Friday, December 24, 2010


I have to rave about this fabulous product.

I have been using the ‘Graftobian High Definition Pro powder’ palette for just over a year now and it is the best of the best.

Graftobian Makeup Co. was established in 1978 and is a manufacturer and distributor of virtually every type of makeup.

The palette has lasted for the whole year and has been used on many films and photo shoots with only two of the colours having to be replaced.

Apart from the obvious, being that it is suitable for High Definition work as it is undetectable on screen or film, it lasts for ages and can be reapplied without any hassle.

I use it for concealing, highlight and shade and keeping shine at bay.

I purchased my palette from the fabulous online store ‘Makeup and Glow’ and haven’t looked back since.

You can purchase the complete 8 pan palette and any refills from while you’re there check out all the other amazing products they offer.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


When a potential client approaches you to do their Hair and Makeup for a competition, think strongly about whether you wish to be a part of this type of arrangement.

Now, I am speaking about competitions like amateur Karaoke contests or other amateur performing comps.
They will leave you saying that they love what you have done and are happy with the result.
Everything will be just peachy keen.

However, from my own experience, I can tell you it’s not worth the hassle.
They usually want things done on the super cheap and expect too much bang for their buck.
They’re expectations are set way too high and as a result, they have a long way to fall.
They’re amateur performers and have very little experience with winning and losing and as a result they are usually very sore losers.

Apart from this the main reason I suggest not doing someone’s Hair and Makeup for a competition is because when or if they don’t win, instead of understanding that it could be a number of things that made them lose, they will blame you and the Hair and Makeup.

My suggestion is to steer clear of them.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Sometimes people ask me what it’s like to work in the Film Industry doing what I do.
Many think it’s fun and glamourous and that there’s lots of sitting around doing nothing.
Well, it can be fun and glamourous and there might be some times when you have to wait for hours while other crew members set up and such, but let me reassure you that it is NO picnic!

You see, I don’t rock up to work at 8:30am and sit behind a desk until lunch when I enjoy a one hour break then return to the desk and continue until 5:00pm when I leave and go home, cook some dinner, potter around for how ever long, then go to bed.
I don’t get to just switch everything off, including my brain, and then leave.

Of course all the people who currently work in this Industry will relate to exactly what I am saying here but there are a lot of people who aren’t aware of what we do.

So for all those who would like to know?
This is a basic breakdown of a day in my field of work on a low budget project…
(This doesn’t differ much from when you are working on a big budget project except for a few things here and there.)

3:00am – Wake up, get ready and check that I have everything needed for the day.
4:00am – Travel to location.
4:30am – Arrive to location and set up.
5:00am – Hair and Makeup begin - most of the time I am making up a couple of actors at a time.
7:00am – Be on set, which may be quite a distance away.
The next 5 hours is spent running back and forth from set - retouching makeup’s to off set - doing other actors makeup’s, keeping track of continuity, setting up any SFX rigs and doing any SFX makeup on set and off set when required. Sometimes changing locations when needed.
12:00pm – Lunch - supplied at the location.
12:30pm – Hair and Makeup revision, retouches (especially mouths) and more actors’ makeup’s.
1:00pm – Be on set, sometimes in a different location from the one prior.
Again, the next 5 hours is spent running back and forth from set - retouching makeup’s to off set - doing other actors makeup’s, keeping track of continuity, setting up any SFX rigs and doing any SFX makeup on set and off set when required. Sometimes changing locations when needed.
6:00pm – Dinner, if you’re lucky - supplied at the location.
6:30pm – Begin “wrapping” the talent, removing Makeup, any prosthetics and Hair styling.
7:30pm – Pack up, clean work area and liaise with Producer, AD’s and Director about next day.
8:30pm – Travel home or to where you are staying.
9:00pm – Clean and sanitise makeup kit, brushes, tools, wash towels and hang to dry.
– organise makeup kit, brushes, tools and anything else required for the next day’s shoot.
10:00pm – Go to bed, if you can.

