also makeup, "manner in which something is put together," 1821, from the verbal phrase (see make (v.) + up (adv.)). To make up "build, collect into one form by bringing together" is from late 14c., also "prepare." It is attested from late 15c. as "supply as an equivalent," from 1660s as "end a quarrel, reconcile, settle differences, become friends again," by 1825 as "to fabricate artfully" (a story, etc.).
In reference to an actor, "prepare for impersonating a role" (including dress and the painting of the face), by 1808. Hence the noun sense of "appearance of the face and dress" (1858) and the sense of "cosmetics," attested by 1886, originally of actors.