Greg Stacy’s FAT LOT OF GOOD

October 29, 2006

IT’S A LIVING: Mortuary makeup artist

Filed under: Humor,Interviews,It's a Living,OC Weekly,Weird — gregstacy @ 12:31 pm

This interview continues to get a lot of response, years after it was published. That’s gratifying, because I was really happy with how this one turned out. I liked Carrie a lot, and I think her job is fascinating. Unfortunately, a lot of the comments posted here and the emails that I get ask me for more info on how to become a mortuary makeup artist. Well, I’m sorry folks, but I really don’t know anything more about the profession than you’ll find in this article. I can’t tell you how to get started in this profession, but at least this article will give you one woman’s perspective on the realities of this unusual profession.

(Originally printed in OC WEEKLY, Thursday, April 13, 2006)

When your grandma died, it was somebody’s job to prepare her for that open-casket funeral. They painted her, powdered her and gave her one last makeover so she’d look her best for her date with eternity. Carrie Bayer, 36, makes corpses pretty at O’Connor Mortuary in Laguna Hills.

OC Weekly: Is this something you wanted to do, growing up?

Bayer: No, I thought it was a really odd profession. But then a few years ago, I had a bad experience with a relative’s funeral. I wasn’t impressed with the way it was handled, and I thought, “I could do this better.” My husband was really freaked out at first, when I left my job in the merchandise buying office at Disney to go back to school at 33 so I could learn to do this. But I’m so much happier now, and he loves it. I was working at the Happiest Place on Earth and I was miserable, and now I’m working at the saddest place on earth, and I’ve never been happier. Working with the decedents is really . . .

I’m sorry, the what?

“Decedents.” That’s what we call the deceased people. I enjoy spending the time with them, and getting to know them in a way. I feel like I’m the last person who will ever take care of them, you know? It’s a big responsibility.

What sort of training is involved?

You study anatomy, chemistry, law, pathology, ethics—everything you might encounter in a mortuary. Most of the class drops out after the first month. Makeup is part of the curriculum. You practice on plastic beauty shop heads, or yourselves. That part is really fun! You study color theory, and learn about non-thermogenic makeup . . . .


Thermogenic makeup is makeup for live skin; body heat breaks it down so it applies properly. But on dead skin, it just crumbles or blots. Non-thermogenic is what we use for the decedents; it’s specially made.

I’d imagine doing makeup on a dead person, there’s a lot of, uh, reconstruction involved.

Oh, yeah. We use plaster of Paris, wire mesh, cardboard . . .


Yeah. If there’s been an autopsy, and they removed the trachea, we’ll put in a cardboard tube, like a paper towel roll, to reconstruct the trachea and give men back their Adam’s apple.

I delivered flowers years ago, and the mortuary visits were really heartbreaking. Does the sadness ever get to you?

It can be hard not to take the sorrow home with you. Sometimes we’re dealing with trauma, with suicides, with kids who have died. We had a rash of suicides, three young girls, from 16 to 21, who all hung themselves. There was no connection, but they all died within a month. Suicides are really hard. But I feel like I’m doing something right in this world. We’re there to help the families through the grieving process.

Is it ever scary? When you’re working on somebody, do you ever feel a “presence”?

Absolutely. I always feel the presence. Hey, it’s creepy working late at night, alone, locked in with corpses. A while back I was working late, all alone, and somebody coughed. I just about peed my pants. We have a walk-in refrigerator, and once I heard a thump in there, like somebody was knocking. There have been times when I’ve wanted to make absolutely sure the decedent was really dead. We have tests for that, like we hold a mirror under their nose to check for breath, or we give them an ammonia test, where we inject it just under the skin, and if it turns red you know the immune system’s responding.

Has anybody turned out to be alive?Not so far.


I’ve heard trapped air can make corpses sit up, or sigh . . .

They don’t sit up. That’s an urban myth. But they do make sounds. And they’ll void their bowels, or their bladders. They’ll throw up.

Did you ever think, I’m making this corpse look too good? That they looked better than they did alive?

Sure. One time, the family thought we put the wrong person in the casket. I think what often happens is they’re used to the person being sick all the time—they’ve stopped wearing makeup and they’re in pajamas all day. So seeing them looking nice again can be a shock. We work from photographs, and we talk with the family so we get exactly the right shade of mascara and everything. If they wore a hairpiece, we’ll put it on like they would’ve wanted. But no matter how careful you try to be, they’re never going to look quite right. The person just isn’t there anymore, you know? It’s just their body.

Is there anything you’d like to say to the makeup artist who’ll work on you when you pass away?

Give me a nice smile. And lots of mascara. Let my freckles show!



  1. this is too good..first time am hearing something like this..really touching.
    am a stage/TV story teller from kerala,india and am going to tell my audience about this..
    its really little too odd and scary…still..
    my love to you carrie.

    Comment by manu jose — November 4, 2006 @ 6:58 am | Reply

  2. Where can you go to school to get training for this type of career? Where do you find the special makeup needed?

    My daughter is interested in this field. I think it is very worthwhile, it would help the family feel a bit better if they can send their loved one off looking their best.

    Comment by Michelle — January 9, 2007 @ 7:54 pm | Reply

  3. tips and facts about make-up-kits.great article and ressources for mot clé

    Comment by make-up-kits — March 11, 2007 @ 5:24 pm | Reply

  4. This is amazing. I want to be a mortician, and this made me want to do it more. 🙂

    Comment by kristina — March 15, 2007 @ 8:23 pm | Reply

  5. You gave us a very realistic look at this type of makeup application. It seems like you are happy with what you do. I am a makup artist and have the makeup and equipment to start in this field. Hoping you will e-mail me and I could ask your advice. Thanks for putting your info “out there” Stephanie

    Comment by stephanie — March 16, 2007 @ 10:01 pm | Reply

  6. I am an esthetian and am wondering do I have to go back to school to do this service…just the makeup applications. Can you be trained on the job? Or does the mortuary want only people trained in mort. science? I have also heard that most mortuaries are family owned and it’s very difficult to work for them if you are not family involved. I have heard many cosmetologists work for morticians doing the hair and sometimes makeup…..I never heard of specific training courses. Could you enlighten me?

    Comment by Bonnie Kramer — April 1, 2007 @ 5:06 pm | Reply

    • Hello! I have a full-specialist license including skin, make-up and nails. I really feel that I would be perfect for the same position. I would appreciate it if you could let me know if my current license will be enough or if I need to go back to school. I am a Florida resident. Not sure if all states have the same regulations. Thanks!

      Comment by Natalie Woodward — July 17, 2010 @ 2:12 am | Reply

  7. Hi,
    My mother has asked me to do her makeup and fix her wig for her funeral. She has brain & lung cancer and the last 2 family funerals we’ve been to have been awful on the makeup department. My Grandmother was 90 yrs old and they put bright red blush and lipstick on her. This is why my mother asked me to do hers.
    I release you from all legal responsibilities. Could you give me some tips? There will be no autopsy since we know what her illness is. Will pancake makeup or her regular makeup mixed with a darker tone work to fix her coloring?
    She wants a soft, very simple look with soft pink lipstick.
    I would greatly appreciate any advice that you have.
    The wig I am not worried about. I can set it and use latch pins to get a correct fit if necessary.
    Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me.
    This is definitely hard for me to do but I have to grant her the wish of wanting me to do her makeup.
    Thank you

    Comment by Faith — April 29, 2007 @ 3:25 pm | Reply

    • Faith did you find any additional information on doing your mothers makeup for her funeral? I am trying to learn to take care of my family.

