SFX Books


Books about makeup for both theatre, film, fashion and television. Some books also include chapters about SFX-makeup, prosthetics, wig making, hair styling, color theory, business tips and more!

stage makeup by richard carson

Stage Makeup

By Richard Carson, James Glavan, and Beverly Gore Norcross

Widely referred to as the “bible of stage makeup,” the timely revision of this classic text addresses principles and techniques in the use of makeup for the contemporary performer.

This extensive exploration of the application and use of stage makeup and makeup for a variety of performance venues covers all aspects in detail and contains over 1000 photographs, drawings, and diagrams demonstrating step-by-step procedures. Thoroughly updated and revised, this classic text remains accurate and comprehensive, providing information from which all readers – whether students new to the field or seasoned, professional makeup artists – will benefit.

New to this edition:

  • Updated full-color photography throughout.
  • Expanded information on makeup design and application.
  • 48 new step-by-step instructions in color.
  • Expanded chapter on modeling with highlights and shadows.
  • New chapter on cross-gender makeup.
  • New introduction on making dentures, noses, and face casting.
  • New instructions for creating zombies, animals, aging effects, and trauma.
  • Expanded information on makeup for television and film.
  • Up-to-date information on Special Effects makeup.
  • Up-to-date information on prosthetic makeup.
  • Updated chapters on facial hair and wigs.
  • Updated resources for products, advanced training, and health and safety.

The Foundations of Stage Makeup

The Foundations of Stage Makeup

By Daniel C. Townsend

Foundations of Stage Makeup is a comprehensive exploration into the creative world of stage makeup. Step-by-step makeup applications paired with textual content create an enriching experience for future performers and makeup artists. Students will learn relevant history, color theory, makeup sanitation processes, and the use of light and shadow to engage in discussions about the aspects of professional makeup. Those foundations are then paired with a semester’s-worth of descriptive, engaging makeup applications. Old age makeup, blocking out eyebrows, gory burns, and creating fantastical creatures are just a few of the rewarding techniques found in Foundations of Stage Makeup. The book is complemented by an eResource page featuring makeup tutorials and an instructor’s manual with example assignments and tips to teaching each chapter.

the complete makeup artist book penny delamar

The Complete Makeup-artist

By Penny Delamar

The Complete Make-Up Artist is the only workbook needed to build the skills and experience to become a qualified, professional make-up artist.

This completely revised edition of Penny Delamar’s essential book for all make-up enthusiasts contains everything a student needs to know to embark on a career in media make-up. The Complete Make-Up Artist provides a wealth of information, activities, and advice.

Special features include:

  • An attractive, easy-to-follow format for ease of reference
  • Color and step-by-step illustrations throughout
  • Hints, tips, and health and safety notes
  • Activities and questions to test your knowledge and understanding
  • A genuine insight into the film, television, and theatre industries

NEW in this edition:

  • More photographs and step-by-step illustrations
  • Illustrations by two former students who are Oscar winners
  • More detail on the role of the make-up artist featuring four case studies
  • Enlarged chapter on camouflage make-up
  • Highly illustrated chapter on body painting
  • Professional index

Stage makeup - The Actors Complete Step by step Guide to todays Techniques and Materials (1)

Stage makeup – The Actors Complete Step by Step Guide to Todays Techniques and Materials

By Laura Thudium

Full-color makeup manual that are designed to lie open on the makeup table right as a guide for student, amateur, or professional performers.


Theatrical Makeup – Basic Application Techniques

By Sharon Sobel

Theatrical Makeup clearly and concisely explains the basics of theatrical makeup techniques to allow stage actors to put their best face forward!

Readers will gain understanding of the physiology of the human face and, using cream based makeup, as well as commercial cosmetics, learn how to contour it to suit the character with the use of highlight and shadow. Hundreds of full color images and step-by-step instructions illustrate how to visually manipulate bone structure and apparent age, apply simple facial hair and wounds, and create glamorous and natural stage makeup. Also covered are the tools readers will need to apply their own makeup, along with critical health and hygiene tips.

This book is suitable for beginner Theatrical Makeup courses and for stage actors of all levels.

Stage Makeup - Step By Step

Stage Makeup – Step By Step

By Rosemarie Swinfield

Color Theory for the Makeup Artist - Understanding Color and Light for Beauty and Special Effects

Color Theory for the Makeup Artist

Understanding Color and Light for Beauty and Special Effects

By Katie Middleton

Color Theory for the Make-up Artist: Understanding Color and Light for Beauty and Special Effects analyzes and explains traditional color theory for fine artists and shows how to apply it directly toward make-up applications

Make-up artists control color the same way a painter does. They choose color palettes, match colors, blend new colors, and create designs on a canvas that is always changing. Some colors cancel others, some balance each other, and some oppose other colors. However, painters seldom have to consider inconsistencies in how their art will be lit and where it will be displayed the way that a make-up artists does.

This book teaches how to mix any color using just red, yellow, blue, and white. It discusses the reason for variations in skin colors and undertones, and how to identify and match these using make-up, while choosing flattering colors for the eyes, lips, and cheeks. Colors found inside the body are explained for special effects make-up, like why we bruise, bleed, or appear sick, and ideas and techniques are also described for painting prosthetics. The book also explains how lighting affects color on film, television, theater, and photography sets, and how to properly light a workspace for successful applications.

