5 Tips To Help You Become An Amazing Special Effects Makeup Artist


Special effects makeup uses prosthetics to give performers deformities, wounds, abrasions, animal features, etc. it creates illusions of all sorts. For example, the performer is transformed to look older, younger, hurt, mutated, or like a monster. This is as opposed to regular makeup that enhances a person’s complexion or looks.

Before embarking on the journey of becoming an sfx makeup artist, you need to first acquire different skills. You need to go above and beyond, take your creativity to another level. Training acquired under a professional with tons of experience will, no doubt, earn you all the skills you need to work in this field.

woman with red hair wearing silver face mask

How to become a better makeup artist

Becoming a special effects makeup artist requires that you at least have some specialist skills and knowledge. But there is always room for growth and as you keep getting better, the results will be consistently rewarding.You have come to the right place if you’re looking for ways on how to become a better SFX makeup artist.

1. Familiarize with the special effects makeup kit

Some common items that you’ll find in a special effects makeup kit include applicators (like brushes and sponges), tissue, palettes, liquid latex, castor seal, 3D modeling compound, water-soluble glue or spirit gum plus remover, skin-friendly wax, and fake blood.

First, you need to ensure that you have all the basic equipment by going through the items we mentioned earlier. It’s imperative that you do your research – study all these items and their uses. If you don’t know your tools it could greatly affect the outcome of your work. On the other hand, if you can navigate the use of the right tools, that’ll significantly help you create realistic illusions.

2. Follow the industry closely

Trends in the industry keep changing with each passing day. If you’re not keen some very important trends could slip by without your knowledge. It would be very discreditable if a client came to you asking for a particular look that you have never seen or heard of before.

The best way to stay up-to-date with all that’s going on in the industry is to follow influential special effects makeup artists. This way you won’t miss anything that they post on their social media platforms. It could be tutorials or just projects that they have worked on.

3. Always be willing to learn new things

Just like is the case with any other industry, taking a single course doesn’t mark the end of education. Getting a certification from a special effects makeup school doesn’t guarantee that you will stay ahead of the competition forever.

To remain relevant, you should keep learning. Take self-improvement courses regularly and find other ways to improve your skills. Learning is a continuous process especially in such a fast-growing and ever-evolving industry. New techniques are always emerging and you need to master them all as they come to light.

4. Get creative

This is a rather obvious point because this career involves a lot of creativity. So you really need to flex the depths to which your creative juices can flow.To spark their creative side, most people take up unusual challenges and start practicing on them. The experience always pays off.

If, for example, your assignment requires that you create a monster, you need to think outside the box and create something that you’re sure will stand out. Let people be amazed by your work and in return, your exemplary work will always speak for you when you’re searching for your next gig.

5. Find a job

Last but not least, you need to find a job. Not only for the money but for the experience. The projects that you work on also allow you to build a flawless portfolio that you can always use when you’re on your next hunt for a job. Another thing that a job will teach you is how to work under pressure and with tight timelines.

To find a good job as a special effects makeup artist, you need to grow your network. The right network will help you get in touch with the right people. Attend networking events and conventions every chance you get. Here you’re guaranteed to meet the who is who in the industry including celebrities and professionals with years of experience.


Special FX makeup is a very interesting career path that allows you to explore your creative side. To get started on your career, you first need to attend school for special effects makeup to get some valuable knowledge. These schools not only teach you about makeup but also about the business side of the job. An amazing special FX makeup artist needs to know how to manage budgets among other things.

We hope that this guide gave you some useful takeaway points on how to become a better SFX makeup artist.