      Comment by Petrina Cole — December 2, 2010 @ 7:42 pm | Reply

  8. Hello, Faith and the other commenters on this article. I really appreciate the nice feedback, but I’m afraid I don’t know anything more about mortuary makeup than what you’ll find in this article. If you want to learn more, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Sorry!

    Comment by gregstacy — April 29, 2007 @ 9:37 pm | Reply

  9. I come to your site because it keeps me entertained and aware of new things.

    Comment by suppressant — May 31, 2007 @ 9:18 pm | Reply

  10. I would like to check this out as a career but can find nothing on the type of schooling I would need. does anyone know how I could go about training to become a mortuary makeup artist?

    Comment by Tiff — July 9, 2007 @ 3:39 am | Reply

  11. I am a licenced cosmetologist for 15yrs now. I have been interested in expanding my knowledge of the trade. How and where can I find more info. Do I have to have a special license and where are the classes in miami florida?

    Thank you!

    Comment by natalie thomas — August 3, 2007 @ 3:53 pm | Reply

  12. I am opening my own buisness doing the same as stacy in San Diego…
    I am a professional makeup artist of 15years and feel this is my calling.
    I am excited and need to know about the make up name, etc etc.

    Comment by Nicole Gracia — August 30, 2007 @ 7:46 pm | Reply

  13. nice site indeed

    Comment by kentucky derby betting odds — October 30, 2007 @ 9:05 am | Reply

  14. hi, im 15 and ive always been interested in this, do you know where i could go to study this thing to become a mortuary butishionist? thank u, bye

    Comment by sarah — November 15, 2007 @ 7:42 pm | Reply

  15. hi, I was wondering if i can have some more info. on where i can go to school, or if i can intern. I ve already been to school for beauty and spfx. Thank you

    Comment by Amanda — November 15, 2007 @ 11:53 pm | Reply

  16. It’s a little strange how I get so many questions about this article. This site gets a LOT of fake comments that feature links to gambling sites and so on, but the questions about the mortuary makeup seem to be mostly legit. All I can do is repeat what I wrote a while back: I really can’t tell you anything more than you’ll find in the article. If you want to do this for a living, I wish you well with it.

    Comment by gregstacy — November 16, 2007 @ 3:58 am | Reply

  17. I have a beautician license which I have had for over 20 years. I have been asked to apply makeup and the hair on the deceased from friends.

    Is this all I need to do this type of work for families? My license is current.

    Comment by Judy Martin — April 19, 2008 @ 6:55 pm | Reply

  18. Hi, my name is melissa, i have my cosmetology license is that all i need to dresss up the deceased people?

    Comment by Melissa — June 1, 2008 @ 2:48 am | Reply

  19. Hello, my name is Katie and I too am interested in doing this could you please tell me what requirements that I would need to have. Thanks

    Comment by Katie Melton — June 2, 2008 @ 2:01 am | Reply

  20. Hey this interview really helped me to actually decide what I want to do with my life. So I would like to thank-you. I just have one question though Im in high school so I wanted to know how long you would have to go to college or university to become a mortuary make-up artist.

    Comment by Jahina — July 23, 2008 @ 4:24 pm | Reply

  21. New in S.A
    Mystique make up- Mineral make up known for its uniqueness and funkiness.
    If interested download our website on
    Thank you

    Comment by maria — September 27, 2008 @ 12:50 pm | Reply

  22. Enjoyed the article. I’ve done this a few times. Interested in doing more, I think especially after reading your article. I think it is an awesome an unique service to provide to families during this time. I’m a makeup artist and I notice the differene in the makeup texture and it didn’t blend and I thought i it should. But, there’s not alot of people to discuss this with. I like to hear more input from a professional such as yourself. My hat goes off to you and the heart God’s given to make a difference .

    Comment by RLemorn — October 13, 2008 @ 1:05 am | Reply

  23. Hi there, I’m a certified esthetician just starting in the industry and I like a few others are curious about more education. What would be necessary to begin make-up in this field, and where are the courses available. I’m nervous about taking a resume into an establishment without thorough background of the busisness, I’m just not sure where to start. If you have any information you wouldn’t mind passing on I would really appreciate it.

    Thanks for your time,

    Comment by Rebecca — October 23, 2008 @ 11:22 pm | Reply

  24. i’m interested in your trade how long did you have to study? where did you study? i would be very greatful if you could get back to me. thankyou maxine x

    Comment by maxine — December 19, 2008 @ 9:19 pm | Reply

  25. Hi Greg & everyone who left their wonderful feedback on this article. I am so surprised at the interest & support from everyone- thank you!

    There’s a couple of ways to get into the business of mortuary makeup artistry- you can go to mortuary school, Cypress College has the only program in SoCal (that’s where I went)& there’s also American River College in Sacramento. Or, you can go straight to the mortuary with a cosmetology license on your resume.

    It is best to go to mortuary school to learn the full spectrum of this trade- there’s embalming, funeral directing and crematory operation in the curriculum of the program. Getting a degree in Mortuary Science, California Embalmer’s License, Funeral Director’s License & Crematory Manager License has been the best thing I’ve ever done- I highly recommend doing the full 2 year program to anyone who is even slightly inetrested in doing mortuary makeup. It will transform your life in ways unimaginable.

    I’ll check this site regularly to help answer more questions- I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Greg, I thoroughly enjoyed our time together & continue to read your articles in the OC Weekly- thanks again! Carrie

    Comment by Carrie Bayer- Mortuary Makeup Girl — January 2, 2009 @ 5:35 am | Reply

  26. I was thinking about doing funeral make-up as well. I’ve been told by my Prosthetics instructer that you can use Rubber Mask Grease Paint (RMGP) on a corpse to warm up the skin. It’s a caster oil base make-up used in Special FX.

    Comment by Tom Ryan — January 9, 2009 @ 8:06 pm | Reply

  27. Hi, Carrie. Great to hear from you again! Out of all the “It’s a Living” columns I did, I think the one about you was my favorite… And, judging be the response it (still!) gets, it seems the visitors to this site agree. It almost seems like you should start your own mortuary makeup website… People seem to be really curious about the field.

    Comment by Greg Stacy — January 11, 2009 @ 12:31 am | Reply

  28. what’s the worst accident that has happened where you’ve had to work on the person? Have you ever refused to work on a body? Thankyou for your time regards fallon x

    Comment by fallon — February 5, 2009 @ 3:41 pm | Reply

  29. Any trauma case has the potential to be difficult- you are bound to see it and you must do the best restoration possible. The goal is for the family to be able to see their beloved one last time before their final disposition- refusal to do the work is unprofessional and grounds for termination in any company.

