What Does a Theater Makeup Artist Do?

A theater makeup artist specializes in the art of changing the outward appearance of an actor, performer or model. They assist in creating the façade of certain characters that actors portray during theater production. In addition to the theater, there can be a variety of settings such as film, photography shoots, television, video and live music.

The area of focus is predominantly the face but a theater makeup artist also works with a performer’s hair and other extremities. The art involves the use of paints, makeup, plastic, wigs and hair patches. In addition, techniques can vary from basic methods to intricate makeup or special effects.

Aside from working with the needs of a performer, the artist has to take into consideration the stage lighting and other special conditions such as weather or the style of the performance. Additionally, the director’s perception is very important.

Usual Work Activities

Depending on the type of job, a theater makeup artist can work alone, with a make-up design team or as an assistant for an executive. As well, job activities can vary and may include the following:

  • Maintain and fit hairpieces and wigs
  • Work fast and precisely under deadlines
  • Sketch design ideas for makeup and hairstyles
  • Accurate time management for applying makeup
  • Clarifying visual requirements with the performer
  • Keep informed about current beauty products and makeup
  • Coordinate with the design team for consistency and accuracy
  • Stay educated about current health and safety issues and laws
  • Budget, source and order equipment and material from suppliers
  • Record detailed notes and photographs of work to maintain current portfolio
  • Knowledge of prosthetics like body molds, face casting and latex foam sculpting
  • Knowledge of potential allergic reactions and negative effects caused by makeup
  • Prepare the skin for makeup applications and evaluate the skin type to prevent irritation
  • Apply a practical understanding of color, the photographic process, special effects and lighting
  • Read the script to establish what is needed such as budget, a certain makeup look and materials
  • Confirm that there is suitable action to minimize side effects caused from certain makeup or hair techniques


In general, it helps to have certain characteristics to become a theater makeup artist such as dynamic creativity. As well, technical skills for applying makeup are needed. Other special characteristics consist of teamwork, unusual hours or overtime, work well under pressure and deadlines and cooperating with directors, performers and designers.

The Importance of Wedding Makeup Trials

The question would be easier if it were what is not important about wedding make up trials. The wedding make up trials is one of the key aspects to your wedding day coming off without a hitch. It is not irrelevant and they should never be skipped despite what others may think.

Your wedding day is your own unique, once in a lifetime memory. This is a day that is yours to cherish your entire lifetime through. The month’s that lead up to it are nerve racking and spent in anticipation of the big event, and they can be downright torturous. You are doing tastings, pattern picking dress hunting and napkins detail just to name some, but the wedding makeup trial is as, if not more important, as all of those other fine details.

Your wedding makeup trial is going to be a a huge relief believe it or not. It will help the bride feel more in control, and the overall stress is reduced. You will be formally acquainted to your artist by the time your wedding rolls around, and he or she will know exactly what to expect of your hair. I mean, ladies…let’s face it; our hair has a life and personality all its own especially when we need it to behave!

You also will have the comfort in knowing that your chosen artist is able to pull off the bridal makeup look. You do not want to look like you’re about to go clubbing, and the dark smoky eye is not usually a good match for the isle as it would be for the runway. You want an artist who knows the difference least your mother in law and bridesmaids be trying to salvage your face before you take that walk. You can skip all that by making sure that you book and attend your hair and makeup trials.

Just book it, go with a clean face and bring a few photos of the look you are aiming for. When your hair is being done, do not go to the trial with gunky hair. Washing the hair the night before and leaving it product free is a good rule of thumb. Also note that any head gear and hair accessories will need to be brought to the trial.

As you see, wedding makeup and hair trials are pretty important. You will have plenty of time and trials to gauge the professionalism of the hair and makeup artist. There are no accidents or gunky do overs on your wedding day. You have to have a real connection with this person; after all, they are really important to your day.