When a PR rep for the Academy of Makeup approached me to do a feature on director and founder, Lindsay Shields, I was thrilled. Baltimore has always been lacking in educational resources for makeup artists so the Academy of Makeup has been working to fill that void. (side note: I've been wanting to take a few of the Academy's continuing education classes for a while). Yesterday I stopped by the Academy of Makeup in Cockeysville during an airbrush makeup class to take some pictures and interview Lindsay.
So let's start with the obvious. What made you decide to become a makeup artist?
I’ve always loved makeup. When I was little I remember my mother saying to me “you never leave the house without your face on.” It’s something that stuck with me. I was a professional ballet dancer and had to do makeup for shows. I found myself always doing makeup for others in the shows as well. My dancing career was all through high school and college where I also continued to apply makeup for others on the side. A knee injury ended my dancing career but makeup was always a continuing passion. It wasn’t until later in life that I took the leap of faith and became a full time makeup artist.
How did you get into teaching?
I started doing basic instruction with women in their homes. It could be a party or a one-on-one session but I was always traveling onsite to the client to teach them how to use the massive amounts of makeup they already owned. While in school to become a Certified Makeup Artist, I found that there were a lot of “holes” in the curriculum that I had learned over the years working with clients. I wanted to fill them. I wanted to open a school to provide a quality of education that I find is lacking in other local schools.
Tell me about opening the Academy. There is definitely a lack of options for those seeking advanced education in makeup artistry in Baltimore so your school definitely fills that void.
Yes! I feel like we fill a void because we are offering classes in our curriculum that is not offered anywhere else. It took a while to get accredited through the State of Maryland but it was an important process and the day we got our approval letter I knew I had accomplished something big. Our program’s wide variety of classes and ongoing education workshops sets us a part and I’m very proud of that.
What do you wish your students knew before enrolling in your program?
I want students to know that when they graduate The Academy of Makeup they will be prepared to the best of our ability to immediately work in the makeup artistry field. We offer continuing education classes at a discount to all of our enrolled students and graduates. This includes celebrity makeup artists we bring in! Students should know that the kit they receive from us, they will not find anywhere else at a school locally.
We also want our students to know that all of their instructors work as full time makeup artists. This keeps the curriculum and instructional techniques current. We are also able to keep the students up to date on the newest trends!
There is a lot of debate between editorial makeup and Instagram makeup. What's your opinion?
Editorial makeup tends to be more on the softer side. Making each facial feature more dramatic is not the focus unlike Instagram. Every facial feature is over dramatized and not natural. There are great makeup artists on Instagram so in no way am I trying to discourage students from viewing their work but most of the time it’s not what the every day woman is looking for. Editorial makeup you will see re-touching but with Instagram not only you will see re-touching but also filters and a slew of options on changing your already dramatic look.
Most of the makeup artist jobs in Baltimore are in the bridal or retail industries. What advice do you have for an artist that wants to break into special effects or editorial or film?
Maryland has become a hotspot for television and film with shows such as House of Cards etc. There are a ton of production companies locally that are always searching for all kinds of talent. Sometimes its just being in the right place at the right time but sometimes it’s putting yourself in the right place. Have a strong portfolio and put yourself out there. Social media is a big source of finding positions in this industry. Employers are always looking so make sure you are using the correct hashtags. As a special effects artist you can also look for the areas that use this type of makeup the most such as haunted houses or theme parks.
Which makeup artists do you follow on Instagram or YouTube?
One of my all time favorite makeup artists is Goss Makeup artist. He is on YouTube and is very informative for professional artists. I follow Lisa Eldridge, Bobbi Brown, Charlotte Tilbury, Pat McGrath just to name a few.
Name a celebrity (female, please!) you'd like to makeover and tell us what you would do.
I would love to see a more natural look on Kim Kardashian. Yes, we’ve seen her without makeup but she always has a contour to the max. I would love to get my hands on her face! I would also love to take on Taylor Swift. I think about 90% of the time we see her with a sort of red or bold lip with a cat eye. I’d love to change that up!
To find out more information on the Academy of Makeup, visit www.theacademyofmu.com.