5 Minutes With / LPA Style / Claire Louise
We spent 5 minutes with LPA Style Hair and Make Up Artist Claire Louise to find out about whether a life of beautifying celebs and models is as glamorous as it sounds! Claire Louise's diverse skill sees her traverse the worlds of music, fashion, film and TV with ease as well as working regularly on LPA photoshoots. Read on to find out more...
Claire Louise working her magic on set
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
I trained in the following areas..
Fashion and photographic, film and TV, SPFX, prosthetics, wig making and dressing and hair styling. Over the last 10 years I have worked in the West End, on music promos, fashion shows, films, TV, live performances, photo shoots and commercials. I have a keen interest in natural health, beauty and well being. I practice reiki and massage in my spare time (sometimes on jobs too). I also write health and beauty articles for various sites and magazines.
How did you become a Hair & Make up Artist?
I always wanted to be a make up artist but was never really sure how to get into it. When I was little I would use my Mum's eye shadows to create bruises and black eyes on people (I was a charming child). I wanted to do all the gory make up you see on horror films, it’s come as bit of a surprise that I actually prefer to do beauty make up these days. I did various other jobs but could never settle so I decided to pack it all in and retrain, I haven’t looked back since.
What’s your favourite part about the job?
The amazing locations I've been lucky enough to shoot in and the experiences I’ve had... sometimes it feels a bit cheeky that I'm actually being paid to be there.
The constant flow of inspiring, interesting and fun people I meet.
The best feeling is helping someone feel better about themselves - I recently did a private lesson with a lady with severe Vitiligo on her face and body. I showed her how to use make up to even out the tone. She was so happy to learn how to do it she cried.
© Jasper White
Which is the more challenging part?
The long hours or early starts and sometimes (very rarely) the lack of routine.
What are the main skills you need as a Hair & Make up artist?
Discretion, diplomacy and punctuality. To be able to work as part of team - A shoot is a team effort and everyone feels passionately about their ideas, you have to be able compromise and adapt to get the best results.
To keep up to date with whats happening in the industry and keep your skills updated. A knowledge of art and fashion and colour theory are pretty helpful too.
Do you have a dream photographer to work with or a dream project?
My dream projects are self indulgent beauty shoots where you can really go to town and be creative as you like.
Dream photographers would be:
Mario Testino Patrick Demarchelier Steven Meisel Annie Leibovitz Steven Klein
Have you groomed any famous faces?
A few here and there..... including Damien Lewis, Bill Nighy, The Arctic Monkeys, Sally Hawkins, Victoria Pendleton, Richard E Grant, Mark Ronson.
Do you have a favourite shoot you’ve worked on, or a particularly imaginative one?
I was the hair and make up designer for the Vlad the Impaler music promo for Kasabian directed by Richard Ayoade. It was styled like a 1970's horror film and involved throwing about lots of fake blood, white face paint and a huge moustaches for Noel Fielding who starred in it. I basically got to realise my childhood dream of what I imagined being a make up artist was like. What advice would you give to budding Hair & Make Up artists? Do you think it is really important to gain a professional qualification in the discipline?
Be prepared to work. The job can appear to be glamorous and easy but for the most part it really isn’t at all, its hard work.
Look after your back - make up kits are heavy.
Let people put make up on you too - its important to appreciate how it feels to let someone else in to your personal space.
I think professional qualifications are really important as they give you the basics but you don’t really learn till you get out there, I learn something new every time I pick up a brush and start working. Assisting other artists would be the next step.
© Liam Arthur
Do you prefer doing the hair or make up part of the job description?
Personally I prefer the make up, its what I’ve always been naturally drawn to. I love using it to make subtle changes to the face - for me its all about the make up you don’t see.
Who/what are your biggest sources of creative inspiration? Any favourite blogs?
I find inspiration everywhere - I photo anything of interest as it may come in handy for a future shoot. When I see a recurring theme cropping up I know its time to get testing. I'm drawn to light, shade, shape and texture and and always refer to paintings to see where and how the artist has used them.
I’ve learnt the most from the amazing artists I’ve been lucky enough to assist over the years, they have been so generous with their knowledge.
I follow Dazed and confused, I.d and The Hunger. Val Garland, Alex Box I also follow a lot of natural health and well-being… I love natural beauty tips and am really interested about how diet and lifestyle affect your appearance.
© Dean Northcott
What do you always carry with you in your kit?
Dr Hauschka normalising oil and toner
Bareskin beauty chamomile and honey lip saver and radiance serum
Illamasqua - Hollow
Avene - eau thermale water spray
Pukka Herbal tea bags and a few sachets of Amazing grass amazing meal and super greens
Give us some key looks for hair and make up in spring/summer 2014
I think its time to dust off your ghd’s and step away from the big blow-dry - straight is on its way back this season. The twist also put in an appearance, the more disheveled the better. I'm personally very excited by this trend - especially on days with an early call time. A healthy bronzed glow with a 70’s studio 54 inspired make up on the eyes. For the kohl addicts, approach your liner like you did as a rebellious teenager and you’ve nailed it.