Television presenter and make-up artist on TV setMakeup. Women wear it as a matter of course. And although some women only apply it selectively – perhaps to their eyes and lips, alone – there are few women who would claim that they never wear any. And, it’s pretty clear why they do, right? Makeup is designed to improve appearance. For those who have uneven skin tones, a little base’ll even that right out. Mascara, eyeliner, eye shadow are tools, in the hands of a skilled makeup artist (MUA), to improve, enhance or alter the appearance. Sometimes the transformation is subtle, sometimes dramatic and on occasion makeup can totally alter an individual’s appearance such that they are unrecognizable – witness Dustin Hoffman in the film Tootsie.

Specialty makeup is a separate category that we’re not going to touch upon in this post, but if you’re playing a zombie in a horror movie… yes you’re going to need makeup.

But what if you’re a man? What if you’re an executive and you’re about to sit for an on-camera interview? Should you wear makeup?

Well it’s a good question and it depends upon how makeup is defined. In some cases depending upon the age and appearance of the subject, no makeup may be the right way to go. Perhaps just a freshly shaven face and haircut will provide the right look.

But in the age of HD video, makeup has become more necessary, not less. And the reason for that is that HD video is significantly higher in resolution than older SD (standard definition) video. In other words, even the tiniest imperfections are magnified and made visible. At the same time makeup, poorly applied, will stick out like a sore thumb. A skilled MUA uses various techniques to apply makeup to cover imperfections and to enhance her subject.

So if you’re not professional talent and you’re a man or a woman, should a professional makeup artist give you the once over before tape is rolled? In a word: absolutely.