Repeat this, 5 – 6 days a week for however long the shoot period is.
Add to this - very strict time pressures, handling a wide gamut of creative personalities including some really needy actors, running everywhere, carting makeup bags everywhere, having makeup, blood and hair up to your elbows, constantly washing your hands, standing in broad searing sunlight or freezing cold dark for 14 hours, hearing your name called at least 100 times a day, supervising any assistants you may be lucky to have and remaining pleasant and approachable at all times.

As you can see, to have a career in this Industry, being talented and well connected is a must but stamina, patience, passion and massive sacrifice plays a more major role.

And yet, if I ever do apply for a normal 9 to 5 job, with all my professional and personal experience – I don’t even get a reply from the employer. Hilarious!! Rude!! I say, “Work one day on set with me and see how long you can last”.

Now I am not saying that the average job is not stress filled and tiring but it does kinda make you laugh when you hear a desk jockey complain about how tired they are or how bad their day at work was.

But hey…

Apart from all of this, and call me mental if you wish, I LOVE this Industry and I LOVE working in it!


I get a great number of emails asking me where to buy casting, molding and sculpting products and tools as well as SFX supplies, so, in case you haven’t heard, there is a fabulous new place open in Woolloongabba that sells everything you need.

The company is ‘Barnes’ and they have been around since 1986 and they've been growing ever since, now they are in Brisbane!

If you need anything for casting, molding, sculpting and special effects this is a “must visit” place!

My dear friend Kym Sainsbury is there to assist you with all your enquiries and because she has been a prosthetics guru for 20 odd years in the Film Industry she knows her stuff.

There are also future plans for Kym to hold workshops on many aspects of casting and mold making. Learn from the master!!!

You will also get to meet my fabulous Dad who works there as well.

Make sure you say a big hello from me.

Trust me – go there, you’ll think you’re in heaven…

All the products are a really excellent price and you will get all the advice you need to use them.

But take your credit card because you’ll end up spending big time!

Visit the Barnes website for more info.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


A film producer is someone who selects a screenplay, initiating the process of film making. They oversee the entire process including coordinating, supervising and controlling matters such as fund-raising, hiring key personnel such as the film director, other producers involved on production, line producer, accountant and they arrange avenues for the films distribution.

They also advise and control creating the scenes and conditions for making movies. The producer is totally involved throughout all phases of the filmmaking process from development to completion of a project.

I have worked with a number of Producers over the years and I accept that this role is one which requires hard work and dedication – most of the Producers I have worked with have been pretty much on top of their game and I would gladly work with them again.

Unfortunately though, there is one “Producer” I have worked with recently who shall remain anonymous that was completely delusional in thinking that they were able to refer to themselves as a Producer.

This person has worked on other projects and has been demoted and even fired from most of them because of their inability to come through with the promises they made, straight up lies and deceit, theft from the production budget and apparent attempts at sabotage.

The whole project, the cast and crew were all put in highly dangerous and stressful situations due to this person simply not doing their job and when anyone attempted to resolve these situations they were met with complacency and denial.

Currently, there are Chinese whispers being spread about the shoot and certain people who worked on it and I would ask anyone who hears such rumours to take them with a grain of salt as it is just this persons attempt at covering their footprints.

If you ever wish to know the truth about people then go to the source and don’t listen to any he said she said rubbish.

I will never work this person again and I will make certain that whenever their name is mentioned I will inform those who need to know about their ongoing blunders.

