At Artists Within Makeup Academy we are committed to providing the techniques, ability, and confidence to allow each student to excel in this exciting and competitive industry. 

Artists Within Makeup Academy began with a vision, to create a standard in the makeup industry.

Our aim is to create artists with not only passion and enthusiasm, but most of all superlative makeup skills.

With the Artists Within stamp behind our students, they know they are the best of the best and those hiring them know they are the best of the best.

Our vision is coming true class after class.


The Owner


Tara Cowles is the Founder and director of the academy, with 27 years of experience in the fashion industry behind her. Tara began her career in Europe working for major shoots, magazines and runway shows. Some of her accomplishments include; her work appearing in Marie Claire, Allure, Flare, Chatelaine, Canadian Living, Avenue, Instyle Weddings and Fashion Magazine as well as working on numerous personalities & celebrities, fashion shows, commercials, and fashion television slots. Also a huge highlight of Tara’s career has been working as a national artist with 'Laura Mercier Cosmetics' giving her the benefit of always being aware of new looks and upcoming trends.

Tara has designed the programs herself to ensure that as a student you are learning what you really need to know to be a successful artist in the industry. She did years of research before starting the school and found others weren’t really getting down to the true essence of being an artist, they were only stroking the surface. Tara also updates the programs regularly to keep you as the student on the cutting edge of techniques and trends. At Artists Within Makeup Academy we teach you what you really need to know to be the best, what others don’t.

 Meet the AW Team

Why Artists Within

Why should you choose Artists Within Makeup Academy when deciding to become a makeup artist? Artists Within is owned and run by a highly successful, well-seasoned and traveled makeup artist, which is a major reason why.

The advantage to having a makeup artist as the owner as Artists Within does, is that there is a pride of wanting the students to be as good as they can be, to stick to that vision and make a difference. There is also an ability to know what a student is doing right or wrong and how to correct that. To work with the instructors on a regular basis, to add and update techniques to the programs to keep things current and in the now. 

Tara says, "I am always on top of the classes, knowing our students & the instructors, knowing their strengths and weaknesses therefore knowing how to help them become the best they can be." 

 “Over the years a handful of modelling agencies, makeup artists who don't have a strong background in the industry and hair schools have popped up trying to imitate what we do which is flattering but be vary wary in these instances and of what you are signing up for”, says Cowles. “Do your research, is the owner hands on, do they even know anything about makeup? It is one thing to hire makeup artists to teach for you but it’s another thing to be involved as the owner. Also look at the hours in a program, one can't learn to become an amazing makeup artist in 20, 30, 60 hours. It takes time and practice to become a strong artist which is what we offer. Is the school licensed to give out a diploma or certification, too often we see artists come to us after walking away from a program they thought was legitimate before starting but they end up with weak training and a piece of paper that means nothing. 

"This is my baby, my passion, my life. I will do what it takes to help each student, to help the teachers, making sure we are all on the same page so that when a student signs up they get what they paid for, the best education they can get”. 

Student Testimonials & Gallery

Courses & ITEC

At Artists Within we are constantly updating to add new techniques and programs. All courses 12 weeks and over are accredited with the vocational school board and, as such, qualify for government-based student loan assistance. Graduates of in academy courses under 2 weeks will receive a certificate and those over two weeks will receive a diploma.

Our instructors are the best in the business, with decades of international experience far beyond the reach of competition in Western Canada. Artists Within programs have been thoughtfully and methodically built from the ground up on the basis of the theoretical and practical concepts that are truly needed and desirable for students to succeed in the industry.

We are proud to say we are the only makeup academy in Canada to offer the ITEC makeup artistry exam, which gives our students the opportunity for international recognition. ITEC is the recognized leader in international make-up artistry and a highly significant advantage for our graduates. For ITEC certification the exams are conducted in Calgary by an ITEC professional and all marking is send back to London, England for evaluation. ITEC is an optional program that we highly recommend to any student taking the Makeup Diploma program. All of the ITEC material is included in the Makeup Diploma program so there is no additional schooling required. To date, our students have achieved 100% success, something we are very proud of.

For those who are not able to commute to the academy but still wish to become a successful makeup artists we have our online academy. The programs are based on our highly successful Makeup Diploma Program but are accessed 100% online. For more information hit the online academy tab at the top of the screen. 

We have attached information below about both the In-school and Online academy. Both course outlines include pricing, start dates, courses and makeup kit options offered for you to download. For more in-depth information please check out the In school Academy tab and also the Online Academy tab at the top of the screen.

Download Course Guides

Makeup school the way it's meant to be.

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