I am really excited about my personal challenge (Make up your mind! (Part 1 of my personal challenge) coming to an end in 24 hours but in the meantime I have a lot of unfinished blog business to catch up with. It’s been more than 2 weeks since I last posted and I have a lot to share before I launch into Part 2 of my interview with Kiera.
- I passed my exam!!! I am officially a certified makeup artist myself now. But I know I have to practice, practice, practice before I feel confident to put my certification into use.
- As a qualified and certified MUA I get to get professional discounts on certain makeup brands! Now that’s definitely something worth celebrating for!
- To add to all the stress of the exam, I was also preparing for job interviews for a job I really wanted back in Cyprus. A few days before my exam I found out I was successful! So in less than a month I am returning home to work for a great company and I am very excited but also consumed and overwhelmed by all that comes with arranging a move to another country in a matter of weeks.
With all my news out of the way let me dive back into the interview with Kiera. In Part 1 (Interview with my MUA teacher (Part 1) I covered how Kiera started taking an interest in makeup and how she became a professional artist. Following on you’ll find out more about her professional journey in her continuation of her answer to my last question. I was asking Kiera what prompted her to qualify as a makeup instructor and what steps did she take to meet that goal.
Kiera started telling me about being offered a teaching job at a local, government funded college and here’s the rest of her answer:
A: That for me really was such a big eye-opener in the sense of the things that the students were being taught was so dated. It wasn’t really industry relevant, the girls didn’t feel confident in applying makeup; they didn’t have the basic makeup knowledge. Teachers would come in and literally just play a YouTube clip and that was the lesson. It wasn’t hands on, they weren’t getting constructive feedback. The turning point for me was when I had a job opportunity to offer to one of my students. I was going to work on a photoshoot for one of JD Sports’ campaigns and I needed an assistant. So, I decided that I was going to set a competition for my students at the college and whoever’s luck won could then come and be an assistant for me which was an amazing opportunity and everyone was really excited for being able to produce some great stuff. Then, just 2 days before the shoot was due to commence, the Head of Year pulled me to one side and she told me that there was a Safeguarding issue with the college not allowing me to take the students on work experience. I was baffled because the students were adults, they were older than 16, with parental consent, this would be a great opportunity for them. So I just thought, you can try and make it better but no-one wants to do it. I felt upset for the students because I remembered just how much I wanted to just get out there and start making progress. That’s the only way you learn. After that I thought “You need to do this now”. That was my motivation really.
Q: How many students have you taught so far?
A: I don’t know actually. It’s been quite a lot. The academy will be 2 years in February but before that I taught for a year at my friend’s salon. So I would say a couple of hundred.
Q: What would it take for someone to fail your classes?
A: For somebody to fail it would literally be them not articulating the look correctly. So if they’re not following the technique and the steps that they’ve been shown. For them not meeting good standards of hygiene (i.e. turning up with dirty brushes, not sanitazing their hands, using products that would cause adverse reactions for clients’ skin). Also, not following what the client asks. Because essentially in makeup artistry although as an artist we have a free reign to be creative to produce this look it’s also paramount that you actually listen to your client. It’s all well and good if that’s what we want but it’s all about them. I think that’s something that a lot of people really need to be conscious of.
Q: Apart from teaching others to do makeup what else do you do as a makeup artist?
A: As well as teaching, I have a large client base. There are a lot of party and occasion makeups, I do a lot of weddings, I do quite a lot of Asian Bridal, I did used to be represented by Nemesis Agency in Manchester so I used to do quite a lot of editorial and photo shoots. I don’t really do as many now with the academy being my main focus now.
I’ve also worked in Ibiza doing body painting. I worked with Zoo Project and Kiss my Fairy and that was quite cool. I used to do all the makeup for the acrobats and the dancers. It was very out there and creative. I’ve done a bit of everything really.
Q9: What does your average work day/week look like?
A: Gosh! I won’t lie to you. This year, since January I have a Sunday off. I work 6 days a week and I work from 9 am until 9 pm pretty much most days. It is long hours but I love it and I wouldn’t change it for the world! Every day is different. There’s such good variety with it and I always feel that I’m so blessed that I can do something I enjoy.
Q: I’m jealous! What makeup look do you like the most?
To find the answer to that and the rest of my questions you’ll have to tune in to Part 3 of the interview!
I hope you are enjoying this interview series.