Complete Make-up Artist Course

Take a look at the CVs of the leading make-up artists and designers currently working in Film, TV, Fashion and Theatre, and you'll see that a great many of them trained at Delamar Academy. The Complete Make-up Artist Course has consistently produced successful graduates since 1987 and we're proud to have students go on to win Academy Awards, a BAFTA, and Emmy Awards.

One of the reasons for our success - and that of our graduates - is that the course continually adapts to the changing needs of the industry. When you train at Delamar, you know that the skills we teach you are relevant and in demand now. The Complete Make-up Artist Course covers all the essential skills of make-up and hair, from Beauty and Fashion to Casualty and Prosthetics. It is an intensive and in-depth practical course, particularly suitable for those wishing to change their career or for those passionate about using make-up in a creative environment.

No previous make-up experience is necessary because the course takes you from the basics to advanced skills. All we ask is dedication and determination.

We first started The Complete Make-up Artist Course in 1987. Graduates include:

What you'll learn

The course gives you all the make-up and hairdressing skills you'll need to work in the media industry. At the end of the Complete Make-up Artist Course, you will:

  • Have a high level of proficiency in areas such as Fashion, Period Make-up and Wigs, Bodypainting, Airbrushing, Facial Hair, Casualty and Special Effects, Character work, Basic Prosthetics, and Haircutting and Barbering;
  • Understand the key differences between working in Film, TV, Theatre, and Fashion;
  • Know how to research a subject and use relevant reference material to fulfil a brief;
  • Acquire the professional skills and contacts to help you start your career in the media industry.

Best of all, every Delamar tutor is a top professional make-up artist, hairdresser, or prosthetics expert active in the industry. Their years of experience and passion for their work will provide inspiration for you to make your own successful career path.

How you'll learn it

The Programme lasts 14 or 16 weeks, with various 1 & 2 week modules throughout, ending with the 2 week Haircutting and Barbering module. If you're already a trained and qualified hairdresser, you may prefer to sign up for 14 weeks rather than the full 16.

In addition to the modules listed below, you will be coached throughout the course in topics such as professional business skills, set etiquette, and the make-up artist's role in the industry.


Your first week introduces you to the fundamentals of make-up. All full-time students receive a kit box full of materials for use on the course, as well as a copy of "The Complete Make-up Artist", written by Penny Delamar - the Principal of Delamar Academy. This is a well known and respected text book on all aspects of make-up and will become a vital reference as you progress through the course.

Basic Beauty Make-Up

In this module, you'll study facial anatomy, health and safety practises, skin care, the correct use of tools and products, the principles of lighting and shading in make-up, as well as colour mixing and blending, the application of bases, and beauty make-up for day and evening. You’ll also cover bridal make-up, corrective make-up (contouring and face shaping), and the make-up techniques required for HD TV and Film.

Period Make-Up

You'll learn how to research and use reference photos to create period looks and period make-up for Film, TV, and Theatre. Periods covered will include the Eighteenth Century, the 1920s, the 1930s, the 1940s, the 1950s, and the 1960s.

Fashion Make-Up

This module teaches you how to perfect techniques for lips, eyes, cheeks, and eyebrows. You'll look particularly at applying these techniques for fashion photography and the catwalk. You’ll also learn how to follow a fashion brief and acquire knowledge of fashion products and how best to use them.

Basic Hair

Now you'll move on to hair techniques for use in both period and fashion hair styling. This will include using electrical equipment such as tongs, heated rollers, straighteners, and bendies. You'll learn techniques such as styling long hair, French pleats, bridal styles, braiding, and plaiting, as well gaining knowledge of a variety of hair products and how best to apply them.

Period Wigs

You'll have fun working on real hair wigs with lace fronts, as used in Theatre, Film, and TV. The module takes you through blocking, dressing, cleaning, and washing wigs, as well as researching period styles, creating ringlets, spirals, pincurls, finger waves, and victory rolls. By the end, you will understand and be able to apply the correct styling for a particular period setting.

