The 10 Best Esthetician and Cosmetology Schools in New York

If you spend a few minutes searching YouTube and various websites, you can find some great tips about beauty techniques, maybe even enough to start applying makeup professionally. 

But if you want to be an esthetician, a licensed professional who understands the science of skincare and hair removal, you need a lot more than a few tips. You need formal training. 

Fortunately, many beauty schools across the country take seriously this increasing field. Compiling a faculty consisting of experts with years of working in the profession, these schools equip their students with technical skills and scientific knowledge, as well as experience using the technology of the trade. 

Unsurprisingly, the best place to find these schools is the fashion capital of the United States, New York City. In fact, there are so many great schools in the Big Apple that it can be overwhelming. 

You can’t leave something like your career and education to chance. Rather, you need information about what these schools offer to find the best one for you. 

To help, we’ve compiled this list of the best esthetician and cosmetology schools in New York. All of the schools on this have at least 50 Yelp reviews and, at the time of this writing, a star rating of at least 4.5. 

Here are the 10 best esthetician and cosmetology schools in New York.

Esthetician School in New York
ariadna de raadt / Shutterstock

10. American Beauty Institute (New York, NY)

Occupying a 2500 sq foot office in midtown Manhattan, the American Beauty Institute (ABI) trains future estheticians in classrooms designed to simulate an actual salon. That design gives you a good idea of ABI’s approach, combining educational principles with practical experience. 

Not only does the school prepare students to pass state board examinations, but it gives them the skills they need to achieve their artistic vision. 

At ABI, students learn in small classes taught by experienced and licensed faculty members, all of whom have spent years developing their abilities. All lab and theory classes at ABI have a faculty-to-student ratio of 1:20, ensuring that every person receives personalized attention and support. 

In the esthetics course, students are taught everything from chemistry and techniques for working with superfluous hair to job skills and business practices. 


9. Arrojo Cosmetology School (New York, NY)

The Arrojo Cosmetology School describes itself with three words: professionalism, integrity, and excellence. These words drive the school’s state-of-the-art program, which takes advantage of its boutique facility in the SoHo area. 

Those words also describe the school’s commitment to their student’s careers. In addition to courses in makeup, waxing, and skincare, students also study business management and entrepreneurial fundamentals. 

With these skills at their disposal, students are ready to pass state licensing exams and eventually run their own salon. 

Future estheticians gain hands-on experience working in Arrojo’s student-run salon. The salon offers a full range of services, giving students a chance to apply their knowledge of cosmetics and skincare to real clients. 

With this combination of experience and knowledge, students leave Arrojo ready to achieve all of their future goals. 


8. Lia Schorr Institute (New York, NY)

At Lia Schorr Institute, the estheticians of the future learn their trade from teachers who established and advanced the field. The teachers working at the school have spent years running their own salons, and are familiar with every aspect of the business, from the artistic skills required to take care of skin and apply make-up to the knowledge needed to run a company. 

These attributes are part of Lia Schorr’s mission to give estheticians the opportunities to learn from experts. Courses combine lecture, written assignments, and clinical experience, with an emphasis on the latter. 

The program is certainly demanding, but it ensures that students leave ready to meet every challenge the trade will throw at them. 

So confident is Lisa Schorr about the success of their offerings that they actively encourage students to visit the school before enrolling. They love to show off their resources and faculty, so students know just how much they can get from an education at Lisa Schorr. 


7. The Makeup Academy of NYC by Nina MUA (New York, NY)

Every school on this list gives estheticians the technical skills and business knowledge to work in, and eventually operate, a professional salon. But at the Makeup Academy of NYC by Nina Mua, students also learn an equally important skill: consultation. 

With its focus on consulting, the Makeup Academy teaches students the interpersonal skills they need to work with clients and help them meet their beauty needs. This is not just a matter of applying makeup or teaching skincare techniques, but of communicating with clients and understanding what they want. 

Consultation is a major part of the school’s main five-week program, which culminates with not only hands-on training with real customers but also photoshoots and other elements that a student can include in their portfolio. 

With this unique approach, even total beginners with no prior experience can leave the program with the knowledge and abilities of a seasoned expert. 


6. Empire Beauty School (New York, NY)

Most of the schools listed here have locations in various states and cities. But Empire Beauty School does one better by also providing multiple locations across New York. 

