Posted on March 17 2023
Writer and Artist, Nina Bhadreshwar has led a very exciting life. Launching 'Death Row Uncut' magazine for Death Row records in the 90's, interviewing some of hip hops greatest stars to an award winning novelist.
We were delighted to welcome Nina to our 3 week IMA Foundation Level beauty and hair course. Here she writes about her experience at CSMU.
Growing up in the nineties, my makeup staples were a black kohl pencil, black mascara and a MAC lipstick. If there was a party or event, I may put on some blusher. Don’t judge. I didn’t wear sunscreen either and lived in LA. However, after getting a ‘tan’ from using Vaseline as a moisturiser for three months, that all changed. I also started to use natural ‘mature’ skin products while still in my twenties. I’d skimp on food just to be able to afford a nourishing moisturiser with no chemicals. But while my skincare routine became more dynamic and effective, my makeup remained static. Oh, I loved the explosion of colours in the noughties and had every Barry M electric and glitter pot, sported vibrant and neon nails and false lashes but still viewed makeup as a trend, an occasional add-on.
That all changed as my skin tone faded and with two years of lockdown. I was not happy looking tired all the time or with looking at other tired faces too. When the pandemic hit, my portrait studio artwork became dry. Suddenly, painting portraits felt too detached and I realised, if I could paint portraits, maybe I could paint people. I’d rather add value to a real live person than to a canvas! But I didn’t feel I had all the skills so I signed up for the foundation course at The Central School of Makeup.
Being a mature student – and also one who regularly avoids the mirror – it was a huge challenge for me. Makeup artistry requires you to be not only creative but a scientist, an organiser and very much a people person. If you don’t care or have a genuine interest in the person getting the makeup, I believe it’s impossible to do a good one. It can’t all be about the job. To add value, you have to see it first.
What made me trust The Central School of Makeup was the fact that all of the tutors seemed interested and invested in us. Yes, they all had incredible makeup pedigree and experience – from retail to fashion, bridal, editorial, film and TV – and knew all the variations, benefits and disadvantages of so many products. But, most importantly, they understood how to read a face and a brief, how to express their care through artistry. Well, that’s the thing I learned and watched.
YouTube and TikTok tutorials are useful but they won’t teach you as much as a in-person pro and a model. We all went through the rudiments of skincare, base, the Holy Grail of Hygiene post-Covid, how to assess a client’s skin and features and get the best from them. One of the biggest takeaways from the course was learning how to care better and to really strive for the best. Some of the makeup artists used artist brushes, others shared tips and expertise they had gained from years at hectic fashion shows or challenging editorials.
As for the artistry, I find makeup artistry so much more satisfying than doing portraits. It’s a collaborative act: you’re working with life itself. The light, the living human in front of you, the elements of the cosmetics, yourself through the brushes and application and conversation. And chatting throughout with the client is the best energy!
To find out more about our course, speak to one of our friendly team firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find out more about Nina Bhadreshwar's here.