Judges: Behind The Clipboard #3

January 19th, 2023

January 19th, 2023

Ahead of our first Virtual Competition of the year on Monday 23rd January, we speak to the Warpaint family of judges and share their insight and experience with you over a series of short features.


In this third and final feature we talk to James Mac who is joining our judging panel for the first time and will be looking after the fashion category.


James is a freelance beauty-glamour makeup/drag artist and runner up on BBC’s Glow Up series 2. James’ focus is on hyper creative looks, fashion, editorial and drag inspired makeup.


Warpaint:  James, having competed yourself in a Warpaint Competition amongst others, what advice would you give entrants?

The theme for the fashion category is Classic Hollywood. Glamour is a huge part of the 20th century makeup revolution, and the early days of pop culture. For this category dig deep and find references from the early and late years of an era, if you’re choosing the roaring 20’s or maybe the disco glamour from the 70’s – find an iconic star from a 5 year period to have as base inspo, and then observe the makeup, the designers of the time, look at the dresses and outfits worn for the era, the movies and music even at the time.

For example early Cher, in Bob Mackie – research the dresses worn, the makeup for her TV show performances; the colours and textures could be included in your makeup designs.

For technical deliverables, learn your colour theory to make looks stand out more, building up layers of which makeup goes with and textures/ materials to give it a fashion twist. And make sure you plan out your loom that you have realistic amount of time.

Many great Hollywood stars have been advised to you already, use this help to guide you: Josephine Baker, Marlene Dietrich, Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe – bold, inventive and beautiful women whose influence reaches down the decades.

I’ll be looking for interpretation of the theme, what makes your approach unique and has a story behind it. A great thing is using a historical reference/fact, then your interpretation and a story how you relate to the Hollywood era, followed by description of your makeup process.

Practise saying your brief out loud, write it down. Read it out to hear how it sounds and then familiarise yourself like it’s your story to tell. That always calms the nerves to help with better delivery. Your look could be state of the art but needs to relate to the brief, that will give you more marks and help judges interpret your makeup look better.

Foremost, and lastly have FUN. You do this because it’s your passion and the main purpose of competing is to grow, learn from your efforts, trials, and errors, improving your skill set constantly and being to enjoy the process.

Best of luck!



Want to enter our virtual competition?  All details are here – don’t wait too long, registration closes at 5pm Friday 20th January.


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By Sarah Dann

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