Model – Laura Faye
Photographer – David Long
Make up Artist – Amy Prifti
Sheeba Magazine asked if they could interview me for their March issue ‘Make Me Up’
I was excited by this idea – I always find it easier to answer questions than to ‘free text’ as I am guided by something so I hastily agreed.
Over came the interview, complete with 22 questions!
This took me three weeks to complete – I must admit that I am not the world’s best writer, my grammar isn’t always correct, my writing doesn’t always flow, and although I know what I’m trying to say, my point doesn’t always get across.
I also have to write up all my thoughts and then go back and edit these at a later date to make sure that I am writing something that I mean,
Also, answering 22 questions all in one go is a no-no for me, so I took a few questions at a time, leaving the most difficult ones for when I had more time to fully consider them.
So, I answered my questions and sent them back to Sheeba magazine along with a few of my favourite images.
Well, you can imagine my surprise when I opened by email today to discover that Sheeba magazine had chosen one of my images to be on their front cover, and that I was the ‘featured make-up artist’, I’m not gonna lie, I am extremely excited by this….. It does feel that my hard work had paid off!
Now, I realise that the text on these images is very small so I will write the interview for you here (in case anyone is interested in actually reading the full interview)
1.Amy, can you please introduce yourself to our readers. What prompted or inspired you to get into make-up business? I grew up with my parents working in costume for theatre, film and television and although they wanted me to follow in their footsteps; my heart always chose make-up and hair. I am based in Lewes, East Sussex, England and have worked as a make-up artist since 1996, being a full time freelance make-up artist and hair stylist since 2004. I have my bridal business and opened my own make-up school in 2015 – The Sussex Make-up Academy so that I can share my knowledge with up and coming make-up artists. I design hair and make-up for catwalks and am known for my creative make-up artistry for photoshoots. I also work at Glyndebourne Opera House and make wigs for various theatre productions.
2. Do you remember what was your first make-up job? I was lucky enough to gain work experience on Hamlet, directed by Kenneth Brannagh and staring Kate Winslet. I was part of the hair and make-up crew and I had to clean make-up brushes and sponges as well as organise hair clips before I was allowed to help out with styling hair and applying make-up on extras! – I still have a few sneaky photos that I took whilst on the film set. It was a fantastic opportunity to get and I learnt so much
3.You regularly work with some of the most beautiful women. How does that shape your definition of beauty? How do we define beauty? I must admit, I find it really difficult to say who I do and don’t find beautiful because for me, you are only beautiful on the outside if you are beautiful on the inside, therefore what is beauty? I can look at a face and know whether it is a ‘good face’ to work on with lots of facial expressions and fantastic, big features, but if a model has an attitude problem, then I don’t find them attractive in the slightest. I don’t believe in hierarchy and that some people deserve to be treated better than others, I believe in equality and treating others as you wish to be treated. I believe that everyone is beautiful and unique.
4. What is the most exciting opportunity you have had as a freelance artist? And looking back, what was the hardest? What a difficult question to answer! Most exciting opportunity; My mind is racing from film sets I have worked on to creating looks on celebrities for magazines to a photo shoot in the Maldives, to helping create different make-up ranges, to designing hair and make-up for catwalks to help out new and upcoming designers! I think this is showing me that nearly every single job I take on excites me and makes me realise just how lucky I am to have the job that I do.
My most exciting opportunity was opening up the Sussex Make-up Academy in 2015 and I look forward to supporting all students who attend my course and looking forward to seeing what they achieve for themselves.
My hardest job was working with a reality TV star who was so rude that I almost walked out on the job. – I had to accept an apology so I could stay to complete the job I was booked for.
5. Your portfolio ranges from Bridal make-up to Beauty, Fashion and Editorial. Which is the most favourite for you? The favourite make-up for me to create is extremely creative work for photo shoots, this is me in my element and at my happiest. I am lucky that models are happy to let me do whatever I want on their face, knowing that they will have something new for their portfolio. Saying that, there are not a lot of paid jobs around so this type of work doesn’t pay the mortgage. My favourite paid job is weddings. I love creating hair and make-up for people’s wedding days and working with the general public. I get to be with them on their happiest day of their life and love applying makeup naturally to enhance their features.
6. Can you please explain what is the difference between applying make-up for live appearance and make-up for a TV/commercial shoot? Well that depends on what the live appearance is. For theatre, say, the make up would be a lot heavier stage make-up but not too heavy for the people in the front row, yet can still be seen by members of public in the back row. Live make-up for brides is a real talent, you have to apply make-up so that when people see her in person, it doesn’t look too much, yet the make-up needs to be enough to be captured by the photographer, this is a fine line to get right and is so important as it is how you look in your wedding photos that will stay with you forever.
