Make-up artists apply make-up and style hair for performers on television, film or theatre. They also research and design make-up and hair styles and create special effects for dramatic productions and fashion shows.
You could be:
discussing with the producer, the director and the lighting manager what effect they want you to achieve
doing straightforward make-up and hair styling for television presenters and members of the public
applying full make-up and hair styling to actors appearing in plays and films
applying make-up for fashion models before photoshoots and shows
adding scars and bruises, preparing false beards and wigs or using plastic and latex to alter an actor's appearance
researching on the internet for styles of past periods or other cultures and applying these to actors for historical or international dramas
keeping records and taking photos to make sure that make-up is consistent between film shoots
attending the set with the performers, standing by during scenes and touching up make-up between takes
cleaning equipment and keeping the premises tidy.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual salaries may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
Most make-up artists work on a freelance basis and are paid by contract or project. Some work for theatre, television or film companies.
There may be promotion opportunities for those working on long term productions, such as chief make-up artist. Otherwise, artists improve their prospects by working to the highest possible standards and building up their reputation.
You are likely to specialise in a particular discipline, for example film or fashion.
You could move into lecturing at further education colleges.
There may be opportunities overseas.
Most jobs for make-up artists are in or around London. Most Scottish make-up artists are based in Glasgow or Edinburgh and travel throughout the UK, and sometimes overseas. Look for vacancies in the Mandy website as well as in trade journals such as Broadcast and Stage, Screen and Radio Magazine.