If you are hired to work on a gig make sure you do some research into the person who is hiring you and have a very strict contract signed prior to any work being initiated.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


To all the independent, low budget filmmakers, Directors and Producers out there please understand that in order to have your production run smoothly and look great you need to allocate a decent amount of time for pre production.
There is a reason why major films are in pre production for months and months prior to the commencement of principle photography and this is because when you do eventually begin filming you don’t have time to even scratch your arse let alone organise requirements for the film.
This growing trend of thinking that you can pull a film together in a week or two is not only incorrect but it is immature and mindless.
Remember, the Industry has been around for a lot longer than half of you have been alive and there is always a good reason as to why things are done a certain way – usually it’s because it has been tried and tested and it works.
The more time you allow for pre production, the better your film will be.
I know it’s hard for you to control your excitement when funding comes through and you really want to get your project out there but most of us need at least 3- 4 months to order materials from overseas and have them delivered.
In my case, because it is not just a simple fact of hiring equipment at the last minute, I actually have to design and make all of the prosthetics, hair, makeups and SFX props for the entire film – they don’t just magically appear from 'mystical makeup world' and because I am too busy during the shoot applying these items to humans I do not have enough time to continue making them on set nor do I have the facilities to do so.
So, before you venture onto your next project, please be courteous and respectful enough to realise that there is a lot of hard work that goes into making your project look good and allow enough reasonable time for us to do our jobs effectively.
Oh and while your at it, maybe try to understand that we don’t just start work on day 1 of the shoot, usually we have started work on the film months in advance and we should be paid accordingly for this.
Just a thought. ;)

Monday, June 7, 2010


As I had predetermined, there has been a bit of a back lash from my last post.
This is to be expected as it is a very fragile topic which creates a lot of “passionate” reaction.
While most people who have commented on the post have been in agreement with it and have sent their kudos to me for saying what is on everyone's minds, there have been some people who still cannot see the error of their own ways.
If you are one of the people who were completely outraged by the post then I suggest you attempt to discover why this has affected you so negatively and others so positively.
This is something that only you can do and it will probably take you some time and research in order to resolve it.
You can make a start by visiting the government website for the arts and viewing the latest submissions regarding the recent review of the Australian Independent Screen Sector, you can find them here.
Some of these submissions are from individuals and companies who are well known and viable resources in the Industry and if you have any consideration you will be heart broken at what they have to say about the current state of the Industry and what they have had to endure.
These are your Seniors and you should be listening to what they have to say – it's called respect.
Of course there will be those of you who simply do not care and only care about yourselves, to you I say, “The Industry that you are working towards getting into will no longer be there when it comes to your time to shine. If you don't start being more considerate of what is happening and your involvement in it's future then you are not going to have the chance to work in it.”
Please try to understand that the majority of talented and professional people who work in this Industry are no longer going to tolerate professional lacklustre and the demise of their Industry due to the select few who simply cannot, or refuse to, understand.
To anyone who has taken the last post to heart I sincerely apologise, I was very careful not to mention any names so if you feel as though you have been “outed” then please realise that it is you that have “outed” yourself by reacting the way you have.
There is a massive change happening at the moment, you have the choice to be a part of that change or be left behind continuing on a broken path.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I have to write this because if I don't I'm going to explode so please excuse me for being rude and arrogant but someone has to say this.
There are so many people out there at the moment who are claiming to be 'Directors' and 'Producers' that, put simply, are complete idiots.
All they do is whine about how crap everything is and that they can't get any support or government funding so they have to resort to acting like complete dick heads. Blah Blah Blah.
Get over yourselves! You are not even a zit on a real Directors/Producers arse.
You think that you can ask me to work for no money or deferred payment (which never happens) in substandard conditions and live in a shanty town on set where I have to bunk up with smelly wankers because we can't have a decent shower, I have to live on bloody 'subway' for weeks and take a dump in the nearest public restroom.
Get it together you pack of losers!
Just because you are living in a fantasy world of making pretentious little films for no money that are never going to be released and acting as though it's like a fun little school camp, doesn't mean you are in any way going to compete with real films, with real budgets and real professionals involved.
I had one little producer tell me that “Until the government is going to fund his little genre flicks that he has two options, one, to keep pushing shit up a hill or two, get a 9 – 5 job and wait until some viable opportunity comes his way”.
Well sweetheart,
1.The government will give you funding the day you prove to them that you have a commercially viable project – not some half arsed amateur art house crap which nobody wants to see.
2.Until such time you are definitely only “pushing shit up a hill” and you should refer to yourself as a “shit pusher”.
3.Instead of waiting for a viable opportunity to come your way how about you use your supposed creative intellect and entrepreneurial skills to create one yourself and maybe think that a 9 – 5 job is your answer to any money woes.
(Or how about you actually complete the two films you have already shot, sell them, pay the money you are owing to cast and crew then do it again and again until you actually have some decent capital.)
I had another silly little part time “producer” tell me that “the Australian Film Industry is only a cottage Industry and that until it changes there is nothing she can do”. She also said that “she supports the Industry the best way she can by allowing people the opportunity to showcase their skills”.
What a f%@#ing joke!!
The reason this Industry is this way, is because of complacent little users like you.
Try making the change yourself by acting like a professional and treating other professionals with respect and paying them what they deserve.
You are not supporting the Industry by using slave labour and you are not showcasing their skills if you are producing amateur crap that is only going to end up half edited and collecting dust in the Directors cupboard.
No wonder the Australian Film Industry is absolute bull shit at the moment with angry little wankers like this at the helm.

