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Details for Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performance


Apply makeup to performers to reflect period, setting, and situation of their role.


  • Requisition or acquire needed materials for special effects, including wigs, beards, and special cosmetics.
  • Create character drawings or models, based upon independent research, in order to augment period production files.
  • Select desired makeup shades from stock, or mix oil, grease, and coloring in order to achieve specific color effects.
  • Study production information, such as character descriptions, period settings, and situations in order to determine makeup requirements.
  • Write makeup sheets and take photos in order to document specific looks and the products that were used to achieve the looks.
  • Advise hairdressers on the hairstyles required for character parts.
  • Demonstrate products to clients, and provide instruction in makeup application.
  • Establish budgets, and work within budgetary limits.
  • Wash and reset wigs.
  • Alter or maintain makeup during productions as necessary to compensate for lighting changes or to achieve continuity of effect.
  • Analyze a script, noting events that affect each character's appearance, so that plans can be made for each scene.
  • Apply makeup to enhance, and/or alter the appearance of people appearing in productions such as movies.
  • Assess performers' skin-type in order to ensure that make-up will not cause break-outs or skin irritations.
  • Attach prostheses to performers and apply makeup in order to create special features or effects such as scars, aging, or illness.
  • Cleanse and tone the skin in order to prepare it for makeup application.
  • Confer with stage or motion picture officials and performers in order to determine desired effects.
  • Design rubber or plastic prostheses that can be used to change performers' appearances.
  • Duplicate work precisely in order to replicate characters' appearances on a daily basis.
  • Evaluate environmental characteristics such as venue size and lighting plans in order to determine makeup requirements.
  • Examine sketches, photographs, and plaster models in order to obtain desired character image depiction.
  • Provide performers with makeup removal assistance after performances have been completed.


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.



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Wages for this career
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