Broaden Your Skills as a Make-up Artist

To stay competitive and relevant, make-up artists must continuously learn and adapt. Jo Chang emphasises the benefits of enrolling at Brushstroke, which offers up-to-date training from industry professionals who work as make-up artists themselves. The school’s location within a film studio also provides students with valuable insight into on-set work.

Brushstroke knows how important it is to broaden your skills as a make-up artist which is why we welcome ‘returners’ on our courses. For Jo Chang, enrolling on our 6 Month Make-up and Hair Course was an important step towards helping her break into different parts of the industry. Jo had previously trained in New Zealand and, though successfully working in fashion and for MAC cosmetics, she wanted to learn more about film and TV make-up. She also wanted to add hairdressing and styling and working with wigs to her set of skills so training with Brushstroke was the obvious choice for her. We asked Jo to tell us more.

How did Brushstroke help broaden your skills as a make-up artist?

By being so close to what’s happening across the industry. The tutors work as make-up artists so, as a student, you are learning current skills and given first-hand information (and all the backstage goss!). You learn what products to use now, as well as what would have been used 20 years ago. Also being, based within a film studio means you learn tricks and get the inside track on working on set.

What was your ‘stand out’ subject?

I really enjoy special effects so these sessions taught Barney Nikolic and Catrin Thomas were brilliant. It was so cool to be able to imagine something in your head and then create it straightaway, right in front of you!

What have you been doing since leaving Brushstroke?

After the course, I went back to New Zealand, because there was a lot of film work coming up. I worked on The Shannara Chronicles for MTV, and a few episodes of an Australian TV series called 800 Words. Since arriving back in London, I have worked regularly for fashion website ASOS and a promotional video for environmental charity, Heart of England Forest. I have also been working on short films, music videos and bridal work.

What advice would you give to a student studying make-up for the first time?

Be focused. You need to make the most out of the investment you’ve made in your training. When looking for jobs and work experience, say “yes” to as much as possible because every job is an opportunity to develop your skills – and network.

Which make-up artist do you admire?

Currently, it’s Terry Barbour, who is the Director of Makeup Artistry for MAC Cosmetics. I have followed him since I was in New Zealand years ago, and was fortunate enough to be a part of his team during Australian Fashion Week. He is very old school yet inspirationally creative – he references the past a lot but makes it current, innovative and fashionable!

What are your future career plans?

I would like to go into education and training and pass on my knowledge and skills to the next generation of make-up artists.

Good luck Jo – we know how rewarding it is to train the next generation of make-up artists!