With HD filming now, we can no longer get away with the heavier foundation and make-up like we used to apply. It is really important to get the skin looking as natural as possible as everything shows up and is enlarged on TV now making those wrinkles more noticeable! Therefore a light hand is needed to cover up imperfections. The main difference is shine and how much shine shows up on camera, so it is really important to set the make-up well with either a matte powder or matifying fixing spray.
7. If you turn up at a show/shoot and the model has terrible skin, what do you do? This does happen quite often, mainly due to the young age of models. The first thing to remember is that I am a make-up artist, not a magician! If a model does turn up with bad skin, they are normally very apologetic and very self-conscious. There is no reason to pick up on this with the model as it will only make them feel more self-conscious and this will show in front of the camera. I do find that it is my job as a make-up artist to also make the model feel beautiful and to give her a lots of confidence so that they can perform well in front of the camera. If a model does have bad skin, I would normally use a foundation that has a lot of coverage, for example Supercover or Dermacolor and then I would speak to the photographer very quietly and point out a few problem areas so that they can either change the lighting to make the skin look more flattering, or will need to clean this up in photo shop post production.
8. Why is having a make-up artist essential to a photographer? What can make-up artist provide to help a photographer to make one’s images stand out? I wish I could give you this answer, that all photographers would read it and that it would make a huge impact on how photographers credit ‘make-up artists’ and their importance. A make-up artist will create looks that you can only dream of photographing, this will put a lot of variety into your portfolio and show off different skills as a photographer. Working together should broaden your entire outlook as to what can be achieved and it should make you a better photographer, likewise, it should also push the make-up artist to become better. Get out of your comfort zones, try something different, and remember, versatility is gained through working as a team, preparation is everything.
9. Where do you find your inspiration for your makeup looks? From everywhere! Because I am mainly attracted to creative make-up looks, I now spend most of my time on pinterest putting mood boards together, I love seeing other MUAs work on social media and this really inspires me, I am currently watching the likes of make-up artists Gwen Reece, Anna Lingis, Pierangela Manzetti and Joanna Strange as they are achieving wonderful and alternative creations to aspire to. I have a lot of creative friends who message me with inspirational photos from time to time, and love getting inspiration from my friends Chrissie Nicholson-Wild ( Bikini and Couture designer) and Isaac Raymond (Young designer) – They always given me inspiration. I also like to watch out for photographer Martin Higgs and Gingerface Model as well as Somnolent Images by Juliette Lichman, Photographer Emily Soto and Designer Hysteria Machine, there are too many inspirational creative people for me to mention! I also take inspiration from world events, what is happening in the news and by trying out new things that contradict each other. Both the Alexander McQueen and David Bowie exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum were huge inspirations for me too.
I’m also terrible at being told what I can’t or shouldn’t achieve so normally do the opposite to prove people wrong, therefore finding inspiration from negatives, which I believe is a talent in itself!
10. What hair and makeup looks are currently trending for brides? In my experience so far this year, brides are opting for delicate dresses with lace coming up quite high to the neck, therefore hair is effortlessly being put up into a low loose style around the nape of the neck so it doesn’t hide the beautiful neckline of the dress. There are lots of twists and curls being incorporated and very small fresh flowers ad incorporated to finish off the look. Make-up is more dewy and fresh looking this year, with brides wanting to add a little sparkle and colour to their eyes, with plenty of mascara to make the most of them. Lips are defined and natural.
11.Can you name some of your favourite hair and makeup products to use? My professional kit is full of Kryolan, Dermacolor, and Supercover for foundation, concealer, powder, eyeshadows, blush and lips. I also use nyx cosmetics for eyeliners and concealer pencils and I always use Maybelline mascara – They are the best!
My personal kit contain more high-street products, with garnier, MUA, Rimmel and my trusty Maybelline mascara.
12. In your opinion what are some products every girl needs in her makeup bag? A good concealer and mascara would be my top two products, that with a nice lipstick colour and you can practically make up your entire face. You can always apply a little of the lipstick onto your cheeks using your finger to create a natural blush, and if you smudge your mascara out, this can create a smoky look for your eyes. If your skin can get away with it, a little concealer applied in the correct place should be all you need. If you feel you need more coverage, I would recommend a BB cream.
13. Amy, what would be your #1 make-up tip? Wear Red Lipstick! Even if you have applied no other make-up, when you wear red lipstick, people always think that your face is made up! It will also brighten up your face, and your day.
14. As a makeup artist, you must be ahead when it comes to spring-summer beauty trends. What are some of your favourite looks for the season? So far on the catwalks, I have been noticing a lots more colour coming back which excites me muchly! – No, don’t think 1980’s over the top eye make-up and crimped hair, but do think using a pink, green or blue eye shadow teamed up with a natural colour on the lips to go along with understated hair, or red and gold lips teamed with dark smouldering eyes and a more elaborated hair style. It seems that at last, we are bringing individuality back onto the catwalk with an almost ‘anything goes’ (depending on what you are teaming it up with). I am a huge colour person and it will be really nice to see people to put a bit more colour into their make up this year.
