Unit of competency details

CUFMUP501A - Design and apply specialised make-up (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 11/Nov/2010

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUAMUP502 - Design and apply specialised make-upUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Pre-requisite unit updated with current equivalent unit. 14/Jan/2016
Supersedes and is equivalent to CUFMUP01A - Design, apply and remove period and specialised make-upUnit has been updated and is equivalent to CUFMUP01A. 10/Nov/2010

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110301 Beauty Therapy 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110301 Beauty Therapy 25/Sep/2008 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to provide specialised make-up services for productions in the screen, media and entertainment industries.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

Senior make-up artists/designers apply the skills and knowledge described in this unit.

Creative use of make-up enhances the ability of actors to portray characters. Thorough background research is required to ensure that characters are accurately represented.

Depending on the nature of the job, a specialist make-up artist/designer can work alone, or, on large-scale productions, they could be responsible for supervising other make-up artists. Employment is usually on a contract basis and hairstyling skills are also required.

Skills associated with special make-up effects are covered in:

  • CUFMUP502A Design and apply special make-up effects
  • CUFMUP504A Create prosthetics for special make-up effects.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

  • CUFMUP401A Design, apply and remove make-up

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



Interpret creative briefs

1. Analyse production documentation  to determine overall production requirements 

2. Participate in preliminary concept meetings to discuss specialised make -up  requirements

3. Identify factors  that may affect the design and application of specialised make-up, including special requirements  for performers

Conduct and evaluate research

4. Use appropriate research techniques  to identify and source reference materials  to clarify aspects  of specific make-up design projects

5. Organise  and maintain currency of reference materials, documentation and findings, for use by relevant personnel 

6. Critically analyse sources and references in the context of specific specialised make-up design projects

7. Use research findings to develop initial design concepts

Generate and assess ideas

8. Evaluate initial design concepts in consultation with relevant personnel

9. Generate a range of ideas for the specialised make-up design that demonstrate sympathetic response to the brief and provide creative solutions to design issues

10. Discuss ideas and collaborate, as required, with relevant personnel to maximise their contribution to the design process

11. Continuously reflect on and appraise creative ideas and solutions in the context of production constraints 

Develop and document make-up designs

12. Maintain an accessible recording system  so that research materials are readily available to others

13. Hold ongoing discussions with relevant personnel to ensure additional or changed production requirements are incorporated into make-up designs

14. Ensure that agreement is reached with relevant personnel on a consistent interpretation of character, period and style

15. Evaluate initial concepts and select the most appropriate ideas, taking into account production constraints

16. Develop specialised make-up designs and present them for discussion to relevant personnel

17. Prepare specialised make-up plans in an appropriate format  and distribute copies to relevant personnel as required

Provide specialised make-up services

18. Ensure make -up products  and make -up equipment  are available according to production  schedules

19. Apply specialised make-up according to make -up plans , ensuring that performers' comfort is maintained throughout the process

20. Explain procedures and products to performers as required when applying and removing make-up

21. Ensure that make-up application and removal processes comply with health and hygiene requirements  at all times

22. Check that the final effect meets production requirements

23. Make required adjustments quickly and accurately at appropriate times during productions

24. Ensure that work area is left in the original or improved condition

25. Complete workplace documentation as required

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • communication, literacy and teamwork skills sufficient to:
  • consult with senior creative personnel regarding specialised make-up design concepts
  • negotiate solutions to conflicts that arise in relation to the provision of make-up services
  • deal with performers tactfully and respectfully
  • relate to people from diverse backgrounds and people with diverse abilities
  • discuss with performers their preferences and sensitivities regarding skin care
  • consult with production personnel about make-up issues to ensure creative and technical production requirements are met
  • inform performers of the procedures for applying, touching up and removing make-up
  • interpret and maintain a range of workplace documentation
  • prepare and update specialised make-up plans
  • initiative, enterprise and creativity in the context of:
  • creating and refining specialised make-up design concepts
  • thinking laterally when developing concepts
  • undertaking background research to inform the design process
  • maintaining design integrity
  • devising the most effective way of using make-up to enhance characterisation
  • problem solving skills in the context of recognising and responding appropriately to general and local contra-indications, including those that indicate referral to an appropriate professional
  • planning and organising skills sufficient to:
  • use time effectively
  • control product waste
  • meet deadlines
  • select and acquire make-up products and equipment to meet production requirements
  • systematically organise research materials
  • technical skills sufficient to:
  • use the internet for research
  • use standard word processing packages
  • access and use databases to record research findings
  • numeracy skills sufficient to:
  • budget in relation to design concepts and make-up requirements
  • estimate the quantity and cost of products required
  • estimate the time required to apply make-up
  • estimate the number of make-up personnel required
  • self-management skills sufficient to:
  • work under pressure
  • follow manufacturer specifications and enterprise policies and procedures

