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The Makeup Artist Handbook: Techniques for Film, Television, Photography, and Theatre Paperback – Feb 14 2008

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (Feb. 14 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240809416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240809410
  • Product Dimensions: 26.1 x 17.5 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #396,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"This full-color and amply illustrated book is written for film, television, theatre makeup artists who need to know the basics on how to accomplish flawless makeup applications. Written by two expert authors who have experience doing makeup for television, commercials and blockbuster films, readers will learn about beauty, time periods, black and white film as well as cutting edge techniques such as air brushing makeup for computer-generated moves and makeup effects."--Sacramento Book Review

From the Back Cover

From makeup effects to high definition, this full-color guide for Film & TV Makeup Artists shows you how it's done!

. Gorgeous full color book shows how makeup artists make Hollywood stars look as good as they do, even in HD!
. Get the inside track about how to work with the pros and all about set etiquette
. Contains tips and techniques from a number of professional Hollywood makeup artists
. Includes a full reference section with useful websites, business listings, and contacts

This full-color and amply illustrated book was written for film, television, and theatre makeup artists who need to know the basics on how to accomplish flawless makeup applications. It begins with fundamental practices and continues through more complex techniques that are usually known only by Hollywood makeup artists. Written by two expert authors who have experience doing makeup for television, commercials, and huge film blockbusters like Pearl Harbor, Rent, Stuart Little, and the Nanny Diaries and for actors like Hilary Swank, Laura Linney, and Josh Hartnett, readers will learn about beauty, time periods, and black & white film, as well as cutting edge techniques such as air brushing, makeup for computer-generated movies, and makeup effects.

High definition technology has revolutionized the techniques needed by makeup artists-you need to know more, have more talent, and be more detailed than ever before. Because HD emphasizes every detail on screen, it is essential for makeup artists to know how to achieve a desired "look” that fits the director's requirements, and this book will help professional or aspiring makeup artists to hone their craft in both conventional and HD techniques.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars 8 reviews
40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a Book for the Beginner June 8 2008
By D. Wolcott - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a professional makeup artist working in film and theater for the last 20 years, I am always looking for good makeup books that teach new techniques and working with new products. This is not that book. As the title suggests, this is only a handbook for those who already know how to apply makeup. It touches on many topics, but does not do much teaching at all. It could be used as a reference to remind a makeup artist what steps are involved in an application technique, but there is very little in depth description of how or why to do each step.

While it does talk about HD, airbrush makeup, Tinsley Transfers, and silicone prosthetics, there is very little useful information for anyone who has not already used these products. Much of the information from these chapters can even be found online (in more detail) through a simple web search (including two articles reprinted directly from the free webzine

As a reference book, this book deserves 3 stars for compiling a lot of useful information into one place.

As an instruction book, I would give this book 0-1 Stars. If you are looking to learn the techniques of the makeup artist, you best choice is still Richard Corson's Stage Makeup (9th Edition)
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Makeup Book I Ever Read June 27 2008
By margaretannem8s - Published on
Format: Paperback
I just finished the whole book! It blew me away because I found out tons of info that I can't wait to use on my next job. It is very thorough and gives you ALL the industry standards, techniques, tips, applications, everything you need to know to do your job and take it up to a more professional level. I could not get enough of it because reading it is like spending time with a top MUA.

I just got my BFA in sculpture and do makeup and prosthetics. I spent a lot of years and money learning the basics in college. I can't emphasize how important those basics are, like shapes, colors, and anatomy. It's a big part of my makeup and designs. I'm just surprised how well it's covered in this book and it's got all the info you need laid out in a way that's easy to take in. I've bought 4-5 books easy just to begin covering all these topics they covered, and even then it would still take more books, magazines, and all my web surfing to add up to this. I wish this book was out when I first started makeup. The authors DO encourage you to go out and build your resources and references, you know, like on the specific areas you like, but this is a strong first book for a beginner as well as something I'm recommending to all my friends who've already got a lot of books and experience. They have the makeup classics, but this one is probably going to be the most useful. I love my book so much, I had it spiral bound so I can open it a majillion times.

It really does a great job of preparing you for the realities and responsibilities of being on set. Some of that info I had to find out on my own, step by step. It would have been great to have a book like this years ago! Great lessons in every chapter and great references and resources throughout the entire book, and in the back. There's a great basis for makeup: starting with art and explaining light, shadow, and how they work. Great tips on the proportions of the face as well as drawing lessons that culminate in a simple yet thorough lesson on more familiar studies of the face, eye, and lid shapes. Then it transitions to makeup and how to mix the art with makeup techniques. I realize I'm writing more than I usually do, but let me add that all the sections on makeups, hair, and especially the "How to Be a Pro" section are really informative and eye-opening.

Overall, the book delivers everything it promises. It does a great job covering color, lighting, HD setups, controlling your image, skin color and skin care, basic/beauty/effects makeups, hair, blood, tattoos, character design, breakdowns. It's all here, plus all the resources.

Now that I'm done, I wish I could find another book this great!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another makeup artist's review Oct. 6 2010
By Alayna - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book because I am a professional makeup artist working mostly in print. While this book does have a lot of useful information, it often lacks clarity. Many many sections of this book are poorly organized, especially in the first 6 chapters or so. You will find places that look like step by step instructions, but are more like a list of tips. Other times, the numbered step by step instructions will break their format and insert a paragraph where you would expect another number. I realize of course that the information is still there, but it was distracting during reading, and can be confusing at times.
As another reviewer mentioned, the section on color theory is also confusing. I feel this is due to the poor wording and order in which the information appears, but not due to incorrect or conflicting information. Sometimes the photos don't match the explanations that are given (for example, figure 6-1 should have red at the top of the color wheel). Oversights like this could be easily corrected and the book would be much better!
Once you get past those several chapters the writing is smoother. Most of the content is general knowledge of a professional artist, and this book would be best for a student or very new makeup artist.
This book could greatly benefit from further editing, but it is still worth the purchase. No book will take the place of practice and training with a well-seasoned artist, but you will find some tips and guidelines to help you on the way.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended! March 13 2008
By E. Mendoza - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is, by far, the best book ever written on what one should know to be a professional makeup artist. Very detailed. Excellent coverage of the technical stuff, especially if you are interested in HDTV. Loved loved loved it!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The "GO TO" Reference book for the professional makeup artist May 8 2008
By PEGEARY - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book belongs in every makeup artists' library. Detailed instructions, insights from respected professionals in the field. It's also very good for the beginning makeup artist offering the basic professional product tips and reference materials.