Apply and remove special effects to change the performer’s appearance

Business Sectors (Suites): Hair, Wigs, Make Up and Prosthetics for Productions
Developed by: ScreenSkills
Approved on: 30 Mar 2021


​This standard measures your ability to apply special effects make-up and bald caps to alter performers' appearance for productions.

It involves carrying out the necessary tests to check for harmful skin and scalp reactions and ensuring that performers are comfortable during the application process. It is about assessing whether different skin and scalp types are well suited to the special effects make up materials and bald caps intended for use.

It includes taking the appropriate action when special effects make up or bald caps deteriorate under shooting conditions and considering the appropriate health and safety regulations.

This standard is applicable to all roles but is most applicable to the role of hair and make up assistants or special effects technicians.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. ​position performers for special effects application to minimise personal discomfort
  2. inform performers of the special application stages and invite their questions
  3. test special effects make up and bald caps to be applied to the performer's skin and scalp for adverse reactions
  4. prepare the skin and scalp for the type of contact material used
  5. apply special effects make-up and bald caps in a manner that ensures they are sustained under different shooting conditions
  6. take action in the eventuality that special effects cause adverse skin or scalp reactions or disintegrate under different shooting conditions
  7. apply bald caps ensuring that the fit, tension, and texture is as advised by the relevant person
  8. airbrush skin caps and other skin areas to the required colour and skin tone
  9. apply selected special effects make-up in the required sequence, using the techniques advised by the relevant person

  10. apply or paint tattoos as directed and confirm that they achieve the required creative effect

  11. remove applied or painted tattoos in line with production policies and guidelines
  12. confirm that the finished special effects attain the design criteria of the production
  13. remove the special effects make-up and bald caps to minimise the performer's discomfort

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. ​the design requirements as communicated to you by the relevant person

  2. the time and budgetary constraints of the production schedule

  3. the difference between special effects make-up and hair and basic, corrective make-up and hair
  4. how to test for adverse skin and scalp reactions
  5. what actions to take where special effects make-up or bald caps deteriorate or cause adverse skin reactions
  6. the methods of skin and scalp preparation
  7. different shooting conditions and how this can affect special effects make-up and bald caps
  8. how to apply bald caps to the correct fit, texture and tension
  9. the techniques of airbrushing and how to apply it to skin and manmade fabrics
  10. make-up application techniques
  11. the productions requirements for the design
  12. the techniques to paint tattoos freehand and to apply with use of stencils or transfers
  13. how to remove tattoos with appropriate methods and materials
  14. how to remove special effects make-up and bald caps carefully to minimise the performer's discomfort
  15. the health and safety legislation, policies, and guidelines applicable to the application of special effects make-up and bald caps


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2026





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Arts, Media and Publishing, Crafts, Creative Arts and Design, Hairdressers and Related Occupations, Media and Communication, Performing Arts, Personal Service Occupations

SOC Code



special effects, performer, appearance, bald caps, special effects technician, hair, make up, production requirements, health and safety