Required knowledge 

  • industry knowledge, including:
  • roles and responsibilities of personnel in productions in the relevant industry sector
  • issues and challenges that arise in the context of providing make-up services
  • well-developed understanding of the interrelationship between face and body shapes and the elements and principles of make-up application
  • basic understanding of anatomy and physiology of the skin and skin structures as it relates to make-up services, including a simplified cross-section of skin
  • basic understanding of body systems and how they relate to face and body shapes and skin, muscles and nerves:
  • skeletal and muscular
  • nervous system and its relationship to skin function
  • well-developed understanding of the following in regard to make-up services:
  • effects of natural/artificial lighting on make-up
  • colour design principles
  • colour wheel, primary, secondary, complementary colours, grey scale
  • tonal value
  • differences between tone, value, hue and shade
  • knowledge of cosmetic chemistry/ingredients in relevant make-up products particularly in regard to their likely effects on the skin
  • awareness of the effect of changes created by specific make-up products and colour application technique
  • awareness of the effect of changes created by lighting and how make-up colours appear on screen
  • techniques for determining the physical appearance of:
  • various skin types
  • normal skin
  • abnormal skin
  • minor skin blemishes
  • understanding of colour physics and its application in make-up application
  • OHS requirements as they apply to design and application of make-up

Evidence Guide


The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • documented specialised make-up designs that demonstrate an ability to:
  • use make-up to enhance characterisation
  • select appropriate products and application techniques
  • incorporate colour design principles into make-up designs
  • take production environment into account when designing make-up
  • meet production requirements
  • consistent application of local health and hygiene requirements/regulations in relation to make-up services
  • consistent application of OHS practices in regard to the provision of make-up services
  • correct make-up product application and removal techniques
  • attention to detail
  • collaborative approach to work
  • ability to communicate effectively with performers/talent in relation to make-up application.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • practical demonstration of skills through a range of make-up design and application tasks for at least two productions
  • access to a range of make-up products and equipment as listed in the range statement
  • access to appropriate learning and assessment support when required
  • use of culturally appropriate processes and techniques appropriate to the language and literacy capacity of learners and the work being performed.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance
  • evaluation of make-up plans prepared by the candidate to determine whether production requirements have been met and correct procedures and make-up products have been identified
  • observation of the candidate applying make-up in a production context
  • written or verbal questioning to test knowledge as listed in the required skills and knowledge section of this unit and to evaluate the processes used in developing and realising creative concepts.

Guidance information for assessment 

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • BSBOHS407A Monitor a safe workplace
  • CUFMUP502A Design and apply special make-up effects.
  • CUFMUP503A Create prosthetics for special make-up effects.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Production documentation  may include:

  • budgets
  • call sheets
  • copyright of body paint designs
  • costume break-down lists
  • costume designs
  • costume plots
  • make-up plans
  • manufacturer guidelines
  • product labels
  • production schedules
  • research documents
  • running sheets
  • scripts
  • stock orders
  • synopsis break-down of characters.

Production requirements  may include:

  • camera angles/shots, e.g.:
  • extreme close-up
  • close-up
  • mid shot
  • long shot
  • wide shot
  • high-angle
  • eye-level shot
  • low-angle
  • health and hygiene requirements
  • lighting effects
  • production schedule
  • specifications from designers and directors
  • venue requirements
  • other technical considerations.

Specialised make -up  may include:

  • period make-up for any historical period, modern or ancient
  • specialised make-up, e.g.:
  • body painting
  • tattoos
  • racial characteristics
  • ageing techniques by using:
  • make-up
  • creams
  • stipple
  • latex and spirit gum
  • foam pieces
  • fitting and application of make-up to bald caps
  • removal and storage of bald caps.

