Blanche Macdonald Centre http://www.blanchemacdonald.com/ News from Blanche Macdonald Centre Makeup Legend Todd McIntosh Shares Secrets at Blanche Macdonald http://www.blanchemacdonald.com/news/current/2017/todd-mcintosh-makeup-legend-2016/ Makeup legend Todd McIntosh at Blanche Macdonald Centre

Makeup legend Todd McIntosh is more than a guest on his regular visits to Blanche Macdonald. Todd is family. 

As our Makeup Director, Todd’s expert fingerprints – the same ones that won Emmy Awards for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Pushing Daisies – can be found over Canada’s ever-evolving and most complete makeup curriculum. He’s been at the helm of Blanche Macdonald’s Makeup Program for nearly 30 years now. So when Todd makes one of this regular pilgrimages to Vancouver, it’s more than business. It’s pleasure too.

That pleasure was shared with Blanche Macdonald’s students and instructors as Todd spent a week and half with us this summer, providing multiple days of detailed artistic and career advice with the next generation of makeup superstars.

Blanche Macdonald's Makeup Director, Makeup Legend Todd McIntosh

Todd’s time at Canada’s Top Makeup School began with one-on-one sessions with our Battle of the Brushes contestants at the Vancouver IMATS, delivering wisdom that helped our graduates to a clean sweep of the podium – first, second and third – in the Character Prosthetics category and a superb second in the Beauty/Fantasy. 

“I’ve been a huge fan of Todd since I was ten years old, when I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” explained Battle of the Brushes first place winner Devon Burbank. “The fact that he took time to critique my work was amazing. He suggested so many ideas about hiding edges and folding things out. Todd is incredible. At the end he gave me a full hug and I freaked out.”

Todd went on to spend two days visiting classes in progress, meeting students while providing hefty doses of inspiration and hands-on expertise.

Blanche Macdonald's Makeup Director, Makeup Legend Todd McIntosh 

Perhaps the highlights of his visit were a pair of detail-focussed demonstrations at our Atelier Campus, where Todd proved that you don’t need miracles to create makeup magic. Using products from the pro store at CurliQue Beauty and latex masks retrieved from the bottom of the leftovers cupboard at Masters FX, Todd combined technical wizardry and artistic flair to create screen-ready aliens in under two fascinating hours.

“Of course the School is bigger than when I first became involved,” he explained, “but it doesn’t change that much. We’re constantly expanding the Makeup Program, but students will always be students. They’re just beginning to understand how deep this career can go and what it takes to be in this industry. The questions they asked me were really intelligent. I know that their teachers have already answered those questions. But because they’re asking this mysterious figure that wrote the curriculum, perhaps they listen to my answers more. The ideas about the realities of the industry are coming into their heads.”

Blanche Macdonald's Makeup Director, Makeup Legend Todd McIntosh

The technical and artistic secrets revealed by Todd are going to stay with the students lucky enough to have seen them at first hand, but there were plenty more industry and life lessons to be learned. Here are just a few of our favourites.

“When I was a young makeup artist I travelled to New York to visit Dick Smith. He showed me some makeup work photos from a young student. They were terrible. Dick explained how he recommended that the artist should take some sculpting and painting classes. Then he showed me photos of amazing work of a model in Alfred Hitchcock makeup. It was the same artist. Dick taught me that you can’t judge a student before they’ve had the training.”

“I was told a Makeup Artist had worked on Planet of the Apes so I brought him into our trailer to apply some prosthetics. After two hours, he still hadn’t attached the ears. It turned out that he had just been pulling ape masks onto actors’ heads. Don’t lie about what you’ve done. Tell your Department Head the truth.”

Blanche Macdonald's Makeup Director, Makeup Legend Todd McIntosh demos at IMATS Vancouver 2016

“I was asked to do some beauty makeup for an actress making a speech. That actress turned out to be Audrey Hepburn. It turns out that she was nervous about speaking in front of people. It’s ok to be nervous. I still get nervous!”

