History of Make up

You will almost certainly have been struck by the way Hollywood actresses are made up, and with good reason, because it certainly makes them glow.

mkup1It all began when make up artists first entered the scene many years ago. Initially, cosmetics were scarce, and actors would spend hours and hours before they were finally made up. If you’d like to know what the first make up brands were, and the top makeup artists of the day, or Greta Garbo’s make up tricks, among others, read this article carefully as we retrace the history of Hollywood make up.mkup girl

The makeup artist’s craft began to be increasingly recognised in the 1930s. It’s important to note that makeup artists were not highly considered from the outset, because most of them were out-of-work actors who took make up as a second option. This becomes easier to understand if we bear in mind that actors (be they theatre, or early-movie actors) had to be able to make themselves up Nevertheless, by the end of the silent era, studios were beginning to hire people to be specifically responsible for make up, and this was the birth of the make up artist. And characterisation was all the more important in classic Hollywood where little was known about make up (makeup artists were hired for movies only from the ‘30s) and where products were scarce.

But the early days of this new profession were no bed of roses, far from it –and neither was it so for those unfortunate actors who had to bear the agony of spending four hours sat in a barber’s seat -.

This is how ever more make up artists began to appear, in the steps of the Westmores and Max Factor. The pioneers were: Cecil Holland, Lon Chaney and George Westmore.

Cecil Holland, whose name until quite recently was utterly unknown, was not only known in his day as “The father of the make up profession”, but also was credited with being the first “Man of a Thousand faces”, and with having handed this title over to Chaney. Two of his most outstanding creations were the ones he produced for Bull Montana in THE LOST WORLD (1925) and for Boris Karloff in THE MASK OF FU MANCHU (1932).

The Westmore dynasty were pioneers and among the most important in Hollywood’s make up scene during the silent era, when George Westmore, a Jewish Cockney, set up the first make up department in the history of cinema, at the Selig Studios. Probably some eighty percent of all movies made in Hollywood in between 1930 and 1950, had Westmore’s name among the credits.
Jack Dawn, for example, managed MGM’s make up department for four years. His team had good facilities, adjustable barber seats, many mirrors and adequate illumination, and demanded that it’s employees be treated as artists, not technicians, despite their craft being an extremely tough one.mkp2

William Tuttle started out as a Fox apprentice, working under Dawn. Thus, he started out sweeping and scrubbing floors, as Dawn was a cleanliness freak. He typed, wrote reports, ran errands and answered the telephone. “I would prepare all his make up, all the colours, and that’s how I got familiar with what make up the actors wore. There was no established system for young people to learn the trade. You’d enter it bit by bit. No apprenticeship period was agreed on; you just began when they thought you were competent”, Tuttle remembers. One day Dawn looked at the sketches that Tuttle had made for Fox, and that was when he thought he would make a good makeup artist. He began by letting him help out on tests. One day, the person in charge of make up on THE MARK OF THE VAMPIRE (1935) didn’t show up, and they sent Tuttle on as a substitute until they could hire someone else. He himself ended up taking charge of work n that picture. When Jack Dawn moved to Metro in 1934, he took Tuttle with him.

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Jack Pierce and Maurice Seiderman were two famous makeup artists who worked during the ‘30s, and thanks to whom the movie market was revolutionised. Both sttudied human anatomy in an effort to make their characterisations more realistic. Pierce was behind Boris Karloff’s transformation in Frankenstein and Bela Lugosi’s in Drácula. Pierce continued to work on characterisation in all the films made around the Frankenstein story that followed the first version, such as: THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935), SON OF FRANKENSTEIN (1939), THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN (1942); FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN (1943); HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1945), etc. But he also had the chance to show his creativity by creating other monsters that have appeared in the history of the terror-movie genre. From the title character in THE MUMMY (1932), to the one in WEREWOLF OF LONDON, etc. Seiderman, for his part, was able to perfect the human ageing process to such an extent that he created 37 different “faces” for Orson Welles in Citizen Kane. The actress Jane Wyatt was frankly overwhelmed upon entering Universal’s make up dept. for the first time.

Now let’s go over actresses’ make up, decade by decade; what was being worn, and the new products…

Training for Professional Make Up

To work in a professional makeup artist’s job, you will need
• a high school diploma;
• experience in cosmetology or the theater
• a good eye for detail; and
• good artistic skills.

Informal experience with makeup is just as important as formal qualifications from a makeup school; so industry experience, whether paid or unpaid, is critical to professional development and to the ability to get makeup artist jobs.


Regardless of whether you pursue formal a formal make up school education or not, you should always be learning as much about makeup as possible. Read and learn about new products, new uses for products, and new application techniques and styles constantly.

