How to Become a Special Effects Makeup Artist – A Complete Guide

Have you ever watched a Si-Fi movie and wondered how the aliens look so realistic in them? Well, it is the imagination of the writer and director, but their imagination is brought into reality by special effects (SFX) makeup artist. Every production uses a makeup artist so that the actors look good in front of the camera but to create special effects, productions hire SFX-makeup artists. This field is quite lucrative if you are working for the right industry hence, we below are some tips that will help you become a special effects makeup artist;

What is Special Effects Makeup?

In special effects makeup, prosthetics and cosmetics are used to create a special effect for theater or cinema. The effects can range from simple bruises to an alien look. It is a creative makeup field where you need to have extra skills to be a success in the industry.

Special Effects Makeup Schools

As special effect makeup is not as simple as doing a glamor look makeup, hence you will need to gain additional skills by getting a makeup artist uddannelse (education) from a reputed institute where you are taught about SFX from the basics to advanced courses.

Tips to do Special Effects Makeup

Start with Basics

You cannot start from trying a crazy zombie look if you have no experience in doing basic special effects makeup hence start from creating bruises and cuts and master them before you jump into doing any complicated look. If you start from basic, then you will soon gradually grow to learn a more complex look, and this will add perfection to your finished special effects look.

Work Considering all Factors in Mind

The steps involved in doing special effects makeup are the design and application. During the design process, the entire team sits down to decide the exact design that needs to be created There are different factors you need to consider as an SFX makeup artist like does the character need to talk more or move quickly and how long are they going to wear the entire look. Based on these considerations, the design is finalized.

Then it is the responsibility of the makeup artist to make that design a reality and it may take hours to apply the makeup followed by several hours to remove it.

Practice Practice Practice

If you really wish to succeed in this field, you need to practice as much as you can to become a perfectionist as the competition is really high hence your skills will decide if you can succeed in this field or not. Start by volunteering for theatres and programs or connect with a photographer who may need a makeup artist for their shoot, as initially, you may not get many job opportunities. Bond with people and build a network to enter the industry.

Special Effects Makeup Artist Jobs Opportunities

As you start your career as an SFX makeup artist, you may only dream of entering Hollywood or TV industry but that is not all, you can also work for theaters or film school as the opportunities there are higher in such fields. You can also find jobs in theme parks. You just need to look around and you will realize that there are many job options you can choose from.

The Bottom Line

Becoming an SFX makeup artist is a lucrative career choice if you can make your way into the industry but the initial struggles may be tough hence the only way to get through the hardship is by improving your work every day and becoming a perfectionist.

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