Feb 26, 2012

Beauty and the Demons – Makeup Artist Training

My last Makeup course with Zoe.

“Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can’t put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you’re doing it from a position of correction”
Kevyn Aucoin

As you may already know I’m all for expanding my skills as a Makeup artist. Recently I was delighted to take part in an Advanced Fashion & Beauty Course at the fantastic Zoe Clark Make up School.

Can’t recommend this enough; small numbers, amazing tutors…What more can you ask for?

The most exciting part of this course was that on day four we do a photoshoot with Ireland’s best photographer Barry Mc Call. Did you see him shooting for Britain and Ireland next top model?

So, very excited, and a little nervous about the shoot on Sunday, off I go to soak up all the info from the amazing make up artist Louise O Neill. Louise flew over from the UK to teach, along with Zoe herself. I’m glad that we go through so much in the course and practice all our skills, as this is the last of the make up courses I can do with Zoe. Hopefully will help launch me into the fashion industry.

How does one choose a make up look?

the banane ouvert (so called because it looks as if you’ve drawn a banana on its side in your eye socket…It was the backstage buzzword of autumn/winter ’11, heard everywhere from DKNY to Anna Sui, Alberta Ferretti to Louis Vuitton

Jessica Hogan, Vogue

The days are flying by, and pressure is on to create the look for Sunday, I’m loving the whole 60’s thing happening at the moment and it’s been revived again on the catwalks for Autumn/Winter ’11 so that’s where I’m heading I think… torn between that or a look with a really strong lip colour!So after browsing through magazines and the internet I keep coming back to the 60’s Twiggy inspired look. A little cautious as lots of fine precision and black liner that‘s just got to be perfect (no wine for me Saturday night). After spotting Makeup artist Hannah Murrays look in Septemeber in Vogue my decision was final. Although I was a little scared as international famous make up artist had mentioned in this article that this was no easy feat! But at least my decision was made and I love it!

I simplify it…I take the bare elements of the Sixties – the eyes – and accentuate them

Pat McGrath

I tend to suffer from butterflies coming up to something like this and get a little anxious, I’m sure you know the feeling….. can’t have a shaky hard on Sunday.. doing a shoot with Barry McCall, stress levels rising! But no, I decided not this time. I was totally confident in my choice and decided on Saturday evening I was not getting nervous.

What is Confidence?

The Vogue shot I based my look on:


I am a professional makeup artist and needed to believe in myself and my capabilities.

So after an early start on Sunday morning I got to Barrys studio at 9.30 am. For anyone who hasn’t been it quite amazing (pics of Bono, Colin Farrell, Westlife and of course Jedward  don the walls of this deadly cool studio)

No pressure…I ask myself.

The models arrive courtesy of Morgan agency. They are all so beautiful, even first thing in the morning with no make up, how I wish… They are a great bunch of girls, as are all the other great makeup artists on this shoot with me. We have tea, contemplate the day and then off to the main studio armed with ‘tear’, face chart brushes and a sense of calm I intend to keep!

My model is the beautiful Georgina McIntyre, she is amazing…do those legs ever end? Such a great girl to work with , I won’t forget her patience. I set about creating my look, got a little shudder of nerves when Zoe commented that I had gone for a very complicated look. Should I leave? Nope, I kept calm, concentrated on my finished look and worked carefully and methodically until I was done. A few deep breaths, and lots of moral support from Zoe and Louise. My look was done and I’m ready to shoot.

Morgan model agency, and Barry McCall…

It’s all about the crease…it carves out the eye adding depth to the socket, which ultimately sculpts the face, too
Aaron de Mey, Lancome creative director

My Finished look

Photographer: Barry Mc Call Make Up Artist: Aileen Duffy

Photographer: Barry Mc Call
Make Up Artist: Aileen Duffy

So here is my chance to get an amazing shot with the one and only Barry Mc Call. I’m nervous, excited, delighted, proud, happy, anxious and scared all together but I need have no worries. He’s brilliant. Such a pro. He has this fantastic natural ability to work with the model, and put her at ease. She works the camera so naturally, elegant and beautifully. I’m in awe.

Sadly it comes to an end. We go through the shots, and I wonder how does one choose. I want them all! So thanks to the artful eye of Barry my shots are chosen. Think I nearly burst when he said “that’s the one, that’s the shot …. we could be here for the rest of the day and not get that one again”. I’m ecstatic.

We’ve all had a super day, nobody wants to leave. One make up artist had to get a flight back to Edinburgh. So we leave full of anticipation , looking forward to seeing our finished work and for me a personal victory, I think I’ve beaten those demons who kept questioning my ability. I now feel as if I have turned a corner. I feel confident, and ready to take on the world as a fully fledged professional make up artist. Every day will be a new day with lots to learn, but I am looking forward to it.

I’d love you opinion so please do let me know what you think?




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