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Special Effects Makeup for Film and TV

Special Effects Makeup for Film and TV

London College of Fashion
Taught by
Jennifer Drew


This special effects course will introduce you to many aspects of film and TV makeup designs ranging from natural beauty and HD ready techniques through to period make-up, face painting, ageing make-up and special effects such as cuts, scars and skin disorders.

We will focus on creating believable makeup designs through attention to detail, and you will come out of the course with the ability to convey a different age, health and personality through your use of special effects. 

Film & TV makeup techniques:     

  • Principles of corrective theory 
  • Highlight and shade - contouring effects  
  • Period make-up look    
  • Textural aging effects to create lines and wrinkles    
  • Feature distortion with greasepaint    
  • An overview of the human skull/using the principles of light and shade to create 3D illusory effects 
  • Bald cap application

The second week focuses on more specialised skills of makeup effects. We will discuss how to identify and create realistic and believable trauma makeup for film, including cuts and bruises, black eyes and burns, as well as how to maintain special effects make-up on set for the duration of filming. 

Special effects makeup techniques:

  • An overview of the human facial muscle structure 
  • Wax prosthetics - building the nose / working with wax products / product analysis and use    
  • Blocking the eyebrows   
  • Cuts / lacerations / grazing / scarring / skin disorders / creating direct applied effects using a variety of materials
  • Black eyes and bruising effects    
  • Techniques for creating bruising and swelling    
  • Burn effects / use of direct applied materials to create instant effects
  • Health and safety practice crucial for the use of hazardous industry-specific products and materials

Our makeup courses take place in our makeup studios housed within our Lime Grove site in West London.


This is a beginners/intermediate makeup course. It's suitable if you've no previous experience or if you'd like to use the course as a refresher to kick start your career.

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older.


Your course place is confirmed once you have booked online or via the phone using a credit or debit card. There is no deadline for booking. Places are offered on a first come, first served basis, and all courses have a maximum number of students. We suggest you book early to avoid disappointment.

You can watch interviews with our tutors and find out more about our makeup courses with our promotional video.

Tutor Description

Jennifer Drew is a professional makeup artist specialising in prosthetics, makeup, SFX, Wigs and props, with a passion for creating realistic make-up effects from the everyday to the fantastical. She is skilled at character design, the making and application of prosthetic appliances, wig design and creation, pastiche, prop design and hairdressing. Having applied these skills on a wide variety of projects spanning film, TV, theatre and fashion, working with leading industry organisations, artists and designers. She is regularly employed to help deliver the vision of production companies, advertising agencies, photographers and independent filmmakers as well as pursuing art projects and collaborating with other artists.


Please bring the following items with you to each class:

  • A Tailcomb 
  • Some flat clips
  • 157 tool from Tiranti
  • Disposable mascara wands
  • Sectioning clips
  • Bdellium SFX brushes / art brushes and beauty brushes /a chip brush or a toothbrush for flicking on colour.
  • Powder puff
  • Notepad and pen
  • Hairband
  • Laptop/ iPad/ tablet
Please note: 

Students are advised to remove any permanent eyelash extensions before the course starts, to ensure they are able to complete full makeup looks. 

Available dates