Well hello there, now I've had endless amounts of comments, emails, tweets etc... asking: "Where did you study?" .. "Please tell me where you studied?" Now I didn't want to just reply: AOFM, because that's not enough. Well it is, least then I've answered your question, but it doesn't do the Academy justice. So here is my long awaited blogpost all about the marvellous Academy Of Freelance Makeup. Trust me it's been hard keeping this to myself for the last month or so. But what I'm going to share with you today is my honest opinion of my experience at AOFM. Where do I even begin?!
Being part of the whole YouTube/Blogging community, Make Up is pretty important to us. Now I understand some people see makeup as an interest, nothing more then a hobby, there's no problem with that, it's fabulous because with YouTube and blogging we get to share our interest with other like minded people. But this interest of make up for me was a lot more then just an interest. It was something that made me a) very happy and b) I wasn't too bad at it. Now I had all intentions to go to University and study Geography, but that really wasn't for me. So I decided to ditch the text books and look around some make up schools. Now there's a whole cliché when it comes to make up ... some people just don't get it, they think your wasting your time, and don't really understand that make up is actually an art. I like art, I actually like art quite a lot. But sadly I didn't want to become an artist who works on paper, I wanted a different canvas. You know what I love so much about Make up, working on a real model means my art is moving. I don't want to get all artistic with you, but lets just say I like make up.
So I decided to check out some schools, started off at good ole Google, and typed in Make Up schools, I looked locally in South-West England, but nothing stood out. I looked at various other academies and schools, but once again nothing stood out. I visited a few other schools but once again nothing stood out. I stumbled across AOFM, through twitter actually, from twitter I viewed their website, from their website I viewed their facebook. Next thing I know I'm emailing the Academy, and then I'm on the phone to not only the Academy, but to Jason Mallet - The Director of AOFM. And he was a lovely chap, we arranged a visit to the Academy, and this is where it quite frankly began.
Visiting the Academy was fabulous, their reception is beautiful. Jason personally showed me around the Academy and talked me through their curriculum and also the brands whom sponsor AOFM. I was shown the entire premises, which is based on Dean Street, Soho, London. It's a very modern, chic building, hidden away on a little side street just off of the bustling Oxford Street. The Academy has two studios, luckily for me their was a class taking place on the first-floor studio, so Jason let me stay to talk to some of the current students at the Academy, this was really great because you got a feel of what the Academy was like. There students were two days in to their 4 week course, and they were loving every minute of it. When I returned to reception Jason answered any questions I had, at this point I pretty much knew this was the Academy for me.
So, next few steps were applying, the application process is online, they normally telephone you if you haven't visited the Academy, but I had so things pretty much moved swiftly on, I paid my deposit, then the remaining fees just a few weeks before the course started. I was constantly in touch with the Academy, so I was always in the know. Jason recommended I followed the facebook & twitter to see what the Academy & the Graduates were doing.
A week or so before the Course I received my Welcome letter, explaining a few things about the course, when it starts, where it is, particular days where we would be needed at the academy longer etc... All just preparation for a very exciting 4 weeks!
So with that I packed up my bags, and relocated to London. Now the course is 10am - 6pm Daily, so if you don't live near London I would recommend relocating for the duration of the course.
What did I think of this course then?
I opted to Study the Total Pro Creative Specialist Certificate. It's the kind of bees-knees course. You cover pretty much everything. Makeup, Hair, Nails, Airbrush. It's not for everyone, but the Academy offers other courses, to suit your needs.
Other Courses at AOFM:
- Professional Freelance Makeup and Hair Styling Certificate (3 weeks)
- Session Stylist Hair Styling Certificate (6 Days)
- Foundation Certificate Freelance Makeup (1 week)
- Advanced Certificate Freelance Makeup (1 week)
AOFM is unique, this Academy offers more then others ever could. Not only do they teach you what you need to know, but their tutors are "some of the finest international freelance hair and make-up artists in the industry." This is what I loved about the academy, we had the opportunity to be trained by some of the most inspiring make up artists & hair stylists in the world. Every day we would have some one new, and each one of these artists brought something new to us. Whether that was their tips & tricks, their style or teaching method, it meant that everyday was different, but everyday was rewarding. The Academy also offers a Creative Day, I will write more about this later on in the post, but the Academy offers a photoshoot day, which is an exciting day in itself.
Total Pro Creative Specialist Certificate:
What's on the Syllabus?
