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24 September 2014

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Jadeen and make-up artist Josie
Jadeen and make-up artist Josie

Take up Make-up

By Jadeen Singh
Ever wondered how make up special effects in films are done? Or how supermodels look so flawless? Jadeen visits the only theatrical and film make up school in Birmingham, and offers herself up as a model...

Jadeen and Josie
Poor unsuspecting Jadeen with Josie

Willy Wonka,  Edward Scissorhands, Jack Sparrow are visually, very different characters. All of them played by Johnny Depp. It’s not only Johnny Depp’s brilliance as an actor that makes these characters so memorable, credit must be given to the make-up artists involved.

I’ve always been interested in this aspect of film making, that’s why it was a pleasure to go to the Custard Factory and visit the only theatrical and film make-up school in Birmingham.

When arranging my visit, I was told I would be made up by one of the students, so I could see for myself what is involved.

When I arrived I was greeted by Josie Lock, a student at the school. In fact, today was her final day on the course and it was she who was going to be doing my make-up.

Later, we were joined by Shelley Cross-Beale, the owner of the school, and Rebecca, another one of the students. Everyone was extremely friendly and it wasn’t long before we were all chatting- whilst I was getting a make-over!

Josie and 'friend'

Whilst Josie was doing my make-up, I got to ask her how she came to be studying at The UK Make Up School, and why she chose to study Fashion and Media Make-up for 3 months.

What made you want to become a make-up artist?

I did other A-levels, but then in my second year of A-levels I also did a diploma in Media and Theatrical Make-up, just to do something a bit different. I then went travelling, to Australia. I didn’t really want to go to university because I didn’t really know what I wanted to do there. Then when I came back I found this course, and it was just what I wanted!

Why this school?

It’s the only one in Birmingham. There are other courses, but you either have to go to college, which would take a few years, or night school and I didn’t really want to do that. I wanted to do something I could do straight away, and then go straight out into the profession.

What is your ultimate aim?

Hollywood! I’d really love to go to America and work on a film. I think there is a lot more work over there, and you could get more money for the work you do- and the sunshine would be nice!

What particular skill have you learnt that has fascinated you the most?

Josie turns Jadeen into a hag

I think henna. It’s really hard work and the first time you start doing it, you think, this is unreal - I can’t do this at all. Then when you get into it and develop your own way of doing it, it actually becomes really good.

Are there any other skills that you’d like to study further?

I’d like to do a nail extension/nail technician course- I think it would be quite good fun. Or I’d like to go into hairstyling or wig making; I think it would compliment the make-up really well.

What skills do you think you need to be successful?

You need to have confidence in yourself. You need to be prepared to work long hours and to travel anywhere. You also have to be nice to everyone - you see people at their worst and you have to make them feel happy. It’s like counselling, you have to cheer them up when they are feeling down.

Now for the most important question! Could you give me three beauty tips?

Concealing under eye bags is a serious business!
Concealing under eye bags is a serious b

The first thing I learnt, that I never knew about before, is when you put your eye shadow on, you should put translucent powder under the eye first. This allows you just to brush of the eye shadow if it is smudged. This is especially helpful with glittery eye shadow!

Instead of an eyebrow pencil, you should use eye shadow so you don’t get such a harsh line. Oh, and always focus on the lips or the eyes- never both.  

Speaking to Shelley on the phone the day before, I had said Josie could do whatever she wanted to my face. I had envisaged one of latest catwalk looks, or perhaps, a Hollywood 1950’s starlet. But no, how wrong I was! She wanted to turn me into….. a witch!!!

It's hard work being a model

At first, I wasn’t too enthusiastic about being made up as a witch. But as Josie started working on my make- up, I was enthralled, it was fascinating. She first stuck on a plastic nose and chin, to my face, these are called prosthetics.  Then she painted my whole face red.

It was at this point that her creative talent came to the fore. Using a paint brush, she was able to accentuate my eyes, using black paint. After that, she added shading and definition, with a range of colours from green to black. This was interesting because, despite never having seen me before I walked through the door that day, she was able to asses my face and understand exactly what she needed to do.

She began accentuating some areas and playing down others. She did such an excellent  job, I couldn’t recognise myself in the mirror! She had transformed me into a Halloween horror! It’s a good job I took the make up off before going outside, otherwise I think I’d have given anyone who saw me a real fright! 

Jadeen as a witch
Ta-daaaaaa! Beautiful!

This is a very competitive career, despite being the lowest paid job within the film/theatre/media industry. But it is easy to see why it seems such an attractive profession. You can choose the medium in which you prefer to work in, from magazines, music videos to special effects. All those who do choose it as career path have to be passionate and committed.  It is obvious that Shelley and Josie are both of these things, they live, breathe and sleep make-up.

Shelley, the owner of the school has been a make-up artist for 11 years, I asked her what attributes she thought were needed to become a good artist. She explained, "You don’t need to be able to draw to become a make-up artist. But you do need good commitment and stamina, because you work very long hours."

