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It's a kinda magic

By unknown | 2008-07-08 00:00:00.0

Maryanne Maina

Maryanne Maina

Does nothing make you happier than a good makeover which transforms an ordinary person into a beautiful superstar? Are fashion and beauty two of your greatest loves?

If so then a career as a professional make-up artist could be the ideal job for you. A make-up artist creates make-up and prosthetics for theatre, television, film, fashion and other productions.

Once a make-up artist has built up a good reputation, well-paying jobs are not difficult to find. This is because they have the ability to display a face to its full potential as well as establish a working relationship with the actor, photographer or person being worked on.

Make-up artists can receive their training as interns at a theater, assisting working make-up artists, or by attending a school dedicated to the profession.

They are primarily self-employed (freelancers), but they may also represent an agency or be employed by a production company.

"I am the national make-up artist for the Bobbi Brown brand in South Africa. My main responsibility is to ensure that our local make-up artists are developed and trained to maintain the very strict brand requirements of Bobbi Brown and so ensure that they stay on par with international Bobbi Brown artistry levels.

In addition I visit store events, conduct training, attend external events, deal with press and do photo shoots," says Will Malherbe.

"I started working in the cosmetic industry while studying at university and fell head over heels in love with the magic of make-up and its ability to enhance someone's natural features."

When Malherbe started working on a full-time basis, he did events for a local cosmetics brand.

"But I wanted to specialise in fashion and beauty make-up, so in 2000 I took a professional make-up artist course and then freelanced for 18 months, after which I started focusing on the retail industry where I could work with "normal people" and not just models or actors.

I find it a lot more rewarding to be able to help a woman become her very own make-up artist by showing her the right application techniques and how to choose the right make-up for her unique skin tone so that her foundation especially looks completely natural."

A matric is essential for anyone hoping to enter this profession. Malherbe also recommends a specialised course in fashion or beauty make-up.

To freelance you need your own make-up kit. It is important to use high quality products. By spending more on your kit, your make-up applications will look so much better

His work is glamorous but demanding. "I'd say my job is more challenging than demanding. But quite frankly, if it wasn't, I think I'd lose interest very quickly," he says. "I travel quite extensively which can be exhausting."

So, what is a typical day like? "I prefer to start my day early to keep all my admin up to date - but no two days are ever the same, and the job covers many aspects. An average working day could range from a fashion shoot and an in-store Bobbi Brown event, to training our make-up artists, attending media interviews and working with international Bobbi Brown make-up artists visiting South Africa," he says.