Period Make-Up and Hair

Putting some of your earlier learning into practice, you will now research a period look of your own choice and combine period make-up and hair to create an individual project. This will involve setting, dressing out, fitting, and applying wigs, as well as choosing and using costume to achieve the final finish for your required look.

Facial Hair

This is less about the problem kind and more about researching facial hair through the ages. You'll learn how to knot a piece of facial hair, how to dress and tong moustaches, beards, and sideburns, as well as all the skills needed for the application, maintenance, styling, and cleaning of facial hair.

Bodypainting and Airbrushing

Here you'll learn to research and develop designs and apply various bodypainting products. You'll be using sponge and brush work, as well as learning airbrush techniques - including the necessary health and safety issues associated with an airbrush. There will be free-hand painting, shading and blending, cutting and using stencils, and you'll complete the module with an individual bodypainting project.

Camouflage, Casualty, and Character

Not for the squeamish! You’ll learn to research various casualty effects - using reference material - so that you can create bruises, scars, open wounds, stitched wounds, grazes, cuts, burns of all types (first to third degree), and different blood effects. In addition, you’ll create dirt, sweat, and tears effects, learn how to maintain an effect for continuity over time, and represent illness, spots, diseases, and track marks. When a character needs to age or even change gender in Film, TV and Theatre, the make-up artist has a range of techniques to hand. You'll learn how to to apply appropriate facial hair and stubble, for instance, in addition to special make-up techniques. You'll also learn how to apply camouflage make-up for concealing tattoos, blemishes, and scars etc, as well as creating your own character or casualty project.

Prosthetics and Bald Caps

Learn how to make and apply a Bald Cap, as well as designing, making, and applying a range of prosthetic pieces. The module also covers the theory of prosthetics and working procedures, health and safety practices, face casting, sculpting, silicone runs, preparing moulds, and the application of pieces with make-up to achieve a finished look.

Hollywood Hair

Ever wondered how celebrity hairdressers create those red carpet looks? Discover their secrets on this 2 week course covering all aspects of hair styling - from bridal to Light Entertainment. Tutors Lisa Hilton ('Strictly Come Dancing', 'Over The Rainbow', NME music awards, numerous commercials, music videos and celebrities) and Paul Haskell (Hair Designer of 'Strictly Come Dancing' for 4 years, Hair Designer of 'Dancing on Ice ' for 3 years, Hair Designer of 'Pop Star to Opera Star' and personal hair stylist to numerous red carpet celebrities) will break down the hairstyles seen in fashion, music videos and dance shows and teach you the skills to achieve them. Whether you're a new make-up artist starting out or already working in the industry but lacking confidence in your hair ability, this is one course you cannot afford to miss.

Haircutting and Barbering (16-Week Course Only)

This module teaches the basic principles and techniques of cutting hair, from long layers to short hair cuts, scissors over comb, clippering, blowdrying, cross checking, texturising, razoring, blending, and fashion blowdrying and styling. Please note: this module may not be required for qualified hairdressers.

Read what our students say

Find out what our course graduates have to say about this course - and what it's done for their make-up careers by reading their testimonials.

Where you'll learn it

The light and airy classrooms of Delamar Academy are located within the world-famous Ealing Studios in West London. (You can learn more about Ealing Studios itself on our Get in touch page or on the Ealing Studios site itself.)

In our spacious classrooms, you'll have your own personal workstation - including professional lighting and equipment. A large prosthetics workshop is based on site at Ealing Studios and is open for you to use. Ealing Studios is home to a number of other companies that form a real media community, with visual effects, production, editing, outside broadcast, and record companies all represented. There is also a Film School, which offers a first step in studio experience for our own students when they work on graduate films.

How to apply

You'll be pleased to learn that there are only really two requirements for entry to this course:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • If English is not your first language, you must have a good standard of spoken English (equivalent to IELTS 6).

Check out the dates of the next course in the sidebar on the right.

Then, please call our Enrolment Advisor on 0208 579 9511 to arrange a meeting or to discuss your course needs.

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