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Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performance

Apply makeup to performers to reflect period, setting, and situation of their role.

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    Work Activities

    Work Activities

    • Apply makeup to enhance or alter the appearance of people appearing in productions such as movies.
    • Select desired makeup shades from stock, or mix oil, grease, and coloring to achieve specific color effects.
    • Duplicate work precisely to replicate characters' appearances on a daily basis.
    • Cleanse and tone the skin to prepare it for makeup application.
    • Assess performers' skin type to ensure that makeup will not cause break-outs or skin irritations.
    • Study production information, such as character descriptions, period settings, and situations, to determine makeup requirements.
    • Alter or maintain makeup during productions as necessary to compensate for lighting changes or to achieve continuity of effect.
    • Analyze a script, noting events that affect each character's appearance, so that plans can be made for each scene.
    • Confer with stage or motion picture officials and performers to determine desired effects.
    • Establish budgets, and work within budgetary limits.
    • Write makeup sheets and take photos to document specific looks and the products used to achieve the looks.
    • Provide performers with makeup removal assistance after performances have been completed.
    • Requisition or acquire needed materials for special effects, including wigs, beards, and special cosmetics.
    • Evaluate environmental characteristics, such as venue size and lighting plans, to determine makeup requirements.
    • Attach prostheses to performers and apply makeup to create special features or effects, such as scars, aging, or illness.
    • Examine sketches, photographs, and plaster models to obtain desired character image depiction.
    • Advise hairdressers on the hairstyles required for character parts.
    • Demonstrate products to clients, and provide instruction in makeup application.
    • Design rubber or plastic prostheses that can be used to change performers' appearances.
    • Create character drawings or models, based upon independent research, to augment period production files.
    • Wash and reset wigs.


    • Speaking

      Talking to others to convey information effectively.

    • Active Listening

      Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

    • Reading Comprehension

      Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.


    Applied Math
    Workplace Documents
    Graphic Literacy


    • Near Vision

      The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

    • Arm-Hand Steadiness

      The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.

    • Manual Dexterity

      The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.


    • Customer and Personal Service

      Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

    • English Language

      Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    • Administration and Management

      Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

    Career Video

    Additional videos and more information available on CareerOneStop


    • US Annual Salary 106920/yr
    • US Typical Salary
    • US Hourly Wage 51.4/hr
    • US Typical Hourly Wage

    Ohio Employment Trends

    • Currently Employed Not Available
    • Yearly Projected Openings Not Available

    Typical Education


    Artistic: People interested in this work like activities that include creating, designing, and making your own rules.They do well at jobs that need:
    • Attention to Detail
    • Dependability
    • Self Control
    • Stress Tolerance
    • Adaptability/Flexibility
    • Cooperation


    • Makeup kits
    • Digital cameras
    • Costumes or accessories
    • Contact lenses
    • Air brushes


    • Web page creation and editing software
    • Graphics or photo imaging software
    • Electronic mail software
    • Data base user interface and query software
    • Accounting software


    • Bright Outlook occupations will grow rapidly in the next few years, have a large number of openings, or are new and emerging careers.

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