20 July 2015

Makeup - How and why I became a Makeup Artist

It's very easy to become a make up artist these days. There are self taught makeup artists, YouTube makeup artists, trained makeup artists, specialist makeup artists; and most girls have the tools to get started right away. For that reason, it is a very saturated industry and one you shouldn't enter lightly.

So, how on earth did I end up becoming a makeup artist when all I wanted to do for as long as I remember was work for the NHS?! Well at the age of 25 I had achieved all of my goals; I got my degree and I was working in Project Management in the NHS. Did I feel fulfilled? Not particularly. I had a great job, but it just wasn't exciting.  I felt a bit "blah" but I plodded along...

A new chapter. My husband and I were expecting a baby and I saw this as my chance to do something I really enjoyed, change my career, I've always been a bit artistic but never really explored it, until now... I'd toyed with the idea of the Makeup Artist industry but I was a bit scared of going from a dead cert job to the unknown. I'd never done anything crazy, when it came to my career I was always super sensible. However, makeup is something I'm passionate about and I can do it wherever, whenever. This is important since my husband's work can take us literally anywhere and for this reason a career in the NHS just isn't sustainable while his career is ongoing.

I took the plunge and enrolled at The School of Makeup in Manchester. I did the Fashion and Media Hair and Makeup Course with a view to becoming a bridal hair and makeup artist. When I was on the course I met girls from all walks of life, one of which was an ex prison officer! They all wanted to explore their artistic side and they all had taken the plunge that I did. They walked away from good, steady jobs to follow their dreams. These were some gutsy girls, and I liked that! Suddenly I didn't feel so crazy!Our tutors were amazing, all had different tips, tricks and experiences; Elaine (the principal) was one of the most fabulous women I've ever met - super approachable and so talented, Sam (Makeup Tutor) had such a great portfolio taking her all over the world, anyone would be envious of her career, never mind that she had achieved it in just seven years! We also had workshops with the mega talented YouTuber, Blogger and Celeb Makeup Artist Karla Powell! The school gave us the best platform we could have ever asked for.

When I finished my course I really wanted to explore the fashion side of the makeup industry. My first catwalk show was in Liverpool, I was 39 weeks pregnant... my husband was going WILD haha! My feet were like balloons, but I LOVED it! Following that I did loads of test shoots with photographers to build my portfolio. My first one, I was 6 weeks post partum, I missed my baby so much and my boobs hurt like effin crazy!!!!! Why does nobody tell you that this is what happens when you leave your vampire of a child for more than three flamin' hours?!

Recently I've come to realise that a career in the fashion industry just isn't going to fit in with my life at the moment. The long hours/days and short notice jobs don't allow me to plan for childcare nor am I comfortable with leaving her for extended periods; I know that I am very lucky and fortunate to be able to be with my baby as much as I am, they grow so fast & I want to treasure every moment.

Although, I have had amazing clients (shout out to designer Sumayah Deriyah!!) who let me take my 5 month old baby on a job with me - I wore her in my Baby Bjorn! A working mama's gotta do what a working mama's gotta do!!  
So, I'm back on the bridal hair and makeup train, but I gained plenty of experience and learnt so much along the way. Nothing is a waste of time, these things happen to guide you. One day, I want to go back and finish my training with period and SFX makeup so I can work on TV shows, but, again, TV work is such looong days (up to 16 hour days, 5-6 days a week!) and while my bella señorita is a baby and my hubby's career is still going then that just ain't gonna happen and I'm OK with that.

I hope that gives you an insight into the industry and how I arrived at this career choice.

Being a bridal hair and makeup artist gives me the best of both worlds but first and foremost, I am a mummy!

Laura xoxo
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