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

    1400+ Hours

  • IMATS wins to date


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

Student Work

Student human-character prosthetic makeup by Hyeonuk Chu

Hyeonuk Chu

This character make-up by Hyeonuk Chu was created with gelatin prosthetics and a hand-laid beard. The prosthetic appliances were designed, sculpted and molded by Chu, and then applied and painted to look like human skin, aging his model and changing her gender as well.

Human-Character Prosthetic Makeup

Student beauty/fantasy makeup by Blake Armstrong

Blake Armstrong
Abstract Fantasy

Makeup designed and painted by Blake Armstrong. Painted entirely by hand using powdered pigments and acrylics, Blake finished this piece off with a wig constructed of dyed cotton.

Beauty / Fantasy Competition Makeup

Student character prosthetic makeup by Myley Burger

Myley Burger

Foam latex pieces designed, sculpted and created by Myley Burger were then applied by her and painted to simulated decayed, dead skin. The illusion is enhanced by careful hair punching into the forehead piece to create a false hair line.

Character Prosthetic Makeup

Key Faculty

Our Makeup instructors come right from the industry, and offer an unparalleled education based on decades of real-world experience, designed to give students the skills, contacts and confidence to kick start their careers.

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 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 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.

Instructor Amy Van Wormer photo

Amy Van Wormer


Since completing her makeup diploma program in 2003, Amy has had a steady career. After starting out on small theatre productions, she began working in film and television in 2005, with credits including Fear The Walking Dead, Star Trek Beyond, Arrow, Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters, and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Amy’s experience on both big and low-budget productions has given her an approach to makeup artistry that is based on collaboration, improvisation, and an overall love of the craft on and off the set. A complete list of Amy's credits can be viewed on her IMDB page.

See more Instructors and staff

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

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

Program Events

Oscar-winning Makeup Artist Lois Burwell after speaking with students

Guest Speakers

Gain valuable career insights from industry guest speakers who will give demonstrations or answer questions about their specialties. Recent guests include Oscar winner Bill Corso (Deadpool 1 & 2, Star Wars; The Force Awakens), Oscar winner Lois Burwell (Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan), Doug Jones (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth), senior MAC artist Caitlin Callahan, and Emmy-winning Makeup Artist Thomas Suprenant (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, X-Men: The Last Stand).

Guest Speakers

Emmy-winning Makeup Artist Thomas Suprenant doing a demo for students

Expert Demos

Our students and grads get to watch exclusive demos from some of the industry's best Makeup Artists. Recently, we welcomed Emmy-winning Makeup Artist Thomas Suprenant (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, X-Men: The Last Stand) to demonstrate his skills and bring a Klingon to life.

Expert Demos


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.

Alumni Success

Vancouver Film School grads are some of the most successful professionals in the film and television Makeup industry. Take a moment to browse some of their accomplishments and achievements. The Alumni Success Stories feature tales of triumph and fame, and will open in another window to take you to the VFS Blog page. Grad Career Highlights offers a glimpse at some of our amazing alumni credits and contributions to the industry.

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


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


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 

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.


Select Your Region

Start Dates

Select Your Region


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: 


  • What does VFS look for in an application?
  • Can I apply if I haven't met all the requirements yet?
  • What does this part of the application form mean?


  • How much does my program cost?
  • Can I pay in installments?
  • How much will I need for living expenses in Vancouver?


  • How do I get to Vancouver?
  • Where will I live in Vancouver?
  • Do I need a visa?