Esthetics Scholar ProgramFocus: Special FX

The Esthetics Scholar Program trains students to become a special fx artist. Student will create out-of-the-kit special fx, life cast, sculpt, and produce prosthetics varying from hiding mechanisms for trauma, to characters, and fantasy creatures.

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First Rotation – LEARN (0-100 hours)


This first rotation of the Esthetics portion of the program is designed to provide the theory and basis for all esthiology techniques and technologies. Students will learn through lectures and demonstrations about the following topics:

Sanitation, Personal Hygiene and Public Health, Anatomy, Skin Conditions and Contraindications, Skin Care Practices, Skin Care Science, Facials, and Electrical Modalities.

Second Rotation – CREATE (101-200 hours)

The second rotation of the Esthetics portion of the program is designed to educate students on highly desired services that compliment makeup applications. Through theory, demonstration, and hands-on learning the following skill sets:

Waxing, Brow Design and Sculpting, Brow Henna, Brow Lamination, Lash Tinting, Lashing Perms/Lifts, Lash Extensions, and Spray Tanning.

During this rotation students will also start their Minimum Practical Application (MPAs) hours which are a requirement through the State of Michigan to be eligible to take the state board exam.

Third Rotation – PROSPER (201-350 hours)

The third rotation of the Esthetics portion of the program is designed to provide all of the fundamentals of makeup application and continue with Minimum Practical Applications (MPAs). Students will learn through demonstrations, and hands-on training all of the techniques presented in the Professional Artist Portion of the makeup curriculum. Courses include:

Makeup Essentials, Airbrush, Advanced Artistry, Comprehensive Beauty, Business I, Bridal Media I, Bridal Media II and Business II.

Fourth Rotation – EVOLVE (351-400 hours)

The fourth rotation of the Esthetics portion of the program is designed to prepare students for State Board examination as well as provide tie for completion of Minimum Practical Applications (MPAs). Students will review topics that will be covered on the written portion of the exam. Additionally, through demonstration and hands-on experience, students will prepare for the practical portion of the exam.

Professional Program of Artistry

This course begins online in an interactive training format designed to equip students with the fundamentals of artistry and provide feedback on execution before attending on-campus classes. Through a series of audio, text, video content, and interactive tools, you will learn color theory, foundation matching, sanitation, tool selection and use, basic contour and highlight skills, and accurate placement for every facial feature.

Once online coursework is completed, student work is assessed by an instructor so that on the first day of on-campus class, students can begin practicing makeup application.

  • Makeup Essentials Online Course – 19.5hrs
  • Sanitation, Product & Tools, Kit Focus, Color Theory, Skin Prep & Set, General Facial Anatomy, Foundation Matching, Color Correction, Eye Components, Brow Application, Lash Application, Beauty Application, Facial Zones, Skin Types, Brow Correction, Shadow Placement for Eye Components, Lash Application for Eye Components, Color Harmony for a Full Application
  • Makeup Essentials Practical – 19.5hrs
  • Online course subjects; Practical training

Airbrush is a staple technique for any aspiring artist. This course teaches students the art of applying makeup without the use of brushes. Using the airbrush compressor, gun, and product, students learn to apply color correction, foundation, contour, highlight and blush.

  • Airbrush Fundamentals – 19.5hrs
  • Equipment Knowledge, Product Knowledge, Airbrush Techniques, Foundation Matching, Color Correction, Highlight & Contour, Full Application, Airbrush Maintenance

This course is designed to take beauty skills to the next level through training on advanced contouring techniques, mature and age-appropriate makeup, trending makeup styles and technique, creating custom foundations, and manipulating tools and textures to create glamorous makeup looks.

  • Advanced Artistry – 39hrs
  • Texture & Finishes, Advanced Product Knowledge & Specialty Tools, Smokey Eye Techniques, Advanced Eyeliner Techniques, Trending Makeup, Mature & Age Appropriate Applications, Foundation Building, Advanced Anatomy, Shading Techniques & Tools, Contour/Highlight with Powder & Creams, Nose Contour, Multiple Contouring Techniques: Reverse; Two-Tier; Trending; Corrective; and Transformative

This course incorporates all skills learned in every previous class, while challenging students to improve speed, ease of application, and creative ability to incorporate multiple techniques in one look and effectively execute looks in an ergonomic environment.

  • Comprehensive Beauty – 19.50hrs
  • This course incorporates all skills learned in MUE, ADVANCED ARTISTRY, and AIRBRUSH FUNDAMENTALS through demonstration and practical learning

This course provides students with a business start-up plan. Establishing your brand, website, mission, vision, marketing strategies and setting goals are all a part of how students will prepare for a successful career.

  • Business I Online Course – 19.50hrs
  • Complete Business Startup, Branding, Marketing, Mission & Vision Statements, Branding Your Business, Marketing Your Business, Taxes for Freelancers, Building a Website, Resumes & Job Hunting, Business Ethics, Intro to Rates, Developing a Portfolio & TFP Shoots, Setting Goals, Registering Your Business
  • Business I Practical – 19.5
  • Online Course Subjects; Practical Training

This course is designed to equip students with the skills to execute a variety of bridal looks for all styles and seasons, based on the client’s needs, and incorporating both airbrush and traditional techniques.

