Alexis is a Glasgow based hair and make up artist who works with celebrity and non-celebrity clients all over the UK.
As well as being a mum, Alexis works in the fashion, beauty, TV and film industry, on everything from editorial shoots to children’s TV. She has worked with the BBC, Warner Bros and on the flawless faces of Alesha Dixon and Ed Sheeran, and many many other recognisable people. Sounds very exciting (and nerve- racking) to us!
Luckily she managed to find a spare two minutes to answer our questions and give us the low down on what doing make up and hair for a living is really like. And what advice she would give to anyone who wants to follow in her footsteps.
As a freelance hair and make up artist, could you describe a typical working day?
A typical working day starts with making sure I have everything I need and that my brushes are clean for the day’s job. Next I will make myself familiar with the days location, as it may be somewhere remote or unfamiliar to me – a sat nav is a must!
Once I arrive at the location I seek out my point of contact, which will be detailed in my booking form from my agent. This form gives me all the information from when I start, to who I am working for and a brief if there is one. I then set up my kit and get started.
When I have finished all of the hair and make-up I go onto set with the actors/models. It is then my job to keep them looking good and be on hand for any make up or hair changes.
At wrap I clear up my kit, remove any make-up etc from the client and I always finish with a mini facial…as their skin has usually been under a lot of make-up for a long period and needs a little tlc!
You’ve done make up for a lot of celebrities, do you get nervous?
I started working in TV when I was 18/19 years old, so I was sort of flung in at an early age, so celebrities don’t really faze me, so nerves have never really been a problem! I usually try and suss out how talkative they are or want to be and then just go from there.
So far I have had tips on where to go in New York from Kelly MacDonald and breastfeeding tips from a Lord of the Rings actor! It can be so random but what you find out quickly is that they are all normal people with normal lives and problems. I have been lucky in my career and have not came across any divas…yet!
Although all of that said, if I got the chance to work with Ryan Gosling I would probably be a gibbering wreck and break out in a sweat.
What hair and make up trends do you think will be big for AW’13?
For make-up I think we will still see a lot of colour pops, mainly on the lips. From bright pinks, to red and wine stains. I also think we will see a lot of feline eyes, with some graphic eyeliner making a reappearance, which is great as these styles are all very wearable for the average woman. I love nothing better than a red or wine lip to perk me up.
Hair will be mainly straight styles, either down and slicked back to low ponies and braids. We will still see the 20’s and 60’s influence carry through from S/S 2013. Again very wearable and easy to achieve.
Who has been the best client? Summer Glau[/caption]
My favourite client has to be an American actress called Summer Glau. I looked after her for a couple of days at the Edinburgh Film Festival a few years back while she did some press junkets. She was great fun and allowed me to create a few different looks for her. There is also something exciting about working with American celebrities, I think it is growing up with all the American movies as a child…it seems magical that I am actually part of that world!
For anyone who wants to work in the hair and make up industry – what would be your advice?
Gain as much experience as you can. Try and assist current Make Up Artists, be prepared to work for free to gain experience and never give up. A phone call can be just around the corner!
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By Mandy Thomson