(LONG POST ALERT….GRAB A CUPPA!!!) If you answered yes to this question then this post may be of interest….
It all started for me watching my grandma get ready for Dad’s 40th Birthday party, I think I was about 11 at the time, my mother’s friend painted her eyes with a Chanel eyeshadow palette, I remember watching being transfixed, knowing I really wanted to have a go…I was 11 so I didn’t but I remember that being the first time I took an interest in makeup.
A week later, that very same Chanel eyeshadow Palette arrived in the post for me and I was over the moon, with no idea where to start I starting practicing on my sister, poor thing! I remember my mother getting a Kevyn Aucoin book for Christmas and this really set me off..what started as a general interest, quickly became a hobby and then a passion.
I went on to study an Artistic makeup and Special Effects Course at my local college and two years after completing, moved to London and took a course in Fashion and Editorial Makeup at London College of Fashion.
SO WHAT NEXT????
During my early years in London I assisted well known makeup artists, I assisted at London and Milan Fashion Weeks, I helped out on Photoshoots and I got as much experience as I could. I worked freelance for Paul and Joe Makeup on a counter which was a great way to practice makeup on all ages and skin tones. I was always looking for other people to collaborate with, so other hair stylists, stylists, models and photographers. I then started to build my own portfolio and began what’s known as ‘testing’ a process where by you shoot with other creatives to build your book, none of you get paid but you have creative licence to make images you want in your book.
It’s a long process getting to where you want to be in this industry and it’s very competitive. I spent at least 3 years when I started out just assisting and testing lots, perfecting my skills and critiquing my work, I still critique myself now as I believe you never stop learning.
To sum up, I’ve been a MUA for about 8 years now and I love what I do but I have worked hard to get here. If I had to put this advice on how to become a makeup artist into bullet points I would advise the following:
– Network and Test with other creatives.
– Familiarise yourself with industry professionals whose work you love and approach them or their agents to assist them. Remember, be willing to assist for free, work experience, especially in fashion often doesn’t pay. Try to assist at Fashion weeks also. Be flexible with regards to being available last minute, and be prepared to work long hours. On an average music video I often work 16 Hour days or longer.
– Build a portfolio that is strong and only include your BEST work. Quality not quantity is always best.
– Start a blog or website where you can showcase your work and don’t forget the power of social media where it’s relevant.
– Once your book is at a standard that you are proud of start approaching magazines, brands you would love to work with and arrange a meeting to show them your book.
– Stay passionate, be determined and keep perfecting your skills. And whatever you do, if it’s really what you want, then don’t ever give up!
Anything is possible…Good Luck!!!!xx