Assistant Makeup Artist

Back up the Makeup Artist during hectic film shoots.

What does an Assistant Makeup Artist do?

Costumes, props, and sets help set the mood for a movie or television show, but it’s the Actor that truly makes the audience believe the story they’re being told. While accent or motions help, appearance is one of the easiest ways to give the audience big clues about the character. Assistant Makeup Artists work with the main Makeup Artists to create the look the Director demands.

If you’re an Assistant Makeup Artist, your work covers a gamut of possibilities, from the basic to the complex. Assistant Makeup Artists can make an Actor look flawless, give them bruises for a fight scene, or even turn them into an alien with prosthetic parts and body paint.

As the Assistant, you go along for the ride, working right beside the main Artist. Each day, you set up and break down the workstation. This includes setting out brushes, refilling supplies, cleaning tools, and, in general, making sure things are hygienic and ready to go.

During production, you help with touch-ups between takes. You deliver supplies, keep Actors comfortable, and move makeup to where it needs to be. Depending on the size of the production, you might even be able to help with the application of makeup, like doing small areas of body paint application, putting on foundation, or even doing the makeup of Extras.

A major part of this job is making sure the Actor’s makeup looks the same from scene to scene and from day to day. Single shots can take days to film, so you need to ensure that the bruise painted on the right check on day one doesn’t move to the left by day 14.

This is a job that calls for long hours and lots of movement. You can expect to have times of rush, like when setting up or moving to a new location, and also times when you spend hours in one position, hunched over an Actor and getting their look just right.