FILM & TELEVISION
The make-up department is responsible for the research, design, the application, maintenance and continuity of make-up during feature film and television productions. There may be a separate hair department, or just the one department that looks after both the hair and make-up requirements. This depends on the scale (and budget) of the production.
A make-up artist has to create a wide range of looks, from the contemporary to recreating period styles, or transforming an actor's face and body using prosthetics to making it looks as if someone has no make-up on at all. Make-up also includes the application of facial hair, bald caps, tattoos, bodypaint to creating casualty effects such as scars, wounds, injuries and blood. All make-ups then have to be maintained during filming and are photographed and logged for reference.
Make-up and hair are key elements in the overall design of films, creating a look that is appropriate for the characters, time periods, setting and overall style of the production.
Actors performing in a theatrical production normally do their own make-up. A make-up artist may be employed if there is specialist make-up required (like prosthetic pieces for the Beast in "Beauty And The Beast"), or a designer may be involved in the set-up of a production to design the make-ups and show the actors how to apply the designs for the show. It is more common to find make-up artists working in the wig department.
Stage make-up is different to film and television make-up, as the make-up is required to work with stage lighting and the size of the venue to enable to an audience to see the actors' faces and expressions from varying distances.
FASHION & EDITORIAL
Fashion make-up is used for editorial photography as well as fashion shows. The make-ups required can vary tremendously from natural to avant garde - more experimental or highly artistic make-up.
A fashion make-up artist works under the requirements of the client e.g. the dress designer, the clothing label or the outlet.
There is usually a hairdresser on fashion shoots or, for bigger productions like a fashion show, a completely separate hair department.