Make-up Artist

A make-up artist applies cosmetics, powder, paint or grease paint to the faces of actors before they appear on stage or in front of the cameras. This work also requires the artist to carry out research on design, creation of character, period make-up and hairstyles for studio dramas, live theatre and film shoots.


Make-up artists consider the shape of the face, the bone structure, the form of the eyes and the complexion before applying the make-up. Special effects are created by tinting and bleaching the hair, making up and applying beards, moustaches and wigs, etc. They also use colouring materials, padding and prosthetic pieces to simulate wounds, cuts, scars and bruises or to create monstrous faces and hands.

The make-up artist is required to remain on duty during productions to touch up actors’ make-up. A specialist in special effects and prosthetics may become a make-up designer. Other areas of specialisation include: model make-up; ageing effects; fancy make-up; and wig making.

This is a field connected to being a beauty therapist, without having to work as a traditional therapist. Some additional courses and training could be required to be really competitive in the job market. If you are a creative and an artistic person, this field opens up lot of possibilities. It is a highly competitive field and jobs are limited. It is possible to work in this field full-time or part-time. You must have a thorough knowledge of different make-up techniques and special effects. You can do make-up for television productions, work in the movie industry, assist photographers with bridal make-up or fashion model make-up and do theatrical make-up.

It is a very interesting and fulfilling field. You must be able to work strange hours and it can involve spending quite some time away from home. A lot of patience is required and sometimes you will work under very difficult conditions. You will work with a lot of different people with different temperaments and must be able to tolerate that.

You will have to know techniques like ageing, creating of wounds, different cultural make-ups, ultra fashionable make-up and fantasy make-up. You will also have to practise your techniques constantly to be able to use them really well. This can be one of the most satisfying careers anyone can follow.

Colour Consultants advise clients on the colours they should choose for clothing that will complement their appearance.


Employment


  • film production companies

  • theatre companies

  • television companies

  • model agencies

  • self-employment, doing freelance work


Getting Started


  • try to obtain vacation or part-time work in a film studio or theatre

  • arrange to speak to a make-up artist about this type of career.


Programmes

City Varsity, College of Cape Town , Ekurhuleni West TVET College, Global Institute of Information Technology and Business, Motheo TVET College, Multitech Business School, Prestige Academy, South African School of Motion Picture, The Open Window School of Visual Communication, Tshwane North TVET College


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