16. In your opinion, what do you think are some of the keys to being a successful makeup artist? Never think you are bigger than you are. Keep level headed and stay true to the person that you are. To be a successful make-up artist you need to be able to take on any job that you are offered. Never think that you are too qualified to do a children’s face painting birthday party. Never take your work for granted. This is a tough industry to make it in, and we must all support one another. It is important to work within different sectors, but it is also it is important to pass work on to friends and colleagues that you know. Remember, what comes around goes around. Don’t badmouth people and always be grateful for the work you are given.
Saying that, be the best that you can be, always step back and look at your work to make sure that you are 100% happy to put it in front of the camera and always remember that only team work will make the best result. Without a model or photographer, a make-up artist is just a person with a brush.
17. What role does social media play in your makeup artistry business? Huge, huge, huge role! It’s where I get to share my work, it’s where I get noticed, it’s where I meet people and also collaborate. I will always let other artists know when I think they have achieved something amazing and I am so grateful to anyone who admires and shares my work. I get a lot of wedding bookings through my facebook business page, and most of my students find the Sussex make-up academy on facebook first. I also use Twitter, Youtube, Blogger and Instagram. It is great to be able to connect with so many creative people and to swap ideas and advice.
18. What advice would you give to makeup artists starting out and trying to find photographers to work with? There are plenty of places to find photographers to work with but you must remember that nobody ‘owe’s you anything, and in return, you do not ‘owe’ anything to anyone. Collaborations are great and a really important step towards you becoming an established make-up artist, and to start building up your portfolio. Always remember who helped you in your career.
Saying that, collaboration’s should be mutual – You should be prepared to discuss what looks you want to create and what you need in your portfolio to show how diverse you are and then find a photographer who requires the same things as you. You should also remember the amount of time that photographers put into their work post production so always agree on terms and conditions preshoot to save any awkwardness after. Always set your expectations first.
Make sure you do your background – people are only as good as their worst photo, make sure you see a variety of work to make certain that you are working with the best people for your project.
19. How do you feel about digital manipulation and post processing to help makeup artists to represent their works? Ooh, touchy subject! And I don’t believe that there is one true answer. I feel that too many photographers these days don’t see the true quality of adding a make-up artist to their shoot because today’s attitude is that ‘you can change all that in photo shop’ My attitude is that if you have a good make-up artist, you don’t need to spend hours improving skin and make-up in photo shop, and can concentrate on the overall photo…. What takes 5 mins for a make-up artist to do on the shoot can take 5 hours for you to do in photo shop so always communicate with each other – I really don’t mind a photographer asking me to change things before they take a photo, saying that, if I don’t agree with them, I won’t always change it so if they was to make that change in Photo Shop I wouldn’t be happy.
There was one shoot that I did when I totally disagreed with all the changes the editor had made, they totally changed my make up so that where I had applied softly blended eye shadow, they decided that this should be a hard line and the outcome was all wrong. This really upset me and we had to find a way forward so that everyone was happy with the outcome.
My overall feeling is that everyone needs to work together to get the look that you are wanting to achieve and communicate otherwise it will end in tears!
Saying that, photo shop done well and with the right imagination can create wild and wonderful images and some of my favourite images are creative works done in photo shop.
20. Where can we see more of your work and get connected with you? Hopefully nearly everywhere! I love meeting new people and finding out their thoughts and what they would like to achieve! My make-up academy website for those looking to train in Make-up artistry and hair styling is sussexmakeupacademy.co.uk and my Bridal website is www.bridalmakeupbyamy.co.uk you can see some of my portfolio of work here www.amyprifti.co.uk, Bridal facebook, Sussex Make-up Academy facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Purpleport and Model Mayhem
21. What are some projects do you have coming up? I have just had London Fashion week with Annabelle’s Wigs for Lino Carbosiero and I am filming new make-up tutorials in February for my Sussex Make-up Academy YouTube channel. I’m teaching hair styling and hair extensions at various colleges throughout the UK for Annabelle’s Wigs, I have an underwater photo shoot in March and am booked for a photo shoot for a new make-up brand and another for a sweet 16th Birthday Present. My new make-up courses start at the end of February and I am really looking forward to teaching them. My summer is almost entirely booked up with weddings and my season at Glyndebourne Opera House starts in May, so plenty of variety to look forward to .
22. Favourite part of being a hair and makeup artist? Meeting new people and getting to transform them and having the power to make people feel really happy about themselves. That, plus the variety of work.
23. Please share something people don’t know about you. I met my husband when I was 19, I have two beautiful boys and I have been free diving with sharks in the Maldives. I also love getting muddy whilst competing in OCR obstacle races with Urban Outdoor Fitness which I love.