“This job can be stressful. In the event of panic, breathe in for a count of four then breathe out for a count of four. Keep calm and controlled. Don’t be dragged out of your circle.”

“Young artists need to temper their fire and arrogance. You might feel like you know better, but listen to people’s experiences. Your mistakes will follow you.”

“I’m not into this to meet famous people. I love the process and art of transformation. I’m fascinated, not just by the surface, but by what happens inside when you’re transformed.”

Blanche Macdonald's Makeup Director, Makeup Legend Todd McIntosh demos at Blanche Macdonald's IMATS Vancouver booth, 2016

It was an honour and a pleasure for all of us to welcome Todd back to Blanche Macdonald. The funniest thing is, he might have enjoyed his time here more than anyone.

“It’s always wonderful to come back here! Just walking around Vancouver it’s so different to my home in LA.

“Jen Folk, Tracey Payne and I have been busy working on curriculum, bringing things up to date in regards to the latest products and developments in HD. And it’s been a pleasure. This is home. I love it here. As long as I have a tea in my hand I’m comfortable!”

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Tue, 28 Feb 2017 00:00:00 PST
SHEAR TALENT: PRO HAIR GRAD STEFANIE MIDDLETON'S COLOURFUL WORLD AT XZISTE STUDIO! http://www.blanchemacdonald.com/news/current/2017/top-hair-school-graduate-stefanie-middleton-shear-talent/ They're the pruners of our strands, the keepers of our secrets and the masterminds behind those picture-perfect balayages. These Blanche Macdonald Pro Hair graduates are just getting their feet wet in the whirlwind world of Hair, but already, they're making waves in their new careers. Spanning the scene from stylists and barbers to Pro-Educators and entrepreneurs, our grads own their very own hair salons, hold the hottest seats in top salons, and work behind the scenes to create stunning editorials. Armed with the knowledge of our internationally recognized training, and a pair or two of super-sharp shears, these remarkable individuals have heard the entrepreneurial call of the Hair world and they have answered back. With Contessa Awards and other prestigious national and international competitions under their collective belts, our grads are climbing the ranks of local and international scenes one snip at a time. It can be hairy, but they're ready for anything!

Top Hair School Graduate Stefanie Middleton

If you can’t tell by her huge, lit up smile, Stefanie Middleton LOVES to do hair. Whether she’s turning those dry strands into a luscious moisturized mane or helping you take your fringe to the next level with a funky chop, she’s your girl. But a fresh look isn’t the only thing that Blanche Macdonald Pro Hair grad Stefanie promises. The self-proclaimed “happy hair stylist” looks to keep your strands looking extra silky, but first and foremost to build each client’s confidence higher with each visit to her welcoming chair. Tell us you don’t want in on that deal! Coupled with her tenacity, Stefanie’s desire to create exactly what her clients imagine has naturally placed her on the floor of Xziste Studio, whose mantra is exactly that – respect the utmost importance of the customer’s needs. Daring enough to rock the latest trends on her own hair, Stefanie is at the ready to get your best hair on – and your best self!

 

Blanche Macdonald: What was your favorite part of our Hair program?

Stefanie Middleton: My favorite part of the program was our photo shoots. They were a lot of fun most of the time, but also extremely challenging. You need to keep your focus (which the instructors always helped us with) and then slowly watch your visions come to life. The toughest challenges are always the most valuable! The whole program taught me a lot about myself, especially how to trust my gut and to work under pressure - which is needed in this industry!

 

BMC: What is your specialty?

SM: COLOUR! Haha, I know I still have many things to learn about it, but color has been the biggest part of hair that my clients and myself love. I especially do well with the more creative punky colors. There's just something about seeing people rocking wild colors in a classy way that I love to create. The best is seeing the happiness from your clients with the work you do. It is literally the most satisfying feeling in the world.

 

Top Hair School Graduate Stefanie Middleton

 

BMC: How did our Career Services and job placements help you find work?