    Comment by Carrie Bayer- Mortuary Makeup Girl — February 18, 2009 @ 2:38 am | Reply

  30. Carrie,

    I have long considerd this as a profession and your interview and all these comments are just so great, this really has given me some perspective into the aspects of the job and what to expect. It is very interesting that so many others have the same interest and as many questions as myself.

    Thank you for letting us in on your world.

    Comment by Jillian — February 21, 2009 @ 5:18 am | Reply

  31. I had a friend die a couple of weeks ago and was so concerned about her being made up to not look like herself so I shopped for nail polish, got out makeup from her purse, and wrote a list of what she would like and not like with her hair and makeup.

    After reading this I am glad that I did. I wasn’t sure if it would be welcomed but it sounds like it would. Even if it is not the same makeup then the colors would tell them what to use.

    After this I considered for a moment what it would be like to do this as a profession. By reading this interview I know it is something I could not do but am still greatful for those who can and want to do it.

    Thank you Carrie and anyone else who do this job and consider it a ministry to the person and their friends and family. It is a blessing to have someone honor the loved one in that way.

    Comment by Tricia — February 22, 2009 @ 8:35 pm | Reply

    • hi, my mum passed away last sunday 22.8.10 she was 81 the day before she died, me and my daugher did her hair and makeup yesterday,it wasnt scary atall, and we both felt we could do it again on other people.My mum had always said make sure my hair and make up is done nicely and i have no hairs cuming out my chin, that sort of thing, so it was nice to do this last thing for her.We jad hair in curlers, hairdryer on, varnished her nails, just used mums own makeup, and lipstick.we knew how she had it, so who better to do it.and in a weird way , we quite enjoyed doing it.

      Comment by melanie howie — August 28, 2010 @ 9:24 am | Reply

  32. Anyone interested in Mortuary Science
    go to this link, click the directory in the paragraph and it will tell you what schools offer Mortuary Science as a Major
    is the National Funeral Directors Association .. it has all the resources aND ANSWERS to many questions about this profession. : )

    Comment by Jessica — February 27, 2009 @ 2:05 am | Reply

  33. hi ,
    Actually i’m quiet interested in this job .but i dunno how and where do i start .and for find this info quiet some time .finally find it ,after reading very agree what you have write .thank you for giving so much info .

    Comment by night kids — June 1, 2009 @ 5:19 pm | Reply

  34. I am interested in getting into this profession. I have a B.A. in Fine Art and also am in a new profession where I have had A & P, disease, pharmacology classes, etc. I was hoping to be able to learn the makeup part.
    Thanks for any information you might be able to give me,
    Lisa Brazell

    Comment by Lisa Brazell — June 15, 2009 @ 11:52 pm | Reply

  35. Hi I am an esthetician for 4 years and have gone on studies back when i was in school for mortorary makeup, would i need to go back for classes on this kind of makeup or freelance? I am researching different types of jobs for a possible career change. Any advice you could give would be great! Thanks

    Comment by shannon behl — June 25, 2009 @ 12:16 am | Reply

  36. Hi, my friends in Malaysia are in this profession and they are looking to stock up their make up supplies but could not find anywhere to buy them (they bought them years ago). Would you be able to tell me where I could buy the product hydeco? Otherwise, I need to find a company that would ship to the UK as I am based there. Any information would be very useful. Many thanks.

    Comment by adet — July 14, 2009 @ 8:42 pm | Reply

  37. Wow!!! I have wanted to be a mortician ever since I saw this movie about a mortician lady who falls in love with this guy. It interested me more than psychology. My grandmother hates the fact that I want to be in this type of a profession and environment but after two months she finally realized that I really am interested in it. I am a horror movie fanatic and I always loved the fact of being able to work with the dead. I love cosmetology also! I really would like to get some professional advice and listings on things. Please email me back at!!! Thanks,


    Comment by Chantelle — August 4, 2009 @ 9:42 pm | Reply

  38. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

    Comment by sandrar — September 10, 2009 @ 2:28 pm | Reply

  39. I have always been interested in doing this for a living. I am sorry I never persued it now that I am 55 and too old to start a career. I don’t know how long the schooling is. I sure did love reading your first hand experiences on it Carry. IT is the first time anyone has ever done that so I thank you cause we all wonder what it is like.

    Comment by Kathy — September 12, 2009 @ 4:07 pm | Reply

  40. Do you ever come across cold sores on any dead people? If so, can you cover them?

    Comment by Jane — September 18, 2009 @ 8:13 pm | Reply


    Comment by SARAH — October 20, 2009 @ 10:46 pm | Reply

  42. I see that a lot of people are interested in this profession. I am one of them. I was also inspired by this article. I am however discouraged by my awful work schedule which makes it impossible to attend school. I worked in a salon a long time ago and keep my liscense current. I believe people who work in this field have had a calling and good luck to all those trying to get involved in it.

    Comment by Keri — November 14, 2009 @ 10:46 pm | Reply

  43. Hi,

    I am very interested to talk with you, I have been considering becoming a mortuary makeup artist for some time now and was hoping to gain some advice from you. I have been a licened cosmetologist for 3 years and have also been professionally trained in makeup (beauty, special effects, airbrushing) at Cinema Makeup School here in LA. Is there any additional training you would reccommend for me? Also, you mentioned that you use a different kind of makeup since you are working with dead skin. Totally makes sense, but I was wondering what exactly it is that you use for your makeups.

    Thanks so much!

    Graci Hanson

    Comment by Graci — November 26, 2009 @ 3:19 am | Reply

    • Did you ever get any advise? My daughter is a licensed Esthitician in California and wants to do make up in a mortuary. She took extra classes in make-up thru Dermalogica and she has a lot of natural talent. Could you let me know what you found out or where I could go to get answers. I would really appreciate it and would even be willing to pay you a small finders fee. Thanks so much. Hope you are doing something you love! Take care, Tricia,

      Comment by Tricia nelson — July 25, 2013 @ 5:44 am | Reply

  44. My brother died Dec 18, 2009. He had been sick and was very bloated. The funeral director assured us that he was able to make him look great. I couldn’t believe my eyes, he was grey. I have been a cosmotologist for 15 years, so I instantly asked for the make up and re did his color before the showing. I never thought I would beable to do that, but is was very important for our family and his dignity. I am currently in the process of moving and now interested in free lancing to do hair, make-up, and nails for funeral homes. I can’t stop thinking about it and I want to bring that comfort to other families. I’m going to prepair my resume and contact the funeral homes in the area. Do you have any other advise for me.

