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  • Writer's pictureCelena Rubin

I fought the law…and I won! Makeup Artistry Bill Passed

Updated: Nov 4, 2023

I am proud to be a working makeup artist in Oregon. Before yesterday, I wasn’t allowed to charge for makeup services in Oregon without an esthetician license, a license that requires the skills of someone who works in a salon, waxing and doing facials. We all love these services, but that is none of my business. I am a makeup artist and have been most of my life. I had my first professional makeup artistry training about 26 years ago, and since then I have applied makeup for plays, tv shows, movies, runway shows, commercials, music videos, magazines, you name it, and never once have I been asked if I had an esthetic license. It is an unrelated field to the trade of professional makeup artistry. We are the sculptors of light, highlighting and contouring our subjects to create illusion, characters and/or beauty.

House of Representatives Floor

When I moved to Oregon 22 months ago, I was looking for a better quality of life for my family and to raise my then five year old child. I chose Portland because of the booming film industry and advertising industries, a place that I could continue to make a living as a makeup artist. Two months ago I was informed that I could not. I was told that I had to spend thousands of dollars to acquire an esthetic license if I wanted to work in Oregon as a makeup artist. Did I run to beauty school? No! I ran to the State Capitol.

How to change the law:

  1. Call your legislator and make an appointment to see them

  2. Tell them your idea

  3. If they approve it they will draft it into a bill

  4. There will be 2 Senate Readings and one Senate Hearing which you will testify. If it passes then step 5

  5. There will be 2 House of Representative Readings and one House Hearing which you will testify again. If it passes then step 6

  6. Governor signs the bill

Here is another example: How an Idea Becomes Law

This is how this bill happened. My first meeting with my district Senator was on March 8, 2013. I assembled a support team who wrote letters, called, and testified. Each reading and hearing was passed unanimously by every single person in attendance in the Senate and House. There were 27 Senate members and 57 House members in attendance. There were no work sessions. Senate Bill 836 passed on May 13, 2013, just two months after my first meeting. It is on the way to the Governor’s desk to be signed, and because it is declared an emergency, it will implemented into law immediately. The legislatures told me they have never seen a bill pass so smoothly and quickly, and they deal with thousands of bills each year. As my now seven year old would say, “That’s cool!”

I was not expecting to be a crusader or lobbyist when I moved to Oregon. I simply wanted to make a living doing what I know best, makeup. Now I can. So can a lot of other people in Oregon. Not only does this help the whole community of makeup artists in Oregon, but this industry is all tied together, so if the makeup artists can work, so can everyone else on the shoots. Community. That is what I found when I ventured into changing legislation. I received support from my industry leaders and my legislative community and it was the team effort that made the change!

Oregon State Capitol

Senator Burdick and Celena Rubin

Representative Williamson and Celena Rubin

Feature about Law Change in Make-Up Artist Magazine

Oregon Governor Kitzhaber Signing SB 836 into Law

Oregon Governor Kitzhaber signing SB 836 makeup bill into law



Oregon House votes to ease burden on hair and makeup artists Rep. Williamson sponsored bill to help Oregon entrepreneurs succeed in Oregon’s growing entertainment industries

SALEM – Yesterday the Oregon House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill to ease regulations on hair and makeup artists, a critical professional niche in Oregon’s growing television and film production industries. Oregon law currently requires all hair and makeup artists to go through extensive training and obtain a license if they receive payment for their services. But for specialized hair and makeup artists working on TV or movie sets, the required training is an irrelevant and expensive burden. Senate Bill 836 would exempt hair and makeup artists working in film, television, or theater production from unnecessary and unrelated licensing requirements, thereby helping Oregon remain competitive in these prospering industries. Representative Jennifer Williamson (D – Portland) became a chief sponsor of Senate Bill 836 after hearing from a constituent who had immediate concerns regarding her and fellow artists’ ability to operate in their present positions without first obtaining a cosmetology license. “Today is a win for entrepreneurs and the entertainment industry here in Oregon,” Representative Williamson said. “We want to keep attracting production companies that provide Oregonians with exciting opportunities and jobs they rely on. This bill removes a burden from Oregonians who are working hard to earn a living in increasingly competitive, creative industries.” # # #

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