Hair Stylists & Makeup Artists Are Not the Same

Woman in red sitting in a chair, while make up is applied to her eye lids.

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Image: Behind the Scenes at Dicks & Nanton

We love the idea of Renaissance people, masters of multiple artistic disciplines! That being said, we don’t like the idea of a combo “hair and makeup” person.

It’s very rare for a single person to have extensive training in both hair and makeup. What you’re actually getting with such a “combo” person may be a cosmetologist with a certificate in makeup. A makeup artist, on the other hand, has a full degree course in makeup – not just a few crash courses or a single certificate.

There are simply too many techniques and areas of expertise in hair styling. The same goes for makeup. There is no substitute for an artist with a singular focus on either hair or makeup – not both –who has extensive, formal training or an apprenticeship, and then years of experience honing their expertise.

Different Areas of Expertise

High-end hair, for example, is different than camera-ready hair. Camera-ready makeup is different than basic beauty makeup. Knowing these differences is important when there’s a professional production at stake, or when standards are super-high, like a wedding.

Each area has a specific toolkit and specialized knowledge.

Makeup Artist:

  • Degree course in makeup
  • Expertise may include beauty and basic makeup, corrective makeup, print & fashion makeup, theatrical makeup, character and special effects makeup, airbrush makeup, and high-definition makeup
  • Tools include professional makeup kits, industry-accepted brushes, palettes, and cosmetics

Hair Stylist:

  • License in cosmetology with a specialization in Hair cut, color, and styling
  • Expertise may include corrective color, creative color, hair cut, and hair design
  • Tools include professional shears and industry-accepted tools for drying, curling, coloring, perming, or styling hair

Special skills include staying up-to-date on new techniques, trends, and fashions.

A M3 Makeup Artist on the Set of an Orlando Production

M3 makeup artists on the set have formal training and expertise in makeup. Airbrush makeup, correction, or special effects makeup may all be techniques that come into play.

That’s not to say hair and wardrobe get ignored! Keeping flyaways in check, as well as set-up and wardrobe correction, including lint control, are often part of our duties. We take it all in stride. It’s all a regular part of creating the perfect look on a shoot.