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While it might not be part of the beauty industry per se, the role of special effects (SFX) makeup artist requires similar skills and lots of creativity. It's also a gratifying job that will take you into the exciting world of film and TV, so it's certainly worth a look!

What do you need to study to be a special effects makeup artist?  

You won't technically need to take a formalised SFX make-up course  to work in special effects; it will stand you in good stead if you take a beauty course online, along with some training in special effects and cosmetology. That's where you’ll learn about 3D products, sculpting and prosthetic makeup.

What is prosthetic makeup? 

Typically made from silicone, it’s used along with latex to create moulded pieces that can be used to turn an actor into a monster or simply change their appearance. They can be exceptionally life-like, with a famous example being when they changed Colin Farrell in the Penguin for the Batman movie.

So, what’s it like working in SFX makeup daily?

As an SFX makeup artist, your job is to whizz about on set, altering the appearance of actors for TV shows, movies and theatrical performances. You’ll normally be the first one arriving, as some major projects can take hours. To put it into perspective, the Colin Farrell work mentioned above took around 5 hours to complete!

That said, not everything you do will be super-complex, as it could be that you need to use your makeup kit  to give someone a bruised look or seem older than they really are. It’s often a collaborative affair too, as you’ll be rubbing shoulders with hair stylists, regular makeup artists, art directors and more!

What's the Pay Like in SFX Makeup?

Of course, many work hard on their personal development plan  to work in SFX for the sheer joy and fun of doing so, but the good news is that the pay’s none too shabby either. At the outset, you’ll likely be on a fairly modest salary of $35k, but that can move up significantly with experience to over $100k.

There’s no getting around the fact that it can be a challenging role, but the rewards are obvious, as your work gets seen by millions and it’s very much a vocation, rather than simply a job. 

You'll learn many skills and principles on a regular make-up course  that will apply in the SFX world, so it pays to get a good grounding with a beauty course online before specialising. 

Start Your SFX Makeup Artist Career With an OCA Make-up Course 

It’s not hard to see why the world of SFX is so popular as a career, as it’s unlike any career out there. The good news is that learning the skills required to become one yourself is convenient and affordable. OCA has a Makeup Fundamental Course that is video-based, CPD-Endorsed which will make learning a fun and engaging experience. Watch our compelling student study demo now. 

If, however, you’d prefer to learn more about us and the full range of training we offer, simply visit us today at, where you’ll find courses that cover more than 20 different industries and come with 1-to-1 tutor support. We've even got flexible payment options too!

Alternatively, to speak directly to an OCA advisor about your professional learning needs, call us on 1300 611 404 or drop us an email at [email protected].

To discuss all our coursesyou can get in touch with our friendly team on 1300 611 404.

Study Makeup Fundamental Online With OCA


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