Make-up and hair designer


Make-up and hair designers develop a design concept for make-up and hair of performers and supervise the execution of it. Their work is based on research and artistic vision. Their design is influenced by and influences other designs and must be conform with these designs and the overall artistic vision. Therefore, the designers work closely with artistic directors, operators and the artistic team. Make-up and hair designers develop sketches, design drawings or other documentation to support the workshop and performance crew. Make-up designers sometimes also work as autonomous artists, creating make-up art outside a performance context.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to make-up and hair designer:

make up & hair artist
hair and make-up designer
hair designer & make up artist
make-up and hair artist
hair designer and make-up artist
hair and make-up artist
wig designer
hair and make up designer
hair designer and make up artist
hair & make-up designer
hair and make up artist
make-up & hair designer
hair and makeup artist
make up and hair designer
make-up, hair and wig designer
hair & make-up artist
makeup & hair artist
make-up artist & hair designer
make up and hair artist
make up artist & hair designer
makeup and hair artist
hair designer & make-up artist
hair & make up artist
hair & make up designer
make-up artist and hair designer
make-up & hair artist
make up artist and hair designer
make-up, hair and wig artist
hair & makeup artist
make up & hair designer

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma is generally required to work as a make-up and hair designer.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Make-up and hair designer is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Make-up and hair designer career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to make-up and hair designer.

performance hairdresser
wig and hairpiece maker
instrument technician
make-up artist
tent installer

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of make-up and hair designer. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of make-up and hair designer with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

pyrotechnic designer
lighting designer
set designer
sound designer
flying director

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of make-up and hair designer.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of make-up and hair designer. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Labour legislation: Legislation, on a national or international level, that governs labour conditions in various fields between labour parties such as the government, employees, employers, and trade unions.
  • Copyright legislation: Legislation describing the protection of the rights of original authors over their work, and how others can use it.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of make-up and hair designer. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Draw up artistic production: File and document a production in all its phases right after the performance period so that it can be reproduced and all relevant information remains accessible.
  • Lead a team: Lead, supervise and motivate a group of people, in order to meet the expected results within a given timeline and with the foreseen resources in mind.
  • Provide documentation: Prepare and distribute documentation to ensure all people involved in the production receive relevant and up-to-date information.
  • Test make-up: Perform routine tests to determine if make-up products are adequate.
  • Dye wigs: Apply dyes to wigs to obtain the desired colour.
  • Update budget: Make sure that a given budget remains up to date using most recent and most accurate information. Anticipate possible variations and ensure that the set budgetary goals can be reached within the given context.
  • Use personal protection equipment: Make use of protection equipment according to training, instruction and manuals. Inspect the equipment and use it consistently.
  • Prevent fire in a performance environment: Take steps to prevent fire in a performance environment. Make sure the space complies with fire safety rules, with sprinklers and fire extinguishers installed where necessary. Make sure staff are aware of fire prevention measures.
  • Analyse the need for technical resources: Define and make a list of the required resources and equipment based on the technical needs of the production.
  • Create wigs: Design and maintain wigs and hairpieces.
  • Organise resources for artistic production: Coordinate human, material and capital resources within artistic productions, based on the given documentation e.g. scripts.
  • Keep personal administration: File and organise personal administration documents comprehensively.
  • Create lifecasts: Use specialised products such as silicones to create moulds of a person’s hand, face, or other body parts in a process called lifecasting. Use moulds or other materials to create medical devices in the prosthetic and orthotic field.
  • Work with respect for own safety: Apply the safety rules according to training and instruction and based on a solid understanding of the prevention measures and risks to your own personal health and safety.
  • Document your own practice: Documenting your own work practice for different purposes like assessment, time management, job application etc.

ISCO group and title

5142 – Beauticians and related workers

  1. Make-up and hair designer – ESCO
Last updated on November 22, 2022

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