I get a lot of emails from people asking for advice on how to get into the make up world and what its like but are they really ready for some hard work or do they just love the idea of playing around with make up for the day? With any job you get highs and lows so here is a few of my experiences in the industry and you'll see its not always glamorous but equally can be amazing!!
Being a make up artist in the industry is really hard work and doesnt always run as you plan it. You have to constantly remind people you are there, calls, emails, texts just whatever it takes to get a job. Once you've finally got the job you have to be on it all the time. If a director, photographer or whoever wants make up done in 5 minutes to try your hardest to achieve that. I reamember once on GMTV a guest was running late so i ended up doing make up in the lift down and walking to the studio-not ideal but you got to do what you got to do. Then its back to the constant phone calls to get your next job.
Things dont always go to plan and can over run big time... This wasnt me personally but a friend of mine once did a shoot for a pizza ad. Everyone knows the shot where the slice of pizza is pulled up and theres the stringy bits of cheese still attached. A simple shot that you would think would take a small amount of time-roughly 8 hours later they had their shot!!
Its not always big money. When your first starting out to get some credits to your name you often work for a small wage if not for free. I once worked on a film which was 6 days a week, 6.30am to sometimes 11pm then theres the cleaning your kit etc ready for the next day and for this i was getting £50 a week! Thankfully for me those days are over-thanks to a rude director who paid each crew member but not the make up team as it wasnt 'important enough'. Do work to get experience and pictures but dont let people take advantage.
One big highlight is getting to travel with the work and having it all paid for-yes i will have another glass of wine thankyou very much. Ive travelled a lot in the UK for jobs and my first ever job was infact with the BBC to France for 2weeks. Amazing. You get fed on set (breakfast,lunch and dinner due to loooong hours) but you also get extra money to buy food or drink! I got offered one job (gutted i couldnt make it) which was for 3 months travelling around the Carribean-heaven!
You get to meet so many people (some good, some bad) from all walks of life. I have to say the majority of people ive met have been great. Of course though theres always those other occasions. I once had a lady who really took a disliking to me-i dont know why as far as im aware i never spoke to her (it was a large crew) unfortunately i had to work with her for 2 weeks, luckily though she was in a different department to me but things were still a bit awks! On the positive side when people realise your there to just do your job and make it enjoyable as you can you'll find you meet and make some fantastic friends-so much so that their boyfriend gives you a lift home from set at the end of the day who just happens to be Abs from 90's pop group Five!
Its not always glamorous. Ive had days on set where its tipping it down, muddy, freezing cold, dark and late into the night, youve been on your feet for 10 hours and you still have to be there to do make up checks. Theres no sneaking off to be in the warm. On the flip side ive also had the nice warm cozy make up room with a bacon sarnie delivered to me along with as much coffee (lifesaver for those 5am starts) as you like. You literally can be shoved anywhere to do make up, wherever there is room-i once had to share classical boy band Blakes dressing room to do make up which was interesting to say the least!
Being a makeup artist overall is fantastic. Period. Yes it is hard work but when your doing what you love then its not like work at all. You have so many options of which part you want to dive into being theatre, fashion, editorial, weddings and so on. You constantly learn all the time (even after being pro for 14 years im still learning).
Its fresh and exciting, each job is different and a new challenge. I really cant rate it highly enough if you genuinely have a passion for make up. My advice to anyone wanting this as their career is to be determined, focused and above all be yourself, go have fun, travel, meet people and make some money along the way....eventually! 😜