    Comment by Lisa — January 10, 2010 @ 2:26 pm | Reply

  45. I have worked on a few people. I was hired by the families not the mortuary. Mortuaries do their own work, but experience has shown me they are not makeup artists! They tend to do nothing except use a lot of moisturizer–which is a must! This makes it hard for me to come in after the embalming and prepare a body. The mortuary ALWAYS caskets the body before I come. This is because they are no longer responsible if I were to do some damage to the body–which can happen with tissue that is so fragile, and did in fact happen once when a family member was helping me and tore the skin. After a lot of panic and screaming, I told her to calm down and I repaired the tear as though it never happened. Her comment was, “Well, I guess he isn’t going to bleed to death,” which lightened the heavy mood. This craft is a true gift for families. I am always given pictures of the deceased that are usually from 20-30 old–at a time when the deceased was vibrant and healthy. I work until ‘I’ am satisfied with the outcome because I have a VERY keen eye and my heart knows I’ve done the job correctly. I do not use non-thermo makeup, I find it to be toooooo gruesome. I always fascinate the morticians with my techniques but they have no idea what an art it truly is and have said that they want to get an airbrush. I don’t bother to tell them how difficult it is to use one, AND the blending of colors requires a real intuitive. I use thermo makeup a lot but I use a different type of coloring on the deceased than I do live bodies. I love when the families grab me in a bear hug and tell me how grateful they are for my tender work. Most often they say their loved one doesn’t look dead, they only look like they are sleeping. This is the way it Should be.

    Comment by Tammy — January 13, 2010 @ 4:43 pm | Reply

    • Tammy,

      You said you use non-thermogenic make-up through your airbrush as a liquid form and then, does that mean you also blend various types of make-up together? I work in this field also and wondered what brands you like to work with.

      Comment by EyeLWait4U — August 11, 2010 @ 8:44 am | Reply

      • I do not purchase makeup. I use a lot of Oxides, Micas, and other to create my colors–airbrush and dry. My liquid base usually consists of water, alcohol, glycerin, and a bit of white oxide (Nothing Shiny!).
        I hope this above answers your question. If you want to know ‘how’ I use my makeup, read below:
        Depending on what I am working on depends on what I mix. The last man I worked on for a family had a terrible bruise(?) on the left side of his face. It was purple and yellow. 1st I removed most (not all) of the moisturizing cream. Then I mixed my color and airbrushed his face until I had an even palette. I may keep mixing (adding oxides) to the same color until the face is fairly even. I may add a bit of blue(or) oxide to create a balance. At this point I am not making him look life-like, I am creating my blank palette.
        Then I use a bit of tan oxide, cornstarch, pearl powder, and maybe a little rice powder for good ‘slip’. I gently ‘stipple’ the powder on the face, neck, ears (and wherever else) to give me some texture. I always save a bit for the hands; if they show, but use MUCH less—I only want a gentle continuum of the same color. All to trick the eye, as you know. I even airbrushed and stippled his balding head.
        I could tell from the younger picture the family gave me that he had some strong pigment in his younger days. He was Italian. So, I used a stencil I made and airbrushed a slight lip on the side missing an EVEN lip. The mortician told me she had redone his lips but just had a lot of trouble getting his mouth even. Even his eyelashes had been glued inside on one of his eyes so I glued single hairs for lashes because it was too obvious.
        The man had a fairly heavy brow from the picture, so I gently airbrushed a brownish-grey color where his brows USE to be. I stippled again, then I used human hair fibers and glued some longer hairs where brow hair was missing and created a gentle hairline and slight sideburns. I set everything with my makeup sealer. Using my blow dryer to remove ANY extra powder.
        The man’s daughter is a friend, and she wanted to assist me. She would hand me items as needed and she accidently made a little tear in his cheek! After I had gone to the work of creating my palette, it was easy enough to repair because I had made enough powder.
        I added hair fibers to give him a shadowy resemble of a full head of hair. At this point I spray ONLY the hair to give it slight/believable shine and gently powder-stipple down the forehead so the SKIN is Not shiny. Now I make defining color/s for low/hi lighting. My brown/mauve-ish oxide brings a natural, believable warmth to the face. This man was a hard, outside, worker. He had a constant tan all his life. Even though he died of heart failure; and had been ill for quite some time, the family wanted to remember him as a healthy, resilient man because that was the picture they gave me. I even touched then end of his nose and highest part of his forehead with pearl powder to give him the tiniest bit of a highlight (light hits the highest places on the face).
        This all took me 3 hours. He was already casketed, so it was very hard, but I do what I have to do to make it right for the decedent and the family.
        I never attend a funeral when I have done the work. I may watch from a distance, but I do not want my work to overshadow any family members for 100 reasons. I was told by my friend that her mother was all over her father’s head and face. She was crying and kissing him. Thru all this my makeup lasted! I think if I used waxy, deeply-pigmented cream makeup, the wife would have been wearing the makeup all over her clothes and the work may have been destroyed. Instead, the mother of my friend was so comforted by the fact that her husband looked like her husband, she Wanted to touch him. Everyone, including the Mortician, said it looked like the man was sleeping.
        I know death is harsh. Funerals are hard. But I still believe that sending someone off to sleep is more comforting when it Looks like they’re sleeping.
        Thanks for your interest,
        Tammy Voss

        Comment by Tammy — August 11, 2010 @ 7:14 pm

    • Tammy – loved what you said. I have a large fam and have lost many. I never like the way they look and started thinking about how how I want to be made up and by whom. Sounds like your mindset is in the best place possible. Your HEART tells you what is right…can’t ask for more than that. Do you have a website? I know it’s creepy, but wiht a big family like ours, you never, ever know what tomorrow will bring. Bless you.

      Comment by Angela — February 10, 2011 @ 5:00 pm | Reply

      • No. No website. My work is very private and I only work for families who know or hear about me. Have faith in your mortuary. Minor touch-up is possible before a viewing if necessary–especially if ‘grandpa’ has too much blush. Morticians work is Not easy and it IS an art. You can request to see your family before the funeral to approve, and the funeral home usually has no problem allowing you to do this if they know you have concerns. If by some chance the work is not up to your standards, try to understand that you probably won’t be able to fix what you don’t like. You can, however, use sheer cloth to cover your loved one, and incandesent lights really help in the viewing room. I wouldn’t worry or anticipate problems. The more you know about the work a mortician does, the less you are likely to complain about it. Focus on the life and love of the decedent.

        Comment by Tammy — February 10, 2011 @ 6:40 pm

    • Tammy, were you the instructor @ Milan’s in Fairfield? Cindy Doran and you helped me immensely w/ a problem I had w/ my hair…just called there & they said Cindy graduated this month and you are no longer there…are you doing business nearby? thanks!

      Comment by Elizabeth Smith — June 13, 2012 @ 10:18 pm | Reply

      • Yes! I know the amazing Cindy! She is correct, I am no longer with Milan. I work independently and am currently living in Sacramento. I travel as far as the San Diego area. Is there something I can help you with? Tammy

        Comment by Tammy — June 13, 2012 @ 10:25 pm

  46. my bestfriend in the Philippines operates a funeral home in the Philippines and they use regular make up (thermogenic) and they are not happy about it. They want to know where to buy these non thermogenic make up. Thank you Very much!

