After being a hairdresser for as long as I can remember, I do a lot of bridal hair and a lot of brides were enquiring if I did make up too. This was happening quite regularly and I was losing out on a lot of work so I decided after never really being interested in make up, I need to do this to offer the service exclusively for my brides.
The next step was to find a good reputable training school. I didn't want to sit for hours watching tutorials I wanted to get one to one training from artists currently working in the industry with a vast amount of experience. I wanted to be able to ask questions, ask why we would use a certain technique and learn what not to do. I always want to know the 'why' and I wanted to gain the qualification as a Professional Make Up Artist so to sit watching tutorials wasn't for me.
I researched a lot of training schools in Scotland and TAOM kept coming up with lots of good reviews so I booked the pro course. I live 2.5 hours away from the Glasgow Academy in the small town of Oban, so it meant staying over in Glasgow. At the time my children were 3 months, 13 months and 9 years so I stayed in Glasgow alternate nights and drove home on other nights to see my babies. It was a lot of travelling and very tiring and I missed my babies but nothing good ever comes easy and I was already booking brides in for hair and Make Up at this point and I thought 'I WAS going to do this!’
From the moment I walked into the Academy I felt the positivity hit me like a wave, there's no room for negativity here and if you are feeling negative the tutors help you over come this. Sara and her team are amazing, the support you get from them is beyond belief they really do go the extra mile and you can tell they absolutely love their jobs.
I learned a lot more than I thought I would. I did the foundation course where I learned the very basics starting with skin which I learned is a necessity for great make up, in the second week I then went onto do the advance course learning editorial, red carpet and commercial and more technical work and how to work in a fast paced environment. I learned what products are best to use for certain skin types and got help on building my kit. My favourite part was the photoshoot day, I had done a lot of hair shoots but I enjoyed the tables being turned and was now doing make up.
I was really pleased with the aftercare you get from the Academy. Once you qualify you are not on your own, TAOM act as your 'agency' if you like, to get you out in the industry straight away and to give you amazing experiences and build your confidence.
After doing the course I found my love for make up, I didn't think it was possible to love my job anymore than I did but I really enjoy what I do and I'm lucky enough to be able to do this full time and, hey, the pro discounts with make up brands are a bonus too!
Today I'm not only doing make up for my brides as originally planned as it has opened doors to more work such as tv & film, stage work for my fellow hairdressers, editorial, photoshoots and occasion make up in my salon.
I regularly go back to the Academy to keep my skills up to date and to make sure I'm at the top of my game, always pushing myself to be better than I was yesterday. Having won numerous awards for hairdressing I am now a finalist for Best Make Up Artist at the SHABA Awards so my next goal is to win an award for make up artistry by the end of 2018.
I can honestly say it was worth every penny and I'm a strong believer in you get what you pay for. If you are considering joining TAOM then my advice to you is invest in yourself, I earned my investment back in 7 weeks and have never looked back.
Clare working on a Bride - Clare working on set with follow graduate, Stephanie McKnight
I met some great friends at the Academy and some that weren't even on my course. I love that we all bump into each other time to time working on different jobs together. We're like a big family, we've got each other's backs and the tutors have ours.
I will be forever grateful to Sara and her team for opening new doors for me, to reach nearly 40 years old and still love my job and the work I do I think is pretty amazing.
Words by Clare Pearson