When I Thought I Could Be A Make-up Artist

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Found in a dusty box in the loft: contact sheets from a photo shoot that formed the final assessment of a short Introduction To Film Make-up course I took at The London College Of Fashion in 2000. The 'concept' of the maquillage and styling was Geisha meets Dior (John Galliano) and now I'm wondering why I didn't print a couple of frames as the result wasn't as bad as I remember it being. 

Geisha girl with a touch of boy george

At the time I was in my mid-twenties and working in my first job as a magazine beauty editor. I wanted to learn, understand and absorb everything I could about make-up application and technique and how it related to lighting, film and processing. These were the days when photographers were holding-out against expensive digital set-ups and you never quite knew what would be captured on film. I remember warming developing Polaroids under my armpit impatient for the magic to unfold. It was what made editorial so exciting. 

It didn't take me long to realise that I wouldn't be giving up the day job - I was never going to be an actual make-up artist - but the course did help me to appreciate the huge talent and versatility of those I was lucky enough to go on to work with. 

I can't remember the name of the model (who was a LCF degree course student), the photographer or the hairdresser, so am unable give credit other than to say they were all very patient and professional.

If I were to do it again I'd keep the make-up exactly the same (I remember using a lot of white Kryolan Aquacolor, M.A.C and Make Up Forever) but would lose the flowers in the model's hands, pull-up on the posture and crop in tighter. One of the hardest lessons to learn as a stylist is recognising when what you think is just about enough is really a tiny bit too much. But hey, I was only starting out and now I know better. Mostly. x

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