Linda has been behind some of our biggest blockbuster movies, such as Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, The Criminal, Finding Neverland and The Fifth Element. She has the experience and knowledge to ensure that any student will leave with not just first rate training but also an idea of what it takes to reach, and stay at the top in the industry! We pinned her down during her session work to find out what makes her tick!
How long have you been in the industry?
I trained as a makeup artist in 1992 in London, specialising in Film, television and prosthetics. I have now, to date, been working professionally in the industry for 21 years.
What do you love about your job?
I love the planning and the creativity that you get from a new drama or film. I also enjoy the comradeship when it comes to sharing of ideas and looking back at the completed job with your makeup artist team, hopefully with pride! The catering is normally pretty good too.
What do you not like about it?
Not much as I love my job, but here are a few negative points. As a makeup designer the challenge within my job is that in some TV shows do not give you enough time for prep or that you get your actor cast late. If you have to wig them, having to rush these fittings has the knock on effect for the wig stores. There is also the usual makeup artist grumble, especially if you do breakfast TV; early starts at 4.30pm get everyone going!
What are the perks of being a makeup artist?
You get to meet and work with some fantastically talented people, whether in-front or behind the camera. I have been lucky enough to work in some beautiful places and some horrific ones! Getting to work with my friends and sharing history with them and working in a creative industry is priceless.
Where in the world has your job taken you?
I have worked all around the UK and have also travelled to mainland Spain, Tenerife, Corfu and Finland.
What are your favourite makeup brands?
I like to use Giorgio Armani, Mac and Christian Dior.
What advice would you give anyone wanting a career as a Makeup Artist?
If you want to do this as a career, here are my tips:
- You need dedication
- Have the ability to take rejection and not to give up
- Be capable and take advice
- Learn on every job
- Be a good time keeper
- Be aware of your surroundings; if it is a quiet makeup bus, be quiet yourself
- Practice your craft and never stop learning
- Sell yourself as a good asset within the department
Which Makeup Artist’s work do you admire and why?
I admire Connor O’Sullivan who I think is an incredible prosthetic makeup designer who designed Wrath of the Titans. Also Christine Blundell who in my opinion has achieved the perfect career, and that has been recognised by her winning the Oscar for Topsy Turvey.
What are the top 5 items in your makeup bag you cannot live without?
- Dior Show Mascara
- Mac Invisible Loose Powder
- Nars Concealer Sticks
- Georgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
- Christian Dior Ultra Gloss Lip Gloss 756
What high profile campaigns/films have you worked on?
I have a BBC period 1920’s drama coming out soon called ‘Blandings’, starring Timothy Spall and Jennifer Saunders. Last year I made and applied Liam Neeson’s prosthetics on ‘Wrath of the Titans’ and I worked on ‘Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels’, which won numerous awards.
We won the ‘Best Crew’ Emmy in 2004 for ‘For Waking the Dead: Series 4. I volunteered for the ‘One Water Campaign’ commercials starring David Tennant and Claire Goose. Blockbuster movies include; ‘Fifth Element’, ‘War Horse’, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and ‘Snow white and the Huntsman’. Long may it continue!