SM: The school provided us with a booklet of salons, the owner’s info and areas where each salon was located. It was helpful for all us to find work experience near us and at salons that would teach us new things in a professional setting. It did land me work experience in two amazing salons. If you're willing to put the work in it and do your part, the school will back you up 100%.


BMC: How do you feel about the baby bang trend?

SM: Oh I love them! I actually just cut some edgy baby bangs on myself. If you can pull something off, then work it!


BMC: What is one thing you find most difficult about doing hair? Why?

SM: Honestly, the hardest part for me personally isn't doing hair itself, but trying to help educate our clients about the timing a service might take and helping them understand that not everything can happen all at once. You never know what you are walking into, especially with new clients. Color corrections can take hours depending on what the client desires. You cannot always promise to get them to where they want to be right away. I was always told to under promise and over deliver - that's what I always aim to do!


Top Hair School Graduate Stefanie Middleton


BMC: If you could throw a parade, what would it celebrate?

SM: This is actually something I have never thought about before. Perhaps pizza? Everyone likes pizza, right? I could have people with pizza costumes while handing out free slices? Mm, this actually sounds great!

BMC: Best thing about the 90's?

SM: The hip hop back then! That was the real deal. Back when Missy, Aaliyah, DMX, Tupac, Biggie and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony were all still around and slaying!

 

BMC: What's your favorite candy?

SM: Sour dinosaurs! The red and green ones are the best!

 

BMC: Which Sex and the City character do you think you are? Why?

SM: Hmm, that's got to be a toss up between Samantha and Carrie. Samantha because she is always real with herself and her relationships, she never sugarcoats, which is how I usually handle things. Carrie is also a character I relate to moreso because she is really a passionate person. When she is feeling something, she goes after it. She is a strong independent woman living in the city just trying to make it somewhere - just like me!

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Thu, 23 Feb 2017 00:00:00 PST
BLANCHE MACDONALD GRADUATE LINDA TRANG LY GLAMS UP GASTOWN WITH ONYX AESTHETICS STUDIO http://www.blanchemacdonald.com/news/current/2017/top-nail-school-graduate-linda-trang-ly-onyx-aesthetics-studio/ Linda Trang Ly, Owner of ONYX Aesthetics Studio in Gastown, Vancouver!

Walking into Onyx Aesthetics Studio is like walking into a world where every day is a good nail day. It’s a place where beauty is continuously unfolding; a place to be primped and pampered in total tranquility. In just two short years Onyx owner and Blanche Macdonald graduate Linda Trang Ly has cultivated the perfect space to showcase her inimitable esthetics skills: an IG-worthy salon with a killer team of estheticians and an impressive roster of clients. 

Although Onyx has already achieved great success in its short life, the studio was a long time in the making. After completing the Nail Parlour program at Canada’s Top Nail School, Linda spent nearly a decade doing nails in Ontario and Connecticut, until Vancouver’s nail scene was finally established enough for Linda to bring her skills back home.

“When I was trying to get into the industry after school, everyone here wanted French manicures on sport length nails. I knew that if I stuck around I would change careers again, so I moved to Toronto. Because of that, I’ve been perfecting my skills and doing crazy long nails with art for the last 10 years! And this was even before all the gel polishes came out. I always knew I would come back home, but I needed it to be the right time for what I wanted to do. Once I saw on Instagram how things were evolving in Vancouver, I knew it was time to come back.”

But having been out of the Vancouver scene for nearly 10 years, Linda had to quickly suss out what the new Vancouver had to offer to find the perfect place for the esthetics paradise she was planning to create. When her initial searches of Kitsilano and Kerrisdale proved unsuccessful, it was in a relatively unexpected neighborhood, on the suggestion of a friend, that Linda happened upon the ideal space for her studio – Gastown.

Linda Trang Ly, Owner of ONYX Aesthetics Studio in Gastown, Vancouver!

“The Gastown I knew was The Old Spaghetti Factory, The Purple Onion and some souvenir shops. But suddenly, Gastown wasn’t just Water St. anymore! I saw this space and the shape of it and I knew that it was exactly what I had been searching for!”

