Make-up artist

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Makeup artist backstage at the Lee Matthews show, Spring/Summer 2007 Australia Fashion Week Make-up artist.jpg
Makeup artist backstage at the Lee Matthews show, Spring/Summer 2007 Australia Fashion Week

A make-up artist, also called a makeup artist, and often shortened to MUA, is an artist whose medium is the human body, applying makeup and prosthetics on others for theatre, television, film, fashion, magazines and other similar productions including all aspects of the modeling industry. Awards given for this profession in the entertainment industry include the Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, [1] and entertainment industry awards such as the Emmy Awards, [2] [3] and the Golden Globes. [4] In some countries professional licenses are required by agencies in order for them to hire the MUA. Bigger production companies [5] have in-house makeup artists on their payroll although most MUA's generally are freelance and their times remain flexible depending on the project.


Makeup techniques

A make-up artist's table. Make up artist table.jpg
A make-up artist's table.


Fashion makeup is used in magazine photography as well as on the fashion runway. Avant-garde makeup is also an applicable technique used for projects that require experimental themes. Fashion makeup is also commonly used in television and film ranging for the natural prime look to more sophisticated applications such as color balance.

Theatrical makeup

Stage makeup is used as a method in conjunction with stage lighting to highlight the actors' faces in order to make expressions visible to the audience from moderate distances. This often includes defining the eyes and lips as well as the highlights and lowlights of the facial bones.

Special make-up effects (FX makeup)

Special effects makeup techniques Dubi Preger.jpg
Special effects makeup techniques

The use of special effects techniques enhancing physical features to exhibit metaphysical characteristics[ clarification needed ] as well as fantasy makeup. The use of prosthetics and plaster casting are also required for projects that entails non-human appearances. Accents such as theatrical blood and ooze are also techniques applicable to this type of makeup.


An airbrush is a small air-operated device that sprays water-based makeup by a process of nebulization. Airbrushed makeup was used in Hollywood movies at least as early as the 1930s. Monte Westmore is sometimes credited [6] with developing the technique for Gone With the Wind , but his brother Wally was using it at least five years earlier in Pre-Code films such as Murder at the Vanities . It has recently been re-popularized by the advent of HDTV and digital photography, where the camera focuses on higher depths of detail. Liquid foundations that are high in coverage but thin in consistency are applied with the airbrush for full coverage without a heavy build-up of product.

High definition

This is an art which involves the use of light [7] reflectors and ingredients such as minerals to give the skin a flawless finish. This was developed due to the further development of high definition [8] mediums and the cost implications of airbrush makeup.

In Bollywood

In 1955 the Bollywood group Cine Costume Make-Up Artist & Hair Dressers' Association (CCMAA) created a rule that did not allow women to obtain memberships as makeup artists. [9] However, in 2014 the Supreme Court of India ruled that this rule was in violation of the Indian constitutional guarantees granted under Article 14 (right to equality), 19(1)(g) (freedom to carry out any profession) and Article 21 (right to liberty). [9] The judges of the Supreme Court of India stated that the ban on women makeup artist members had no "rationale nexus" to the cause sought to be achieved and was "unacceptable, impermissible and inconsistent" with the constitutional rights guaranteed to the citizens. [9] The Court also found illegal the rule which mandated that for any artist, female or male, to work in the industry, they must have domicile status of five years in the state where they intend to work. [9] In 2015 it was announced that Charu Khurana had become the first woman to be registered by the Cine Costume Make-Up Artist & Hair Dressers' Association. [10]

In June 2014, the Cine Costume Make-Up Artist & Hair Dressers' Association (CCMAA) authorised an official protest on the movie set of Bang Bang! in protest of a foreign makeup artist, Daniel Bauer, working on the movie for its lead actress, Katrina Kaif. The CCMAA and 15 of its members protested on the movie set as Daniel Bauer was not registered with the Union, despite the Union banning foreign artists working in Bollywood. The issue was resolved with the CCMAA granting Daniel Bauer full membership. [11]

Notable make-up artists

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Film crew</span> Group of people involved in some phase of the making of a film

A film crew is a group of people, hired by a production company, for the purpose of producing a film or motion picture. The crew is distinguished from the cast, as the cast are understood to be the actors who appear in front of the camera or provide voices for characters in the film. The crew is also separate from the producers, as the producers are the ones who own a portion of either the film studio or the film's intellectual property rights. A film crew is divided into different departments, each of which specializes in a specific aspect of the production. Film crew positions have evolved over the years, spurred by technological change, but many traditional jobs date from the early 20th century and are common across jurisdictions and filmmaking cultures.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Prosthetic makeup</span> Techniques to create special cosmetic effects

Prosthetic makeup, which may also be referred to as special make-up effects or FX prosthesis, is the process of using prosthetic sculpting, molding, and casting techniques to create advanced cosmetic effects. Prosthetic makeup draws a straight lineage from the Stagecraft of theatre and can be observed at the birth of science fiction cinema with Le Voyage dans La Lune, a 1902 French adventure short film directed by pioneer of special effects Georges Méliès.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Airbrush</span> Small, air-operated tool that atomizes and sprays various media

An airbrush is a small, air-operated tool that atomizes and sprays various media, most often paint but also ink and dye, and foundation. Spray painting developed from the airbrush and is considered to employ a type of airbrush.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Westmore family</span> Family of Make-up artists

The Westmore Family is a prominent family in the Hollywood makeup department. Led by their patriarch, George Westmore, the family has had four generations serve Hollywood as makeup artists in various capacities since George's establishment of Hollywood's first makeup department in 1917.