With such variety, students can enjoy the school’s first-class offerings from anywhere in the city. 

But don’t be fooled. Although Empire Beauty School has its roots all around New York, the school prepares its students to take their training across the globe. In addition to training students to work in spas and salons, Empire teaches future estheticians to ply their trade to cruise ships

At the focus of Empire’s esthetician training are facials and waxing. Students learn the processes and tools needed for deep-cleansing and nourishing facial therapies to improve their client’s skin. Waxing classes teach students how to safely remove unwanted hair, employing tools to be practical and comforting. 


5. Formula B Parisien Beauty School (New York, NY)

At Formula B Parisien Beauty School, students not only learn about the aesthetics and tools of applying makeup but also about the biology of human bodies. This science-first approach gives students a technical edge when using their trade because they have an advanced understanding of the causes of unwanted hair growth and skin problems. 

You might expect a more academic approach to beauty to cost more than other schools on this list. 

However, Formula B does everything to help students get into the program, thanks to the Formula B Parisien Cosmetology Scholarship. The scholarship awards $4000 to qualified students to go towards their tuition, helping pay for school for students who maintain a B+ GPA and adheres to the school rules. 

With this combination of academic excellence and student support, the Formula B Parisien Beauty School is the ideal institution for those who take their esthetician dreams seriously. 


4. Career School of New York (New York, NY)

As its name suggests, the Career School of New York prepares students to launch their careers in the industry. With the techniques and theories that students gain in the school’s 600-hour esthetics program, they are ready to go on to jobs in any aspect of the field, from spa and solon work to department store repetitive to a researcher for a major dermatologist. 

The program achieves these goals with its wide-ranging approach. In addition to courses about waxing, bacteriology, and facials, students also take courses in spa management and even esthetics instruction. There is no career in the field that students cannot do after graduating the Career School. 

While such a professional course of study is certainly expensive, the Career School has a comprehensive financial aid program to help students pay for their education. Nearly every graduate of the school has funding, thanks to the support from the department of financial assistance.


3. Beauty Culture Academy (Staten Island, NY)

As anyone looking at this list has undoubtedly noticed, going to beauty school is hard work and it takes up a lot of time. 

To help accommodate the needs of working adults, the Beauty Culture Academy boasts a thorough evening class program. Conveniently located on Staten Island, Beauty Culture prides itself on making the latest trends accessible to the most students as possible. 

That accessibility includes experience gained in the school’s student salon. At the salon, students have an opportunity to apply their knowledge in real-world situations. 

Before that point, students can learn while working with the school’s excellent resources, including a host of practice mannequins, all of the tools of the trade, and specialized DVDs. 

All of these elements are in support of the school’s mission to find and create qualified beauticians from all walks of life. With unprecedented support and tools, the Beauty Culture Academy is creating the next generation of estheticians. 


2. Chic Studios NYC – School of Makeup (New York, NY)

Although many of the names that have appeared on this list might be well-known to people passionate about beauty, the School of Makeup at Chic Studios NYC is known to everyone. That level of fame does not happen by accident. 

Instead, it’s a direct result of Chic’s proven history of providing top-quality beauty products, an experience they put directly into their schools. 

The school gives every student excellent makeup training that not only builds on tried and true techniques but also anticipates and drives current beauty trends. With both in-person and online offerings, students learn the theories and techniques of the trade, including business skills and lessons in using social media to grow a brand. 

Even better, students and graduates from Chic receive lifelong discounts on beauty products, including major brands such as MAC Cosmetics, L’Oréal, NYX, and more. 


1. Tribeca Barber and Beauty School, LLC (New York, NY)

The Tribeca Barber and Beauty School takes the top spot on this list for one simple reason: its commitment to excellence. 

That excellence doesn’t come easy but is the result of hard work, not only in the form of the school’s 40 years of experience but also in its 1000-hour cosmetology program.

Yes, that’s a lot of time to devote to the program, but it speaks to the level of seriousness the school applies to its subject. 

The deeply comprehensive program covers every aspect of beauty and esthetics, including working side-by-side with seasoned professionals while performing on real clients. Students work closely with their mentors throughout the program, drawing from the knowledge and wisdom they developed while practicing their craft. 

With programs designed for full-time and part-time students, Tribeca has everything future estheticians need to enter the field, no matter what their current situation is.

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