Finding the space was job number one. Job number two was turning it into the studio of Linda’s dreams. Enlisting the help of a friend, Linda set to work creating the beautiful, coordinated and oh-so-Instagram-friendly interior that exists now. Pristine white tables, glistening cabinets, accent cushions and wall upon wall of nail colours and products nestle underneath a glittering chandelier and below a perfectly puzzled-together gallery of quotes.

“My best friend and I designed most of it together. We picked out all the accents and framed and foiled all the quotes. I don’t have a favorite though! I’m just one of those people who loves to read and funny or positive quotes are my favorite so, why not?”

With a space that exhibits such a personal touch, it’s no wonder the patrons and passersby of Gastown came flocking in to see the new esthetics digs in their neighborhood. And it’s precisely these clients that make each day a wonder for Linda and her team. 

“We have really, really nice clients. They’re my favourite part of each day! I’ve had clients walk out the door and yell ‘That was great!’ which is so funny because it’s like I pay them to do that. But I don’t! I envisioned these amazing clients who come here because they want to and that’s exactly what it’s become. They brighten our day and they enjoy the music, their service and the team of incredible women I’ve got working with me.”

Linda Trang Ly, Owner of ONYX Aesthetics Studio in Gastown, Vancouver!

If rave client reviews are anything to go by, it’s clear that Linda knows a thing or two about building the best possible team and delivering the utmost in pampering services. But what does it take to make it onto such a special close-knit team?

“Personality! I obviously look for skills too, but those can always be worked on. It’s such a close space in here, so it’s important that all the girls on my team and I really get along. There are a few of us that have been doing this for quite a while and we still teach each other new things or a more efficient way to do a service, so it’s so important we all work together!”

With a myriad of services on offer and high expectations from customers, teamwork is essential. Luckily for Linda, she loves performing the variety of services on her clients as much as they love getting them!

“When I started at Blanche Macdonald, I was taking Makeup. Then I took the Nail Program and  I realized that the makeup and skincare came in so handy. So I learned how to do it all! If I stuck with nails all day, I think I would get bored, but the fact that I can switch it up with brows and lashes makes everyday different and fun!”

Linda Trang Ly, Owner of ONYX Aesthetics Studio in Gastown, Vancouver!

Linda’s training at Canada’s #1 Makeup and Esthetics school is the foundation that she needed to get to where she is today. But what brought her to Blanche Macdonald in the first place?

“I wanted to try out Makeup, but I wanted to do it the right way. I knew Blanche Macdonald was the biggest school for that. I judge everything on quality, not brand name or anything else. So I wanted the school that was going to give me what I needed, but was also the best option. And for me, that was Blanche Macdonald. Then when I knew I wanted to take nails, I didn’t need to shop for schools again. The Makeup Program was so good and thorough; I knew their Nail course would be as well. And it was! Everything I needed, everything I wanted to learn, was there.”

And it wasn’t only her training that she got from Blanche Macdonald. She also picked up a little something else that would prove very valuable years down the road.

“We were doing our theory on our first day and there was a word at the beginning of the book in Greek that means nails. The word was ‘onyx.’ And I just knew that one day, I would own a salon and that I would call it Onyx.”

Though Linda decided on her salon’s name on that first day of theory, the entrepreneurial spirit had taken root in her soul years before. 

“My parents owned restaurants when I was young. Growing up around that, you see the benefits and the sacrifices. I like being able to have things in a certain way, which isn’t always an option when you work for other people. Having my own studio, I know that every single day I want to be here. This is where I should be.”

Linda Trang Ly, Owner of ONYX Aesthetics Studio in Gastown, Vancouver!

Linda’s independent business sense and countless skills have scored her a must-visit studio in Vancouver and a solid reputation in the Esthetics world. But it is her connection with her clients that has brought her one of her greatest accolades: Onyx Aesthetics Studio is one of only 14 CND Ambassadors in Canada. And yes, it’s as impressive as it sounds.

