Job profiles

As a make-up artist or hair stylist you would apply make-up and style hair for anyone appearing in front of a camera or a live audience. You may work in film, television, theatre, concerts, photographic sessions or fashion shows.

If you enjoy fashion, hairdressing and cosmetics, and love being creative, this could be a perfect career for you.

You would normally start by taking a specialist course in media make-up, theatrical make-up or a related subject. You would also need to get some practical experience and start making contacts in the industry.

Typical work activities

Depending on the nature of the job, make-up artists work alone, as assistants to a more senior colleague or as part of a make-up design team.

    • communicating with clients to clarify visual requirements
    • production study: reading scripts to ascertain the materials and the look required, budget implications and identifying areas where research is required
    • producing and sketching design ideas for hairstyles and make-up
    • ensuring continuity in hair and make-up and liaising with other members of the design team to ensure the overall look/effect is consistent and coherent
    • demonstrating and implementing a practical understanding of lighting, the photographic process, colours and the impact of special effects/make-up processes on the skin
    • ensuring that appropriate action is taken to minimise unpleasant side effects from the use of specialist make-up/hairdressing techniques
    • maintaining awareness of health and safety issues and legislation
    • casting facial and body moulds and sculpting latex foam – known as prosthetics
    • fitting and maintaining wigs, hairpieces and prosthetics
    • hairdressing
    • maintaining an up-to-date knowledge of available make-up and beauty products
    • sourcing, budgeting and ordering materials and equipment from specialist suppliers
    • time management – knowing how long a subject will take to be made-up
    • working quickly and accurately in time-pressured conditions
    • taking detailed notes and photographs of work, maintaining an up-to-date portfolio of work


Hours: Variable

Starting salary: Variable