    Comment by larry — February 3, 2010 @ 1:28 am | Reply

  47. iv actually called lots of funeral homes and mortuarys in my town, and there is no actual proffession that is a mortuary makeup artist, it all about who you know, if its a family member or friend then yes maybe u could do they’r makeup, but morticions, the imbombers are the actual ones to do they makeup if the family chooses to not do it they’r self! so i dont know why this website gives so many people the false hope that they can become this strictly for a can only do the makeup for the deseased if it is a family member or friend and they allow you, or you may be a fam or friend of funeral home,..but this is not one prossion that you can go to school for!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you have to be an inbomber to do this!!!!!!!! and if im wrong tell ME AND EVERYONE WANTING TO KNOW WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE SCHOOL YOU CAN GO TO, TO BECOME A MORTUARY MAKEUP ARTIST???????/……….THEY’R IS NOT ONE!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by deidra — May 12, 2010 @ 11:12 pm | Reply

    • You are correct, there is no school for this. It is also true that in many states in the US you DO NOT need to have a Cosmo or Funeral Services Director’s license. But you do have to prove yourself and be good at your job. You can also use various kinds of make-up but again, not every make-up works for every job. I suggest if you don’t want to invest in some expensive airbrushing equipment, big money for make-up both heat activated and non-heat activated, a complete new brush set, silent air compressor, multiple air guns and 6 months to one year practice time, flexible hours and so on….do not bother. It takes a desire, a gift, talent and showmanship to succeed. Don’t think just because it sounds neat or ‘fun’ that it is. Its work! I’ve been an airbrush artist and make-up artist for years so take it from a professional. Think twice. Pay can be decent but you earn every dime.

      Comment by EyeLWait4U — August 11, 2010 @ 8:55 am | Reply

    • check with your State. many differ from each other. usually you must be a mortician to do anything to the body! then search for schools closest to your town or state. do some research, you’ll be less frustrated if you help yourself ;o)

      Comment by Tammy — February 10, 2011 @ 6:44 pm | Reply

  48. Sign: wdpad Hello!!! esavu and 3506ddkrwdmzca and 8766 : Nice blog!

    Comment by black celebs — August 10, 2010 @ 6:26 pm | Reply

  49. It is very easy to ask a million questions to someone who is already in the business and has already invested in her hard-learned knowledge. I feel that if you are interested in the business, you need to do your homework and invest the time in your interest. Don’t expect someone else to give you all the answers. The best way to learn if you really want to do this work is to educate yourself! Carrie can’t possibly respond to every email–she is KIND ENOUGH to share what she does.

    Comment by Tammy — August 11, 2010 @ 8:41 pm | Reply

  50. hey my name is ashley and i have been to cosmo school but hav change alittle bit in a different direction and what to know what i do next. i live in florida and would love and need to know what is my next step on getting into this business. please anyone that does the makeup on the desceased in florida and know everything there is to know about it contact me by email like to talk on the phone to get the fullest but please email me first! thank you all for your time!

    Comment by ashley — November 18, 2010 @ 3:45 am | Reply

  51. Ive been a lisenced embalmer and funeral director for going on 16 years. Very few funeral homes employ a “make up artist”. The ones that do do so because they themself have no talent and really have no buisiness in the embalming room whatsoever. Funeral cosmetology and embalming go hand in hand. It is extreamly difficult to be a funeral cosmetologist and not be an embalmer. Like wise its very difficult to be an embalmer and not a funeral cosmetologist. Unfortunently where are some in this buisiness themselves who dont understand that. the mechanics of embalming are quite simple. I could actual teach a monkey how to raise a vessel and inject fluid. Unfortunently that seems to be what the public thinks we do. Nothing is further from the truth. Also the public has a total misunderstanding in why we do embalming and the actual cosmetic value embalming holds. the public seems to think we do it just to preserve the body. preservation is a part of why we embalm however its not the most important reason why we embalm. Embalming is a cosmetic procedure in itself and it is an art. It takes a special skill to be a good embalmer, a skill that unfortunently many of the monkeys out doing it dont possess. it takes a special eye for facial expressions and skin tones and color. When many people think of embalming fluid they think of stuff the pig they dissected in school was embalmed with. Not the case with funeral embalming. Formaldehyde is only part of the mixture. A skilled embalmer knows how to add just the right amount and type of dye to the fluids. a skilled embalmer knows how to use water corrective co injections. A skilled embalamer knows how to use lanolin oils in the embalming fluid to rehydrated the tissue and replace the bodies natural oils. all these additives used by a skilled embalmer create an almost life like appearance and feel to the body. 90% of the cosmetic work is done by the time a skilled embalmer has finished embalming. The cosmetic differance between an embalmed body and an unembalmed body by hand of a gifted embalmer is truely an art form. The thing about embalming along with the whole color advatage is how it reacts to the tissue. embalming fluid slowly begins to firm the tissue during the embalming process itself. what this allows is the embalmer the ability to form and mould the facial expressions. This takes a great amount of talent to do it right, think of this. when a body is lying down on their backs gravity draws the facial expressions back causing a very unnatural appearance. Simply because those who knew the person usually always sees the upright. unfortunently most embalmers dont understand this. A skilled embalmer will use this tissue fixatation cause by the embalming fluid to his advantage. Almost like scoulpting. the fixation of the tissue is gradual enough to to allow the embalming to make adjustments as the fluid continues to inject into the body and the tissue firming up more and more as more fluid is injected. a skilled embalmer knows how to define the wrinkles in the forhead and define the nasolabial folds and philtrum of the upper lip. using an instrument in the lines along the mouth to accentuate them and message the cheeks forward basically defying cravity as the embalming fluid “freezes” the tissue in place. it takes a knowledge and understand of how features are formed in a persons face and a knowledge of the underlying muscle and bone structure as well as an understanding of the canon of beauty to do this right. look at a scoulpture of an old person. The artist to the time to model in the hollows of the cheeks, the various lines in the face giving the scoulpture character and expression. tissue fixation from embalming is another cosmetic reason to embalm. using your fingers you can hold features in place and scoulpt the face to how the individual looked. Most embalmers do not take the time to do all this. either because they dont know how or because they are to worried about getting the body inejected in 45 mins so they can brag about how fast and good they are. I learned these things from an old old embalmer who looked like he stept right out of time. He was a very neat old man and the best damn embalmer and demi surgeon Ive ever had the privilagde to work under. The man was a true artist. He taught me these things on how to hold the face up and scouplt the expressions. By the time he was finished embalming he had do so much that only the slightest of cosmetic was needed to touch up. HA i remember him and the smell of his pipe as he would work slowly taking his time to performing what literally seemed to be magic at late hours of the night not worried about getting home to bed. He taught how to use my thumbs to place in certain areas of the face and allow it to firm that way later using feature builder to touch up. how to use an anyerism hook handle and gently push in the lines along the mouth at the same time holding the cheeks forward. Using your fingers to hold in the corners of the mouth to create expression. I cant describe completely in a manner in which the public can understand why embalming is an art. like I said an embalmed body by the hand of a skilled and gifted embalmer needs little cosmetic. Unfotunently many embalmers dont have this skill and make up gets caked on and the body got embalmed but the features and positioning is all wrong. Once the embalmer has perfomed his magic then comes the cosmetics. Like its been said these are non thermal activated cosmetics completely different and used for different reasons the ornamental cosmetic used by the living. While for women we do use ornamental cosmetics. but not always because grandma may have never worn cosmetic. Think of accident victims. Lets say half a face was torn off. First the embalmer needs to firm and preserve that tissue as well as use dye to to give the surrounding tissue a good color base to work from. Before embalming can be done dislocated features and tissue must be tacked in place and the tissue fiaxated by embalming to stay that way. then the embalmer muct use chemical packes to dry out the open flesh triming away blacked and damaged tissue before hand. Once dried out the embalmer useses various waxes that are blended to the right color and begins to scoulpt in the missing peices. Once finished the cosmetic application would be similar to a wax scoulpture artist apply paints and cosmetics to his life like scoulpture of president nixon, making the scoulpture appear real. So you see embalming and funeral cosmetology go hand in hand. The embalmer is the artist who applies the cosmetic. Ive seen Mr Carr the old man with the pipe use his amazing talent beyond what the average embalmer is capable of doing and literally work miracles on that person. Ive see him do accident victims shot gun to the face ect and make them appear as though nothing happened. I dont mean make them vewable and cover ups I mean literally as though nothing happened. as though they could sit up and say hello. Ive seen him reduce swollen tissue. Ive seen him remove a persons face and cut out swollen tissue scoulpting the muscle foundation and then reattach the face. Any way I said enough. The man was a magician in the prep room. but he was a humble old man and the kindest person. Wanted for nothing. Just very passionate about what he did. didnt say a whole lot but when he did tell u somthing it was somthing worth hearing. Embalmed alot with him and learned alot. All hours of the night and day he was the same person at three am as he was in mid afternoon. Hed come in the embalming room roll up his sleeves and say ” do you mind if I smoke” next thing you know he’s packing his pipe and the room fills with that aroma. Any way mortuary cosmetics are obtained through embalming supply companies and will only sell their products to autorized representatives of a lisenced funeral home. Also there isnt a seperate school only for mortuary cosmetician. Thats embalming school. However the is a school that advances from mortuary school in restorative technique…… people like Mr carr. I was lucky to work with him.

