It never entered my mind to become a makeup artist, in fact I wasn’t even aware of it as a job until a very historical event in 1981 (more on that later) and I thought “imagine doing that for a job. Must be nice.” It was never going to be for me, because I was destined for a life of academia and was definitely going to be a professional…something.
And now here I am! Painting faces (and sometimes bodies) for a living that is fun, artistic and often challenging, but on the whole it’s quite fantastic because making people beautiful is a wonderful thing.
Upon reflection, I think other people could have noticed that the signs were there early on. I had an older sister and a glamourous mum and would watch them doing their stuff…and then “borrow” things to paint myself in a similar vein! Once I painted green eyeshadow up to my eyebrows and thought it was very fabulous! Not really a good look while riding around on a bike.
I was a child of the BBC, and spent very many Saturdays watching black & white movies of the 1940’s and 50’s, in awe of those film stars of bygone years. The Queens of Hollywood: Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, then Bridgitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve. Mature, fantastic beauties. Wonderful stuff. Yep, I should have known.
The first time I was actually paid to do makeup was a revelation to me. So although I never expected or really even planned to become a makeup artist, I do come by it honestly, from a long line of women who took looking good seriously, for what is was worth in their lives at different times. These were not women who had much money, but were always well turned out and very stylish for their means.
I think they would have been happy for me. And though I may still become a professional “something” one day, you just never know, for now I am a makeup artist, making the world a more beautiful place, one face at a time.