At the peak of the global pandemic, all creatives were faced with the uncertainty of what would come next. Some have been lucky enough to go straight back into work; like nothing has happened. However, make-up artists have seemly had the most setbacks when it comes to the new Covid-19 legislation.

Here at F Word, we wanted to provide a rich insight into what it has been like to be a make-up artist during this pandemic and to find out about our creatives lockdown experiences. This, along with asking for some predictions for the future of the industry, discovering how their day-to-day work has been affected during this unpredictable time, and discuss all things from their careers to their creative passions.

To accompany this, F Word set the task for these creatives to produce a visual representation- through any medium of their choice- that showcases themselves and their career over the past few months.

How has your creativity been affected during lockdown? Tom Fraser: At the beginning, I was almost hyper creative. I was so busy with commercial work back before lockdown kicked in, that having time to take a break from the "samesy" work and let my ideas whirl around in my head was the best thing I could have asked for as a creative. Then, when you add the blazing sunshine to that, all I had was colour on my mind and I ploughed myself into making as many beautiful things as I could, albeit on myself. It was a lot of fun and people really responded to it. However, it was only later when time began to slow down, and the very real prospect of losing all that I had worked for was becoming more of a reality, that I felt everything drain away. I didn’t want to play with colour any more, and I didn’t want to create.

T.F: There’s quite a sharp juxtaposition in trends that I’m noticing in terms of general consumers. You can tell that a lot of people thrived from their makeup-free days, because there just wasn’t the pressure to have to put yourself together for such a long time. On the other side of things, there were loads of people who finally found their feet in makeup, because they had the time and space to practice, and hit the tutorials hard. So, I see there being two really strong camps moving forward and maybe people are going to fall quite heavily in either direction. The first is your true makeup minimalist, who is big on their skincare and not much else, because the world might end tomorrow, so why bother? And then, there’s your makeup maximalist, who’s rocking about a hundred colours on their eyes because it’s mask city for the foreseeable, so why not throw caution to the wind and play up your eyes?

Why did you become a make-up artist and how long have you been working as one?

T.F: I became a make-up artist because I had awful acne growing up, and it was a tool that helped me feel more confident when I went out to face the world. It was totally transformational, and I fell in love with giving that feeling of confidence to other people, and then stumbled upon the more creative stuff as I kept going. When I do make-up, though I’m chatting away to my model or client, it’s the only time my mind is truly quiet, and I just feel a total sense of satisfaction when I see the final “product". I’ve been doing it for around 5 years now, so still fairly “new” in terms of the established makeup artists out there, but I’m in it for the long haul, so this is just the beginning.

Have the last few months made you contemplate a career change, if yes, what did you consider and if no, what have you done to adapt to the new restrictions? T.F: I previously had an office job as a translator before I changed career to become a makeup artist, so having already turned my life upside down once before to chase my make-up dream, I knew for a fact I wasn’t giving up, come what may. I was however, quite clear that I may need to do some other work in the short term to make sure I can keep going. You do whatever it takes. It’s not unusual for people to have several jobs when they first start out at make-up, because it’s quite hard to break into, and although I am established now and didn’t need a second job before, during lockdown I dipped my toes back into the translation world. Having used a lot of my savings up during the first lockdown, I need to be sure that I can keep earning if we’re forced to take another 5 month break. I know I’m very lucky to have this as a back-up, and it’s a position not a lot of us are in, so I suppose there was a reason I went through all those years at school and university in the end.


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