There’s one thing no one ever said about Natalie Portman’s makeup job in Black Swan: Maybe she was born with it.
This isn’t your grandmother’s makeup. (Thank goodness, because she actually gave herself neck problems from the three pounds of foundation she smears on every morning.) This isn’t just you prettying up your dolls or seeing what daddy might look like wearing mommy’s wig.
Hair and Makeup Design is serious business. It takes years of training, involves a wide variety of styles and requires extensive knowledge of many techniques. Is it fun? Oh, sure. You get to work for a producer on a television or film set, hobnob with the stars, and the work itself is pretty enjoyable, too. But like any job, doing roughly the same thing day in and day out can get tedious, so don’t just expect it to be all mascara and roses.
The good news is that, while you are performing the same general duties each day, the precise nature of the work itself changes enough to keep the job continually interesting. You may be doing hair and makeup for a period piece on one project, laying on the blush pretty heavy and trying our hand at a Marie Antoinettesque bouffant; then on your next project you might be applying layers of prosthetics to make Eva Mendes look old and unattractive. (Good luck with that.)