Makeup and clothing fashions change with the seasons. Colors change in popularity, too. You will need to know what’s hot and what’s not, both in terms of colors and clothes. You must be prepared to adapt and change your looks constantly to keep up with the latest styles. That way, your makeup will always be evolving and improving. Formal Makeup School Education

There are no formal education requirements beyond high school. Many make up artists have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in theater, art, film history, or a related subject. You should take makeup, drawing, painting, and drama courses in college. You should consider taking anatomy, chemistry, and photography courses.

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Attending a Makeup School

Many makeup artists and designers want to develop or improve their skills to open up new job opportunities, to improve areas of expertise, or to produce better quality work within their own specialization(s). Makeup Artist schools and make up courses provide the opportunity to experiment, diversify or obtain the specialist knowledge desired.

If you want to study professional makeup, shop around. Look for a makeup artist school in your area. There are many makeup schools all over the world and there is likely to be one near you. Makeup schools offer theory and practical make up courses about different styles of makeup, history, tools and their care, and may help with finding makeup artist jobs.
Check the following things about any potential makeup course or makeup school you plan to attend:

• Do the teachers have current working experience or have they been out of the field for a long time? Professional make up is a constantly changing industry and it is essential that teachers have current experience with today’s techniques.
• Is the curriculum up to date? Find out what the latest additions to the curriculum have been to see if current technology is included (e.g. high-definition TV, internet movies, airbrushing)
• Will the school help you look for work? The best makeup courses offer assistance with marketing yourself as a professional makeup artist, as well as finding makeup artist jobs.
• How big are the classes? Too many students in a makeup course means less personal attention for you.
• Talk to past graduates of the make up school or makeup course you plan to attend. If the school won’t help you find them, be concerned.

Home Study

Another option is to complete a professional makeup school program at home in your spare time. Elite Makeup Schools of Madrid and Barcelona, Spain, offer a high-quality, newly designed program that matches their on-campus makeup courses. It is highly visual and includes all of the content of their regular make up school programs, along with professional makeup artist tutoring and free optional classroom classes. The professional makeup school program is available in Spanish and English.

Work Experience

If you can land a part-time job that allows you to work with professional makeup in one way or another, your experience will leap ahead, until you are ready to launch yourself as a full-time makeup artists. It is very helpful to have experience working in the theater or on the production of films. Assisting with make up and hair for school plays and Community Theater is a great way to gain experience. Find out if your state has a film commission and try to get involved in film productions in your area.

On-the-job Training

Professional makeup artists can also learn skills on the job from experienced makeup artists. Given the popularity of freelance work, training is often on the job, with individuals taking responsibility for their own continued professional development. You can take individual makeup courses for specific interests, such as character makeup or period make up. You can also take makeup courses from companies such as Mary Kay and Avon, which are more oriented towards helping their makeup artists achieve success with the company.

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The guide to shopping for make-up

Makeup is something that no woman can live without. This industry is so wide and there are so many products that sometimes it‘s simply too much. But how would you know which products are really good and worth the price? How would you know what is best for you?

The most important thing while choosing makeup is forgetting the advertisements you see on TV and in the magazines. The fact that the product is well advertised doesn’t mean it’s really good and worth the price you are paying. Commonly, those products are more expensive and have the same effect that cheaper ones do.

First of all, read some reviews and articles about the makeup companies themselves. See what products they commonly use and what the experts say. This will guarantee that you choose the company which uses the best products. A big name means nothing.

Once you’ve chosen company, decide what exactly you need before shopping for makeup. This will save you time and make your choice easier.

Read all the labels of the products you think to purchase. See what they consist of and be sure about every single ingredient. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you have doubts. Sometimes what seems to be natural, really contains unnatural products, so paying attention will guarantee you are buying exactly what you were looking for.

If you are buying such makeup products as eye shadow, powder or lipstick, don’t be afraid to test it. Be sure about the color, because in some cases these products change their shade when applied to the skin. You simply won’t be able to use powder that is really darker then your skin shade, because you’ll look ridiculous.

Don’t buy products you already have. This means that if you are using a face mask and you still have it, don’t buy a new one. There’s no need to mix products, because this may affect your skin in negative ways. Trying new products is good, but mixing them with the old ones is certainly not.

The best way to find out what is best for you is getting samples. Makeup shops usually have some; all you have to do is ask. Only after really testing the product will you be sure it’s the one you need. However, most women purchase makeup products blindly.

And, of course, don’t forget to know really well if you are allergic to some products that may be a part of matters you are purchasing. Be sure about your skin type, it’ll not just save you some time, but will also guarantee you the best results.

Shopping for makeup is certainly not an easy task if you are willing to purchase the best products that are really worth the price you are paying. Being attentive and careful, knowing what you really need and want are the most important things while shopping. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for information and samples. Maybe you will have to show all your courage, but that’s the only way to find makeup that is best for you and your skin.