daily life of a Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artist
are Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artists happy with their job

Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artists

Other names for this job might include Beauty Therapist, Body Make-Up Artist, Commercial Makeup Artist, Hair and Makeup Designer, Makeup Artist, Makeup Instructor, Prosthetic Makeup Designer, Special Effects Designer, Special Effects Makeup Artist, Special Effects Technician

  • $66560
  • 80%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • Low
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank


Being A Theatrical Makeup Artist: What You Really Do

In this job description guide, you will find out what do Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artists do and what is their typical work day like.

After reading this, you will have a much better idea on whether you will like working as a Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artist or not.

Job summary

Theatrical Makeup Artists apply makeup to performers to reflect period, setting, and situation of their role.

We asked Theatrical Makeup Artists how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction


How meaningful is this job


80% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 54% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.

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Typical day

On a daily basis, Theatrical Makeup Artists Duplicate work precisely in order to replicate characters’ appearances on a daily basis. They Apply makeup to enhance, and/or alter the appearance of people appearing in productions such as movies.

1 of the main responsibilities as A Theatrical Makeup Artist is to Alter or maintain makeup during productions as necessary to compensate for lighting changes or to achieve continuity of effect.

Some may also Select desired makeup shades from stock, or mix oil, grease, and coloring in order to achieve specific color effects.

In a normal work day, another thing that Theatrical Makeup Artists do is they Cleanse and tone the skin in order to prepare it for makeup application.

In addition to that, they Assess performers’ skin-type in order to ensure that make-up will not cause break-outs or skin irritations..

Apply makeup to alter or enhance appearance.
Apply makeup to alter or enhance appearance.

We asked some Theatrical Makeup Artists a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?64% said yes
Do you have to use email everyday in this job?68% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?73% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?82% said yes
Do you have to meet strict deadlines everyday in this job?68% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?32% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?9% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?50% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides the “typical day” things that Theatrical Makeup Artists do, they Confer with stage or motion picture officials and performers in order to determine desired effects. They might also Establish budgets, and work within budgetary limits.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Theatrical Makeup Artists Requisition or acquire needed materials for special effects, including wigs, beards, and special cosmetics. and Examine sketches, photographs, and plaster models in order to obtain desired character image depiction.

In addition, they Create character drawings or models, based upon independent research, in order to augment period production files.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Advise hairdressers on the hairstyles required for character parts.

To some Theatrical Makeup Artists, it is also their responsibility to Study production information, such as character descriptions, period settings, and situations in order to determine makeup requirements.

A typical week or month for them might include:

Collaborate with others to determine production details.
Manage budgets for personal services operations.
Order materials, supplies, or equipment.
Review production information to determine costume or makeup requirements.
Design costumes or cosmetic effects for characters.

Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Irregular (Changes with weather conditions, production demands or contract duration)

In a typical work week as A Theatrical Makeup Artist, you can expect to work More than 40 hours per week.

Do Theatrical Makeup Artists work in an office-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Theatrical Makeup Artists work in a warehouse-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Theatrical Makeup Artists work outdoors?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Artists and The Builders

You can read more about these career personality types here.

You will like this career if you are someone who likes working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

You also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the careers require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

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Career type

Personal Care and Service
Performing Arts
Personal Care Services

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