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Make-up Designer

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Linda M

00:00:03 Hello, my name is Linda M and I’m a makeup designer for television and film. At the moment what I am working on is designing Primeval Three for ITV which is impossible pictures. So, I’m the head of makeup and hair and I come up with the looks and the images of the show, keep track of continuity, make sure that the right makeup is on the right person for the right scene.

00:00:35 I have found my perfect career and I found this a long time ago. When I was at school I was not the most academic kid. I always remember my Mum saying to me, the teachers at the parent meeting saying, “Well, Linda certainly has a great time, you know, she always comes to school and has a good time.” You know, and I think if you find something that you want to do, do it to the best of your ability. And I mean, you might never be absolutely brilliant at it but as long as you can do a good job that everybody is satisfied with that so that’s great. And I find that if you’re not the most academic person in the world, as long as you’re a bit savvy and I had great parents that were real, “Go on, you can do it, you’re no bother at all, you’ll find your way.” And I think as long as you’ve got a little bit of enthusiasm about you, you’ll get on well. I left and went to college, did a business course there. It was really hard work because I was 17. I had no experience to why you need this. Why do you need to balance books and do accounts and things because it was, I had no life experience at that stage. But as long as someone says, “This is what you need to get you there,” you do it.

00:01:52 In this industry unfortunately the majority of the courses are private. So, you need a bit of money to start off and also once you’ve done those courses you need to do work experience so therefore you need a little bit of support behind you to keep you afloat while you do work experience because nobody pays you. Unfortunately that’s just how it is in the film and TV industry. Most of the courses are in London that sort of get you in the door. I’ve taken on a lot of work experience girls by having the big colleges on their CV and they’ve not done any jobs. But because I know that they’ve been trained properly I’ll give them a chance and they can come on my jobs and I’ll test their mettle and start their training. So, I’m a big advocate on training on the job.

00:02:42 From a personal point of view the hardest thing that I had to deal with is that I had a design level I went from job to job to job to job and then I had babies and it was a very difficult time for me to, “I want to do that job, all my friends are doing this job, I love it to bits, it’s the best thing in the world and but I also want to be with my kids and I want to be with them for their really early years,” and to take a little back step for a couple of years was really, really hard if you’re an ambitious person but I just think you, from a women’s point of view, if you get your career going and then you can dip out a little bit, have your kids and come back still in that top job. That’s a really important thing and I’m so glad I did it that way round.

00:03:33 Oh, it’s a silly dream. I want, me and my pal Rosie want to be up there saying, “Thanks very much for our BAFTA!” I see myself in 10 years time sitting here on the makeup bus with my ladies, having a really nice time and doing another lovely job. You know, this is it. This is my dream and I’m living it. ENDS


Linda M is a Make-up Designer for television and film, currently working on Primeval. You have to be determined (or rich) to get into this because you have to pay for your training and do unpaid work experience. But Linda feels it was well worth the effort.

More information about Beauticians and related occupations

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

16%  male 
84%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Beauticians and related workers give facial and body beauty treatments, apply cosmetics and dress wigs.
There are no minimum academic requirements for entry, although some colleges require candidates to possess GCSEs/S grades. NVQs/SVQs in Beauty Therapy are available at Levels 1, 2 and 3. Professional qualifications are also available.
  • Discusses clients requirements, analyses and advises client on appropriate skin care, and applies treatments to the face or body;
  • Massages scalp, face and other parts of the body and carries out spray tanning;
  • Uses waxing, threading, sugaring and other epilation techniques to remove any unwanted body hair;
  • Cleans, shapes and polishes finger and toe nails, applies nail extensions;
  • Applies make-up to hide blemishes or enhance facial features and advises clients on skin care and make-up techniques;
  • Performs specialist treatments for conditions such as acne, applies skin rejuvenation therapies;
  • Recognises problems and refers clients to medical practitioners if appropriate;
  • Advises clients on diet and exercise to assist in weight loss and slimming;
  • Maintains client records, sells and advises on cosmetic products and services, and ensures appropriate health and safety issues are addressed.
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