MAKEUP DESIGN FOR FILM + TELEVISION

Gain hands-on experience in the world of production makeup.

You are committed to the art of makeup for film and television. You’re obsessed with the hands-on aspect of the craft. Your creative process begins with a script – and where other people might simply see monsters or beauty queens, your artist’s gaze and detail-oriented design will culminate in a meticulous execution that gets you hired over and over again. You will continue to refine your technique on set or in the lab, and work with other passionate professionals who value your singular vision and dedication to shaping audience experiences. You are a Makeup Artist.

An Education in MAKEUP DESIGN FOR FILM + TELEVISION

Terms 1 and 2

Focus on the foundation of your makeup education, including the study of the makeup industry as it relates to film, television, and print.

Terms 1 and 2

Terms 3 and 4

Delve deeper into the fabrication side of makeup, as you explore the responsibilities of a Makeup Artist as part of a film production team.

Terms 3 and 4

Terms 5 and 6

Devote yourself to building out your portfolio and completing your final project.

Terms 5 and 6

Program Breakdown

BASICS, BEAUTY + BEYOND: Learn the fundamentals of beauty makeup, while building a solid understanding of products, colour theory, and facial anatomy.

GLAMOUR + OUT-OF-KIT FX: Recreate classic decade looks and adapt them for contemporary application. Explore hair-styling, out-of-kit effects, and alternative glamour.

CHARACTER TECHNIQUES: Learn to define character through hair-laying, wig application, bald caps, advanced airbrushing, and age makeup.

3D MAKEUP TECHNIQUES: Pour yourself into life-casts, sculpting, and mold-making, to create three-dimensional prosthetics.

ADVANCED CHARACTER CREATION: Fabricate full-head masks. Create, apply and paint foam latex appliances, and master ventilated hair pieces and human-hair, lace-front wigs.

FINAL PROJECTS + PORTFOLIOS: Focus on your final portfolio project, and prepare for your career as a Makeup Artist by covering the fundamentals of résumé building and union standards.

  • program length

    12 Months

  • Time spent with instructors

    1045 Hours

  • IMATS wins to date

    42

  • A Diploma in Makeup Design for Film + Television
  • A comprehensive portfolio
  • Access to the VFS Alumni Directory and Job Board

Key Faculty

Our instructors are working industry professionals and artists, devoted to excellence in the field of makeup design for film and television. They are dedicated to sharing their extensive knowledge and industry expertise to help you thrive in your career. 

Head of Makeup Design for Film and Television Stan Edmonds

Stan Edmonds

Head of Department

Stan has been a motion picture Makeup Artist for over 30 years. He worked with Clint Eastwood on his Academy Award-winning film Unforgiven, and has served as Head of Department on films like I, Robot, and The Butterfly Effect.

Instructor and Curricular Manager Elissa Frittaion first photo
Instructor and Curricular Manager Elissa Frittaion second photo

Elissa Frittaion

Instructor/Curricular Manager

A member of IATSE 891 since 1996, Elissa has been a makeup artist for over twenty years. She helped design and currently manages the Makeup Design curriculum, and has guided more than seven hundred students through to graduation.

Prosthetic Construction Techniques Instructor Charlie Grant

Charlie Grant

Instructor – Prosthetic Construction Techniques

Charlie has worked on over 70 film and television productions, and has enjoyed every one of them. He is currently in three departments at IATSE (Makeup, Props, and SPFX), as well as a Puppeteer in UBCP. Charlie's credits include Jumanji, The X-Files, and The Fly 2.

Makeup Technique Instructor Linda Gill-Crone

Linda Gill-Crone

Instructor – Makeup Technique

Linda has worked in film for over 35 years (including nine at VFS). She is a member of IATSE 891 and worked on The Black Robe, Alive, Christopher Columbus (with Marlon Brando), and Adventures In Babysitting (with Elizabeth Shue).

Makeup Technique Instructor Anya Ursula Ellis first photo
Makeup Technique Instructor Anya Ursula Ellis second photo

Anya Ursula Ellis

Instructor – Makeup Technique

Anya has enjoyed a freelance career as a makeup artist and hairstylist for over 25 years in Canada, the US, and Europe. She's worked in fashion, film, television, and commercials, with artists from Isabella Rossellini to Aerosmith.