    Comment by keith — November 30, 2010 @ 5:55 am | Reply

    • Thank You SO much for your thought and time to give me this lesson. I appreciate your art and am in awe of your attention to detail. Your heart is so in the right place! And mass blessings to your dear Mr Carr. I would have loved to watch him preform his artistry! Your detailed impression of him makes me realize why my work as a mere makeup artist IS necessary in Some cases. The families that have requested my skills–following the embalmer were in Fact very necessary; the young female embalmer I followed with my makeup work has a lot to learn, and hopefully she will gain greater skills as she works. I realise I’ve missing one of my life’s calling–but for the families using Your services, I am SO glad You did not! Thank you again for the gift of information and the lesson.

      Comment by Tammy — November 30, 2010 @ 3:04 pm | Reply

    • Thank you so very much for your rather complete answer. I am a licensed funeral director and embalmer in the states of Arkansas and Alaska. THe pressure that some of the funeral home owners place on embalmers to work under tight timelines is detrimental. I cannot tell you the number times that when interviewing with a funeral home owner or manager I was shown the new funeral coach and chapel furnishings before being lead to a cramped, dark, poorly ventilated, preperation room that had not been updated since the 1970’s. I declined these job offers out of hand.

      I must say that though I was a skilled embalmer in Arkansas moving to Alaska certainly raised the bar. In Arkansas I rarely had an open casket funeral after 5 days. Due to transportation times to make arrangements in Alaska and the very high volume of international shipping that we manage I frequently have open casket services after 3 weeks and have had them as late as 4 months. Attention to detail and case management has brought me to a much higher understanding than I ever knew possible.

      Those who think that they may be interested in out proffession need to understand that it is a rare mortician who is paid the equivelant to a public school teacher’s annual salary for their work. This inspite of working 50 weeks per year and many hours of overtime, not to mention the drycleaning bills if they double as a funeral director as most of us do. You should only persue this line of work if it is a calling and it gives you a deep saticefaction to help families at their time of need.

      Comment by Scott L. Sammons — January 30, 2012 @ 8:59 am | Reply

  52. This blog was just what I needed to validate my interest in this field. I am a licensed esthetician in Illinois and am trying to get started. Can you please push me in the right direction? I have tried the door-to-door technique and it’s true: most funeral homes are family businesses and really not interested in “outsiders”. What can I do?

    Comment by Lahoya — January 12, 2011 @ 5:17 pm | Reply

  53. Hi thanks for your personal and educating information.I was wondering if you know of any places near >Burlington,Ontario.To learn how to be a mortuary make up artist and are there any online courses?I am a hairstylist and I do manicures also I think I am good at make up application so I would like to be a professional Desairologist.Any tips that you have?How much is the non-thermogenic makeup kit?Also for the course too?How much can you make doing all three services{hair ,nails makeup per person?Thanks for your help and sharing with us positive information!Have a super day!Thanks Paula

    Comment by Paula — January 28, 2011 @ 4:51 am | Reply

  54. Check with your State about schools and licensing, people. That’s the bottom line. Your State does the licensing, only they can answer your questions directly.

    Comment by Tammy — February 10, 2011 @ 6:47 pm | Reply

  55. I simply want to tell you that I am just all new to weblog and honestly loved you’re website. Probably I’m likely to bookmark your blog post . You certainly have really good stories. Appreciate it for sharing your website page.

    Comment by Camila Vivino — February 19, 2011 @ 6:48 pm | Reply

    • Hi everyone- it’s Carrie Bayer, the girl who was interviewed for this article. I’m amazed at all the interest in topic and am so grateful for all your support. I’ve come a long way since this was first published and still absolutely love my chosen career. I am now the mortician of choice for many families and get referrals often- it is such an honor to be sought out by a grieving family, to walk them thru the most agonizing time in their life and stay in touch with them ongoing. I am truly blessed to have found my calling in life by caring for those in death.

      Thank you to everyone who posts information on how to get into the mortuary business. Each state is different in their laws but all states (and most countries) have mortuary schools you can attend to learn the skills required for this job. As others have posted, very few mortuaries actually employ a makeup artist that is not also an embalmer or funeral director. I have worked hard to develop my talent but my education is what gave me the basis to succeed- I strongly suggest that you take the initiative to complete mortuary school to get into this career. It is amazing, rewarding, fascinating and I am so happy to be in this industry.