“I had a regular client in Mississauga who would tell me about CND and Revlon and how I could get involved. I just thought she was being a super nice, thankful client! But once I was back in Vancouver, she introduced me to the CND reps and they loved my space and what I had envisioned for my clientele. They flew me to Toronto to teach me about everything CND and each year I go back for regional training. Now I fly to different venues, salons and tradeshows to teach classes about CND products, do manicures using the products and explore any issues they may be having. It’s all about education. It’s perfect for me and Onyx because CND gives me access to products and knowledge that I wouldn’t be able to get otherwise.”

With a successful studio, a flourishing career, and an impressive standing in the Canadian Esthetics scene, is it possible Linda has any more aspirations for the immediate future?

She grins, “I’m thinking of possibly a second location. And actually the wall of quotes has gotten me a lot of requests to make people other ones – but I don’t want anything to interfere with this shop right now. Though a little more space would be nice!”

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Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 PST
FASHION FERVOUR: GLOBAL FASHION MARKETING GRADUATE AMANDA WATT TAKES ON THE WORLD OF HIGH FASHION AT HOLT RENFREW VANCOUVER! http://www.blanchemacdonald.com/news/current/2017/fashion-marketing-graduate-amanda-watt-holt-renfrew/ With their unique fashion voices, these Blanche Macdonald Global Fashion Marketing graduates are taking the industry by storm. Articulating their story to the world, our grads have navigated their way through fashion's ever-evolving terrain, bridging the gap between knowledge and success: from luxury retail brands and glossy magazine offices, to prestigious PR firms and leading buying agencies. Our grads are 'serging' ahead of the trend, climbing the ranks of local and international scenes, one fashion forward trend at a time. Meet these burgeoning fashion mavens that have become part of this thrilling community in our Fashion Fervour storytelling!

FASHION FERVOUR: GLOBAL FASHION MARKETING GRADUATE AMANDA WATT TAKES ON THE WORLD OF HIGH FASHION AT HOLT RENFREW VANCOUVER!

Set your mind to it and it may happen. Do it with heart and it's guaranteed. Blanche Macdonald Global Fashion Marketing graduate Amanda Watt has approached her burgeoning career with this doctrine, hustling (with heart) on her way to become Marketing Coordinator at Vancouver’s coveted luxury retail department store, Holt Renfrew. From setting up large scale events featuring the most buzz-worthy designers and mega-names in the industry, to coordinating intimate fêtes, prepping hundreds of swag bags and sourcing for what's to come next, she's always on her toes, ready to tackle the next big fashion moment. Meet Amanda Watt, gracious, accomplished and fanatical for Fashion.

Blanche Macdonald: What was your favourite part of our Fashion Marketing program?

Amanda Watt: All of it! It was such a truly amazing experience that I will always treasure. I remember being so inspired by [Blanche Macdonald Fashion Program Director and Instructor] Peggy Morrison’s passion that no matter what she was teaching I loved it; her stories and Show and Tell were something that I would have never imagined I would be fortunate enough to be a part of. I truly believe that I would not be where I am today if it was not for Blanche Macdonald and the opportunities and goals it helped me realize.


BMC: How did the Blanche Macdonald Career Department help you in pursuing these goals?

AW: Honestly, if it wasn’t for the guidance of [Blanche Macdonald Career Director] Mel Watts while I was in school, I would never have had the opportunity to intern with Holt Renfrew, and if it wasn’t for that, who knows where I would be today! I truly believe that my internship was the first and most crucial step in starting my career in fashion. I fortunately still get to see Mel from time to time. I really should stop into the campus more than I do, though!

I have been lucky enough to now be heavily involved with the internship program here at Holts. It is an incredible way to get your foot in the door! The Internship Program is something that I hold very close to my heart and I have had the opportunity to meet some extraordinary Blanche students along the way.

FASHION FERVOUR: GLOBAL FASHION MARKETING GRADUATE AMANDA WATT TAKES ON THE WORLD OF HIGH FASHION AT HOLT RENFREW VANCOUVER!