Michael George Westmore I is an American make-up artist best known for his work in various Star Trek productions, winning nine Emmy Awards, and is a member of the Westmore family. He won the Academy Award for Make-up in 1985 for his work on the film Mask. His career began at Universal Studios in 1961, and spanned four decades, including working for the CIA creating make-up kits for spies overseas.

Montague "Monte" Westmore was a Hollywood make-up artist, the eldest of six sons of George Westmore. He worked for both the Famous Players-Lasky studio and Selznick International Pictures. He was the head of the makeup department at Selznick and worked on films including Gone with the Wind (1939) and Rebecca (1940). His death from a heart attack following a tonsillectomy has been credited to the heavy workload on Gone with the Wind. He had three sons, Marvin, Michael, and Monty, all of whom also became make-up artists.

Frank Courtney Westmore was a Hollywood make-up artist, part of the Westmore family who were credited with introducing the art of make-up to the Hollywood movie industry.

Montague George "Monty" Westmore was part of the third generation of the Westmore family of American make-up artists in film and television who worked on over 75 films and television series since 1950. He was the brother of make-up artist Michael Westmore and uncle of actress McKenzie Westmore.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cinema Makeup School</span>

Cinema Makeup School is a private, for-profit makeup training school located in Los Angeles. The school was founded in 1993. Specialties include beauty make-up for film and television as well as fashion and editorial purposes, hairstyling, airbrushing and bodypainting, character make-up, special make-up effects and prosthetics, creature maquette sculpture and digital makeup effects design, along with Advanced Lab Techniques and Advanced Beauty Techniques.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kasta sari</span> Style of sari draping

The Kaashtha sari is a style of sari draping is very similar to the way the Maharashtrian dhoti is worn. The word Kaashtha refers to the sari being tucked at the back. Since this sari is usually worn by using a single nine yard cloth, it is also referred to as Nauvari which means Nine Yards. Sakachcha sari is another term commonly used to refer to this style of sari. It is referred to as Akanda Vastra, which means it doesn't need any other attire to support it. In fact, this attire holds utmost importance as women across different walks of life have worn it. It is not just worn at religious and cultural events, but women have fought wars in the past and still work in farmlands wearing this.

Christien Tinsley is an American make-up artist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Airbrush makeup</span> Makeup sprayed onto the skin using an airbrush

Airbrush makeup is makeup sprayed onto the skin using an airbrush machine instead of being applied with sponges, brushes, fingers, or other methods. A typical airbrush system uses a compressor to create airflow through a hose connected to a trigger-controlled spray painting gun. The airbrush pressure can be adjusted to apply various types of makeup, such as lighter, heavier, or more detailed styles. Airbrushes are used in film, theater, bridal makeup, and sunless tanning. Airbrush systems designed for personal, in-home use are usually smaller and work at a lower pressure than systems used in professional applications.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Raven (drag queen)</span> American drag queen and television personality

David Petruschin, best known as Raven, is an American drag queen, iconic make-up artist, and reality television personality from Riverside, California. Raven was a fixture in the Southern California nightclub scene before gaining international prominence for appearing in both the second season of RuPaul's Drag Race and the first season of All Stars. Raven placed as the runner-up on both seasons. He also served as a "professor" during all three seasons of RuPaul's Drag U. Petruschin has been RuPaul's makeup artist since Drag Race's ninth season and has since become a creative producer of both RuPaul’s Drag Race and RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars. For his make-up work on the show, Petruschin received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Makeup for a Multi-Camera Series or Special (Non-Prosthetic) in 2020.

Face Off is an American reality television game show program on the Syfy cable network channel in which a group of prosthetic makeup artists compete against each other to create prostheses such as those found in science fiction, fantasy, and horror films. One or more challenges are featured in each episode, with the work reviewed by a panel of judges who eliminate one or more artists each week until a final winner is chosen.

"Sheila Ki Jawani" is an Indian Hindi-language song sung by Sunidhi Chauhan and Vishal Dadlani featuring Katrina Kaif along with Akshay Kumar in the 2010 Bollywood film Tees Maar Khan. The music is composed by composer duo Vishal–Shekhar and the lyrics are penned by Dadlani. The moves were choreographed by choreographer-director Farah Khan, who went on to win the Filmfare award for best choreography for the movie.

<i>Bang Bang!</i> 2014 film by Siddharth Anand

Bang Bang! is a 2014 Indian action comedy film directed by Siddharth Anand and written by Abbas Tyrewala, Sujoy Ghosh and Suresh Nair. Produced by Fox Star Studios, it is an official remake of the 2010 American film Knight and Day and stars Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif, while co-starring Javed Jaffrey and Danny Denzongpa, with Jimmy Sheirgill in a special appearance. The film follows a mysterious thief on the run, whose encounter with an unassuming bank receptionist sets off a chain of events resulting in a series of escapades.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Daniel Bauer (make-up artist)</span>

Daniel Bauer is an Australian-born, Mumbai-based make-up artist and hairstylist known for his red carpet makeup work of Bollywood celebrities, his work for the Lakme Fashion Week and his makeup and hair styling academy.

The British Academy Television Craft Award for Best Make-Up & Hair Design is one of the categories presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) within the British Academy Television Craft Awards, the craft awards were established in 2000 with their own, separate ceremony as a way to spotlight technical achievements, without being overshadowed by the main production categories. According to the BAFTA website, the eligibility of this category is "limited to artists directly responsible for the make up and hair design in the programme."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Justin Raleigh</span> American make-up artist

Justin Raleigh is an American make-up artist. He is best known for his work on The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Aquaman, Army of the Dead, Impeachment: American Crime Story, American Horror Story: Freak Show and Westworld.

Karen J. Westerfield is an American make-up artist. In 2022 she was elected business representative of the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild, the top post for the guild; she was the first Asian-American and first woman to be elected to that post.


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