Big breath...

...calm blue ocean...

There, I said it.

I feel better now. :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Any one who has been reading my blog may have noticed how I feel about performing unpaid work – I think I have made it pretty clear.
However, I have not really discussed deferred payments.
Deferred payment is definitely an option for you and basically it means that instead of being paid a weekly rate per week to perform work on a film you keep record of all hours worked and once the film has been completed you are paid the money which is owing to you.
Seems like a simple concept doesn't it?
But, there seems to be a lot of very confused producers out there though, either that or they're simply dodgy, as I have been handed contracts which do not abide by the rules outlined by the 'Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance of Australia'.
You see, in order to offer deferred payments you have to apply for permission to do so and even if you are granted the right to offer this type of compensation there are many laws which govern your actions.
So that everyone is well aware of their rights and responsibilities I have included a link to the document that lists these details.
For anyone who has performed work on a deferred payment deal you may be shocked at what you read and for anyone thinking of entering into a deferred payment deal please keep a record of this document so you know what you are getting yourself into.

Here is the link,

Low/No Budget

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I thought I would write a quick entry about something which I thought most Makeup Artists already did.
However, I have only realised lately, through people commenting on it all the time that not many seem to be aware of this or use this technique.
When I apply mascara to a client I always use disposable mascara wands for hygiene reasons but then I bend the brush so that it is at a 45 degree angle to the handle.
This makes it so much easier to apply the mascara without creating a mess and/or poking the person in the eye.
You may already know this but I just figured I’d mention it for those who don’t.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I’ll let you in on a little secret which very few people may be aware of.
For 18 years I worked as a patternmaker for the Fashion Industry. As the head patternmaker and production manager in the design room it was my duty to ensure that all the new designs were drafted into correct fitting patterns for cutting and sewing the new seasons range by a specific deadline.
Most of the time my assistants and I would be able to do this even though we were under a lot of stress however, some of the time, we would require outside assistance in order to achieve the deadline.
We had the option of hiring somebody on a contract basis to help us – but that would cost money and because we had already spent our funds on the range we just could not afford this option.
Rather than accepting this and just working harder and/or cutting down on some of the luxury spending that happens we decided that we would do something which is completely immoral and very illegal – it’s something that happens in the Fashion Industry a fair bit and is also happening in other Industries more and more.
We took advantage of young aspiring designers by telling them that we were now hiring for a new patternmaker, all they had to do was come in for an unpaid trial and if they passed the trial they would have a paid job in our work room.
We would give each of them one or two designs from the new range so they could make patterns for them under the guise that this was a trial to see how they worked.
Little did they know that we had no intention of ever hiring any of them fulltime, instead what we were doing was getting them to make patterns for all of the designs that we could not complete in time.
We were getting them to help us do our paid job for free.
They went away feeling as though they might have struck opportunity, never heard from us again and continued looking for work – meanwhile we went on to continue in our role, being paid well and the range would go on to flourish and make huge profits.
This is exactly what is currently happening in the Film/TV Industry and still happening in the Fashion Industry with all talents and all job roles, not just Makeup Artists (even though they usually are the first to be used and abused).
But I here you say “Oh yes but I only work for free if I get something out of it”, you may think you’re getting experience but I am telling you it is not a real experience, you may be getting pretty photos for your portfolio but are they truly showcasing your talent or someone else’s?
When I first started Makeup I did some free work and it was not until I was on a paid gig that I realised that my experience was absolutely useless and that the photos I had in my portfolio were not close up shots of my work, they were usually showcasing the photographer, model or clothing – not my makeup.
No matter what you think the opportunity is or what you think it may lead to DO NOT EVER WORK FOR FREE!
Chances are you are being used and all you are doing is diminishing the value of your craft by setting an unrealistic ideal of the real costs involved in your Industry.

