POSTED IN Photoshoot
Hair & Makeup For TV Commercials
über eats X the wiggles TVC
über eats X the wiggles TVC

A lot of my work is in TV commercials (TVC’s), working as a makeup artist in the TVC world is very different to being on set on a fashion shoot. The way you approach makeup is different & the guidelines & on set etiquette is different. TVC’s require you to be fast & super flexible, often working on multiple locations throughout the shoot, your kit set up & pack down needs to be swift & efficient. The makeup for TV commercials often requires character makeup, so having experience in creating bruising, sweat, ageing, working with wigs etc is very important. It’s also important to be super professional, on set you will not only have all the producers and talent but often the client & the advertising team, as a freelance makeup artist not only are you representing yourself but you also are part of that production team that has hired you. Being flexible & also being happy to change the makeup / add to the makeup or remove makeup that isn’t working should always be done with a positive attitude & yes mentality.

One of the most important things to remember on a TV commercial as a makeup artist is to wait to do any on set touch ups until you have been asked to do “Final Checks” this will normally be called out by the first AD, so make sure you are standing by with your on set makeup bag ready to go.

Unlike everyday makeup, which is designed to look good in person, TV makeup needs to withstand the scrutiny of high-definition cameras, harsh lighting, and long hours on set. What looks subtle and natural in real life can appear washed out or exaggerated on screen. HD cameras will also pick up on every detail so gone are the days of heavy foundations, long lasting medium coverage foundations are the way to go.

Creating a Flawless Base

Prep skin well, always exfoliate the skin first, I love to use exfoliating swipeys by GO-TO skincare. It’s also good to use a matte primer on the T-zone to help with shine. I like to use the Fenty Pro Filt’r Mattifying Primer available at Sephora, on the T-zone, it’s super thin and layers really well.

The foundation of any great TV makeup look is, well, foundation. Opt for a formula that provides buildable coverage without looking heavy or cakey on camera. Be sure to blend well, especially along the jawline and hairline, to avoid any visible lines of demarcation. Set your foundation with a light dusting of translucent powder to control shine and ensure long-lasting wear throughout the shoot.

Enhancing Features with Contouring and Highlighting

Contouring and highlighting are powerful tools for sculpting the face and adding dimension on camera. Use a soft matte bronzer or contour powder to define the cheekbones, jawline, and sides of the nose, blending carefully for a seamless finish. Avoid shimmer or highlighter unless the character calls for it, Line the eyes with a soft pencils that can be removed easily as sometimes you will need to go back & forth with a look. I always use a tubular mascara, one that does run or smudge and that can be removed if needed.


Always hydrate the lips & check for dry flakes or chapping, Exfoliate if needed and smother is a balm as soon as you can. Choose a lip colour that complements the character’s overall look, work with the wardrobe team to check it doesn’t clash with the clothes.

Finishing Touches

Once makeup is complete, and the look has been signed off by the producer & client. Set the makeup with a light setting spray. Keep a touch-up kit on hand with essentials like blotting papers, powder, and lipstick for quick fixes between takes.

Email Nicola Johnson – for all bookings



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