Makeup Artist and childcare business owner makes the leap from wiping little faces to doing bridal makeup!
Lauren Shearwood completed her Level 2 Makeup course from September to December in 2018 and tells us about the amazing year she’s had!
I wanted a new challenge and thought about what I could do to fit in with my childcare business and family life. I had a bit of a eureka moment sitting on my in-law’s sofa one weekend. I love makeup, I love weddings, could I be a makeup artist? I had absolutely no idea what it would involve to begin with and did a lot of research into setting up as a professional. That’s when I came across The Norwich School of Beauty who also offered the weekend courses I needed. Financially, I took advantage of the ability to pay in instalments as I completed my course which made it very manageable too.
I have been married for nearly 10 years and have 3 young children. I run my own childminding business so we have a busy household, clearly I felt I needed to add to the madness! I have a degree in management and my work history has been mostly hospitality based. Both of which have put me in good stead for setting up as a makeup artist.
The week I started the course I suffered a ruptured appendix and had to undergo emergency surgery, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from being there on my first day! I was worried I’d be the oldest (34 at the time), the only one with children, the only one who didn’t know anybody else, the only one from outside of Norfolk. I was wrong on all accounts!
It was clear from the start that we’d be well supported. The classes are small, there was only 10 of us who became friends and supported each other throughout the whole process under close guidance from our tutor Wendy and assistant Rachel. I always looked forward to going and really miss it now! The course involved homework and coursework as well as the days in college so you have to be self-motivated and prepared to really throw yourself into it. Having my classmates on Whatsapp was a massive help, especially when revising for our final exams. It always felt like a real group effort.
A year on from gaining my qualification as a makeup artist I have set up by own business specialising in bridal makeup, L S Make Up Artist (www.lsmakeupartist.co.uk) It is a dream come true for me, I love weddings and being a part of the big day! I still find it the hugest honour to be chosen by a bride every single time. They are putting their trust in you for the biggest day of their life. You need to be able to carry off their vision with your expertise which is no easy task. Be prepared to be in it for the long haul, time, practice, investment and hard work. Build a portfolio of your work, getting as much practice on as many different faces as you possibly can. Practice on all of your friends and ask only for a photo in return, this will help you to build your business. Special shout out to my husband who even let me practice on his face!
I have done make up for proms, special occasions, races, dancers and styled shoots. I love it all! I have also paid for lessons with other MUAs whose work I love. It’s important to keep challenging myself with current trends and developing new skills.
If you’re going down the same route as me as self-employed you should expect to pay out a lot in your first year, as in most new businesses I would imagine. There’s your training, insurance, kit and website. I would wait until you’ve completed your course to build your kit, when you have your certificate you can apply for makeup artist discounts from the high end brands which is a massive bonus and your clients will expect and deserve for you to be using the best products. For me it was all worth it to have my own business built from the ground up and now I’ve paid out all the major expenses it’ll be more rewarding in my second year.
I do love a product or two and if I had to choose a product to take on a desert island I’m going to be incredibly sensible, put my mum hat on and pack something with a decent SPF. I’d go for Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue which is a lovely tinted moisturiser with SPF30 . My absolute favourite product though is Hyaluronic Acid, I use one from The Ordinary. It’s proven to be a bit of a revolution in the beauty and skincare industry and I can’t live without mine. I apply it twice a day before moisturiser. It hydrates and plumps the skin, helping to smooth out fine lines.
My biggest achievement so far is recently having my work featured in a wedding blog from a styled shoot I worked on. I can now officially class myself as a published MUA and that was a proud moment for me. Teaming up with other professionals on shoots is a great way to get your work out there and meet some lovely people working in the same industry. There are websites and facebook pages devoted to styled shoots and bringing professionals together to collaborate on projects.
As I said before I am honoured and hope I’ll never forget any bride. Each wedding is so unique, but my first ever experience will stick with me forever. I had 30 minutes to prepare as they’d been let down by the MUA they’d booked and contacted me on the morning of the wedding. Bearing in mind I’d never done one before, I did the mother of the bride, mother of the groom and the bride herself in a complete whirlwind of a morning. I helped dress the bride, put on her jewellery and waved her off to the church in her Rolls Royce. After which I sat in my car, breathed a huge sigh of relief and may have let out a few happy tears. This is exactly what I’d signed up for.
Find out more about Makeup Courses with The Norwich School of Beauty