Makeup Artist, Theatrical and Performance Career Video


On movie sets and back stage at the theater, makeup artists use cosmetics and prosthetics to enhance performers’ appearance and evoke the unique character of different roles. Makeup artists develop a design for a character’s look, based on the time period, setting, and story. They consult with directors, lighting staff, performers, and others to identify the right effect, while keeping within budget constraints. Technical skills, and an understanding of different materials, are critical in this field. Makeup artists may use artificial hair, and create plastic or rubber features to fit over a performer’s face or body part, to show scarring, aging and other changes. Makeup artists may also work for cosmetic companies, department stores, and for special events such as weddings to create a special look for clients, and teach them how to replicate the look. Freelance makeup artists usually have flexible schedules, and may need to travel to different locations for events or photo shoots. In this creative profession, makeup artists often express themselves through their own dress and appearance. Many find it rewarding to enhance their clients’ appearance, and develop different looks for characters. Typical qualifications for being a makeup artist include a high school diploma or equivalent, and a technical certificate or associate’s degree in the field.

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