      I will do better in keeping up with this blog, I enjoy reading everyone’s input and very much appreciate your participation. Take care and good luck if you choose to pursue a career in this field- it truly is the greatest endeavor of my life! Carrie

      Comment by carrie Bayer — February 22, 2011 @ 3:27 am | Reply

  56. bonjour je suis actuellement en bp esthetique et je monte un dossier sur le maquillage mortuaire.Comment maquiller? quels produits utiliser? est ce que vous pouvez m’aider ???? merci

    Comment by huret — April 4, 2011 @ 8:33 pm | Reply

  57. Hi Carrie, Thank you for your candid but still sensitive interview and thanks also for the contributing artists in this post. I have a couple of questions for you and/or the other professionals who responded, especially the one that worked with the caring Mr. Carr. 1. Can I hire one of you to do my own makeup/embalming before I die? Th reason for this is I know my adult children and grandchildren think of me in a “magical” way, I created all the Fairies, Santa Clause, The Easter Bunny, and all the mystical creatures we believe in. I of course have over time told them that Jesus Christ is not at all mystical but very real. So I have told my daughter I want to be buried (shown actually) in my wedding gown even if I am old, I want white tulle all around me I want my face to look like I am peacefully sleeping, and I want a fine mist of glitter, perhaps I very fine transparent to opaque cloth gently folded across my face. The idea is that it (my body) is a fictional remnant of me and the “real me” is in Heaven. Question #2 is how much would this cost approximately if I supplied the cloth, my dress, the glitter and tulle? and 3. Could this effect even be reached? I am 60 now and healthy but would like to be prepared. I’m pretty sure my kids would not be able to get these things ready because when my father passed away all I could do was sob in an almost non human horribly loud and empty cry that sounded like a cow. I just barely got over bouts of that same grief and it has been 3 years. I would not want to put a burden like that on any of them. We all have very close relationships.

    Comment by Bonnie J — May 14, 2011 @ 8:15 pm | Reply

  58. Let me clarify on my post wanting to hire you before I die that I don’t want you to do the makeup before I die, I want to pay you or hire you before I die to do my makeup after I die.

    Comment by Bonnie J — May 14, 2011 @ 8:18 pm | Reply

  59. Hi Everybody I was wondering if you could help me out just a little… Basically I am a student studying makeup in college and really enjoying it to. I have always wanted to do do this job, I know its not easy but I think I have what it takes and I know I am only a student studying at college but I would really like to do this as a full time job. If you could comment back and let me know how I could start or where to start that would be great. Thankyou.

    Comment by Shernelle Taylor — May 18, 2011 @ 9:06 pm | Reply

  60. I love your job but would like to know where to get the non thermogenic makeup. Some places don’t do make ups so I would like to learn how to?

    Comment by suzie — June 5, 2011 @ 10:58 am | Reply

  61. what is is a reasonable rate for a free lance funeral make up artist to charge

    Comment by Anna — July 13, 2011 @ 4:15 am | Reply

  62. how much to you make?

    Comment by olivia madril — August 16, 2011 @ 3:42 am | Reply

  63. After doing cosmetology with the living I have considered the non living! When my mom died she looked HORRIBLE in her casket (I was 17, she 38) and it was DEVASTATING!!! That was 16 yrs back. After reading the blogs put by Carrie, Keith and others, I realize now its ALOT more than walking in a funerl home for a couple hours with my make up kit and curling iron! Movies and T.V. shows dont show the truth and people really need to realize what I have! Hearts might be in the right place, but it takes more than most the population knows! Thank you to those who help the living in their greif see their loved ones one last time looking peaceful, I wish you would have been at my moms funeral! God Bless.

    Comment by Ang — September 6, 2011 @ 8:41 pm | Reply

  64. I’m an aged care nurse in Australia & I work with the deceased quite regularly. When someone passes on I have this obsession literally that if they don’t leave the facility looking nice I feel really horrible. I think because I really try my best to make them look natural rather than cold and as silly as it sounds, dead. The families have a sense of comfort seeing their relative/friend looking more asleep rather than deceased. I have been doing this since I was 17 and I feel a huge weight off my shoulders when I know that that person looks clean and natural, I’ll throw the radio on and put some classical music on do their hair and make up put on a nice outfit and try and get them smelling their best, where as alot of other nurses I work with don’t care because they’re “dead”. Also, not sure but do funeral directors charge to have the deceased dressed by them including make up? Because they do here which is another reason why I try my best :] I don’t think I’d like to fork out 150 dollars for make up on top of the rest of the funeral expenses. Thanks!

    Comment by Annmarie — October 22, 2011 @ 5:03 am | Reply

  65. I came across your website because my father passed away and I want to do his make up as I’m a qualified make up artist and one day I also would like to do it as a full time job.

    Comment by Janine — December 15, 2011 @ 8:08 pm | Reply

  66. You go to school for Mortuary science- As far as I know, at least in California, you have to go through the entire course to do anything fueral related- embalming, directing, makeup, etc. There’s only like 47 schools in The US and it’s around 2 years, $4,000 then 2 year apprenticeship and taking exams to get licensing. Just look up Mortuary school in your area. A lot of them are through Jr Colleges

    Comment by Tarah — January 20, 2012 @ 6:44 pm | Reply

    • Mortuary school will cost you much more than $4,000. I studied Mortuary Science at Northwest Mississippi Community College (NOT a good school), and my student loan total was over $10,000. (The Mortuary Science program at NMCC is very poor. I urge serious students to avoid that school.)

      Comment by Howard — January 15, 2014 @ 11:45 am | Reply

    • There are actually just over 30 licensed mortuary colleges in the US (as of when I posted this comment) and the programs I’ve been looking at are around $30K (there are cheaper ones, but some aren’t as good as others, or strongly prefer local students/ones from mortuary families/people who can find a funeral home to apprentice at/various other conditions.) I was already planning to learn embalming, but am psyched to hear that my love of makeup could help me out with these details after I get my degree.

      Comment by Woman On The Internet — January 13, 2015 @ 10:08 pm | Reply

      • It’s going to be about 3 months-1 year until I can start school, depending on which program I decide to go with (and am accepted by.) I now know one more thing I’ll be doing until then: buying an airbrush, a bunch of plastic faces, and some non-thermogenic makeup. I wonder if I could layer regular makeup over non-thermogenic foundation? I guess I’ll find out soon.

        Comment by Woman On The Internet — January 13, 2015 @ 10:20 pm

  67. I am a cosmetologist for 25+ years and i have recently had the pleasure of fixing one of my very dear friends hair after he passed unexpectedly- I was the only person to cut his hair for 16 years and he was due for a cut when he died. I was called by the family asking if i would mind doing his hair- I said sure – then they called and said his mother was going to do it instead-ok.. well at the last hour befor the viewing they called me in a panic saying she could not fix his I hurried to the funeral home not sure what to expect on arrival.I walked into the viewing room with just him in his casket and his wife..she said just do the best you can..I was in a calm state knowing It was a honor to be called for this last time. they had done a autopsy so there was a offset y insicion on top of his head and his hairline was pulled up too far.the hair had some glue of somesort in places on the ends so i just slices with my scissors to remove the glue.and his bangs had gotten long and was pulling the style flat so i just simply cut a couple curls off the edge and it was done..his hair now had the style as he wore while alive..I had my cape draped around his face in a full circle so no hair would fall into the casket with him.I could actually feel him saying thank you for helping me out this one last time..I folded my cape up and stepped back just in time for a few family members to start walking i sat in a chair across from the casket i noticed I had dropped a piece of hair on the floor – so I scanned the room for the first chance i could pick it up without being noticed- and made my way to pick it up- well i held this curl for what seemed like a hour- and finally said to his sister i had a piece of his haircut in my hand – she was so happy to have the curl- it was like a mother collecting a babies first haircut – she simply put it in a envelope from one of the floral arrangements in the room..I was so glad to have sent my friend off to eternity with a last favor..he would have been proud of me- I know I am still to this day..