Make up artist Hygiene
Foundation selection & application
Corrective & Camouflage techniques
Sculpting & Shading
Creating Glowing Skin
Eye brow shaping
Eyeshadows - powders/creams
Natural Beauty Make up
Bridal Make up
Pencil/ Liquid liner
False Lash application
Lipsticks, glosses, and liners
Hands and body
Black & White/ Colour photography make up
Periods in time
Glamour Make up
Male Make up
Ethnic Make up
Personal Shopping day
Getting started in the Industry
(That's a lot of stuff isn't it?!)
I don't want to spoil the course, and give you a day by day this is what we did, but I do want to share my experience with you. So I'm going to tell you what I loved, what I didn't like, but most importantly my honest opinion.
So above I listed the course syllabus, and I'm pretty sure we covered pretty much everything, there were a couple things I don't think we covered but the course is so intensive we probably covered it in some form. One thing about this course is it is INTENSIVE, we're talking Monday - Saturday 10am - 6pm. Plus on top of that shopping & photoshoot day. You also have to clean your brushes everyday after Academy. So allow travelling times to & from Academy, plus making sure your prepped ready for the next day.
You will get tired, but it's the kind of good tired, where you don't mind being tired, because your learning lots, and getting to play with make up every day. That's another point, you get to play with make up, make up that you may not have been fortunate enough to use prior to studying at the Academy. This is fab, because you get to trial and test make up, without having to buy it yourself, and then realise you actually hate it. But you get to trial make up again and again and again. You get to ask Make Up Artists their way of using it. Take this for example, I tried M.A.C face & body on my first day at the Academy, and I hated it, handsdown I am in LOVE with Chanel Vita Lumiere Aqua, no other foundation could ever compare, but after a few trials and errors, What foundation have I opted for in my kit, it's M.A.C Face & body, because I learnt how to use it, and apply it properly!
Everyday I found myself writing endless amounts of notes, don't worry if your not the notes type person, you will recieve hand outs everyday, but I like to expand on that, I ended up filling up two notebooks worth of scribbles and sketches. But these books are full of leading Make up Artists best tips & tricks, that have taken them years to discover. That's what is fab about AOFM. We get all this information within days, it can take a lifetime to discover some of what we learnt.
So here's a simple breakdown of the course:
2 weeks = Make Up
1 week = Hair
1 week = Nails & Airbrushing
Here's a few pictures of some of the work I did ...
This is one of my favourite pieces I created whilst at the Academy. This day we learned eyebrows, lashes, and using colour. I can't express to you how much I love this look. We were taught by Barbara, she is one of the loveliest tutors we had. So helpful, so informative, so very Inspiring!
This was the day I fell in love with M.A.C's Russian Red Lipstick.
What I love about this look is it's sort of Tom Ford Esque style!
60's Inspired - Twiggy Look.
I absolutely loved learning about era's, it's amazing to see how make up evolved, and also learning about what sort of make up was used back in the day!
One of the most exciting days at the Academy was when we were tutored by Michelle Webb, she taught us about textures, watching her demo was one of the most inspiring moments of my life. Her down to earth personality made us all feel comfortable in the studio. It was great to have the opportunity to be creative and work with different mediums. I used greasepaints for this look, and it was so much fun to just go wild with colour.
Tutored by Maria Papadopoulou we had to work to a brief, Maria was by far one of my favourite tutors, her personality is one of the loveliest in the world. She was so helpful, caring but also very honest. If she didn't like something she would be sure to say.
My brief was 70's inspired bronze goddess look. So I decided to create a bronze smokey eye, bronzey contour, shimmery highlight, and a bare lip (just to keep things modern)
After we had all finished working to a timed brief,
we had a feedback session with Maria, which was really great to hear how others took upon their briefs to create their work.
And just incase you thought we didn't study Natural makeup, here is an example of where we just focused on beautiful skin, natural lips, and groomed brows.
So here's an example of an up-do I created, Grecian inspired, but could also be used as bridal hair if the front curls were unpinned and left to fall naturally ...
So what did I LOVE about the Academy?
- The tutors were fantastic
- I learned a lot more then I thought I would
- Learning invaluable tips & tricks
- The vast product range
- The opportunities after studying
- Meeting a fabulous group of students
- A new tutor everyday
What would I say could be better?
Do you know what I'm actually really struggling with this one, I think the course is pretty much perfect.
Looking back I learnt so much & had so much fun, I don't think there is anything that could be improved!
I would honestly recommend this Academy to anyone who is serious about getting into Fashion/ Bridal.
If you have any other questions about the Academy just email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Links relating to AOFM:
Courses do tend to fill up quite quickly, so if you want to guarantee your place on a course start applying sooner rather then later!
I hope you found this blogpost useful
Let me know if any of you are planning on applying to AOFM, or other Make Up Schools