Name: Cydney Beasley
Job title: Make-up Artist
Career path: Not all shoots enable you to go with your ideas; for some projects you receive a fixed brief in the TV script or from a fellow creative. You have to get inside their minds and really understand their concepts to be able to deliver the looks they desire. However, I will sometimes offer advice or opinion when I feel that it might be worth changing a particular aspect of the make-up.
I studied Media Make-up for Film and TV at the Yorkshire College of Beauty which I highly recommend and I went straight to University with these qualifications. I am now in my second year of my Make-up for Fashion BA(Hons) at the University of Salford. My studies involved an in-depth study of the history of makeup and have a good level of technical ability across all the historical periods. This has helped me gain a broader perspective on make-up and you can see elements of different periods of make-up making their way onto the runways today. The looks might have been exaggerated and adapted to suit today’s culture but the inspiration has come from historical reference.
My ideas come from art, sculpture, fashion, popular culture and movements and also what is happening in society. I take my inspiration from so many sources but the important aspect is to present and create your own ideas and concepts ensuring they are original.
Ideas & Planning: I don’t think I have any unique way of planning my work. I ensure that I am fully prepared and fully understand my role on the day. My kit and product always have to be up to date and cleaned after each use. I am also a CIDESCO graduate which has given me an in-depth insight into anatomy, beauty, cosmetology and skincare. This helps me with my work as I’m able to analyse skin and bone structure so I fully understand what I need to do to achieve the right look. These additional qualifications are helpful for all my prosthetics and special effects work.
My way of working depends on the booking: if it is a fashion show then you have a limited time to create each look and you cannot deviate from this. For a styled editorial you may have more time but e-commerce you may have to shoot several looks in half a day. Whatever the shoot depends on, it’s important to ensure your models and actors feel at ease and are comfortable.
Earnings can vary enormously depending upon what shoot you might be booked for. I have been fortunate to be chosen for a number of location shoots and one I really enjoyed was in Italy as it stretched my confidence and abilities to be able to work abroad with a team of creatives I had not met before.
I was also the assistant hair and make-up artist to the TOP 10 artist Jamie Lawson, for his video, The Answer. I consider myself lucky to have met my fashion idol, Jean Paul Gaultier on a shoot in London just before he announced his retirement.
Jobs as a MUA can vary as I am a represented artist. My agent ensures that the appropriate rate is negotiated for the job in line with all the rules and regulations for our sector. Rates can vary greatly depending upon the genre of the shoot and client. For some film and TV productions that require specialist work it can be much more, the same applies with the haute couture runway shows.
Networking: I am represented by Boss Creatives Agency, part of the prestigious Boss Model Management in Manchester who are well known for scouting the supermodel, Karen Elson. As I belong to an agency, I have the ability to be able to collaborate and meet up with a wide range of other creative people including other MUAs, photographers, fashion stylists and producers.
To be successful in this industry it is all about connections and networking. In the beginning of my career I took on many unpaid opportunities to help build my portfolio, this is essential to establishing yourself within your chosen genre.
Quote to live by: “If you want to be original, be ready to be copied” – Coco Chanel. This quote means a lot to me as everyone has a voice today through social media and many people describe themselves as a MUA who perhaps have not undergone the formal training route. For me, being a MUA is an art and it is also a craft as I use my hands. I am striving to broaden my horizons and to highlight my unique selling points within the very competitive industry.
I am constantly learning my craft and along with my technical ability it is really important to develop your own style and where you can be controversial to help generate emotion from your work . I am still young at 20 and am the youngest creative agent my agency has signed which I am most grateful for as they also believe in my abilities. My aim is develop a style that will be recognised and it will be my selling point.
Cydney’s Top Tips:
- Be on time, never be late for a shoot.
- Be prepared, always ensure you have the right equipment and products.
- Be flexible – shoots can change at the last minute and you must be able to work longer hours to get the job done or to change a look in a short space of time.
- Be confident in your abilities on set – ask the Director or Photographer to stop if you feel you need to make any adjustments.
- Communicate – you will be working as part of a team and it’s important to make a good impression and ensure you understand what is expected of you.
All graphics by Hannah McCreath