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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki
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New Zealand Certificate in Makeup Artistry (Level 4)

This course is available


Level of Study



1 year

Next start date



Learn the art of makeup and special effects in this creative and varied programme. Students will develop a portfolio of skills relevant to the beauty industry while discovering the latest special effects and theatrical makeup techniques for film, television and fashion.

Starting with basic day and night makeup, students will progress to learn more advanced techniques to create characters, simulate wounds, enhance beauty and disguise flaws. Students will enjoy a creative yet professional classroom, mastering techniques such as fantasy and Avant-Garde makeup, airbrushing, advanced corrective makeup, as well as special effects including nose casts and small prosthetics. Put your vision and creativity to the test and build the skills you’ll need for an exciting career in makeup artistry.

You will learn how to:

  • Apply knowledge of a broad range of makeup artistry and special effects applications, suitable for fashion, photographic, TV, film, and theatre, including a personal portfolio of looks.
  • Provide advice and instruction to clients on makeup products, application and after-care.
  • Implement professional standards and meet expectations relating to a makeup artistry and special effects workplace, including all relevant health, safety and hygiene obligations.
  • Apply knowledge of a broad range of complementary services such as lash & brow tinting, nails, wigs and hairpieces in accordance with industry standards, achieving a total look that meets clients’ needs.
  • Apply knowledge of human anatomy and physiology relevant to makeup services to ensure client comfort and safety is maintained.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of working on a film or TV set, including working to a script and researching a brief related to a specific set.
  • Implement a broad range of communication and networking skills to work effectively within a makeup workplace.
  • Apply knowledge of skin and skin-related disease and disorders to identify symptoms and advise clients of possible implications in terms of proposed makeup services.
  • Apply knowledge of small business practice relevant to makeup artistry within the beauty or special effects sectors.

Discover the latest techniques in all areas of makeup, including high fashion, beauty, photographic, television, film, theatre, and special effects.

You will perform:

  • Day makeup, fashion makeup, and accompanying hair-styling techniques
  • Editorial/photographic makeup and styling
  • Period makeup and styling
  • Special effects makeup and body painting
  • Elementary Molding Techniques
  • Character and aging makeup and hair applications
  • Basic Postiche making and prosthetic application.
  • Lash and brow tinting
  • Brow grooming
  • Nails
  • Portfolio development
  • Business skills, professionalism and customer service

Career Options

Graduates of this qualification may be employed or contracted as a makeup artist in the following contexts:

  • Fashion makeup artist
  • TV/ Film makeup artist
  • Stage makeup artist
  • Modelling agency makeup artist
  • Hair Salon makeup artist
  • Photographic makeup artist
  • Cosmetic company representative
  • Makeup counter salesperson

Entry criteria

New Zealand Certificate in Makeup and Skincare (Introduction) Level 3 or equivalent qualification; or

Equivalent knowledge, skills, work experience or study.

Students must also meet the English language proficiency requirements as below:

  • IELTS 5.5 (general or academic) with no band score lower than 5
  • TOEFL (pBT) score of 530 (with an essay score of 4.5 TWE)
  • TOEFL (iBT) score of 46 (with a writing score of 14)
  • Cambridge English Examinations: B2 First or B2 First for schools with a score of 162. No less than 154 in each skill
  • OET: Minimum of Grade C or 200 in all sub-tests
  • PTE (Academic) score of 42 with no band score lower than 36
  • NZCEL Level 3 with an endorsement of Applied
  • LanguageCert - B2 Communicator IESOL (LRWS) with PASS and no less than Pass in each skill

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