Friday, April 23, 2010


WARNING! – May still contain traces of bitchiness.

I posted a blog entry yesterday about this topic and found that it was a tad too bitchy so I decided to delete it and make an amended version.
Believe it or not this is the less bitchy version.

Here are a couple of exercises for upcoming young Directors, Producers and Photographers to complete prior to approaching Hair and Makeup Artists to work on your film/shoot.

1. Walk into a Hair Salon, tell them you want your hair cut, coloured and styled – say it’s for a special function and then tell them you have no money and cannot pay for it, but you’ll give them as much as you can afford now and, if everyone at the function likes it, you give them the rest later.

2. Phone a tradesperson and tell them you a going to refurbish your home. Say you want them to do it because you love their work and need someone with their experience. Now tell them you want it done for free.

Now, you know that word that they said to you - the one starting with ‘N’ and ending in ‘O’?
Keep that in mind when you next feel the urge to ask a professional Hair and Makeup Artist to work for free.
If you are going to require the services of a professional you are going to have to budget for it. Didn’t your parents teach you that?
This mentality that you can make a film or stage a photo shoot for no or little money of which you are going to benefit/profit from is simply childish. GROW UP!!!
If you are going to play with the big kids then make sure you are actually able to or you are going to be laughed at.
So to all those little film students and aspiring independent amateur film makers out there that constantly ask me to work for free – remember the lessons learned from practicing the exercises above.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I am always asked about where I buy my blood from, I don’t buy pre made blood as it is too expensive, too pink and stains everything.
I make my own.
There are a lot of great blood recipes around but my recipe is inexpensive, can be mixed to your own liking and doesn’t seem to stain (as told to me by a well known wardrobe mistress).
Blood is not simply one regular colour or consistency, it changes depending on where and how deep an injury is and whether it is coming from the heart or going to the heart.
There are also differences between bleed outs, such as dripping, spraying or gushing.
You should do some research into the injury you are replicating in order to achieve more realistic results.
Some Directors want you to have many different bloods available for the one film so you must be prepared at all times when doing blood work.
I have two basic recipes which I use all the time and if something different is required I work on those to produce the required end result. Both recipes are non toxic.
The colouring agents I use are available at any supermarket in the cake making section and cost only a few dollars.
One recipe is for all over use - meaning that it can be used on the body, in the hair, on textiles and inside the mouth and nose. This blood remains runny and does not congeal. This is "Recipe 1".
The other recipe, while also being non toxic, is to be used only on the body and on textiles and does congeal. This is "Recipe 2".
Here are the links to my blood recipes, have a play with their colour and use them at your leisure.

