Although this category has just renamed itself "makeup and hairstyling", letting behind the simpler "makeup" name, it already awarded hair stylers as well as makeup artists. Actually, we already had a couple of movies whose nomination was largely based on the work done with the hair and wig design. The Young Victoria, for example. Whether we will have a winner that is largely based on this craft, is another question entirely.
And while there's a lot of wig and hair job done in this year's nominees, it's easy to say that both Hitchcok and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey were not nominated for the hairstyles of their protagonists, but for the prosthetic job utilized to respectively turn Anthony Hopkins into Alfred Hitchcock and various actors into dwarves. Now, if you ask me, the makeup that turns Sir Hopkins into Hitchcock looks incredibly bad and is a huge liability for the movie (not that the movie's script didn't shoot itself in the foot enough times). As for the creatures that populate The Hobbit, I think makeup artists have failed when the audience can't tell the characters apart (again, not that the movie didn't do a terrible job of establishing them as characters with personalities).
Which brings us to the final nominee... Tom Hooper's Les Misérables. And you know what, you can say whatever you want about the failures of Les Mis, I think the makeup work was quite remarkable. Not necessarily for the garish styling of the Thenardiers (Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter), but for the willingness of the makers to considerable "ugly-up" their otherwise beautiful stars and then shoot them in close-ups for two and a half hours. The transformation of Hugh Jackman from a handsome into a sad and old is quite impressive without being as obviously artificial as the work of the other two nominees. Anyway, here's hoping the Academy, like me, goes with the obviously superior work of the three.
Will Win: Les Misérables
Should Win: Les Misérables