Whether you are a professional or a beginner, you will never stop learning. There will always be new products, techniques, and fashions – this book provides guidance and inspiration to keep practicing, creating, and honing your skills.

Period Makeup for Stage and Screen

Period Make-up for Studio, Stage and Screen

A Practical Reference for Actors, Models, Make-up Artists, Photographers, and Directors

By Kit Spencer

Striking make-up is a vital part of creating character for film, stage shows and TV. Every period in history has its classic make-up styles. The clear step-by-step instructions, tricks and techniques featured in this book make it your essential guide to re-creating them. Whether you need to create authentic make-up for film, a stage production or fashion shoot – this guide has complete coverage from medieval princesses and Regency heroines to classic Hollywood style, punk-rock and more. With clear instructions and close-up photography, over a hundred looks can be re-created for innovative, iconic and authentic effect.

The Makeup Artist Handbook-Techniques for Film, Television, Photography and theatre

The Makeup Artist Handbook: Techniques for Film, Television, Photography, and Theatre

By Gretchen Davis and Mindy Hall

Get the best tips and techniques from the leading makeup artists in the field with the updated version of The Makeup Artist Handbook.

The book is full-color and covers a wide range of topics.

Gretchen Davis and Mindy Hall, renowned makeup professionals, bring a vast amount of experience to the book, with credits including work on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Steve Jobs, The Wolf of Wall Street, Blue Jasmine, Star Trek, Pearl Harbor, and HBO’s Looking, among many other films and TV shows.

This updated edition includes new photographs and examples from on-the-job experiences to illustrate makeup techniques and principles for various subjects such as beauty, historical periods, black and white photography, and current techniques like creating computer-generated characters, special effects makeup, mold-making, and airbrushing. It also provides valuable information on how to work efficiently on set.

It is one of the best makeup books available and is highly recommended for anyone interested in makeup.

This book belongs in every makeup artists’ library

Makeup Artistry for Film and Television - Your Tools for Success On-Set and Behind-the-Scenes

Makeup Artistry for Film and Television

Your Tools for Success On-Set and Behind-the-Scenes

SFXzone note: Great for SFX makeup artist too!

By Christine Sciortino

In this comprehensive handbook author, makeup artist, and educator Christine Sciortino offers a detailed introduction to the conceptual foundations, techniques, and on-set practices of the makeup design process, going beyond technique-centered makeup education to provide an in-depth look at the workings of the film and television world.

Through personal stories, interviews, demonstrations, and insights from Sciortino and her colleagues, this book explores the business of makeup artistry, including tailoring a resume, building a kit, self-marketing, breaking down a script, researching and creating makeup looks, working as part of a production team, and different ways to get paid. It further delves into on-set procedures and theory such as anatomy, skin science, color theory, and lighting design. With high-quality step-by-step photo tutorials, this book will help readers to learn and hone techniques for beauty makeup, character makeup, and light special effects including aging and dirtying, grooming, bruises and prosthetics, tattoos, and more. An emphasis is placed on working with actors of all ages, skin tones, and gender identities.

This approachable and engaging blend of practical techniques and professional practice is ideal for both introductory-level and established artists.

An online resource also offers downloadable templates and sample paperwork for on-set use and practice.

Professional Makeup Artistry

Professional Makeup Artistry

By Toni Thomas

There are many opportunities to do makeup and the prospects are limitless.

Turning your love of makeup artistry into a career can be a smart decision and with the Professional Makeup Artistry book, you will have the right guide to show you how to apply makeup as a professional and teach you how to launch your new career as a makeup artist.

Getting paid to be a professional makeup artist is a rewarding career that other people will envy.

Regardless of the fact that most women wear makeup, a makeup artist is needed for many occasions and in many industries.

This is a great book for any skill level!

How to Set Up Your Makeup Business Using Social Networks-Become a Successful Makeup Artist and Build Your Cosmetics Brand, Earning Money Working From Home by Nadine Allen

How to Set Up Your Makeup Business Using Social Networks

Become a Successful Makeup Artist and Build Your Cosmetics Brand, Earning Money Working From Home

By Nadine Allen

Are you a smart makeup artist and would you like to build your business following your passion?

This is the right book for you.

Through my experience as a makeup artist and as a cosmetics seller, I wanted to enclose everything I have learned in recent years in this guide. I hope it helps you to build your business as a makeup artist, educator or as an online cosmetics seller.

Once you have started a big business, you can think about producing your own line of cosmetics and making sure that your business is booming, enjoying your success.

Thanks to this simple guide you will find out what are the steps to follow and avoid unnecessary waste of time and money.

This guide includes:


Stop thinking about it… click on the buy button and get ready to organize your own business!

Business for Makeup Artists-How to Grow Your Makeup Business Fast by Julia Stronach

Business for Makeup Artists

How to Grow Your Makeup Business Fast

By Julia Stronach

Being a successful makeup artist isn’t only about applying good makeup, but being able to run a business efficiently, and professionally. A must-have for those looking to constantly improve, and learn about the business side to makeup. Includes setting goals, social media, situation handling, attracting new clients, banking, tax, and day-to-day administration.

Learn to recognise what your clients want, how to make them happy, and generate a loyal, happy customer base while also attracting fresh bookings every day.

Guaranteed to help you maximise you’re income, and change the way you think about business.

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