Film Makeup Artist

Alter the looks of Actors through makeup or prosthetics.
picture of Film Makeup Artist

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$18,000 – $102,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Film Makeup Artists do?

A good movie can consume the senses. The set design, the musical score, the costumes, the acting, and, of course, the detailed makeup of the Actors all contribute to the perfect movie experience.

Makeup is a crucial component of the production. It changes the appearance of a character, creates a skin glow, or delivers a realistic picture of a mythical creature. And all this happens because of you, the Film Makeup Artist.

As a Film Makeup Artist, you apply makeup to all the Actors on the set. You take into consideration such things as eye shape, skin tone, and other features to decide on the best technique. Certain colors of eye shadow accentuate certain eye colors, for example. Through your expertise, an Actor’s large nose can be made to look smaller.

Not only do you accentuate features or conceal flaws, but you also apply prosthetics and wigs, perhaps to make ears larger or to emphasize a fake scar. It all depends on what the script calls for.

If the character ages during the movie, you work to gradually increase the amount of skin sags and wrinkles. You also consider studio factors, such as temperature and lighting. Your goal as a Film Makeup Artist is to make the character look so believable that the audience never thinks about questioning how Brad Pitt could age 50 years during a three-month shoot.

In addition to human faces, you also create all manners of creatures. You use makeup to turn an Actor into a werewolf, or prepare a fairy for her daily screen time. Half art and half craft, this job is an ever-changing opportunity to showcase your skills on the big screen.


Should I be a Film Makeup Artist?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • How to become a Film Makeup Artist

    Most Film Makeup Artists have a Certificate or no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Bachelor's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:93agaa&chl=no+college+%2850%25%29|certificate+%2845%25%29||bachelor%27s+%285%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,50,50
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