Warpaint's Juila Townsend reviews The Makeup School

Julia Townsend. One of the most well-known and respected educators in the UK & contributor to the online makeup magazine Warpaint, her legacy from her time at West Thames College is legendary & now combining a successful freelance career along with her makeup range of glitters, TMS was thrilled that Julia found the time to visit us & review the school. Here's what Julia has to say on TMS...

I went to visit The Makeup School (TMS) headed by Jacqui McElroy who is a well-established make-up artist working in editorial, commercials and music video.  TMS offer courses in London and also Glasgow, and has a constructive and detailed website which gives a clear breakdown of the courses, location and prices.

After exploring the training areas in London for make-up artists, Jacqui felt there was a lack of training on a 1:1 basis in small groups and designed her school on this concept.  I arranged to visit her at her London premises based in West London at the prestigious Loft Studios, a short walk from Kensal Green Tube station, and with the very clear instructions from Jacqui’s team, I found the location very easily.  Loft Studios is housed in a scenic Victorian building which has been converted into state of the art photographic spaces and Jacqui uses a set room for her teaching sessions.  This is an impressive location for anyone starting out in the fashion make-up industry, as the studios are in constant use with photographers and fashion industry teams.

Jacqui organises and plans all the courses, adapting training needs for each individual.  The teaching room is well equipped for small groups and can accommodate up to six students comfortably.  The sessions are well planned with Jacqui offering two demonstrations of key designs each day, to encourage the students to work on ideas and build up their own skills and speeds to work in a demanding industry.  Jacqui is the main tutor and brings in a high quality team of other reputable tutors who are very established in the fashion make-up industries.  I watched an impressive demonstration of a dramatic eye make-up and was pleased to see Jacqui review health and safety aspects, care of the artiste while introducing the students to a wide selection of products to use to create this look.  Productwise the school is very well stocked with an impressive range of brands including MAC, Laura Mercier, Nars, Stila, Kryolan and Bobbi Brown.

Aftercare is important too and the TMS Agency was established to give students a kick start to their careers.  Jobs on offer are exclusive to TMS graduates and can vary enormously, generally ranging from production companies shooting commercials, pop promos or short films, to photographers shooting look books or fashion.  Graduates are not cherry picked, instead this works on a first come, first served basis with opportunities promoted on the website and social media pages.

The courses are aimed at make-up artists aiming to work in the fashion sector of the industry.  Jacqui’s knowledge and experience is a real strength to the teaching delivered on the programme, as she knows the industry inside out and teaches well.  The courses are clearly defined and are structured into four sections.

Bronze – 1 Day Taster Class £200

An entry level day, this taster offers the student an opportunity to view the facilities, watch demos and then practice make-up application under Jacqui’s supervision and guidance.  All products and brushes are supplied for this class.  Fundamentally this is a chance to see if this is the right course for the student and allows Jacqui to do Q&A sessions alongside gaining new skills.  It’s a great value option, as if students then book onto either the Silver or Platinum class, the cost of the taster day will be deducted.

Silver – 5 Day Beginners Course £995

This is a five day intensive course offering two demonstrations on a daily basis to allow students to achieve two make-up applications each day.  Following the demo, students work in pairs practicing to build up their technical ability and all student work is supervised by the watchful eye of Jacqui.  All skincare and make-up products are supplied for this course and students will learn the basics of health and safety, skin care, make-up applications to include contouring, highlighting, foundation selections, natural and dramatic make-up.  Structured to be intensive and in-depth covering a wide selection of techniques, the course also includes a brush set and a shopping day to build up the students’ kits, which give them an opportunity to visit pro makeup stores and receive a generous discount that they would struggle to access on their own.  On completion of this course, the student will be able to work in the fashion, editorial, makeover and bridal industries, and it’s also a good investment for anyone wishing to embark on a career in Makeup Retail.

Gold – 4 Day Advanced Course £1250

Running over four days, this offers the student the prospect of gaining more in-depth creative skills to build into the skills they have previously gained on the Silver training programme.  This schedule includes editorial themed makeup including cut crease and glitter style designs, and students get a brush set, a photographic shoot and a shopping day.

Platinum – 10 Day Combined Course £2000

A cost-effective option that combines the Silver and Gold courses, students cover all the work in the Silver and Gold from beginner to advanced during a two week period at a saving of £245.

I enjoyed the session I attended at TMS.  A good quality teacher, Jacqui is very knowledgeable about her subject and she shares this freely with her students.  These courses are designed for individuals and small group learning which in turn offers plenty of 1:1 training.  For more information, contact TMS at www.themakeupschool.co.uk