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The beauty industry is without doubt huge and it has many areas; skincare, sun care, male grooming, fragrance. Make-up is one area in particular that doesn’t stand still. It is a booming industry and it is everywhere. Social media is overflowing with it. Instagram shows you stunning pictures of peoples work. You can see really fast videos of how to create this. Switch over to YouTube and type in those two most popular words ‘How to’, and the stream of videos is endless. Too much choice.
You won’t find Rebecca Marks, make-up artist, on YouTube. though “I’m far too shy for that and I just don’t have the time to sit down and do all that editing” she said.
Rebecca said: “I have worked as a Daily Make-Up Artist on films such as Star Wars, Transformers, and even the premiere of the James Bond movie, Spectre! Being on set is so exciting and gives you such a buzz that it all seems like a dream. I love this job!”.
Make-up has been around a lot longer than us. It can be traced back to the Egyptians some 4oooBC. Back in time they used black kohl to apply liner around their eyes, so we have had quite a few years to perfect our skills.
For those who do sit down and absorb the many ‘winged eye’ videos on YouTube, the results can be rewarding. If working in make-up is a career you want to pursue it can be hard, especially if you’re a man as make-up is deemed a woman’s product.
Thierry Davis has been in the make-up industry for six years but in his words, he kind of fell into it. He said: “I always liked make-up but, because I didn’t know how to do it, I wouldn’t go near it.”.
“I was working at Centre Parks and studying fashion and textiles at university. My job was in guest services in the spa as a receptionist. Part of this role meant that I had to sell cosmetics to customers. One day the girls who worked on Bare Minerals showed me how to blend the powders and this sparked my make-up career.”
As a career it is hard work, long hours stood on your feet, and endless cleaning of brushes. Like many creative careers, you can find yourself working for free to prove yourself and your skills. Many make-up artists spend their early careers shadowing artists on set and learning their craft. In this industry it can be a case of who you know, not what you know, as you are known for the work you produce.
Thierry said: “I just started experimenting with the make-up we had in the spa as the range was quite big and it had everything you needed. As I got better I decided that I wanted to start doing weddings.”
“As an incentive at the spa we would get vouchers and I would use mine to buy bits of make-up so I could build up my own kit. I used to visit MAC and buy a couple of lipsticks and then it spiralled out of control after that.”
“Many years ago, if you didn’t have qualifications you couldn’t get anywhere, but for someone who started out blending powders, watching YouTube and being self-taught, working hard at it has paid off.”
“There are positives and negatives for going to college and getting qualifications. But for me I have had to work really hard to get where I am, and I’m not saying that someone who has gone to school hasn’t, but I spent a lot of time at MAC thinking I’m not as good as these guys.”
With an industry that is so big it is also so rewarding. You can explore its many areas just in make-up alone. Bodypainting, catwalks, photography, weddings the list goes on. It is a role where you can guarantee that no two days will be the same, as every day brings a new face, a new skin texture, a new look.
“Being on a film set is one of the most memorable things I have done” said Rebecca. “The energy and the buzz of all the actors and extras. Looking at the most beautiful sets and all the cameras and big screens around you. It all takes your breath away. The whole make-up team come from all walks of life. Some are from the leading make-up brands, whilst others are the personal make-up artist to celebrities such as Simon Cowell.”
Rebecca’s advice to anyone wanting a career in make-up? “Go for it. Best job ever. Just be prepared to have to work for free at some stage, and you will find it is the most rewarding and challenging job”.
Being a make-up artist is fun as it is getting to do what you love for a job. The fun part is at the end of the day you get to take it all off so tomorrow you can create something that was better than today.