BMC: What does a typical work day as a Marketing Coordinator look like for you?

AW: One of the things I love so much about my job is that it’s very hard to answer that question.The majority of my days are planning and organizing! I start off my day with checking emails and voicemails, I then send a daily email to all the staff to give them a snapshot of what is happening that week. From there, I never know where the day may take me! There is always something different happening. From setting up for large scale events to coordinating small intimate ones, preparing hundreds of swag bags to sourcing for events, there is never a dull moment!

BMC: Can you share a memorable event that you worked on?

AW: One of the most memorable events for me to-date was working on the Charlotte Tilbury Personal Appearance and Beauty Counter Launch. It was such a huge deal to be bringing her to Vancouver and it was an event that we worked on for months! The day of her actual appearance was so fun, we had British Guards, models all decked out in her signature makeup looks wearing beautiful silk robes, and paparazzi! She (not surprisingly!) drew out a huge crowd and it’s always exciting to be able to connect the public with designers and creators of this calibre.

BMC: Can you tell us a little about the incredible designers you've met during your time at Holts?

AW: I’ve been so fortunate to meet several designers, all of which were so unique in their own ways.  

Marcelo Burlon was a huge highlight for me! He did a personal appearance in the store and then we had an after party at the LUMAS Gallery in Gastown. At one point he took over the DJ booth and didn’t stop until the party ended!

I also met the Smythe designers, who were both so gracious and kind. My most star-struck moment, however, was when we had a book signing for internationally-renowned Model, Coco Rocha. I had to help her get to the bathroom before she went out on stage and she was just so elegant and so beautiful that for the first time in my Holts career I was really in this dreamlike moment.

FASHION FERVOUR: GLOBAL FASHION MARKETING GRADUATE AMANDA WATT TAKES ON THE WORLD OF HIGH FASHION AT HOLT RENFREW VANCOUVER!


BMC: If you were given 20 minutes every day to shop, which department would you sneak away to?

AW: That is such a hard question! I would say Shoes. I love them all. Seriously. I’m also frequently in the cosmetics department. I have a cosmetics background and worked in cosmetic retail for a long time before I came to Blanche to start the fashion chapter of my career. You’ll often find me downstairs trying out the newest eyeshadow pallette from Tom Ford, or checking out the latest Creed scent – there’s always so much innovation and excitement in cosmetics, not to mention technology that would blow your mind. Right now I’m anxiously awaiting all the summer collections because I love anything shimmery, and the best highlighters come in with the summer product!

BMC: How would you describe your personal style?

AW: It is constantly evolving. I feel like my style has really started to mature and reflect the point that I am at in my career and my life. I will always gravitate towards colour and pattern though, that hasn’t changed at all! Oh, and my love for costume jewellery is deeply rooted.

BMC: If you were reincarnated into any designer, who would it be and why?

AW: Gabrielle Chanel. She was such a pioneer for women and I don’t feel that she is credited enough for that. She pushed the boundaries of fashion and beauty and it is one of the things I’ve always really admired the most about her. She was way ahead of her time designing for the modern empowered woman.

FASHION FERVOUR: GLOBAL FASHION MARKETING GRADUATE AMANDA WATT TAKES ON THE WORLD OF HIGH FASHION AT HOLT RENFREW VANCOUVER!


BMC: What fashion decade would you go back to if you had a time machine?

AW: I’ve always wished I could live through the 1920’s to the 1980’s at 28 years old so I could experience it all, but if I had to choose, I would go back to the early 1950’s. I LOVE the feminine silhouette of The New Look by Dior. I also love the idea of dressing up to go everywhere. Everyone was so glamorous no matter if you were off to a gala or to the grocery store.


BMC: What advice would you have for someone who is just graduating?