  • Bridal Media I  – 19.50hrs
  • English Rose Bridal Look, Beach Bronzed Bridal Look, South Asian Bridal (Modern & Traditional), Natural Bride, Creating A Professional Bridal Kit (Needs Vs. Wants), Destination Weddings, Waterproof Makeup, Traveling with Your Kit, Adjusting Looks for Drama (Bump-Ups), Lash Styles & How to Choose The Right Lash For Your Look

Students will learn pro products for bridal work, popular bridal looks, how to present themselves and communicate professionally, and how to create a customized look for each client.

  • Bridal Media – 19.50hrs
  • Classic Vintage Bride, Bridal Smoky, Romantic Smoky, Middle Eastern Bridal (Modern & Traditional), Lash Stacking, Reacting to Client Requests, Reacting to Client Feedback, Quick Fixes and Shortcuts, Product Substitutions, Setting Up Your Kit In Any Situation, Kit Intensive Review

This course is designed to help develop students into business professionals. Each class meeting students will engage in-class discussion, group activities and self-reflection. Students will learn how to start building a clientele, how to create a bridal menu of services, budgeting, and setting rates to insure bridal business success.

  • Business II – 19.50hrs
  • Consultations, Bridal Contracts, Creating Menu of Services, Creating Client Intake Forms, Client Communication Skills

Special FX

The principles for design, blending, and coloring techniques will be taught through hands-on appliance building and painting. Students will gain an understanding of FX history as a source of inspiration and learn about prominent special fx artists.

The primary focus of this course is on realistic trauma and out of the kit effects while learning the best techniques for 3D transfers and silicone and slab mold making.

  • Intro to FX – 58.50hrs
  • FX Blending Techniques, FX History, Hand Building Application, Wax, Rigid Collodion, Latex FX, Mold Making Materials, 3D Transfer Techniques, Appliance Coloring, Silicone Mold Making, Slab Mold Making

Special FX Makeup course adds to fundamental beauty airbrush training by equipping students to execute fantasy and character airbrush applications. Focusing on dual-action techniques, they will learn how to layer colors, add texture to the human form as well as how to airbrush appliances.

  • FX Airbrush – 19.50hrs
  • Product Knowledge, Airbrush Basics, Full Application, Even Coverage, Airbrush Maintenance, Textural Techniques, Fantasy Airbrush, Airbrushing Appliances, Dual Action Technique

Students first gain knowledge on the importance of ensuring talent safety and taking precautions. The course consists of the process of preparing the life casting  product, area, and model. Students will cast with alginate and refine the life cast upon completion.

  • Life Casting  – 19.50hrs
  • Life Casting Safety, Material Knowledge, Prepping your area, Prepping your model, Casting with Alginate, Life Cast Refinement

This course covers all the basics of sculpting prosthetic appliances: tool knowledge, how to source proper inspiration, sculpting techniques, and how to alter facial anatomy in order to create believable creatures. Students will conceptualize their design, sculpt to create clay formations, learn to block out form, refine their sculpt and create texture.

  • Sculpting –  19.50hrs
  • Sculpting Tool Knowledge, Facial Anatomy, Clay Formations, Blocking Out Form, Sculpting Refinement, Creating Texture

This course consists of learning to sculpt character pieces with new technique. Designing a character is the first part of the process. The next step- sculpting, and casting the piece in silicone brings the character into being. Students will obtain the skills needed to create multi-piece molds and complete the course project by the casting, application and coloring of the silicone appliances.

  • Character Makeup –  19.50hrs
  • Character Sculpting Techniques, Character Design, Multiple Piece Molds, Casting in Silicone, Gluing Appliances, Coloring Silicone

Diversifying the student’s knowledge and use of FX materials such as acrylics and silicone, allows them to better meet any demands in the industry.  Students will learn two different techniques to create prosthetic teeth. Through dental casting and sculpting, students will create the final touch that will take their creations to the next level.

  • Prosthetic Teeth – 19.50hrs
  • Dental Casting, Silicone Molds, Dental Sculpting, Casting with Acrylics

This course equips the student with an understanding of how to navigate through and establish rapport in networking environments in order to book work. A review of deal memos, film set etiquette, budgeting, and script breakdowns make this course integral in order to secure work as a makeup fx artist.

  • Business IV  – 19.50hrs
  • Business of Film, Set Etiquette, Budget Proposals and Networking

Taking the skills of concept and design further, students will learn new techniques for casting and sculpting.  Creating a 3-piece mold with ultracal and injecting casting material into the mold will produce pieces to enhance projects such as ear prosthetics or character props.

