Professional Makeup Artist Courses

Setting the international standard for advanced makeup artistry education, CMU is proud to offer the highest level of skill training of any makeup artist college in Canada. CMU offers a variety of professional makeup artist courses within our makeup diploma and certificate programs. Review our descriptions for each course currently offered below, ranging from practical hair and makeup application for film & television, to digital creature design & sculpting! Please refer to our individual program pages for duration and structure.

Practical Courses

Photographic & Studio Hairstyling

This course will increase students’ understanding of hair design. It teaches the basics of creating flattering hairstyles for a variety of occasions. Hairstyling is a vital skill because makeup artists are often expected to provide basic hairstyles for photo shoots, runway shows, independent film & television productions, and more. Makeup artists with beauty and bridal clients find that hairstyling skills dramatically increase their marketability and profitability.

Offered with: Complete Makeup Artist Program, Comprehensive Makeup Artist Program, Total Fashion Makeup Artist Program, and Photographic & Studio Hairstyling Program

Fashion Photographic Makeup

A fashion makeup artist’s career is exciting and dynamic because trends and styles change rapidly. Students will learn the fundamentals of fashion makeup application and quickly build the confidence to design and apply advanced looks for weddings, runways, editorial, and print advertising. Students will be taught how to use principles such as colour theory and skin analysis to create beautiful designs for a variety of age ranges and ethnicities. Aspiring artists will also study period fashions from the last century, black & white and colour photographic looks, and avant-garde designs.

Offered with: Complete Makeup Artist Program, Comprehensive Makeup Artist Program, Total Fashion Makeup Artist Program, and Fashion Photographic Makeup Artist Program

Theatrical Makeup

The theatrical makeup course prepares students for work in the performing arts including musicals, operas, ballets, and live concerts. Students will study the theories and principles of stage makeup including technical terminology, script breakdown, and working with lighting effects. They will also be taught how to adapt a makeup look for distance and venue size. The theatre course includes practical applications of specific character looks such as Chinese opera, skulls, animals, and 18th century. By the end of the course, artists will be able to design and apply looks for every type of theatrical production.

Offered with: Complete Makeup Artist Program, and Comprehensive Makeup Artist Program

Facial Hair Knotting for Film & Theatre

In film, television, and theatre, facial hair knotting is a valuable skill that can help make a character fit into a different time period, add personality, or provide realism to a prosthetic appliance. Facial hair can be reused if carefully maintained, making them ideal for many productions. Students will learn how to knot hair onto industry standard HD lace in order to create highly realistic looks.

Offered with: Complete Makeup Artist Program, and Comprehensive Makeup Artist Program

Film & Television Makeup

Film & television is the most diverse course offered at CMU. Students will learn how to create looks for a variety of scenarios including news broadcasting, reality television shows, and Hollywood blockbusters. Students will gain important industry knowledge about on-set expectations, professionalism, and script breakdown and continuity. They will also learn how to apply straight and character makeup for HD as well as special makeup effects including injury simulation. Students will learn everything from drawing a realistic tattoo to dramatically aging a character. The sky’s the limit in film & television.

Offered with: Complete Makeup Artist Program, and Comprehensive Makeup Artist Program

Prosthetic Makeup

Prosthetics covers the process of using sculpting, moulding, and casting techniques to create artificial appliances to dramatically transform an actor’s appearance. This course is essential for makeup artists pursuing the field of special makeup effects. Students will study the theory and principles behind prosthetic design and application. After learning how to translate two-dimensional looks into three dimensions, students will create moulds and learn how to sculpt, detail, and texturize a design. Proper appliance application and blending techniques are covered as well as appliance removal and skin care.

Offered with: Complete Makeup Artist Program

Prosthetic Makeup Application

This course is designed to train students to apply pre-made generic prosthetic pieces and learn how to properly make them integrate into the final makeup look as one would on a film set.

Offered with: Comprehensive Makeup Artist Program

Digital Courses

Foundation: Life Drawing

This course will introduce students to the principles and techniques behind life drawing. Students will gain the basic skills needed to draw the human form through observation. A focus on human anatomy, musculature, and fine details will allow students to portray their concepts and work in a three-dimensional environment. Demonstrations and practice will be followed with a study of the human figure and skull. This will progress into a creature head and body study.

Offered with: Digital Makeup Effects Artist Program

Foundation: Figurative Sculpting

This course will introduce students to the principles and techniques behind figurative sculpting which will prepare them to develop concepts for three dimensions. Students will learn about representational form, armature building, and basic to advanced anatomy, musculature, and fine detailing. These studies will continue with a creature head and figure sculpture.

Offered with: Digital Makeup Effects Artist Program

Practical Creature Design: Sculpting

Students will learn how to design, construct, and mould an advanced sculpted character. This course is ideal for artists who are interested in working in a special makeup effects lab building projects for a film or television production, animation studio, museum, or entertainment venue. Artists will be taught how to use the tools found in a workshop environment safely, effectively, and with confidence. A thorough study of how to plan a project is covered. Students will also learn how to sculpt teeth and gums and create artificial eyes. By the end of the course, each student will have produced a completed character or creature.

Offered with: Complete Makeup Artist Program, Digital Makeup Effects Artist Program, and Creature Design Program


This course teaches students Photoshop skills and workflows for digital sculpture creature creation. Photoshop technical theory, tools, palettes, and painting will be introduced and followed with advanced techniques. Image manipulation, special effects, photo retouching, restoration, colour correction, and painting texture maps for three-dimensional work will be thoroughly explored in preparation for environment and character concepts.

Offered with: Digital Makeup Effects Artist Program

Digital Character Design: ZBrush Sculpting

This course provides students with the knowledge and skills to be a professional 3D character & creature designer. Through a series of creative exercises using ZBrush, students will learn about 3D workflows, 3D painting, 3D anatomy studies, and 3D concept creation. Students will design and create high-resolution 3D characters and creatures. This will allow them to understand lighting and environmental context for gaming and film & television. Students will also learn about the 3D scanning and printing process and the technical training required to complete this type of work.

Offered with: Digital Makeup Effects Artist Program


Career Courses

Career Planning & Digital Portfolio Creation

This course will prepare students for employment as digital and practical sculptors for creature & character design. Students will learn strategies and tactics for job searching, networking, professionalism, and more. Artists will develop a full and personalized career tool kit that includes a CV/resume, visual content (photos/video), a demo reel, and a comprehensive online portfolio. Their studies will be completed with a mock interview.

Offered with: Digital Makeup Effects Artist Program

Keen to learn more about admissions requirements or other features of our professional makeup course offerings? Reach out to the CMU admissions; we look forward to helping you kickstart your career in the dynamic and ever-evolving world of makeup design and application.