Make Me Up
The last time I had my make-up applied was for my wedding and that was 32 years ago. Recently I was invited to Jolly's, Bath to have by make-up done by MAC Artist Rebecca (Bex) Marks.
Bex is one of those people you can’t stop looking at. Her make-up is flawless and artistic. Along with an amazing personality, it’s no wonder that getting an appointment with her can take weeks, if not months.
We had had this chat about mature women and make-up. Basically, women often tell me they don’t know what to do, or that they are too old to apply it. So I have made it my mission to experience the leading trend setting brand, to show women my age and over that they CAN wear make-up.
Bex tells me: “MAC is about diversity and individuality – they are for all ages, all races, all genders.”
I take a seat at her work station and Bex works on auto pilot. I let Bex make all the decisions. I don’t want to go and get my make-up done and then tell her what I would do. That is defeating the object.
Bex works quietly away prepping my skin, and when she has used something she puts it to one side to record for later.
How did Bex become such a talented and sought after make-up artist? She told me: “Well I’ve always been creative, and took A levels in art and photography. Whilst I enjoyed this, I also went into beauty therapy and worked in a spa. I came across a media make-up course at Swindon College and enrolled on that. This was much more me.”
“When I was living and working in Bath, I heard about a new make-up academy opening up. I took part in a competition they were running and I won! This really launched my career.”
“On the day of the competition I was so nervous - I have competed in makeup competitions before but this felt different. There was a total of 16 finalists and we had just three hours to re-create our selected designs. There were three judges: Peter Swords-King, the Oscar and BAFTA winning hair and makeup artist, who is famous for films such as The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit, Sam Thomson from The Body Shop International, and the BAMM Principal, Melanie Crump. I couldn’t believe it when I won the competition! More than that, I couldn’t believe I had won a place on the flagship Peter King TV & Film make-up course at this incredible school. A school which I could have only ever dreamt of going to.”
You can tell Bex is really proud of this as she beams as she recalls this story. The girl who never thought she even stood a chance. Well done Bex, you’re an inspiration to others.
We talk about women and I ask Bex what are some common beauty mistakes that women make? “Not breaking out of their comfort zone. Being open to new colours and learning how to use them. People get comfortable with what they know and don’t make the most of their features. With make-up you can express yourself”
What is the most important beauty advice that you can give to women? “Be confident and learn to love yourself. Be the best version of yourself no matter if that’s with make-up or not.” I agree with Bex on this matter. I’ve worked in the beauty industry for nearly 30 years and the common theme is that we all find fault with ourselves, be it skin, hair, nails. We seem to be programmed to focus on the negative and not the positive.
What products do you think should be the staple in every woman’s make-up bag? “Mascara and a bit of lippy will always be a handbag essential.”
I know the answer to this one before I even ask Bex. What is your favourite make-up brush? “217 from MAC. This is a blending brush that can be used for your whole make-up. It is fantastic for blending concealer and eyeshadow.” I totally agree as I have a few of these myself.
What make-up item could you not live without? “Brow gel. My brows are so fine that I don’t get any definition. I wear dirty blond MAC brow gel.” So that’s her secret. By defining your eye brows it really makes your eyes stand out, even if you don’t wear any eyeshadow.
Where do you get your inspiration from? “Instagram, my colleagues, magazines, Pinterest, everyday life. Sometimes a person will walk past me and I’m like WOW, that make-up looks amazing, so I ask them what they used.”
What advice would you give to anyone wanting a career in make-up? “Go for it. Best job ever, just be prepared to work for free, but it is the most rewarding and challenging job. It is going to be hard to get where you want to be but it is so damn worth it! I have worked as a Daily Makeup Artist on films such as Star Wars, Transformers, even the premiere James Bond, and every time I’m on set it makes me feel alive. I smile from the minute I get there to the minute I leave! People have even asked me how I stay so happy staying up all night to shoot but, when you have wanted this career for so long and you finally get it, it’s like a dream come true.”