A Life in Makeup – Jingle all the way

Just because it’s Christmas, it doesn’t mean I get any rest – in fact I’ve never been busier!  In between pinging across the country like a pin ball (but for very good reasons!) working sessions and decorating, being entertained and buying Xmas pressies… I manage to go to a few festive parties – of course!

Monday 17th December: HO! HO! HOLD THE SELOTAPE!

I’m at the studios early this morning and it’s….beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!  Strictly… stars and other celebrity guests are mulling around like spiced wine, tinsel adorns the cameras and elf hats are being worn regardless of absurdity!  Rylan from X Factor is lighting up the makeup room and Harry Hill is in my chair making me laugh, which is just what Santa ordered!

After a great session, I go Christmas shopping ‘Crump style’ and head to Fortnum & Masons.  I decide to have my Xmas presents gift wrapped (for ease and luxury) and leaving them to curl the tape and choose the paper, I take care of myself and head off to the parlour for tea and crumpets, which is pure Luxury!

To finish off a perfect day, I head to the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park for some festive fun with presenter and journalist (and very good Scottish pal) Isla Traquair who is back from Vancouver where she has been filming for the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Tuesday 18th December: DECK THE HALLS

This morning I am back at the studios for lots of sporting shenanigans. The makeup team have decided to showcase some of their fabulous skills (most that don’t often get requested in a news department).  They have gone to town by making up their very own Scrooge, Father Christmas and Snow Queen to get the studios into the festive spirit.

Unfortunately the make up teams masterpieces are not matched by the office festive decorations!  For such a creative department our makeup room is lacking…. two poxy baubles and a piece of tinsel!? It’s like spot the decorations…rubbish effort!  After work, I head back home with Emma Rankin where we decide to make up for what we are lacking at work and decorate the house properly!  Before long the house is reminiscent of Santa’s grotto!

In the evening we’ve been invited over to our neighbour’s house.  Ashish (Sky News presenter and journalist) and his wife Reshma (an artist also but of the canvas and paint variety) are in the festive mood and have mulled wine, mince pies and fires aglow! I spot some beautiful artwork by Reshma and I haggle a print for myself as an early Christmas present.

Wednesday 19th December: ONWARDS, UPWARDS…AND OUT!

I’m back into the studios on an early and it all seems to be rather quiet, which is always nice.  The devil makes work and all that, so I decide to give the makeup room a total spring clean ready for Christmas.  I also have a ‘Personal Development Plan’ that needs to be looked over by my manager so I then get cracking on completing that. This incorporates my overall performance summary as a makeup artist; my hopes and goals for the future and what I would like to fulfil (basically, setting myself projects).

The plan gives me a chance to fully review my career in 2012 and what a year it’s been. Apart from the development of BAMM, I’ve been privy to some of London’s biggest and finest events; Wimbledon, the Opening Ceremony, The Golden Jubilee etc.  I‘ve worked with so many fabulous celebrities, sporting heroes and legends and I feel very honoured.

In the evening as a Christmas treat, my very good friend Owen Murfin takes me for the most exquisite meal I have ever had.  Mossiman’s in Belgravia is an absolute luxury, with a roaring fire and beautifully festive setting; the food was out of this world.  We finish the evening with a night cap in the Dorchester…oh I LOVE London in December!

Thursday 20th December: LORD OF THE BRUSHES

Today I drove to Bath with a spring in my step.  Today is the day I‘m meeting with legendry Makeup Designer; Peter King (who has just finished the Hobbit) Peter is local and saw our launch press coverage and decided to contact us.

We met up a BAMM HQ and I have to admit I was slightly star struck, but once we met and started chatting, nerves were replaced with intense conversation; discussing the amazing opportunities and exciting charity projects we can collaborate on together.  (I will let you know more in the New Year, but let’s say there are some very exciting prospects in the pipeline for BAMM and our students!)  Peter gave me lots of hints and tips and seemed very impressed with BAMM which was a complete honour.

I then travel back  across to London as tonight there’s an ITV Christmas party in Apres London.  Emma Rankin and I don our glad rags, a hint of red lippy (for festive cheer) and are good to go.  Mix a free bar with lots of friends and you have a recipe for fun…! Aled Jones, Richard Arnold, Gethin Jones, Matt Barbett are a few of the guests who join us in raising a festive glass.

Friday, 21st December: TEXT SANTA MARATHON!

Toning it down with the Overtones
Toning it down with the Overtones

Today is the last day of work in London and it is a big one!  An early shift in the studios precedes a dash to Charles Fox for makeup supplies and an evening on Text Santa for ITV. Celebrities are coming thick and fast today.  First up in the makeup chair are Emmerdale actresses Michelle and Natalie. They are singing first in an appearance on Lorraine, followed by ‘This Morning’ and then Text Santa (quite nice to know they are also working a horrendously long day).  I meet The Overtonest and as I have such a secret crush on this lot, I nab an opportunity to have my picture taken with them!



The manic makeup room
The manic makeup room

In the ITV corridors I am overjoyed to see (and get a bear hug) my old friends from Hollyoaks; Matt Littler and Darren Jeffries who are presenting Text Santa online.  After this, the makeup team (Emma Rankin and Sarah Herman) and I get to work. I make up Jeff Brasier and Laura Hamilton for Text Santa CITV along with numerous guests. It is then time to turn myself over to the big show….

In the line-up are Ant & Dec, Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, Christine Bleakly and Paddy McGuiness, Rosemary Porter (Two Fat Ladies, I’m A Celebrity…) and Louis Walsh who is chatting in the green room.  By 11.00pm it’s a wrap and I have now been up for 21 hours – exhausted.com!


Saturday 22nd December: DRIVING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS (been dying to write this!!)

As a reward for one hell of a busy week, Emma and I treat ourselves to a lux breakfast before I load my car up with goodies for the tutor’s cottage, Xmas gifts for the family and files of unfinished work, make up products and more stock.  Once in Bath, I head straight to BAMM HQ and get on with the jobs in hand; sorting and organising the booty which takes me literally all day.

After all my chores are done its time to sit home, put my feet up for a well-deserved evening with the family.

Sunday 23rd December:  IT’S A WRAP!

No rest for the wicked and I have some very exciting appointments today and a BAMM ‘end of year’ meeting. There are so many exciting things coming BAMM’s way in the future, but cannot reveal all quite yet.

In the evening it’s a PJ Peppers reunion (this was where I spent my teenage pre makeup years working).   What a fantastic evening… we all keep in touch via Facebook and have a ball, reminiscing of the days when we were either behind the bar/ coffee machine/ DJ booth/ kitchen or all four!  Unsurprisingly the party (unlike this blog) continues well into Christmas Eve!  Happy Christmas everyone!

A few days to recuperate and BAMM is going to be flying come the New Year! So many exciting projects and teachers are coming in and we are very excited at what we have to give…. It’s been a year in the making and now we are ready for lift off! Mel  xx