    Comment by blssuzysuzanne — January 24, 2012 @ 6:53 am | Reply

    • What an absolutely Beautiful gift!
      Thank you for sharing.

      Comment by Tammy — January 24, 2012 @ 2:12 pm | Reply

    • It is these opportunities that keep us dooing this work. You have every reason to be pleased. I great you as an associate, Well done.

      Comment by Scott L. Sammons — January 30, 2012 @ 9:03 am | Reply

  68. Is in my blood.when I was a kid My Grandfather and Two Uncle’s own Funeral Homes.
    I remember Sleeping, Eatting,Playing and more at the Funeral Home .I never had any fears It’s always been all natural to the family.
    I Guest I Am lucky

    Comment by Brenda McCampbell — March 8, 2012 @ 4:47 am | Reply

  69. I am getting ready to graduate. Fromcosmetology school and I would love to get people ready for eternity or there celebration of life can you help me fullfill my steam. Tammy

    Comment by tammy gorseth — March 8, 2012 @ 10:10 pm | Reply

  70. I tend not to leave many remarks, but i did some searching and wound up here ITS A LIVING: Mortuary makeup artist Greg Stacys FAT LOT OF GOOD.

    And I actually do have some questions for you if you don’t mind. Is it only me or does it look as if like a few of the responses appear like they are written by brain dead people? 😛 And, if you are posting at additional online sites, I would like to follow anything fresh you have to post. Could you list of the complete urls of your social sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

    Comment by evening dresses uk — June 26, 2012 @ 5:16 pm | Reply

  71. i would like to take mortuary makeup clases please give me info where i should start.

    Comment by Jasmine Duran — July 9, 2012 @ 4:52 pm | Reply

  72. I have ALWAYS wanted to take mortuary makeup classes, ever since I was about 5-6 years old…to me it feels like an ideal job because when you have someone pass away, you want them to have what they wanted when they passed. and if that means looking how they wanna look in the cascet, or wearing a certian something…I wanna be the one that makes the family of the person who passed away, feel like they can say goodbye in the nicest way possible…
    I wanna be the one who makes everything perfect for saying goodbye. Its a huge resposibilty and may cause some heartache, but I am a very personalable person and I wanna make everyone feel as if they are number one, wether they are alive or not…to tell you the truth I love everything about death in a sence….the feeling of the unknown of what its like on the other side excites me and yet can be scary. Either way I would LOVE LOVE LOVE a job putting makeup on people who have passed on to that other life…it would complete me.

    Comment by Sharise — August 22, 2012 @ 9:54 pm | Reply

  73. I would really love to talk to Carrie. Is there anywAy to get a hold of her.

    Comment by rocio — September 27, 2012 @ 3:27 am | Reply

  74. This lady being interveiwed sounds like a good person. I respect this line of work….its important.

    Comment by Brittany — September 28, 2012 @ 7:13 pm | Reply

  75. ok i have been looking for jobs like this for about a month or 2 now and can not find one anywhere. i dont even know what funeral homes hire for something like this. can anyone help me out with a list of funeral homes. i live in illinois. but am willing to travel if its not tooo far. email me please.

    Comment by Jessica — October 1, 2012 @ 11:34 pm | Reply

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  77. My mother-in-law had been ill for some time and I knew that she was close to passing, so I asked her how she wanted her hair and makeup to look, what dress she wanted to be wearing, and what color of casket and trim. The family was shocked that I was so bold to ask their mother these questions, but she quickly pointed to the dress, described the casket that she wanted, and gave me a photo of her with the correct makeup and hair style. Once she passed on and we first saw her in the casket, I was so pleased that she appeared exactly as she wanted and also thatthe funeral went exactly as she and I had planned it. She was beautiful once again. I so appreciate the professionals who create these important parting glances of our loved ones.

    Comment by Pat Maloy — December 2, 2012 @ 7:33 pm | Reply

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    Comment by Ray — December 13, 2012 @ 6:19 pm | Reply

  81. I’m sorry but as a mortuary assistant, the interviewee is talking crap. She would not have been exposed to vomit or bowel emissions as the body is presented to you AFTER it is dressed. And she would not have been working in the dark on her own either. Apart from making stuff up, she’s making it all sound like rocket science when it’s just not – it’s a simple process for an efficient makeup artist.

    Comment by Karen — February 19, 2013 @ 12:19 pm | Reply

    • I’m sorry to read that you think I’m full of crap. But, any body can purge itself of stomach or bowel contents even after its been embalmed and dressed. Also, all morticians are expected to work until the job is done. That means many late nights alone at the mortuary. Hope this clarifies thugs for you. Carrie

      Comment by Carrie Bayer — February 19, 2013 @ 9:22 pm | Reply

  82. Let’s keep things respectful, Karen. Carrie is a very nice lady and I think she’s also very trustworthy. Even if her experience doesn’t match yours, if she says she’s experienced these things, I believe her.

    Comment by Greg Stacy — February 20, 2013 @ 2:57 am | Reply

  83. Thank you, Greg- it’s great to see you here again! I hope you are doing well. A lot has happened in the years since this article was printed. I have 3 state licenses- embalmer, crematory manager & funeral director. I still love what I do & feel lucky to have found my calling in life. Take care! Carrie

    Comment by Carrie Bayer — February 20, 2013 @ 3:32 am | Reply

  84. I can relate to your story in so many ways. I’m an aspiring mortuary beautician butttt I only have the desire to comfort the family and try to make the lasting change.. I’m very engaged in makeup and hair but not the rest of the industry. Would love to use my talents toward being with a family in a time if need then the vanity side of cosmology I just never knew how to go about the field. I honestly thought I made the whole career field up. Stumbled upon your post while writing a paper for school on what we plan on using our lisences for. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated 🙂 warm regards –Jess

    Comment by Jess — March 19, 2013 @ 6:55 pm | Reply

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  106. I’m trying to convince myself, by telling myself I can do it. But after reading what you wrote about the noises you heard and that they release air and such, I’m now nervous.

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  107. Hey I don’t often comment on blogs but as I run my own I hate it when I’m plagiarised. It’s just rude. I read this same/very similar interview here and just wanted to give an fyi:

    Comment by neverenoughnotes — November 3, 2014 @ 12:23 am | Reply

    • Hey, thanks for this! There is some great information in the original article that was omitted from this one, though I’ve bookmarked both – ironically enough, the comments on the near-copy are more useful.

      Comment by Woman On The Internet — January 13, 2015 @ 10:02 pm | Reply

    • …Oh, sorry, I think I’ve mistaken the original for the copy. I just finished reading the comments and saw all the replies on this page from the working mortician/makeup artist quoted here. Oops. Carry on reading this one. (The extra information from the other article seems to be gleaned from the comments.)

      Comment by Woman On The Internet — January 13, 2015 @ 10:14 pm | Reply

  108. Wondering if just enrolling in a esthetics program is enough to apply for a makeup job in the funeral home

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  109. […] I did some research on those mortuary makeup artistes, their basic roles are to respect the family because of various reasons. The main thing was to give the family closure. Sure, my aunt was no […]

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