Blood Recipe 1
Blood Recipe 2

Saturday, April 17, 2010


One of my Makeup Artist friends was hired to do a Music Video where she had to paint black eyes on the members of the group. Because of the sweat factor the makeup was a nightmare to keep in place and needed constant retouching, so I thought I’d mention alcohol activated makeup.
Alcohol activated makeup (AA Makeup) uses a special polymer base which readily dissolves in alcohol, but not in water. It is an extremely valuable tool in effects cosmetics. If needed, makeup can remain in tact for days. It is completely waterproof making it ideal for aquatic makeup or scenes shot in the rain.
It is highly opaque to the level that it is beginning to see regular use as a concealer; replacing thicker heavier oil-based makeups. It applies very thin and is flexible, allowing the makeup to resist cracking. It blends simply by re dissolving already applied makeup with additional alcohol.
A few grams of makeup base can last for years of professional makeup applications.
AA makeup is most commonly supplied as a dry cake in a pallet or makeup pan. 99% alcohol must be purchased to activate the product.
Lower concentrations of alcohol, such as 93% are ineffective at dissolving the makeup. Additionally, there exists a product called Iso-gel manufactured by Telesis which is a gelled alcohol suitable for use in applying AA makeup. Its higher viscosity helps to prevent it from dripping, and has a significantly reduced odor.
AA makeup may be applied by brush dipped in alcohol, or the product may be entirely dissolved into alcohol and loaded into an airbrush. Urethane foam wedge sponges are not as recommended as a large amount of makeup can go to waste in the center of the sponge.
AA Makeup can be removed with additional alcohol, soap and water, or any of a wide array of makeup removers. Overuse of alcohol as a makeup remover is not particularly recommended, as it can cause excessive drying of the skin.
So next time you need a product that will withstand sweat and/or water make sure to purchase some AA makeup.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


There will be a lot of Makeup Artists out there that will cringe at what I am about to say but I don’t really mind, everyone is entitled to there own opinion.
Popular belief is that you are required to apply a primer prior to applying makeup.
Makeup primers are used to form a smooth surface on the skin so that makeup can evenly adhere to it.
The key ingredients in these primers are usually,
Dimethicone – used to form a water proof barrier.
Cyclomethicone/Cyclopentasiloxane – used as a spreading agent.
Dimethicone Cross Polymers – mostly used to give a powdery smooth finish.
What most people don’t consider is that most moisturisers contain these same ingredients – even the inexpensive ones.
Just because a cosmetic company tells you that you need something doesn’t mean that it’s true – they are simply charging excessive amounts of money for a product which is completely unnecessary.
I find that if your skin is cleansed well, exfoliated well and moisturised prior to applying makeup you don’t require a primer.
The first thing I do before I apply makeup to a client is apply Cetaphil moisturiser to their face and paw-paw ointment to their lips.
Then I make certain to apply foundation all over their face and neck including their lips and eyelids – believe it or not that is the skin “primed”.
You will find that the moisturiser creates and even texture, the foundation creates an even colour and the powder sets the whole lot.
Then I apply all the colour, eye shadows, blushes, brows, eyeliners, lips etc.
If you wish to seal the makeup once everything has been competed then use good old hairspray - but you must make certain the client knows to completely wash the makeup off prior to bedtime as this does not allow the skin to ‘breath’.
But hey, primers don’t allow the skin to breath either and that is why so many people suffer from blemishes when they use a primer and don’t wash it off properly.
So before you start purchasing expensive primers and sealers try using products you already have – they do exactly the same thing.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Okay, so you went out and bought this expensive, ‘whiz bang’, metal, makeup case with many shelves and compartments – how professional of you.
This case may be great for interior Fashion and Beauty shoots, as you do need to appear professional and “Makeup Artist-y”, but when you go on location it is nothing more than a nightmare!
It’s heavy, cumbersome and when it’s in the elements it’s similar to an oven - so you can watch your expensive makeup products melt into a huge, colourful muddle.
Also, when there is a shoot on the beach, sand and water are your worst enemies.
What you need to do is purchase a soft, fabric, zip up, drink cooler with wheels and use that as your kit for the shoot. It stops sand and dirt from getting in to everything, it’s water resistant and it helps keep your products nice and cool.
You can buy some really tasteful designs now so you won’t look like you have arrived for a family barbeque. Mine cost me about $40.
Another thing I suggest is to purchase a cheap, plastic, cylindrical cracker container with a lid for about $3 (the ones you keep your Jatz in) and use this to store your brushes – it keeps them clean and allows them not to squash into weird shapes.
Location shoots can happen anywhere, you never know the type of weather you are going to have to endure and usually you are moving quickly from one location to another – so stop worrying about your expensive makeup case and products and try being more resourceful and practical. This will allow you to concentrate on your job – doing Makeup!

