Becoming a professional makeup artist requires skill, determination, and passion. Talent can take you pretty far in this field but learning from other experienced artists can help you get to the next level. This is why many makeup artists decide to go to beauty school or makeup artistry school to perfect their skills and learn new or different techniques.
Traditional cosmetology school or beauty school focuses primarily on basic beauty techniques, such as makeup tools and applications, color matching, with a heavy focus on skincare or hairstyling techniques. Whereas a makeup artist school will dive deeper into more advanced beauty makeup techniques such as highlighting and contouring HD & film makeup, teen makeup, time periods, tattoo cover, dynamic eye makeup, editorial makeup, avant-garde, fantasy makeup, drag makeup, trend makeup, applying rhinestone and appliques, and airbrush makeup. It is important that any professional makeup artist even for someone who wants to specialize in special effects makeup, has a strong foundation in beauty makeup. This is why there are additional courses you can take during or after your training – such as going to special effects makeup school. Or, by attending a makeup artistry school that offers these specialized courses in on-set hairstyling, advanced airbrush makeup, body painting, character creation, special effects, and prosthetic creation and application. With these specialized and advanced skills, you will be ready for any job or opportunity that presents itself.
Special effects (FX) makeup artistry is a popular specialization – but you may be wondering if it is worth going to school for.
Here are just a few reasons why you may want to consider enrolling in special effects makeup school.
1. How to Become a Special Effects Makeup Artist
Special effects makeup courses can be taken during traditional training at the L Makeup Institute. We offer this as part of our Program Two training. This program covers all of the essential makeup techniques, along with advanced courses. During Program Two, students will complete four core classes:
- Mastering the Art of Beauty
- Hair Styling for the Makeup Artist
- Airbrush and Body Painting
- Special Effects Makeup
This takes a total of 32 weeks to complete for full-time students.
You can also take this course in addition to your core training or after you graduate to expand your skills. The Special Makeup Effects course at L Makeup Institute is a 7 week or 227.5-hour course and our advanced prosthetics course is a 5 week or 162.5-hour course.
L Makeup Institute is accredited by the ACCSC (Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges). Students can earn certification and a diploma upon graduation from our Program One or Program Two courses. Most states do not require a license for makeup artists – but having a certification from a reputable school can certainly help you stand out as a professional makeup artist.
2. What Do You Learn in Special Effects Makeup School?
A special effects makeup artist is responsible for creating unique and even other-worldly looks through makeup, prosthetics, and other tools. Special FX makeup is commonly used in film and theater productions and special events to create characters and looks that cannot be achieved with traditional makeup. These techniques are used to simulate gory injuries, make a person appear older, or turn actors into a whole other creature like a zombie or alien.
During special effects makeup school, you will learn a wide variety of techniques hands-on and get to practice application in the classroom. Our Special Makeup Effects course includes training on:
- Blood and wound techniques
- False teeth impression, sculpting, and molding
- Hair, facial hair, and bald cap applications
- Age makeup
- Injury simulation
- Work with latex and silicon
- Character Creation and much more
Most of this work involves prosthetics to create unique features, cuts, wounds, and other special effects. Our talented instructors will show you how to design and pour molds and add in paint and makeup to create a realistic look. You will even learn how to create life and teeth casts for sculpting and creating your own specialized molds.
All students have the opportunity to practice with real-life models during the course. The L Makeup Institute even has a professional photo studio so you can capture your work to create an impressive portfolio.
3. What Can You Do as a Special Effects Makeup Artist?
Now, all of this special FX makeup training sounds pretty interesting – but you’re probably wondering if you can make a career out of it. The great news is that there are tons of things you can do after completing special effects makeup school.
Since special effects makeup is quite specific and requires lots of skill and training, people tend to earn more in this field than traditional makeup artists. According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for special effects makeup artists was around $76,000.
One of the most common careers for special FX makeup artists is to work in TV, film, theater, or photography. Makeup and prosthetics are used all the time for these types of productions to create unique characters, portray wounds, or alter the appearance of the actors.
You can operate as a freelance makeup artist and apply for these types of gigs on your own. Another option is to work with an agency that will assign you jobs based on your skills, specialties, and location.
This training can also help you land some side-gigs to make extra money and supplement your full-time income. Special effects makeup artists are often hired for events, such as:
- Haunted houses
- Carnivals and theme parks
- Music videos
- Prosthetics designers
You can also pass on your knowledge by recording videos and tutorials to teach others how to do special effects. Or you can go back to school for educator training and teach in special effects makeup school!
Your Next Steps
If creating truly unique and mind-blowing makeup looks through special effects sounds interesting to you, why not look into enrolling in special FX training? Becoming a professional makeup artist is an exciting and rewarding career that can take you to many places. But the first step is to earn your education.
At L Makeup Institute, our goal is to help the makeup artists of tomorrow perfect their skills and gain hands-on experience to help them with their careers. We offer a wide variety of training, including focused special effects makeup classes, to help you explore your talents and learn impressive techniques.
If you are ready to get started in special effects makeup artist school, reach out to L Makeup Institute today.