AW: The question that I’m asked the most from other students and new graduates is how did I do it? And my answer is always the same: I worked really hard. My advice to anyone getting into the fashion industry is that it is small and your reputation is very important. Find a company that you are interested in and get in at any position that you can, then work your butt off. Opportunities and doors will open from there, but only if you work for it. Also find a mentor, someone you have to look up to and learn from is really beneficial. I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities that I have been presented with. But with that being said, it was not without hard work and sacrifice. If you set your mind and heart to it, you will achieve it!

 

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Thu, 09 Feb 2017 00:00:00 PST
BLANCHE MACDONALD MAKEUP GRADUATE DAISY HSIANG DISHES ON TAIWANESE MAKEUP, SHOOTS FOR VOGUE AND HER BIG DREAMS http://www.blanchemacdonald.com/news/current/2017/un-profile-global-makeup-coop-graduate-daisy-hsiang-taiwan/ With thousands of artists, stylists and designers soaring into our halls from around the world each year, our classrooms have become dynamic global communities under the unitedly diverse banner of our Blanche World – a United Nations of creativity! In a glorious culture clash, our International students import a vibrant collection of new customs, insights and inspiration that colour our world in exciting new ways. The leap from their home countries to our corner of Canada comes with big change, courage and incredible journeys. Speaking in the international language of passion, we sit down with our global talent to talk the dreams that brought them here, the challenges they overcame, and all about the power of being an artistic representative in a new country. Meet the burgeoning stars that have joined us from around the globe in our UN storytelling!

Top Global Makeup Co-op Graduate Daisy Hsiang from Taiwan

Hailing from Taipei, Blanche Macdonald Global Makeup Co-op graduate Daisy Hsiang has the start of a stellar resume. Having her work published in Italian Vogue and Marie Claire Taiwan, and being represented by an overseas agency, Daisy is already living what, for most makeup artists, is a dream career. But these achievements aren’t the only cooler than cool things about this girl. Fostering her burgeoning career in Makeup from Industrial Management beginnings, Daisy had long ago made the decision to march to the beat of her own drum. Enveloping me in a hug and a squeal, you’d hardly expect the hustle that’s housed inside this doll of a person. Dressed in chic street wear that’s perfectly styled to her aesthetic, Daisy’s vibes are all about cool, collected confidence. With bright eyes, a big smile and in the sweetest, most humble way, Daisy talks about the international makeup scene, her journey so far, and gives advice for those looking to make it big in the global makeup industry.

Blanche Macdonald: What were your experiences growing up in Taiwan that made you want to go into makeup?

Daisy Hsiang: I love art. I actually started to study Industrial Management in university in Taiwan, which is when I started playing with makeup for the first time - so late!  I wanted to know more about beauty makeup so I took a basic photography and professional makeup class while I was in university. My makeup class made me so happy and that’s how I decided that was what I needed to do with my life! The best thing is that my parents always support me when I want to learn something different.

BMC: What made you make the long journey to the Blanche Macdonald Centre?

DH: It’s the best makeup school in Canada, right?! It’s very famous all over especially in Asia. Everyone I talk to goes "Oh, I know that school!" I wanted to learn from the best so I came here! I visited Blanche Macdonald for the first time with my family and my Admissions Director Josephine Lee, I was so excited to be involved in this industry in Canada.

Blanche Macdonald Global Makeup Co-op Graduate Daisy Hsiang

BMC: With such a change in location, what was the main thing you needed to adjust to?

DH: The culture. It’s very different. English was hard to learn too. The food, everything is different. Though the sushi here is very good!

BMC: But you’re enjoying Vancouver?

DH: I love Vancouver, especially in the summer. The beach, hiking, museums, the night market is so fun and all the food! It’s a very beautiful place. I want to live here in Vancouver for a while. My agent in Taiwan always wants me to come back but I like it here and I'm so busy!

BMC: Did you have a project that you were most proud of over your time here?

DH: My airbrushing project. Natacha [Trottier] was my teacher and it was so hard but it was really fun.

BMC: And what about a favourite module from the course?

DH: Fashion definitely! Jon [Hennessey] was my instructor for fashion and he's the best instructor I’ve ever had. He’s just so good. When we were in class and I was struggling, he sat down and said, "Daisy, you can do great makeup and I can see it and you can explain it and that’s how you can practice your English."

