Build your hair and make-up portfolio

A portfolio is essential for showing off your skills to hair and make-up designers in film and TV.

Icon showing a hair and make-up stylist with a portfolio and a head-and-shoulders image with scissors

Hair and make-up designers will want to see examples of your work before they employ you on their shows or productions. You’ll need to put together a collection of photographs or videos to show off what you’ve done. This is known as a portfolio.

Whenever you do hair and make-up, whether that’s for an amateur theatre production, a video company or a beauty salon, ask the person you have made-up if you can take a photograph of your work. Keep notes on what you did and why. Over time, you will build up a strong collection that you can adapt when you apply for jobs.

What to include in a hair and make-up portfolio

  • Feature photographs of six pieces of work
  • Include the work of which you’re most proud. You’ll be expected to talk about it and you’ll do that better if you’re pleased with what you’ve created.
  • Show variety in your six pieces. Aim to show two examples of hair examples, two examples of make-up and two examples of prosthetics, if you have those.

How to present you hair and make-up portfolio

You can present your portfolio in print or digitally, on your phone or online.

You might want to create a free website and publish your work on that. This has the advantage that you can put the link onto your covering letter or CV. Here are are some popular sites you might want to use.

Alternatively, you could keep your work on a phone or tablet. You can then show it to employers when you’re with them, without having to be online.

Or you might want to print your photographs and present them in an artist’s portfolio case.

However you do it, make sure your work is easy to access.  You don’t want to be struggling to find what you’re looking for and waste the time of people you’re trying to impress.