December 1st, 2015
Anne Morrissey is a rare breed in make-up, in that she has experience in a variety of different make-up mediums; bodypainting, editorial, fashion, airbrushing, TV, film – the list goes on. Anne was instrumental as our Editorial Judge at Professional Beauty Ireland, with her background in teaching making her a tough but fair judge, and after getting to know her a bit more we knew we had to feature her here on Warpaint.
WP: What first sparked your interest in make-up?
AM: Since my early childhood memories I’ve always loved playing with make-up and applying it to anyone who would let me. When I was in secondary school I knew I wanted to work as a make-up artist, but when I told my career guidance teacher she said that was nonsense, that it wasn’t a real career. That was over 20 years ago so a lot (thankfully) has changed since then, and people now realise you can make a very good career as a make-up artist. I tried working in other jobs, put it to one side, but deep down I still knew it was what I wanted to do. I actually worked in insurance for about nine years, working for a great company who looked after their employees really well – even though my heart was never really in it. Then one day, after wishing the time away and waiting for 5pm to come every day so I could finish, I decided I just couldn’t continue working where I felt so bored and unfulfilled.
WP: Where did you originally train?
AM: One particular day on my way home, feeling really fed up with work, I bought a newspaper for the tube ride home and when I opened up the paper there was an ad for a make-up course in Westminster College. I thought it was fate, so that weekend I went to the college to meet a lovely lady called Pamela and immediately signed up with a year-long course. The course ran two evenings a week and every Saturday, so I was able to continue working. Work didn’t seem so bad that year as I realised it was coming to an end, and it also helped me to pay for the course.
WP: Having trained at so many different academies/on so many courses over your career, and now having started your own, what would you recommend that prospective students look for in a MU course?
AM: I always recommend that prospective students do plenty of research – speak to others who have done the course and go and meet the tutors.
WP: It’s not often that artists have training and experience in so many genres of make-up. What is your favourite genre and why?
AM: I always get asked about my favourite area of make-up, but honesty I love the variety of it all. I love that one day I’m working on a photo shoot, the next doing TV and the next teaching my students. Each area is so fulfilling for me and so rewarding that it never really feels like work.
WP: What are your must-have, trusty kit essentials? Are there any new discoveries you’re currently enjoying as well?
AM: For me, make-up palettes are the most efficient. When I started out 20 years ago I was going to shoots laden down with a huge kit and found it especially difficult when commuting around London on the underground! So I then started making my own make-up palettes by taking the make-up out of their containers and gluing them down into empty art palettes. When I’d done that I realised that, once you have the essentials, you don’t need to carry around everything and the kitchen sink!
The staples in my kit are my Airbase airbrushing system, along with their foundations and blushers. My IMU Cosmetics eyeshadow palette and bronzer and powder palette are both amazing. I always keep MAC Strobe Cream, Bobbi Brown Black Gel Liner and Rimmel black mascaras with me, as well as Eylure strip and individual eyelashes and Duo glue.
WP: As the judge of the Warpaint Editorial category at this year’s Professional Beauty Ireland, what tips would you give artists and students to elevate their work to the next level?
AM: Don’t be afraid of hard work – get out there and do absolutely everything you can. Enter competitions, network with your peers and potential clients. Let family and friends know what you do, as they will often be your best advertisers.
WP: What drove you to start your own academy, The International Make-up Academy?
AM: I grew up in Dublin and at the time there was nowhere that I felt was good enough to give me the training I needed. So when I returned to Dublin, having lived in London for 15 years where I trained and worked as a make-up artist, I decided to open up a make-up academy myself – which is just what I did! I’m so happy I made the decision to do this; I’m so proud of all the students we have trained and just so happy to see them now successful make-up artists in their own right.
WP: What sets the top students and high-fliers apart from the rest? What advice would you give prospective students on how to stand out in a crowded market?
AM: I can usually see from the beginning who will excel and stand out from the rest, and it is usually down to their passion and commitment. They get so excited talking about make-up, they do loads of practice – even out of class they keep experimenting and trying things out. A high-flier is usually someone that is also very personable, punctual and has the ability to make people feel special, that nothing is a bother for them. It’s all about attitude.
WP: What has been your favourite project so far?
AM: My favourite project so far has been designing and launching my own make-up palettes with IMU Cosmetics. It had been a dream of mine for many years, and it just gives me so much pleasure to see people use and love my make-up. To know that it was used in the TV series Penny Dreadful is just amazing.
WP: What is the next big ‘tick’ you’re looking to cross off on your career checklist? Is there a type of project you’d like to work on, or someone you’d like to work with?
AM: The next big ‘tick’ on my career checklist is launching my online website for IMU Cosmetics and having it used by everyday women and make-up artists. That’s the current dream!