P.S. There may be some similar cases and containers out there now which are specifically designed for Makeup Artists – but, because of this, they usually end up costing you an arm and a leg when really they are just the same thing.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I was sent an email from a fellow makeup artist wanting to know how much she should charge for her services.
It is always hard to know what you should charge for your services, you don’t want to charge too much or people won’t use your services and you don’t want to charge too little or people may not take you seriously.
For anyone offering services outside of the Film/TV Industry I suggest doing some research into what other Makeup Artists are charging for their services and what they provide for that charge.
Remember, “Google is your friend”.
Some Makeup Artists will have a rates list on their website, for those who don’t; you may wish to give them a call.
I have learned that, regardless of what I charge, the first thing that comes out of my mouth when someone asks me about my rates is, “What’s your budget?”
A lot of Makeup Artists don’t include a rates list on their site because it could have an adverse effect on what they could potentially charge. It is always a good idea to have a bench mark hourly rate though.
For the Artists working in the Film/TV Industry, you are governed by the “Motion Picture Production Agreement”. Everything you need to know is included in this agreement and most, if not all, productions use this as their guide.
If they don’t then they should be!!!
The current agreement for 2007 – 2009 is available at it is the third item down the list. Download it, make sure you read it and keep it as your Bible.
There is a new agreement being renegotiated right now for release later this year, to have your say on the MPPA call the Alliance on 1300 65 65 12 to be put in touch with your state organiser. Don't miss this chance to have a say on the way you work.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


The age old question and ongoing issue, “How long does it take to do Hair and Makeup?”
Of course this will vary depending on the type of hair and makeup being applied and the situation you are working in.
In the Film and Television Industry you are given a ‘call time’ which means the time you are expected to arrive and an ‘on set’ time which means the time when the talent has to be camera ready and on set.
Usually the time between the two is the amount of time you have to perform your magic and it is usually 1 hour. This of course does not include special makeups like prosthetics which can run into the hours and hours.
Most of the time it is pre arranged by the Head of Department as to how long should be allowed for Hair and Makeup, but generally speaking you have 1 hour to do everything which is required.
So to give you a general guide…
For a basic, natural makeup application I usually allow 30 minutes – this includes all over foundation and powder, blush and shading, highlighting, brows, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara and fully lined and coloured lips.
For a basic hair style, up or down, I usually allow 30 minutes – this is the type of hairstyle that is working with the natural state of the hair and does not require blow-drying, curling or straightening.
For all other makeup’s I allow 1 hour and for a more designed hair style I allow a further 1 hour.
As I said before this is just covering the basics and doesn’t include things like hair extensions, wigs and prosthetic applications.
As a Hair and Makeup Artist you not only have to be good at what you do but you also have to be fast – so my advice is to pick up your speed.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I just had a question from a fellow makeup artist who wanted to know if I used a mixing medium and if so, which brand I preferred.
For anyone who may not know, a mixing medium is used to make a powder in to a liquid and makes detailed application easier with less “fall out”, it also enhances the depth of the colour making it more vibrant and aids in keeping the colour in place for a longer period of wear.
The answer to the question is “Yes I do use a mixing medium sometimes” but I don’t buy it as it is usually way too expensive, instead, I make my own.
It’s incredibly inexpensive and so easy to make, just follow this recipe:

1 part Glycerin
2 parts Water

Put into a sterilized eye dropper bottle and shake.

