July 2nd, 2015
We love it when MUAs pass on their experience and knowledge, whether that be through spoken word or, as in this case, their tools. Louise Young has a career that spans over 30 years working across film, fashion, television and theatre, and her brush range has evolved out of her incredible experience. She has worked with a whole host of celebrities such as Jerry Hall, Jodie Kidd and Alesha Dixon, while recent TV & film work include assisting on Disney’s Cinderella, The Theory of Everything, Avengers: Age of Ultron and the soon to be released Pan. Her new colour cosmetics range is sure to be as popular as her brushes, with flattering colours and minimalist packaging.
WP: What originally sparked your interest in make-up?
LY: As a child I was always fascinated by the golden age of Hollywood and even collected film annuals. The glitz and glamour associated with old Hollywood films really sparked my interest and are still a source of inspiration today.
WP: Were you formally trained? If so, where?
LY: From the age of 19 I worked on a Max Factor counter where I learnt much of the basics through their own training. From then, I worked on the set of fashion and music videos, learning as I worked. I did, however, formally train at Greasepaint in film, theatre and TV make-up at the age of 29. Much of the knowledge I have now is a culmination of experience, formal training and self-tuition from my collection of books and magazines.
WP: You’re very experienced across multiple genres of make-up – do you have a favourite, and why is it your favourite?
LY: I love it all – I love the camaraderie of a film set, the creativeness of fashion and I am really enjoying doing the shoots for my own brand, as it involves so much more that I can be a part of. It’s hard to pick a favourite, I’m lucky I enjoy all areas!
WP: Can you remember when you jumped from being an assistant to being a designer/department head? How did you make that jump?
LY: I started off with a lot of responsibility from the beginning. When you work on music videos and fashion shoots, often you are working single-handedly so that’s a lot of responsibility. One of the first things I headed was designing theatre productions for semi-pro companies. I’ve also been a personal makeup artist where you pretty much are your own boss.
WP: How did your brush line come about?
LY: It was always something I intended on doing but it wasn’t until I broke my fingers during my time working for the BBC on TV drama Dalziel and Pascoe that I realised I needed something to fall back on. Once I started, I found that I had a passion for business as well as make-up!
WP: Which is your personal favourite tool from your collection?
LY: Probably the LY38A which is a tapered shadow brush – it just makes things so easy!
WP: How involved are you in the creation of new brush designs? Can you describe the process?
LY: I’m involved from day one – I design each of the brushes. Usually it begins by me drawing a shape that I’m looking to achieve. I then send that to my manufacturer who makes me samples in a number of different grades of hair or synthetics. Then it’s a process of tweaking them until I’m happy with the finished product. I rely heavily on the feedback from peers and other make-up artists as its key to establish the needs of working artists for a successful range. It’s also interesting to find out what they like and don’t like, as we all have different favourite shapes.
WP: You’ve started developing colour cosmetics as well – are you looking to create a range as wide as your brushes, or stick to essentials?
LY: My aim with the cosmetic range is to create a ‘Capsule Collection’. It needs to be a small versatile line with products that can multi-task and key colours which can be blended for all skin shades and all looks. That’s the idea for my consumer line but I’m also planning to create some pro palettes for make-up artists too, so watch this space!
WP: What are your top five kit essentials?
LY: For eyes, I love the LY501 Essential Eye palette – this works for eyes, eyebrows, liner and contour/shading. A true multi-tasker! For base I like Kryolan’s Mini Derma palette, Maqpro’s HD base and their HD powder, and my Enigma palette is a good all-rounder for lips.
WP: What advice would you give to prospective MUAs?
LY: Training is essential. Good training by reputable schools and make-up artists is key, so be sure to do your research on this. You wouldn’t believe how many courses are available that aren’t industry recognised and are taught by people who aren’t even make-up artists. Don’t lose sight of your final goal, even if you do have to take on other jobs to keep money coming in.
WP: Career highlight so far?
LY: The Closing Ceremony of the Olympics was a huge highlight. Not only was the event itself phenomenal but I’m a big music fan and got to see some great acts. It’s hard to pinpoint individual highlights though as I love all of it – I just feel lucky to be doing something I love whilst getting paid for it.
WP: What does the rest of 2015 hold for you?
LY: I’ll be launching my cosmetic collection and will add products to it. I am working on films and doing dailies this summer – one of my favourite things to do. Also, I am writing a book at the moment so hopefully will be getting to finish that off. Oh yes, I’m also seeing my favourite band, AC/DC, twice in one week this summer!
Rock on Louise!