So if you have those qualities, and like the sound of a challenging career, why not, like Josie, take a more detailed look into becoming a make-up artist of the future? Keep a close eye on those closing credits; you never know you may see the name ‘Josie Lock - Chief Make-up Artist’!

Look at the pictures of Jadeen being transformed from a beauty to a minger!
Jadeen becomes a minger! >
last updated: 24/08/05
Have Your Say
Is make-up or prosthetics your thing? Tell us here.
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The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Jade Williams
I am going crazy trying to find works experience to tie in with my passion to become a make-up artist can you help? many thanks Jadie

i would love to do media makeup and hair for behind the sences but i dnont no how to go about it once i have mny basic nvqs in hair and makeup can you help?

hi can you please tell me anywhere in birmingham which does a diploma in media and Theatrical Make-up course? thanx

I finished school a year ago and attended a college for nursing I didn’t really want to be a nurse but my parents did, however I’m about to go into the second year and I’m quitting to do beauty as iv always loved make-up. My dream would be working in America on huge films and me to be their special effects make-up artist, but I think that’s all it will be as I don’t have a clue how you would get there?

Roxanne Russell
Hi i recently appeared on BBC3's Spendaholics and was told that Theatrical make up was something i would be suited to.Ever since i was young i have always experimented with make up and i love applying it, its the best part of going out!I'd really like to know if you actually run a course for this at The Custard Factory or if it is something you will be doing in the future?Thanks.

I have completed a Nvq 2&3 in beauty therapy an am currently working at a Birmingham based salon as a beauty therapist. I am intrested in doing a more advanced coarse in makeup, but just dont know where to start. The private coarses charge way too much money...can anybody help?

I want to be a make up artist what gcses do you have to have ?

As a hairstylist i always thought it was great that the salons i worked with had make up artiest there, but now i have moved back to the middlands i find, that not many places do the both so i would love to learn basic make up, to give my clients there total look.

Hi could you let me know where this school is as i would like some information on it. Cheers, Sally

Melissa Webber
Iam currently studing a Make Up Artist course in Kent. Iam really enjoying it and qualify this week.

I would love to become a make-up artist I am currently studyin a level 2 in Media, but I am goin to start a course in Sep in media and theatrical make-up

hi! im 14 years old and doing my gcse next year i have picked art but would that help me for the job and what do i do once i leave school??

im on an art course at the minute but sfx makeup has always interested me because of the films i watch with make up artists like tom savini and rob bottin but ive never done any makeup work before would that count against me if i wanted to apply for that kind of course?

i am doing a beauty course but would like to do a course on makeup in more depth, is there any good colleges or aprenterships in birmingham that would give me this?

hi! im interested in becoming a make up artist im hopefully attending the london make up academy next year to some qualifications behind me, ive gota a basic NVQ2 in beauty therapy which involved a unit on make up but its very basic. i was just wondering if there was any place for me to come and do some voluntary work, just to see how things are done and experience what it takes to be a make up artist?

i want to be a make up artist for people that are going to go on films but after i have been to do beauty at college i dont know what to do if you have any ideas of what i could do/where i could go then they would be most appreciated thanks xxxx

hi im currently studying beauty therapy level 2 and have already achieved qualifications in waxing, threading, manicure, pedicure and extension nails.i love make up and as a little always wanted to be a make up artist but don't have a clue were to start...

shamar higgins
this is my dream job but am just finding it harde to get in to as i live in nottingham if you could give me some info that would be graet i just cant find any were that is good for me look foward to hearing fom you soon

carly costigan
makeup is defenatly my thing ive been interested in every type of makeup ever sinse i was a little girl and now i would like a career in this

kellly richards
yes i have perviouly study media make and really enjoyed it but i have the qualification but do not no where to look for work

i realy want to get in to make up but haven't got a clue how to go about it

Ali herring
i'm currently studying set and costume design at Central School of speecha and drama, however, have recently developed a real passion for special fx make up and prosthetics. my question relates to courses -is it essential to have a qualification from somewhere well known such as brushstroke, gresepaint etc to gdo well in this industry - only i will have one degree behind me already and dont want more debt of another degree to have to deal with, any suggestions, most appreciated!

Lucinda Moore
I am 24 and already have a certificate of qualification for photographic hair and make up but I would love to continue to gain credits for theatrical and media make-up and prosthetics. Are there any organisations which will train you whilst you work as I would like to make this my full time career

hi ya..i'm 15 and i am going into year 11 at school. I have been intereted in becoming a make-up artist for a couple of years now...i have taken art as a subject at school and it is my favourite subject. i was just wondering what courses do i need 2 take when i get out of school to become a make-up artist?

Natalie Crowder-barton
I start college at hugh biard on the 6th septemeber and i am studying theatrical makeup. I have been interested in makeup since i was little and would love to do it as a career when i leave college. I would love to watch the makeup artists at work one day to learn tips and see how it is in real life doing makeup as a career. Natalie Crowder-Barton.

