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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? Vicky Alice: I think personal creativity is something that is always naturally evolving and progressing even if we don’t notice it happening. Lockdown for me became a process of finding new ways to express my art outside of the normal boundaries of everyday life. I am very grateful to have been in the situation I was for lockdown. My Dad usually lives in Vietnam but when he’s in the UK he lives by the beach, so it was really special to spend all that time with him. I loved having the break from work and life, and a lot of the time it felt like a holiday with some of the people I love the most. As the weeks past we quickly fell into a routine in our little bubble and as everyone else in our house was working from home, I found myself with a lot of spare time to get creative! Coming from an artistic background, creating art has always been so therapeutic to me and I played around with many different mediums throughout lockdown. Of course, the first was makeup; I get a lot of work through my social media, so I had to keep up the content and what better canvas than your own face! I never really went crazy with it, I just wanted to create beautiful looks that made me happy. I then went onto sketching, chalks, oil pastels, paints and embroidery. In my art I naturally focus on portraiture and I decided to create art using images of my makeup work. This made my art more personal and became a nice progression from doing makeup every day in my job, to replicating my own work into pieces of art!

What beauty trends do you think we’ll see going forward and any predictions for the beauty industry? V.A: ‘Mask life’ has become a huge part of our culture since the start of Covid-19, so that has definitely affected the way people do their own makeup. The only part of your face that is really visible when wearing a mask is your eyes, so already that has become more of the statement look for many people. Wearing less foundation is another factor, as it will only rub-off onto your mask and ruin the look. Mask-acne (‘maskne’) has also become a big issue for many, so I know a lot of people that have really invested in better skin care products to help tackle this issue. So as for a beauty trend moving forwards, it’s definitely going to be statement eyes and brows, less foundation/lipstick and a good skin care regime. The beauty industry has definitely struggled in this time. I know so many people who work in makeup retail that have been made redundant; as companies don’t need as many staff to work in store anymore and that’s due to the change in the public’s shopping habits because of lockdown. Another friend of mine who works for a makeup brand in store, is now working remotely from home doing online live makeup consultations. This is definitely going to be a way the makeup retail industry will evolve from this situation. For all the freelancers out there, it has really been a struggle as we rely so much on finding our own work and our job is not one that can be done without being in contact with people. As Makeup Artists, we were always taught the importance of working hygienically, so the added PPE and sanitization regime will not be an issue for us. I understand the apprehension when hiring a Makeup Artist now, but my hope is that companies see the value in our work and understand that we always strive to work safely so that they don’t find alternative ways of fulfilling our role for example with Photoshop. Only time will tell!

Why did you become and make-up artist and how long have you been working as one? V.A: I have been a make-up artist for seven years now and I love my job so much! Make-up was something that I had never thought about doing until one Halloween. I was going to a fancy-dress party and I decided to go as Lady Gaga from her ‘Born This Way’ video; for those who haven’t seen it, she dresses up in a tuxedo and has an incredible skull painted on her face. I had never done anything like that before so it was uncharted territory for me. I went to show my Mum and she said “Well why don’t you do this!!” and that’s when the light bulb moment happened for me that night. Art was always my strong suit but I had never considered going into such an artistically creative profession, so I went on to study Specialist Hair & Makeup Design for two years and have loved every second of it!

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? V.A: I wouldn’t say Covid-19 or lockdown has made me reconsider my job as I’m very fortunate to be at a good place in my career, but I can definitely say I have considered it a few times throughout my career! What a lot of people don’t realise when starting out in the make-up industry (myself included), is how difficult it is and how long it takes to get yourself established. Courses teach you all the practical skills but barely show you anything of what you need to know for the business side of things. I wish I knew what I know now when I was first starting out, and because of that I’d love to become a make-up teacher at some point in the future of my career.

In the past when I did consider other career paths, it was always when something bad had happened or my career wasn’t where I wanted it to be by that point in time. I considered so many different professions to be honest! I thought about being a receptionist as a quick way out, a studio assistant as I have an insight into that world and I also thought about going back to my roots of art and looked for work in art galleries! If I hadn’t become a make-up artist I probably would have been a nurse, as my Mum worked in the Pharmaceutical Industry and when I was young my Nan had a stroke which hinders her ability to talk; therefore I’ve always grown up with an insight into that world and I was in a family situation where I grew up to be more caring for people with disabilities. That is the reason why my sister is a nurse! But despite all the bumps along the way, I do not regret following my dream and sticking with it. I feel very lucky to do what I love and I’m so excited for the future!



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