A friend asked if make up is one word, two words or hyphenated.
My answer: It depends.
Make up is a verb phrase–two words and no hyphen. A verb phrase (used to denote action) is never hyphenated.
- You need to make up for your absences.
- They’re going to make up a list of requirements for us. (Learner’s Dictionary)
- He entertained the children by making up a funny story about a cat that lived on a sailboat. (Learner’s Dictionary)
- He made up his mind to attend the meeting. (Oxford Dictionaries)
- Women make up 56% of the student population. (Oxford Advanced American Dictionary)
- She chose Maggie to make her up for her engagement photographs. (Collins Dictionary)
Makeup (or the hyphenated make-up) is a noun or an adjective.
Examples as noun:
- You need makeup.
- His daring attitude toward risks is a major part of his makeup. (Learner’s Dictionary)
- I would have flunked the course but she let me write a make-up. (Oxford Dictionaries)
- The ideological make-up of the unions is now radically different from what it had been. (Collins Dictionary)
- She did some research on the makeup of a TV audience (Oxford Advanced American Dictionary)
Examples as adjective:
- The makeup classes are more difficult that the regular ones.
- He saw a heavily made-up woman on his doorstep. (Oxford Advanced American Dictionary)
Photo credit: kissandmakeup.tv