MAKE-UP ARTISTS apply make-up to performers in theatrical, film, and television productions. They apply make-up to reflect the time period, setting, and character of the actor. Make-up artists meet with directors and actors in order to discuss desired effects. They read scripts and plan make-up for each character and scene. They design prosthetics used to change the performer's appearance, choose make-up shades, and apply make-up to enhance, and/or alter the appearance of actors. Make-up artists make people look older or younger, injured, or like an alien or a monster. They alter or maintain make-up during productions and replicate characters' appearance on a daily basis.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $33,000 average per year ($15.75 per hour)
- A small occupation (2,200 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.7% per year)
It is difficult for MAKE-UP ARTISTS to earn a comfortable living. Since the work is project-based, make-up artists may go weeks or months between jobs, and must supplement their incomes with other jobs. A very small percentage of make-up artists become well known and are sought after by stars. Those who are extremely good and work in the right environment may even earn an Academy Award. Some may design their own lines of make-up products.