How To Become A Movie Makeup Artist

Would you rather be applying foundation to Jennifer Lawrence or adding scars onto Arnold Schwarzenegger’s arms?

Does Paris, Hollywood, Sydney or London sound like the right place for you?

If you have a flair for creativity, an eye for detail and a personality that can handle stressful environments, you might just be the right fit for becoming a specialist movie makeup artist. Of course, everything is not as flashy as it might first appear. Expect really long hours. Early mornings and late nights. Think intense environments where hundreds of people are relying on your precise hands to provide that final detail.

But if you relish the challenge, it can be the pinnacle of an already exciting industry.

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One of the challenges in the movie makeup industry is making your work invisible. It takes incredible skill to make lifelike bruises that the audience truly believes. Do you have the skill-set to detail a wound that looks real on an ultra-high definition screen?

There are a lot of skills, techniques and products that industry leaders use to create believable effects. In order to make it as a professional makeup artist in the film industry, it is essential that you learn the techniques, skills and methods that will help you not only survive, but thrive.

Becoming a makeup artist comes with its own challenges. But becoming a specialist makeup artist for blockbuster films raises the challenges significantly.

So what is the best career pathway to help you achieve your dream of working on big budget Hollywood films? What skills, experience, training and contacts do you need to get your foot in the door? Which makeup academy should you enrol in?

The following article will consider some vital information that can help you make a name for yourself on film sets all over the globe.

Some key expressions you need to know:

Key Makeup Artist: The head honcho of all the makeup effects and looks. The Key Makeup Artist actually designs the makeup for each individual and then assigns individual makeup artists to replicate the original.

Makeup Artist: Working underneath the Key Makeup Artist, Makeup Artists apply the makeup to the actors and actresses following the style guidelines.

Makeup Assistant: Assists with essential tasks such as replenishing items and time consuming body makeup applications.

Makeup Effects Artist: Specialist makeup artist who uses prosthetics, latex and other effects to create unique looks.

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One of the easiest ways of understanding what it takes to make it at the forefront of the industry is following industry heavyweights on social media. Not only will you get to see some of the environments and techniques that film makeup artists use, but it will provide you with motivation and inspiration to keep reaching for your end goal.

Some AWESOME Film Makeup Artists To Follow

  • John Caglione Jr
  • Greg Cannon
  • Mindy Hall
  • Richard Taylor
  • Tom Savini
  • Kazuhiro Tsuji
  • Ve Neill
  • Bill Corso
  • Tami Lane
  • Nick Dudman
  • Robert Kurtzman

What Training Do You Need?

While professional training is not always a requirement, it can be the point of difference that helps you stand out from the crowd.

Focus on niche courses that help you concentrate on the specific field you want to focus on. Sydney Makeup Courses offers an Advanced Fashion Makeup & Hair Course that helps students to specialise in innovative makeup application techniques that can rapidly improve your artistry. The one-day Airbrush Course is another great value for money course that can help you master all of the skills needed for high definition makeup for film.

One of the reasons why so many graduates from Sydney Makeup Courses go on to forge successful careers after they graduate is that the makeup trainers have worked at the very pinnacle of the film industry. They will happily share their industry insights, film contacts and help you gain experience.

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What Can Help You Land Your First Job As A Film Makeup Artist?

If you really want to fast track your career, Sydney Makeup Courses can help you achieve the career that you have only dreamed about. Film makeup is more than just applying makeup, you have to have a thorough understanding of lighting, camera lenses, colour theory, facial anatomy and even chemistry. Ongoing training will help you to link knowledge so that you have a comprehensive understanding of all of the information you need to perform at the highest level.

Learn Production Basics – Do your own research to find out what happens behind the scenes on a film set. By having an understanding of the different roles, departments, crew members and set vocabulary it will help you to exude an air of professionalism when you get your big opportunity.

Promote Yourself – Sometimes it is more about who you know that what you know. You could have world-beating skills, but if no one knows about them, how are going to land a job? Put the effort in to network in the industry.

Create A Portfolio – Keep an active and professional online portfolio. Work with photographers to showcase your skills and abilities. Many makeup artists also showcase their skills with a YouTube channel. Maintain an easily shareable digital portfolio that you can share with industry contacts and leads.

Find A Mentor – The most important step to achieving a successful career as a movie makeup artist is finding a mentor. There is so much that you cannot learn online, in a course or from a book. A mentor that is invested in your success is the best ally you can have. Take the time to forge a relationship with a skilled makeup artist who has experience in the industry and you will be able to garner valuable tidbits of information and insights.

Continue To Expand Your Skills – There is no limit to the number of skills that you will need as you tackle projects on a wide array of films. Continue to learn new techniques, try new products and work with new artists. Remain humble and ready to learn from both more experienced makeup artists and creative experts.

How To Become A Film Makeup Artist

If you still believe that working in the film industry is going to be glamorous 24/7, you are going to be in for a shock when you are knee deep in mud touching up facial makeup and wiping away sweat on a midnight set. Sure you might get to work with famous actors and actresses, but if you are afraid of a bit of hard work, you will likely never succeed.

When you think you are ready to take the first step of your journey as a professional film makeup artist, don’t delay. Be committed to doing whatever it takes. Keep learning and be persistence.

Is today the day you take your first step? Makeup classes are currently open for enrolment at Sydney Makeup Courses.

Previous graduates of Sydney Makeup Courses have gone on to be a part of the 2016 Oscar Winning Makeup team on Mad Max Fury Road. What will be your legacy?

Susan Markovic and the industry-leading makeup trainers at Sydney Makeup Courses are ready to provide you with personalised training, advice and mentoring. Get your career off to the best start by taking the time to learn from some of the most highly experienced and respected makeup trainers in the industry. Learn the skills, master the techniques and develop industry contacts that will stay with you for a lifetime.Sydney Makeup Courses Logo


Makeup Mode Masterclass – Sydney Makeup Courses

Address: 1 Paris Ave, Earlwood NSW 2206

Phone: 0409 558 465