production of runway shows, pageants, and other special events. Avant-garde and fantasy makeup are applicable techniques used for projects that require experimentation and unique themes.

Since the 1920s, the film industry has grossed more money every year. In 2016, the global box office for all films released in each country around the world reached $38.6 billion, up one percent from 2015. The U.S./Canada box office ($11.4 billion) grew two percent, while the international box office ($27.2 billion) in U.S. dollars held steady compared to 2015, despite the increased strength of the U.S. dollar and slowed growth in China. *

Makeup artists transform actors and background extras into whatever the script demands. They use special makeup effects to simulate injuries, age a character, apply facial hair, tattoos, and bald caps. Membership in the IATSE Union (International Alliance of the Theatrical Stage Employees) offers benefits and helps protect the rights of makeup artists.

This includes newscasts, talk shows, drama series, sitcoms, reality shows, soap operas, game shows, commercials and infomercials. To work on today’s television drama series, like film, a makeup artist must know ‘character makeup’ and be able to simulate injuries and create other effects. There are hundreds of television and production companies filming every day.

Theatrical Makeup:
Stage makeup is used to highlight and contour the actors’ faces in order to make expressions visible to the audience from large distances. This includes emphasizing important facial features.

Special FX Makeup (AKA Special Effects Makeup):
A special effects make-up artist uses wigs, make-up, prosthetics and other tools to create the desired look on a live performer or a special effects prop. This line of work is typically found in the entertainment industry, so special effects make-up artists may be hired by theaters, film and television productions, theme parks, cruise ships or avant-garde fashion designers. The job of a special effects make-up artist can be as simple as aging the face of a young actor or as complicated as creating a never-before-seen alien monster.

Airbrush makeup has recently been popularized by the use of HD and digital photography, where the camera focuses on detail. Liquid foundations that are high in pigment but thin in texture are applied with the airbrush for full coverage without a heavy build-up of product.

Retail cosmetics is a huge international industry. The worldwide cosmetics and perfume industry currently generates $170 billion annually.* Many makeup artists work in a retail store, a salon, a doctor’s office, or makeup studio applying makeup, teaching makeup lessons and selling a cosmetic line. For entrepreneurial artists, the high profit margin offered by many private label cosmetic lines provides a very lucrative avenue of income. Because of a loyal consumer market, the industry remains recession-proof, despite an ailing economy.

Makeup Artists who specializes in Bridal Makeup are always in demand. The wedding market is an enormous year round market, and very profitable. This work involves conducting bridal preview appointments and going on location the day of the wedding- applying makeup on the bride and wedding party. Freelance Artists that do weddings also do makeup for special events, pageants, dance performances, parties, award ceremonies, proms, etc.

Industry Economics

The production and distribution of films and television programs is one of the nation’s most valuable cultural and economic resources. The industry is a major private sector employer across the nation, with salaries above the national average. The industry is a nationwide network of tens of thousands of small businesses, located in every state in the country, the majority of which employ ten people or fewer. The industry is heavily reliant on vendors in other industries all over the country. Each year, film and television production activity takes place in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. *


Oregon continues to be a destination for creative media producers from around the world. From Emmy winning television productions, to Oscar nominated feature films; world class animation to award winning interactive games, Oregon is a brand unto itself. Crew. Cast. Locations. ***

Oregon Film History

Oregon Film Oregon Made

Job Resources in Oregon

Production in Washington

Washington has one of the nation’s most competitive markets for independent film and commercial production. With Art of Makeup’s convenient location near Vancouver, WA, the opportunities and chances for success are boundless. Washington offers incentive programs nationwide and prides itself on understanding what’s most important to the industry. Washington Filmworks, a non- profit organization, offers funding assistance for qualified in-state expenditures of up to 30% for motion pictures and episodic series with less than six episodes and up to 35% for episodic series with at least six episodes. Funding assistance for commercials is allocated through the Commercial Business Development Plan.

Qualified in-state expenditures include resident labor including fringe as well as goods and services provided by Washington based businesses. **

Northwest Regional State-by-State Film & Television
Economic Contributions


Economic Impact of the Industry
2017: The motion picture and television industry is responsible for 6,860 direct jobs and $269.95 million in wages in Oregon, including both production and distribution-related jobs. 2,884 of the jobs are production related.*

Movie & TV Production Spotlight
2014-2015:  Movies include Homecoming, Green Room, Brothers in Law, and Cabin Fever. TV series include Grimm, Portlandia, The Librarians and Significant Mother.*

Production Incentive:
Oregon’s incentives to production include rebates on 20% of a production’s Oregon-based goods and services and additional cash rebate of up to 16.2% of wages paid to production personnel. The annual cap on rebates is $7.5M per fiscal year.*


Economic Impact of the Industry
2017: The motion picture and television industry is responsible for 8,476 direct jobs and $353.19 million in wages in Washington, including both production and distribution-related jobs. 2,759 of the jobs are production-related. *

Movie & TV Production Spotlight
2014-2015: Movies include Captain Fantastic. TV series include Z Nation, The Legend of Mick Dodge, Rugged Justice, Dr. Oakley: Yukon Vet and Treehouse Masters..*

Production Incentive:

Washington’s designated production-assistance organization, Washington FilmWorks, offers funding assistance of up to 35% of total in-state qualified expenditures (including labor and talent who are Washington state residents) to commercial, television and feature film productions. The production company must meet certain in-state spending thresholds.*

History of Major Productions Filmed on Location in Washington State


Economic Impact of the Industry
2017:  The motion picture and television industry is responsible for 1,068 direct jobs and $33.32 million in wages in Alaska, including both production and distribution-related jobs. 114 of the jobs are production related*

Movie & TV Production Spotlight
2014-2015: TV series include Mountain Men, Alaska Monsters, Gold Rush, Life Below Zero, Alaska: The Last Frontier, Bering Sea Gold and Buying Alaska.*

Production Incentive:
The Alaska Film Production Tax Credit Program was discontinued in 2015. The program involved a transferable tax credit equal to 30% of in-state qualified production expenditures (including payroll for services performed in Alaska) for film, television, video, and commercial productions, as well as credits for hiring Alaska residents, filming in rural areas, and productions between October 1- March 30.


Economic Impact of the Industry
2017: The motion picture and television industry is responsible for 2,019 direct jobs and $61.52 million in wages in Idaho, including both production and distribution-related jobs. 230 of the jobs are production-related.*

Movie & TV Production Spotlight
2012-2013: During the course of 2012 and 2013, 2 movies filmed in the state. Movies include American Romance and An Unkindness of Ravens. TV Show includes Blog Cabin.*

Production Incentive:
Idaho provides for a rebate of the 6% sales tax on tangible personal property when $200,000 is spent on a wide variety of qualifying expenses. Idaho’s Motion Media Rebate Program was passed on March 25, 2008, offering a 20% rebate for qualifying productions on all goods and services purchased in Idaho if at least $200,000 is spent in Idaho and at least 20% of crew is Idaho residents.*

* Most recent data reported online by The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). The MPAA serves as the voice and advocate of the American motion picture, home video and television industries in the United States.
** Source: Washington FilmWorks
*** Source: Oregon Governor’s Office of Film & Television


* Fashion

* Film

* Television

* Indie

* Theatrical & Stage

* Special FX

* Airbrushing

* Advertising

* Bridal

* Retail

* Media

* Cosplay

* Live Action Role-Play

* Moulage