The job of a performance makeup artist is to take care of the makeup and general vision of the performers in a play, either a live or recorded one (i.e. a theatrical performance on a stage or one on a movie set). Typically, the job of a makeup artist is to apply various types of makeup and special effects to the actors in order to give them a particular look, as well as do some basic styling on their hair and clothes to ensure consistency throughout the whole vision. Additionally, performance makeup aritsts may sometimes be required to perform on-the-fly adjustments when makeup fails during the performance.

Becoming a performance makeup artist can be done without getting a degree in the subject, even though various universities teach related subjects and offer relevant courses. Most of the skills required for being a good performance makeup artist are attained in the course of employment, and many renowned companies and studios are usually interested in hiring candidates with sufficient experience in a previous similar position.

Performance makeup artists earn between $25,000 – $55,000 a year, depending mainly on their place of employment. Some studios and theatres are able to pay their makeup artists considerably more than others, where makeup artists usually take up the job as a secondary one and don’t consider it for much in general. The job can be highly stressful on busier sets, and in general can impose a lot of responsibilities over those who practice it.