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The Changing Face of Makeup Artistry

Next weekend at the UMAE Trade Show in Manchester I am part of a panel discussion with a interesting collation of highly respected makeup artists from all areas of the Makeup Industry. The discussion is based on a topic that is very close to my heart and is called "The Changing Face of Make-up Artistry". The idea for this was initiated by Amanda Gaffey who brought the panel together with Millie Kendal from the British Beauty Council. Our panel members include Louise Young, Fiona Lobo Cranston, Maria Malone and Davy Jones. Additionally Phyllis Cohen is also a part of the panel but unable to attend the talk next weekend. The makeup industry has made so many developments since I started out, due to productions, budgets, tax incentives, camera development into HD, general working conditions, training plus new product knowledge and technology. The world has changed and we have to adapt to these changes but also to safeguard our industry. Our aims with this panel discussion is to form a voluntary federation of Makeup Artists with good intentions to safeguarding the makeup industry by reinstating good practice, peer support, restoring more regulated standards, communication and an inclusive support network. This discussion is aimed at students currently training or recently qualified, makeup trainees, junior makeup artists, HODs, Makeup Artists, Body Artists, Prosthetics Artists, Makeup Retail Artists, Hairdressers, Theatre Wig & Makeup Artists, Makeup Supervisors, Makeup Designers, and freelance makeup artists.

It is time to also recognise the media industries of vloggers and Instagram and be inclusive of this sector. The recent BBC production "Glow up" has sent shock waves out in force amid many discussions in the makeup industries and gained a huge fan base for new entrants into the makeup industry.

Training for a career in film, theatre and television needs more control of how education awards are earned. Makeup courses in state colleges from level 3 to Degree are also money making courses to the colleges directly and these courses are generally over subscribed at the start of term in September. There are several well run state run courses in the UK that I have visited and have seen very dedicated teaching teams who have had a previous industry background prior to teaching. These courses include AUB - Art University Bournemouth and the London College of Fashion; the top two degree courses in the UK. There are also well established BA Hons level courses at Bradford, Leeds City College, Craven College, SGC Bristol, York College, Southampton and Hugh Baird - Liverpool. However these courses are rare and new courses are multiplying each year without the fundamental structure of a strong teaching team with expert knowledge of the makeup industry. Due to budgets being cut in some colleges long term members of staff are now asked to teach subjects they have no knowledge or experience of. They are sent on training courses to learn the new skill and then they return to teach the new intake of students. On some courses the retention is very poor, often at the start of the academic year the courses will be full however half way through sometimes half a group will be remaining. To some level all state college are monitored and checked with inspections and External Verification visits however these are all prepared in advance, enabling the teams to promote the best work and disguise problem areas. Students need to be interviewed carefully before joining onto these courses and also be monitored throughout with good attendance, personal development and a wide portfolio promoting their practical skills. I ran a very successful HE Degree level in London with an excellent retention record over a 10 year period. We interviewed each applicant for places and were rigorous with checking portfolios and artwork. We built up an excellent reputation for our training and had waiting lists for places every year. Due to students sourcing us as their number one choice of college gave us an unrivalled opportunity to select the best candidates. We would only loose about 3 students each year and the majority of our students completed their courses and many are now well established in all areas of the makeup industry building up successful careers. This is my proof that good training works.

There are a wide number of private colleges for Hair & Makeup training, these are not monitored and anyone can set up a Makeup School. There are only a handful of private training academies in the UK that I would recommend:

Private Training for Film, Theatre, TV & the Fashion Industries:

  • Iver Academy, Delamar Academy, CBMA, Bath Academy of Media Makeup, Creative Media Skills, MAKUP The Academy for Film & Media Makeup and The School of Makeup

Private Training for the Fashion Industries:

House of Glam Dolls, The Session School, TMS The Makeup School, LSBM London (Long lane), Muse Makeup School, Cassie Lomax Academy & London Makeup School (Curtain Road)


Gorton Studio, Davy Jones, Stuart Bray & Shaune Harrison

Anyone wishing to train in makeup please email me or chat to me for unbaised advise at the UMAE Trade Show next weekend. Please attend our panel discussion, its will cause differing opinions but its a great platform to raise this topic.

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