That’s it!!

Now when you use it, place a few drops onto a clean palette.
With a brush, collect the eye shadow you want to use and add the powder to the mixing medium.
Mix until the powder is a paste (not too runny) and apply as you wish.

The great thing about this is that once it has dried you can leave it as is or you can still blend edges well.

I hope this helps.
If anyone has any more questions please let me know, I am only too happy to answer them. :)


Regardless of who is higher in the pecking order or how much experience someone has had, whether someone has treated you well or has said or done the wrong thing, it is vital that you maintain a positive relationship with everyone on set and off set.
Not only does it make your life easier when working on a project with many other creative people but it also reflects on you as a part of a whole.
A large percentage of work in this Industry comes from referral and if you alienate yourself from the team for one reason or another you may find you miss out on many future possibilities.
It is not just a simple situation of turning up and doing the work required it is also how well you cope with being a part of a team – it’s not just your skill, it’s also your demeanor.
Nobody wants to work with an arrogant wanker regardless of how amazing they are.
I have worked with some very talented young creatives who were very welcoming and professional to begin with, but unfortunately during the project they let everything go to their head and got a bit too big for their boots – needless to say that unfortunately their career in the Industry was very short lived.
Do you want to be remembered for one amazing project or many?
It’s all about longevity and not just the here and now.
To all the young budding crew members, actors and even directors out there, make sure you don’t burn your bridges before even crossing them; this is a very tight knit little community and it doesn’t take long before word gets around.
You never know who has done what and who they may know - so grow a thick skin, grow up, keep it real but keep it nice and you shall prosper.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


If you have been contracted to do a specific job, under a specific title, then do not also attempt to perform work within another person’s role.
The reason why is quite simple.
In my case, as a Head of Department on a Feature Film, it is my duty to make sure that my department is well managed and adhering to a great number of rules and regulations. I have signed a legally binding contract which states this.
I also have to make sure I ‘come up with the goods’ as I have that duty for the project – not only the project but also for myself as an artist.
It is my name up there in the credits and if somebody unqualified and not within my department attempts to perform my jobs then it reflects not only on the quality and continuity of the film but also on the department and my own work.
I know that sometimes you just want to help out as much as you can and this is very admirable – but all you are doing is substituting your own work for someone else’s which will inevitably just make waves.
You are risking your own career in doing this as this is viewed as stepping on other peoples toes.
The reason we sign agreements at the beginning of a project is to confirm our positions and adhere to them, just stick to your own stuff and don’t ever agree to perform someone else’s work – there is just too much riding on it for you to screw it up.


The most important thing I have learned about this Industry is that you need to have a clear and detailed agreement signed prior to performing any work.
This agreement has to cover every conceivable outcome and is used to protect you and your work. I have had many horrible situations happen to me along my journey to which I had no ability to respond to or refute. The reason was because I did not have signed agreements in place.
Whether you are performing work for free, exchange or cold hard cash you need to outline the details agreed to and have it signed by the person in charge.
How many times have you performed work on a project and not been compensated in the way you had been promised in the beginning?
Having a standard agreement including all of your terms and forms of compensation will safeguard you against the ‘users’ out there – of which, there are many!
So, you may be thinking, “Won’t that mean that I might not get the work?”
Well, the way I see it is that anyone who is not willing to sign a simple agreement outlining the situation with no hidden clauses, has something to hide and is going to do the wrong thing by you. So… do you really want that to happen?
I have a detailed standard contract which I present to all potential productions – no signature = no services provided! If you would like to discuss this contract then please get in touch.