  • Core Mold Making – 19.50hrs
  • Core Casting, Sculpting Ear Appliances, Creating 3 Piece Core Molds with Ultra Cal, Foam Latex Injection Molding

This is the culmination of the FX program. Preparing a sculpture for the molding process is the first step. Creating two-piece Ultra Cal molds and running the foam latex is the process of completing the piece. Then, the skill of applying the foam latex appliances combined with blending techniques will ensure the student’s creature reads realistic on camera.

  • Creature Makeup – 19.50hrs
  • Sculpting & Mold Prep, Importance of Mold Design, Two-Piece Ultra Cal Molds, Running Foam Latex, Applying Foam Latex Appliances

Esthetics Scholar Program:
Special FX Artistry & Imagination

Professional Special FX Artist Career in Film Industry

Graduates that successfully complete the Esthetics Scholar Program and the projects necessary for certification can embark on feature films, commercial theatrical productions, makeup head positions at haunted attractions, or any opportunity that involves creating characters by sculpting, mold making and casting. Many special fx artist go on to pursue careers in creative director or production design positions.


On Campus



Kit Fee:

$2,500 +tax


680 hrs


Full or Part-time

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Special FX Artist Guide

All you need to know about becoming a Special FX Artist.

What is Special FX Makeup?

While it’s true that all makeup creates an “effect”, the differentiation in special effects versus beauty makeup occurs in crediting for film where it differentiates “prosthetic” makeup from “straight” style makeup. Any makeup involving 2D or 3D materials utilized to create an illusion of sorts, whether it be old age, trauma or creatures is considered Special FX makeup.

Using paint alone to create the illusion of increased age, sickness, realistic tattoos, old scars, fresh cuts, and the like can be just as impactful as applying prosthetics to create advanced age, disguise features, and fantasy or horror creatures. All of these skill sets are needed to become a special fx artist.

SFX Makeup Tools and Materials

To properly carry out special makeup effects, a special fx artist must-have materials that are outside of a regular makeup artist’s kit. Besides sanitation items and “regular” makeup items such as alcohol activated paints, face paints, fake blood, rigid collodion, scar wax, 2 part silicone, gelatin, and a variety of adhesives are necessary.

For a Special FX artist who also works in a shop environment then items such as lifecasting, sculpting, moldmaking, and casting materials are needed. Space to create amazing effects is also a must when working pre-production on a film as special fx artists may have to work on multiple effects for one project!

Is It Worth Going to Special FX Makeup School?

There are many colleges and universities that offer theatrical makeup courses as part of a degree program but this does not mean that the focus is on a comprehensive special effects makeup education. Attending an institution that focuses on special effects and (if you have zero experience) offers special effects makeup courses for beginners will provide an all-encompassing education that prepares the special fx artist for the rigors of working in the industry.

Not all special effects makeup schools are created equal, each special fx makeup school may have a slightly different area of focus after covering the basics such as animatronics, 3D modeling, or prosthetic teeth as an example. You may need to put some thought into what area of focus you want to pursue as a special fx artist. A careful review of the courses offered at each special fx makeup school to ensure their focus aligns with your goals is recommended before applying at any institution.

Why Study SFX Makeup at Multimedia Makeup Academy?

Multimedia Makeup Academy’ provides comprehensive training for every future special fx artist. Our special effects courses focus heavily on processes and safety to ensure that the artist understands not only how to achieve required effect but more importantly, how to achieve it safely for all involved. All future special fx artists are also provided knowledge on how to start their own business while navigating the rigors of working in film through a very specific business class curriculum!

SFX Makeup Online Courses

Online special effects makeup courses are another option for those wishing to learn special fx artistry but cannot attend an on-campus special fx makeup school due to various circumstances. The advantage of online learning is that course work can be completed at any time or any place.

If you work full time or attend additional schooling there is no need to reschedule anything, online special fx classes have flexible scheduling! If you are interested in learning more about online special fx courses, complete the form below join our email list. Online Special FX courses are coming soon to the academy.

The Main Results of FX Makeup Course

Upon completion of any special fx makeup education, you should have complete knowledge of the following: out of the kit 2D and 3D effects, prosthetic application, life casting, sculpting and mold making with various mediums such as silicone and cement. Completing a program at a special fx makeup school should also provide you with a certificate of completion. Your certification showcases to clients and future employers that you are fully committed to the art and safe application as a Special FX Artist.

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What is the first step to becoming a Special FX Artist?

There is no previous experience needed to become a student at the academy! If you are interested in becoming a special fx artist, then all that is necessary is to book a tour to start the application process! Applicants must be at least 17 years old with proof of being currently enrolled in school or a high school diploma. Click here to learn more about the application process.

1. Application Process

Submit your application fee of $100 and complete the application form.

2. Admissions Review

Schedule an virtual or on-campus admissions meeting.

3. Acceptance

After the application process and admissions review a determination will be made.

4. Enrollment Meeting

An Admissions Advisor will contact you to discuss final details including enrollment deadlines and expectations.

Easy Financing Available for the Special FX Artist + Esthetics Program


"I just finished a feature film."

"This was not only the artistry, but it teaches you how to combine your artistry with your business"