A Life in Makeup – Carol’s Top Tips


If you read my blog last week you will know we’ve had the fabulous Carol Robinson in (‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, ‘Charlotte Grey’, ‘Run Fat Boy Run’, ‘Creation’ etc.), putting BAMM students through their paces. There were a few hairy moments, (sorry!) faces were etched with concentration and fingers busy with wig knotting, weaving and applying postiche, but by the end of the week they nailed it!

We’ve also be privileged to have another genuine industry VIP visit the school too…my Grandmother (AKA Nan).  She dropped by to teach us a thing or two about authentic period hair fashion.  Nan was a brilliant hairdresser in the 1940’s and as such was able to accurately recreate and demonstrate some of the trickier styles that we makeup artists often struggle to get right.  Not only were we given a real insight into ‘war time’ hair, but with incredibly nimble fingers she also created a perfect, whole head ‘marcel wave’ with pin curl finish in under 10 minutes!

PERIOD HAIR TIP: I will give away a historical tip for any makeup artists out there working on the sets of Downton Abbey etc… In the old days their setting lotion was thicker, thus making it a little easier to use.  So run a little hair gel through the hair, amongst the setting lotion for brilliant results!

Meanwhile, and back to the future, our fashion course was busy revisiting the key styles of the 60’s, 70’s and  80’s.  Students let rip with their creative licence and also had lot of fun, designing some period looks with a modern twist! 

Carol Robinson’s Top Five Tips:

After a busy week I managed to pin down our top wig mistress and ask her for some of her top wiggy tips.  Whether you are starting out in the industry or are a seasoned pro. these are brilliant!

  1. Always keep a toothbrush handy for catching fine hairs around the front of your artists wig.
  2. When gluing a lace fronted wig, use an old pair of tights rolled into a ball to help glue the lace edges down.
  3. Remember to be aware of keeping your artists natural head shape when prepping the hair under the wig as this can distort the shape of the wig on the outside.
  4. When prepping the hair of a stunt woman, if possible plait your stunt ladies hair under the wig when wrapping. This can be useful if the scene is high energy and the wig needs to be sewn on as it will provide the perfect anchor.
  5. Be very careful when applying foundation to your artist who is wearing a lace fronted wig as if you get foundation in the lace the whole wig will need to come off and be cleaned. This could really hold up a shoot and will make you very unpopular (or worse!)

Next week we have Linda Morten who will be teaching the students how to recreate classic, historical makeup.  She will be looking at the ancient Egyptians, Mauri tribal tattoos, Geisha girls and Kabuki, Romans, Elizibethan, Victorian, Edwardian…all the way through to modern day!