Factors  may include:

  • available personnel
  • budget
  • deadlines/timeline
  • dramatic characters, e.g.:
  • number
  • type
  • changes
  • locations, e.g.:
  • studio
  • interior
  • exterior
  • outside broadcast
  • day
  • night
  • sound stage
  • materials, e.g.:
  • type
  • availability
  • quantity
  • production values/style
  • public profile of performers
  • technical considerations
  • time span
  • weather.

Special requirements  may include:

  • duration of the make-up application
  • duration of the performance
  • contagious skin disorders, e.g. infections:
  • bacterial
  • viral
  • fungal
  • contra-indications/precautions, e.g.:
  • sunburn
  • trauma
  • bruises
  • cosmetic and general surgery
  • other visible non-normal skin
  • non-contagious skin disorders, e.g.:
  • acne
  • dermatitis
  • eczema
  • allergies
  • skin type/condition, e.g.:
  • normal
  • dry
  • combination
  • sensitive
  • mature
  • pigmented
  • colour and tone
  • performers' histories
  • removal of body or facial hair
  • wearing of contact lenses.

Research techniques  may include:

  • contacting historical or other specialist associations
  • reading newspapers, books and other references
  • talking and listening to experts
  • using the internet
  • watching documentary films and videos.

Reference materials  may include:

  • drafts and final make-up designs
  • films
  • history books
  • journals
  • paintings and illustrations of the period
  • performance details and specifications
  • photographs
  • specialist services available for make-up and hair
  • texts
  • the internet
  • videos
  • writings of the period.

Aspects  may include:

  • cultural factors
  • genre
  • historical factors
  • period
  • style, e.g.:
  • men, women, children
  • silhouette and body shapes
  • fabrics
  • foundation garments
  • trims
  • accessories.

Organisation  may include the use of:

  • computer databases
  • library
  • manual files.

Relevant personnel  may include:

  • continuity personnel
  • costume designer and wardrobe personnel
  • designer
  • director
  • director of photography
  • floor manager
  • hairdresser
  • lighting designer and lighting personnel
  • make-up supervisor/other make-up personnel
  • performers
  • producer
  • production manager
  • special effects make-up design and maker
  • technical director
  • other technical/specialist staff.

Production constraints  may include:

  • budget
  • discussions
  • production schedule
  • reflection on the design brief
  • research findings.

Accessible recording system  may include:

  • details of specialist services
  • draft and final make-up and hair designs
  • performance details and specifications
  • reference/research materials.

Formats  may include:

  • collage
  • coloured design illustrations
  • digital images
  • models
  • photos
  • sketches.

Make -up products  may include:

  • blush
  • cleanser
  • concealer
  • eyeshadow (matte/frosted)
  • fixative
  • foundation (liquid/solid)
  • glue/gum
  • latex
  • lipsticks/lip gloss
  • mascara (powder, liquid, wand or block)
  • moisturiser
  • pencil
  • powder
  • pre-make-up products and stabilisers
  • protective gel and cream
  • sunscreen
  • toner.

Make -up equipment  may include:

  • airbrushes
  • artificial lashes
  • bald caps
  • containers/trays, etc.
  • cotton buds
  • eye make-up remover pads
  • hairclips and bands
  • lash curlers
  • latex
  • magnifying mirror
  • make-up box
  • moist towelettes
  • pallets or tiles
  • pencil sharpener
  • powder puffs
  • protective bibs and smocks
  • spatulas
  • sponges, brushes, applicators
  • supply of water
  • tissues
  • towels
  • tweezers.

Productions  may include:

  • commercials
  • documentaries
  • feature films
  • filmed events or performances
  • live or pre-recorded television productions
  • live performances
  • music video
  • short films
  • television productions
  • theatrical productions.

Make -up plan  may include:

  • areas requiring correction/camouflage
  • camera angles/shots
  • colour design
  • context, e.g.:
  • single appearance
  • location
  • dramatic considerations
  • lighting
  • continuity issues
  • details of period and specialist make-up requirements
  • details of specialist services required
  • face shape
  • highlighting/shading techniques
  • known allergies
  • location, e.g.:
  • interior
  • exterior
  • studio
  • make-up products and equipment required
  • product application procedures
  • testing arrangements.

Health and hygiene requirements  may include:

  • commonwealth, state and territory OHS regulations
  • regulations in the cosmetic environment, e.g.:
  • sterilisation and sanitation procedures
  • storage and handling of hazardous substances
  • protective clothing and substances in the workplace.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Competency field

Competency field 

Visual communication - make-up

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

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