Make-Up Artists

Stuck for careers inspiration? Three insiders explain what you need to know to glam up the stars…

YOUR ROUTE IN Kimberley, 25, is a make-up artist from Leeds (
‘I always knew I wanted to be a make-up artist, so after my A-levels I did a three-year media make-up degree at Bradford University. It covered everything from fashion, film, TV and theatre to bridal stuff, and really prepared me for work – though my course didn’t have work placements, so i’d always check for that. There are loads of other ways to get in, including short-course diplomas at college. Thy’re more intense, but quite good as they offer experience along the way. You can do them over a couple of months, and they can cost up to £12,000. you come out with quite a big loan from uni, so both routes are pretty much the same price, but I think it’s definetely worth the inverstment. When I finished my degree I worked for free for other make-up artists in order to build up my portfolio, as it’s impossible to get without one. The jobs started coming through word of mouth. So far I’ve not applied for any of them – I got them all through contacts.’

A DAY IN THE LIFE Amy, 24, is a freelance TV make-up artist from London
‘I work on TV shows like The One Show and Keith Lemon’s Lemon la Vida Loca. I’m normally up at 5am, so I wear a comfy dress or jeans with a T-shirt but never heels, as you have to be on your feet all day. I see people in 15-minute slots, which is plenty for a guy, but for girls it can be stressful. The clock is constantly ticking. You have to be prepared for anything – I’ve been on my knees powdering people’s private parts for nude scenes in films before. For lunch you always get an hour – as the days are so long you need to have a break and eat. We might have already done an eight – hour day by then, so I usually need to grab people afterwards to redo their make-up. When I get home at 8.30pm I crash. I feel sorry for my boyfriend, as all my energy goes into such a long day.’

WHAT THE JOB DESCRIPTION WON’T TELL YOU Lucy, 28, is a make-up artist to the stars
‘You have to have a thick skin to work as a make-up artist. Celebs can have enormous egos and a lot of them are insecure, with unrealistic expectations. Sometimes it’s hard to bite my tongue when they give me a hard time. Certain reality TV stars will beg you to pile on more and more foundation and false lashes. They can get stroppy if you don’t give them exactly the right shade of eyebrow they want too. I often want to tell them they look like a drag queen, but it’s my job to tell them they look good.
Fake tan is the bane of my life, it might look good on TV, but it stinks and celebs sometimes turn up looking a bizarre colour. There are hazards of the job too. The other day, a celeb had a giant cold sore in the corner of her mouth. I tried to work around it, but a couple of days later a big one appeared on my face. It was gross. If you’re the kind of person who’s OK not knowing where their next job is coming from (or when you might get paid), it’s the best job in the world. The hours can be long and there are a lot of early starts too, but no two days are ever the same. 

WHAT’S THE MOST I COULD EARN: Top freelancers can earn up to £3000 a day on fashion shows and editorial campaigns.
KEY QUALITIES: Creativity, reliability, confidence and communication skills.
QUALIFICATIONS: A degree isn’t essential but competition is fierce, so most people get a diploma or foundation degree in professional make-up. Work experience is another in-route, through contacts.

(Please Note: The information is from the More Magazine article ‘Spotlight on Make-up Artists’ in Issue 4th March 2013, I did not write this!)

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Primary Teacher


Stuck for career inspiration? Three more! readers explain what you need to know to be a class act…

YOUR ROUTE IN: Helen, 25, is a primary school teacher in Bristol
‘I always knew I wanted to be a teacher so after college I enrolled on a three year teaching degree at university as an undergraduate. You get loads of experience in the classroom, which gradually increases through the course, so that by the end you’re teaching full-time. You also learn about things like child psychology and development which is really useful. There are lots of other routes you can take. Lots of my colleagues did  a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education), which is a year long course that you do after your undergraduate degree at uni. Your time is split between assignments for college and teaching placements at several different schools. There’s also a new programme called School Direct, where you learn on the job. You get paid, so don’t need a student loan, and often get taken on as a full – time member by the school at the end too. Like many fields, competition for jobs once you’ve finished training is fierce. I’ve applied for 25-30 jobs and was invited for four interviews, eventually getting an offer last October.’

A DAY IN THE LIFE: Teresa, 26, is a primary school teacher from East London
‘I get up at 6am to be at my desk for 7am. Even though school doesn’t start until 8:55am, I like to get in early to prepare for the day – and have my morning caffeine fix. We have a 20 minute break at 11am, but there’s no time to put my feet up – I’ll either be getting the classroom ready for the next lesson or on the playground duty. At 12:30pm, we get an hour for lunch. I always bring my own lunch, but school dinners aren’t actually that bad. School finishes at 3.15pm, but I don’t leave until 6pm once I’ve finished marking. Sometimes I take work home, so I’ll do that until 9pm. On weeknights I’ll be in bed by 10pm because I’m so worn out! I work really hard during term-time, but I can relax in the holidays, which are great.’

WHAT THE JOB DESCRIPTION WON’T TELL YOU: Amy, 26, is a primary teacher from Manchester
‘In my first year of teaching the biggest shock wasn’t the kids behaving badly, it was their parents. Often they’d blame me, saying it was my fault their child was throwing stuff/punching others/stealing school books. I wasn’t prepared for how little respect parents have for teachers –  especially when you’re in your early 20s and you don’t have a fancy-pants job title like assistant head. On one occasion, a parent looked me in the eye and said they thought I was the “shittest teacher their son ever had”. My school backed me, but it’s hard not to let that knock your confidence. You’ll work harder in your first two years that you ever have before. The planning is exhausting, as you have to cater for every child’s needs. But don’t think you’ll be left alone to just get on with it. Senior managers are always coming around to watch lessons – you feel like you’re on show all the time. On a more positive note, once the first two years are in the bag, you’ll have a job for life. You’ll also have the ability to laminate, photocopy and pritt – stick absolutely anything!

STARTING SALARY: £21,588 (£27,000 in London)
AVERAGE SALARY BY AGE 30: £31,552 (£36,387 in London)
WHATS THE MOST I COULD EARN? Headteachers can earn up to £112,000 a year
KEY QUALITIES: Organisation, creativity and communication skills.
QUALIFICATIONS: You need at least a grade C at GCSE in English, Maths & Science and three A levels at grade C or above.

(Please Note: The information is from the More Magazine article spotlight on Primary Teaching in Issue 25th February 2013, I did not write this!)

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