BMC: Jon has an incredibly caring way about him. And the ladies in the Career Department, were they able to help you reach some professional goals while you were in school?

DH: Definitely. Heather and Jen always support the students and do everything they can to help them find the jobs they want. And there are so many places they can connect you with where your volunteer work can be used in your portfolio for other jobs you want. They also know some amazing artists around Vancouver. I volunteered a lot in school and it was so good for me to meet other people, work on my portfolio and be inspired.

Blanche Macdonald Global Makeup Co-op Graduate Daisy Hsiang

BMC: Those connections are so valuable for someone starting out in this industry! How did your education at Blanche Macdonald prepare you for your professional life?

DH: I learned everything from school, from basic beauty to Special Effects. Nothing is routine when you work and school really prepared me for that. Even when I got tired, I knew I had to keep going and keep pushing and I did because of the teachers and the instruction at Blanche Macdonald. Not too long ago, I taught a class in Taiwan that was just simple beauty makeup. Because I was so used to working in fast-paced classes at school, I was able to cover everything from skin to lips and the final look in just two hours.

BMC: Since graduating, you’ve done so much but specifically, you’ve been interviewed by Marie Claire Taiwan and done a shoot for Vogue Italy – those are some pretty amazing accomplishments! How did you manage to land those jobs?

DH: One of the project managers of Marie Claire Taiwan worked with my agent in the past and that’s how I made the first connection. She was interested in me as a graduate from a recognized international Makeup school, so the interview came from that!  My agency in Shanghai is a new agency and I am the first artist that they represent. The shoot for Vogue Italy was good but so hard! Vogue wants things that are perfect and it can be stressful but also a lot of fun.

BMC: So you’ve hit some major milestones, what are your next goals/plans for your career?

DH: I’m starting Fashion Design at Blanche Macdonald next March and I’m really excited for that. And I'd love to do all the makeup for the Fashion week shows. I’m also learning how to DJ right now. I want to do something different with makeup and clothes and music. I’d like to produce something different with it all and that's a dream for me too. I want to completely design and direct my own shoot one day. That’s my big dream and I want to work with Jon someday but not now, I’m not good enough yet!

BMC: You’ve got some incredibly cool goals and it’s so great that you see makeup as always being in the picture. What is it about doing makeup that you love?

DH: After I do a client’s makeup, when people look at themselves and say, "I look so different and beautiful" it makes me feel so happy and proud of my work. Though I do get people who are confused when I tell them what I do, even my dad when I first started thought I would be home later that week, but it's my dream so I do it!

Blanche Macdonald Global Makeup Co-op Graduate Daisy Hsiang 

BMC: Can you tell me a little about the difference in makeup trends in Vancouver and Taiwan?

DH: Makeup in Taiwan is very different from here. There they like the no makeup look; it's very Korean and Japanese. It’s very hot and wet in Taiwan so one thing my clients are always asking is how to set their makeup and keep it on longer, which is also why they prefer light makeup. My Taiwan makeup kit always has skin care products, waterproof products, loose powder and natural products. Canadian makeup puts a lot of focus on shapes like brows, liner and contours. So in my kit to do makeup in Vancouver, I’ve got hydrating oil, lots of varying foundation colours and multicoloured lip colours, eye colours and shimmer. Here it doesn't matter what you wear for makeup. It’s a very free and different style.

BMC: And what do you think is the most important thing that new or up-and-coming Makeup Artists who are looking to be represented and work on print campaigns should do?

DH: First I would tell them to follow your passion and stay true to yourself. But the most important thing is practice, practice, practice – that’s the only thing that will improve your skill. Build up your followers and people on social media Instagram and Facebook, too. I always message photographers saying ‘I love your work, can we work together?’ I just keep it simple.

Top International Makeup School Graduate Daisy Hsiang

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Fri, 03 Feb 2017 00:00:00 PST