how to make it as a make-up artist by… lucy bridge

Want to get into fashion, but not sure which path to take? From designers and stylists, to writers and directors, we asked a few i-D friends and family how they made their fashion dreams a reality.

by i-D Staff
16 September 2016, 8:38am

Numero China with Miles Aldridge

Lucy Bridge has dreamt about make-up from an early age and through hard work and a heavy dose of talent, made her dreams become reality. Make-up artist and occasional plus-size model, Bridge hails from up north, making the move to London after studying make-up and hair in Manchester and has since worked with some of the industry's best, including i-D, Vogue, Chanel, Raf Simons, Charles Jeffrey and Tim Walker; just to name a few. She's also been a long time collaborator of i-D, and made her modelling debut in i-D's 2009 Chanel special after being spotted by Tim Walker on a bus! From getting yourself knee deep into the fashion industry to keeping up to date with the latest products, here's Lucy's top tips for making it in the industry.

What I do and why I do it...
"I couldn't imagine getting up everyday with the drive and determination I have if I wasn't doing make-up. Make-up is something I have dreamt about from a very early age, even when I was around twelve years old. I would tell my parents that I would become a make-up artist. I think my mum was my biggest influence, she always had Chanel and Dior make-up lying around which I would constantly play with, as well as 100s of issues of Vogue from the 80s. I would flick through and think this is what I want to do and be part of the fashion industry. After studying for two years in Manchester on a make-up course I knew it was always going to be a competitive road but I knew there was nothing more I wanted to do in the world so I always knew I was on the right, yet sometimes rocky road.

Charles Jeffrey spring/summer 17, backstage photography Piczo

A day in my life...
"Every day is different and I love that. I get bored of being in a 'routine' and I love working with new people, on new ideas from day to day. However, there are particular tasks which need to be carried out on a daily basis and these heavily involve my kit! I am a Virgo. so I am a bit neurotic when it comes to how my station looks and how clean my kit is. I think it is really important to keep it up to date with new, innovative products, as well as making it look neat and organised. I take great pride in it. The most rewarding part of my job is when I look on the screen and I am in love with the overall image/make-up we have created. It gets me really excited and makes me remember why I do the job I love. It is also really important to me that the rest of the team/clients are happy with my work too.

The moment that made me...
"My career highlight was being photographed by Tim Walker for a Chanel special for i-D back in 2009 which gave me the platform to pursue make-up more seriously when I first moved in London. It ran over 10 pages and was essentially about me and my obsession with Chanel, I got to do my own make-up and I could really show my love for bold brows, graphic lines, glitter and colour! Although my personal make-up look has changed a lot since 2009 and has become more toned down, I feel these things are still embedded heavily in my own make-up work today. My career highlight was being taken on by Streeters last summer. I always dreamed of being here and now I am and it still doesn't feel quite real. I always remember looking at Pat McGrath and Val Garland's work when I was studying and now I among the best makeup artists in the world, I feel very happy."

Photography Olivia Rose

To degree or not to degree, that is the question....
"I studied in Manchester for two years doing a HND in make-up and hair. As much as I enjoyed this course and it was right for me at the time, I don't always think a degree is necessary in this industry. I think short courses are great to find your feet and to help plunge you into the make-up world and to learn the basics but I feel my best piece of advice is to get knee deep into the fashion industry as soon as possible. Whether this is make-up assisting, interning at a beauty brand or a magazine, it is really vital for the progression in your career. Where better to learn about the fashion industry and the make-up world than being up close and in with the best people in the industry? It can be hard work, unpaid with long hours but the tips, tricks and experience you learn is priceless and is something which cannot be taught in a classroom. When trying to secure an assisting job in make-up my advice would be to always be professional. You need to be on the ball, get to know the kit, know what the make-up artist needs before they even know they need it, always think ahead!

I have learnt to always be myself on a job. It's important your personally comes out to the other team members, but also in your work! For my work to be the best it can be I think research is very important. This can be from going to exhibitions, taking pictures of things you like day to day and mining the internet, books and magazines. Always have new ideas and keep things fresh and up to date. Fashion moves fast and so do you."

Charles Jeffrey spring/summer 17, backstage photography Piczo

What I wish I knew then that I know now...
"I sometimes ask myself if I would do anything if I could go back and do it all again and I honestly wouldn't change a thing! I think it's important to go through every stage of career and make mistakes as you go. This is the best way to learn and to grow as a makeup artist. You need to figure out what kind of makeup artist you want to be and this is something which you can't figure out overnight. It's a working progress and it's important you go through it organically. The key is to practice, practice, practice! Practice makes perfect and those cat-eyed graphic liners won't draw themselves! Get your friends involved, test regularly with different teams and even practice on yourself."

I'm excited by tomorrow because…
"With the lead up to fashion week I've been busy researching and organising myself for make-up tests. This is the one part of the year which I really love, being backstage and creating show looks. I am doing a few shows this year, A.V.Roberston and Sadie Williams and I am looking forward to organising my team and creating my looks. I love how fast paced the shows are and they seem to be over in the blink of an eye but I get a serious adrenaline rush from them and this is a feeling you cannot beat when you see all the models lined up ready to go."

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