Everyone knows the transformative power of shadows and mascara, but there’s more to makeup artistry than helping your gal pals get gussied up for a night on the town.
For centuries, makeup has been used to alter appearances, and nowhere has this application been more useful than in the theatre, film, and television industries. From ageing a youthful face to swapping gender to creating an entirely new species, the demands on makeup artists working in these fields constantly puts an artist’s skill and talent to the test.
Film & Television Makeup
Though the non-initiated may think makeup is solely for those who simply want to look better on TV or in film, the reality is often makeup is required so that the individual retains their normal appearance. To some degree, television and film processes can introduce undesirable attributes to skin tones and features, and makeup can correct this. In the early years of black and white television, makeup that looked fine in real life or that looked okay on film, looked terrible on black-and-white television screens. Artists would add white high-lighting around the nostrils, eyes and hollows of the throat for good reproduction, while lips, eyebrows and eyelashes are were painted either blue-black or green. Obviously, the television industry has come a long way, however, the makeup artist faces a new challenge with the advent of high definition.
Stage makeup works along with stage lighting to highlight the actors’ faces in such a way to make their expressions visible to the audience. This can often include defining the eyes, lips, as well as high- and low-lights of the facial bones.
Special Effects (FX) Makeup
With special effects makeup, the artist gets to flex their creative muscles as they change, create, and enhance an actor’s appearance to suit the needs of the production. Prosthetics and plaster casts are common tools of the trade, helping to develop looks for projects that entail non-human characteristics. Bloody gouges and oozing wounds are all part of a day’s work.
As exciting as a career in film and television makeup can be, it can also be gruelling. Your day starts early – during production, the makeup artist needs to be on set before dawn each day to lay out supplies and tools before the actors arrive, and you’re required to stay on set as long as the director and cast needs you for last minute touch-ups and changes. You may also find the coveted film jobs few and far between, but downtime is the perfect time for a makeup artist to hone their craft, practice new skills or study the new technology and how it affects your industry.
Considering pursuing a career as a makeup artist? Our 12 week Makeup Artist Diploma program will provide you with the skills and techniques you need to get your career started off on the right foot. Our students learn all aspects of the ever expanding beauty industry. Lessons and practical classes cover an Introduction to Makeup Artistry, colour theory, assessing skin types and face shapes, makeup techniques, business management, business ethics and many other aspects of becoming a successful makeup artist. Contact us today for more information.