Faculty Career Highlights

Chaos Theory poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television staff credits

Chaos Theory

Stan Edmonds — Department Head of Makeup

Martian Child poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television staff credits

Martian Child

Stan Edmonds — Department Head of Makeup

Hot Rod poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television staff credits

Hot Rod

Stan Edmonds — Department Head of Makeup

The Five People You Meet in Heaven poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television staff credits

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Stan Edmonds — Makeup Department Head

The Butterfly Effect poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television staff credits

The Butterfly Effect

Stan Edmonds — Department Head of Makeup

I, Robot poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television staff credits

I, Robot

Stan Edmonds — Makeup Department Head

Scary Movie poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television staff credits

Scary Movie

Charlie Grant — Puppeteer
Stan Edmonds — Department Head of Makeup

Cast Away poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television staff credits

Cast Away

Charlie Grant — Assistant Model Maker

Beautiful Joe poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television staff credits

Beautiful Joe

Elissa Frittaion — Assistant Makeup Artist

The 13th Warrior poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television staff credits

The 13th warrior

Elissa Frittaion — Assistant Makeup Artist
Stan Edmonds — Department Head of Makeup

Saban's Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television staff credits

Saban's Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation

Elissa Frittaion — Key Makeup Artist

The Outer Limits poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television staff credits

The Outer Limits

Charlie Grant — On-Set Special Effects Makeup Artist

 

Jumanji poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television staff credits

Jumanji

Charlie Grant — Special Effects Makeup Artist

Double Happiness poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television staff credits

Double Happiness

Anya Ursula Ellis — Makeup Artist

The X-Files poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television staff credits

The X-Files

Charlie Grant — Special Effects Makeup Artist, Puppeteer

Alive poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television staff credits

Alive

Linda Gill-Crone — Makeup Artist

Unforgiven poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television staff credits

Unforgiven

Stan Edmonds — Assistant Makeup Artist

Johnny Mnemonic poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television staff credits

Johnny Mnemonic

Linda Gill-Crone — Key Makeup Artist

Christopher Columbus: The Discovery poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television staff credits

Christopher Columbus: The Discovery

Linda Gill-Crone — Makeup Artist

Campus Life

As a Makeup Design student, you'll spend your year at our three makeup campuses (including a fully equipped FX lab for fabrication). You'll have access to the campuses, Resource Centre, and computer labs after school and on weekends for additional practice time or outside projects. 
 

Students working in the FX lab in one of three VFS Makeup Design for Film and Television campuses

CAREERS IN MAKEUP DESIGN

As a VFS Makeup Design for Film + Television graduate, you’ll be highly qualified to perform in a variety of roles on professional film sets, fabrication studios, and live event environments.

Production Makeup Artist

As a professional Production Makeup Artist, you’ll work on films as they are in production. You’ll do script breakdowns, source materials needed for the show, and apply makeup to the actors in the makeup trailer and on set. You’ll need to have a broad range of skill sets.

FX Lab or Shop Artist

When you work in the more specialized field of FX Lab or Shop Artists, you’ll work on large scale projects (prosthetics creation, prop creation, etc.) that cannot be handled on set. This includes face casting, sculpting and mold making.

Freelance Makeup Artist

Working as a Freelance Makeup Artist will offer you the most variety in your career. Yo can work on set, at photo shoots, live performances, and weddings. You have to be able to do everything and be ready to go where the work is.

Grad Career Highlights

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television alumni credits

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Amy St. Jean — Makeup Artist
Frida Norrman — Special Makeup Effects Shop Technician
Michael Nickiforek — Prosthetics and Fake Body Fabrication

Underworld: Awakening poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television alumni credits

Underworld: Awakening

Andrea Dulmage — Special Effects Makeup Technician
Jonathan Berezan — Lab Technician
Karen Uhthoff Jimenez — Special Makeup Effects Artist

The Avengers poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television alumni credits

The Avengers

Jacquelyn Adamson — Makeup Artist

Tomorrowland poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television alumni credits

Tomorrowland

Frida Norrman — Special Make Up Effects Shop Technician
Michael Nickiforek — Silicone Prosthetics and Bodies Fabrication

Air poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television alumni credits

Air

Frida Norrman — Key Hair Stylist

The Flash poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television alumni credits

The Flash

Jennifer Kaminski — Second Assistant Makeup Artist

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television alumni credits

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Frida Norrman — Special Make Up Effects Shop Technician
Michael Nickiforek — Animal Effects Fabrication

Captain America: The Winter Soldier poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television alumni credits

