The art of applying make-up goes back at least 6000 years. Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs would employ specially trained servants to apply cosmetics in order to make them appear more like the gods. Recent decades have seen an increase in the demand for skilled make-up artists to work with actors/actresses, politicians, theatre productions, and for television and movies. A make-up artist is usually a member of a team including the hairdresser and wardrobe specialist. As part of this team, the make-up artist works to transform the actor into the character.
The entertainment and fashion industry currently employs the largest margin of make-up artists today. Make-up artists may be employed by a company, an individual, or work as freelance artists paid per job. In large entertainment areas, make-up artists have unions and associations that they belong to.