Hi I'm 17,and i'v recently just taken a year out of studying,this september i'm going back to school to study for my A Levels.I have my heart set on becoming a make-up artist,make-up has been a passion of mine ever since i was a little girl.I'm not realy sure if my A-Levels are going to help me in a career with make-up,would the 2years studying for A-levels just be a waist of time?What courses would i need to do to get my dream career started?

hayley morris
i have just qualified as level 2 hairdresser and i would really like to study theatrical make up

I am 13 years old and im really intreasted in being a make up artest i love make up and ive took art as one of my subjects in school

i have just completed my first year at college and am currently studying art, drama and english lit. however i would like to get into theatrical makeup and am not sure which courses this proffession requires, therefore am unsure as wether to change 1 or 2 of my coruses next year. please help!! which courses would help to lead to being a make up artist?

Yasmin Stanton
i am in school doing my gcse's and i have always wanted to do film and tv makeup for the bbc on programs such as holby city and eastenders. i love making people up and i really need to know how to get into it and it if bbc do Apprenticeships in makeup.

i really would like to do this coursE!iv done hairdreseing up to level 3,and have diplomain make-up and wigmaking but i the only promblem is, is i live in Dorset which is qiute far away, is there anything similar going on nearer wher ei live?PLEASE HELP:D thankyou katie

i want to become a make-up artist am already training to become a hairdresser

i would love to become a make-up artist, i am currenly studying @ colj. is this a easy field to get in to?? and after you have studyed is it easy to get a job??.

Shelley Cross-Beale ( The UK Makeup School)
Again thankyou for all your interest!! If any of you would like mor information or would like to visit our school, please take a look at our website www.uk-makeup-school.com or telephone: 0121-6831115

i am studying beauty therapy at college which includes make-up, what else do i need to do make-up for places such as the BBC?

Claire Bailey
I am 16 years old, i have just left school and would love to take up a profession in theatrical make-up. The subjects i took at school were Art, Textiles, Geography, French and the compulsary subjects, but i don't know what to take at A-Level, please help.

Kelly Allum
I'm 14 years old and i am really interested in make-up and prosthetics!! it is my dream to work in theatres or on TV sets! Should i be studying art as a GCSE?

i have always wanted to be a make up artist,its my dream job,but dont no how to start?

i want to study make up ,but i want to know about cost,i already study make up in vietnam,but i want to study enhance.

Kate Page
it is my dream to become a make-up artist, how do i get there?

Rachel Sinclair
I am currently in another profession. I am often told how good I am at applying makeup for myself and my friends. How do I start this course?

I love make-up its apart of me to make clients look real good its in me i would love to work for the bbc

Bobby Joe
I want to become a make up artest after my 3 yrs in high school are done I am a freshmen in high school.

The UK Makeup School & Agency
We are now taking new students on for September. The UK Makeup School is based in Birmingham at The Custard Factory. Please contact Shelley Cross-Beale on 01216831115 www.uk-makeup-school.com

i am 13 years old andi amgoing to be choosing my lessons for year 10 in a couple of weeks and i want to be a make-up artist but im not sure waht lessons i will have to choose please could you tell me.

can u tell me any places in birmingham which do a good make up course

I'm 16, and I'm doing a beauty therapy course at college in September. I would also love to goto Hollywood in the future and prepare top models for catwalks etc., and yeah, I do believe I have what it takes - I'm passionate about make-up, have artistic talent and well, I couldn't live without it! Haha! Anyways, after this 2 year course I'm gonna do the make-up artist course for a year... I'm not sure where to go from there... If anyone has any advice please post here. Thankyou! =) Lizx

Reena Kaur
I love being a make-up artist and totally agree with all that i have read on your site, I thank god for this wonderful gift and thats why I am currently running workshops and taster days in the West Midlands in the latest techniques and application in make-up artistry. The workshops cover such topics as make-up in the fashion industry, careers advice, educational advice to encourage students into further educations, employment opportunities within the beauty industry and advice on self-employment.

Ive always wanted to be a makeup artist, just never found the place to do it.

hey, yeah i wanna take a course here i love being creative!!

you look great hunt, tapi aku kira kamu lebih mirip setan


The UK Makeup School
ts lovely to hear your comments!! a makeup atists job is very long hours, 12 to 14 hours a day you need to put your heart and soul into it , but it is worth it I love my job!! Shelley Cross-Beale

Amy Goode
I have always been fasinated in theatrical make-up ever since i was young becuase i have always been more creative so Art was my subject at School!I do love glamour Make-up but prothetics i think is more challenging and i think these actors/actresses make-up looks amazing on set.From seeing these blockbuster films for example it really makes me become ambious to pursure my dream. I hope to study it next year after completing my 1 year diploma course in Art and Design, then after studing it at college/university i hope to pursure it as a career.

i love doing make up im forever doing my mates i just love it i was born do do make up it definatly what i want to do

Francesca Vignali
Hi I've loved make-up since a young girl, I enjoy making people feel and look good. I feel make-up is something i would like and enjoy to do as a carree. I've just finished a one year course of beauty therapy. I would love to be able to follow my dream by making up people and making a change to their life. Thank you

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