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Jacquelyn Adamson — Makeup Artist

Flowers in the Attic poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television alumni credits

Flowers in the Attic

Jennifer Kaminski — Assistant Makeup Artist 

Some Assembly Required poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television alumni credits

Some Assembly Required

Jennifer Kaminski — Assistant Hair Stylist 

Elysium poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television alumni credits

Elysium

Andrea Dulmage — Special Effects Makeup Technician

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television alumni credits

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Frida Norrman — Special Makeup Effects Technician
Michael Nickiforek — Makeup Effects Lab Technician

Pacific Rim poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television alumni credits

Pacific Rim

Devon Ellis — Creature Effects: Mike Elizalde's Spectral Motion

Scavengers poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television alumni credits

Scavengers

Elisa Solomon — Assistant Makeup Artist
Laura Doolin — Makeup Artist

Gaia: The Series poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television alumni credits

Gaia: The Series

Jonathan Berezan — Special Makeup Effects Artist 

Final Destination 5 poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television alumni credits

Final Destination 5

Devon Ellis — Special Makeup Effects Crew

Rise of the Planet of the Apes poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television alumni credits

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Frida Norrman — 1st Assist. Special Make Up Effects Technician
Michael Nickiforek — Animal Effects Fabrication

Mr. Popper's Penguins poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television alumni credits

Mr. Popper's Penguins

Frida Norrman — Special Makeup Effects Shop Technician
Michael Nickiforek — Animal Effects Fabrication

TRON: Legacy poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television alumni credits

TRON: Legacy

Frida Norrman — Special Makeup Effects Technician

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief poster, Makeup Design for Film and Television alumni credits

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Frida Norrman — 1st Assist. Special MakeUp Effects Technician

Your Professional Makeup Kit

Included in your tuition is a comprehensive makeup kit, worth thousands of dollars, containing products that are specific to the film and television industries—this means they are generally more concentrated, and with considerably more pigment. As a result, they are longer wearing, better for the wearer's skin, and conform to the technically exacting criteria set by advanced lens-based technologies.

Makeup Kit
  • Ardell
  • Ben Nye
  • Cinema Secrets
  • Forever Puff
  • HollyNorth
  • Japonesque - Create Beauty
  • Kryolan - Professional Make-up
  • MAC
  • Make Up For Ever
  • Mehron
  • Premiere Products, Inc.
  • Royal Langnickel
  • Makeup case with wheeled caddy
  • 30+ brush set
  • Skin care products
  • Blushes
  • Cake and crème makeup palettes
  • Eye, lip and brow pencils
  • Eyeshadows
  • Lip palette & glosses
  • Crème foundations
  • FX Colour Wheels
  • FX Crème Colours
  • Gelatine
  • Blood
  • Bald Cap materials
  • Crepe and human hair
  • Powders
  • Prosaide & Spirit gum adhesives
  • RMG Palette
  • Sculpting wax
  • Skin Illustrator palettes in custom designed VFS colours
  • Green marble sealer
  • Pax paints
  • Special adhesive removers
  • Hair scissors
  • Tools such as steel palette, tweezers, stainless steel spatula

In addition to your makeup kit, you will also have access to everything you need during your year to create an extensive variety of makeups and makeup effects, such as curling tongs and ovens, gelatine, hair lace and needles, human hair, mold-making cements and silicones, platinum-cure prosthetic-grade silicones, polyester resins, airbrushes and compressors, wig and beard forms, sculpting maquettes, assorted paints, dental acrylics, quality four-part foam latex kits, slip-casting latex rubber and urethanes.

Admissions Info

To make sure you have accurate admissions information please select your region based on country of citizenship.

Tuition

Select Your Region

Start Dates

Select Your Region

Requirements

You will be asked to submit one of the following along with your application. Your advisor can help with selecting the best option.

Send us a letter, along with your portfolio, that shows your dedication to Makeup Design. We’re looking people with talent and a single-minded passion. Tell us about your background, your potential, and what’s driving you to become a Makeup Artist. You'll find information on how to send your portfolio in the application form, or you can ask your Advisor.

When you talk to your Advisor, let them know that you've completed the Foundation program and they will put a copy of your diploma in your file for you.

For more about language requirements and other information for international students, visit the International Students page.

We Can Help

We’re here to help you submit an application that best reflects your abilities, and gives you the best chance of being accepted. We've helped thousands of people complete a successful year at VFS by answering questions like these: 

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