Ever since audiences got their first look at Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly in “Bombshell,” Kazu Hiro seemed like the Oscar front-runner for hair and makeup gold.

But there are no certainties when it comes to the Academy Awards, and the other nominees in the makeup and hair category are strong challengers, recognizing Nicki Ledermann’s “Joker” transformation, Jeremy Woodhead’s work turning Renée Zellweger into “Judy” and Paul Gooch’s skill in carving out Angelina Jolie’s sharper-than-sharp cheekbones in “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.”

Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan and Vivian Baker

Since Megyn Kelly is such a well-known figure, as is Theron, casts, photos and 3D scans were the starting point to make the performer resemble the anchor. Besides Theron, Hiro helped transform Nicole Kidman to look like Gretchen Carlson and John Lithgow as Fox News honcho Roger Ailes.

Hiro previously won for “Darkest Hour,” this is Morgan and Baker’s first nom.

Nicki Ledermann and Kay Georgiou

Ledermann and Georgiou reimagined DC Comics’ most famous villain to have Arthur Fleck living in the real world. Ledermann carefully picked the makeup colors to show the transformation from an everyday clown to the Joker.

For instance, for the Joker’s signature red lips, Ledermann used a mix of brown and black blended into the red for a bloody tone.

This is their first Oscar nomination.

Jeremy Woodhead

Woodhead wanted to keep prosthetics to a minimum on “Judy,” since Zellweger does not look like Judy Garland. He did not want her to have distracting features.

So he applied a nose tip and changed Zellweger’s teeth, and once he applied cheek pieces, the transformation was complete. A brown wig was cut and styled to Garland’s “Talk of the Town” style and the rest was left to Zellweger.

This is Woodhead’s first Oscar nomination.

“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”
Paul Gooch, Arjen Tuiten and David White

Gooch returns to the woodlands for “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” creating the fantastic and majestic creature impersonated by Angelina Jolie. The prosthetics involved cheek, nose and ear pieces as well as sharp teeth pieces to complete her look, preserved from the first movie.

In addition to Jolie, Gooch and Tuiten had to create handcrafted prosthetics for the other fairies living in the tundra.

This is Gooch’s first nom. Tuiten and White have previous nominations.

Naomi Donne, Tristan Versluis and Rebecca Cole

Versluis’ experience on films such as “Dead Man’s Shoes” and “World War Z” proved useful when working with the dummies of the dead that littered the battlefields of the World War I film. On-set historian Andrew Robertshaw helped the makeup team create realistic looks for the WWI soldiers, including how much dirt to show on their faces.

This is the first nomination for all three.