Vancouver, A.K.A. Hollywood North, is home to towering mountains, lush rainforests and stunning ocean views. It’s a small slice of filming heaven which has helped make the past year one of the busiest and most exciting in Canada’s Film and TV history. In and around Vancouver you can find alien invasions and fairy tale endings, Super Hero battles and monster truck adventures. It was a blockbuster year that saw studio space become limited due to an ever-expanding line up of productions from X-Files and Prison Break reboots to comic book juggernauts Arrow, Supergirl and The Flash fighting crime across the Lower Mainland. In a historic move Hollywood studio giant Skydance opened up one of the world’s longest and tallest stages right here on the West Coast, breathing Altered Carbon to life in Netflix’s biggest creative endeavor yet! With impressive scenery, diverse shooting locales and an incredibly talented pool of TV and film crew, the decision to utilize everything British Columbia has to offer was an easy one.

Vancouver boasts some of the world’s best TV and Film Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists, a previously exclusive club that’s now parting the ropes as high demand for their skills continues to skyrocket. With our city playing host to gruesome hits like Supernatural, iZombie and Deadpool our Blanche Macdonald Hair and Makeup family is beyond busy creating epic looks and winning major awards. In the past year they have been recognized with multiple Emmy, Canadian Screen Awards and Leo Awards for their outstanding work and dedication to their craft. The diversity of the abilities throughout our Fashion scene is becoming more involved and the Film & TV industry is taking note! They are scouting local talent and our contribution is only growing. From Vancouver to Prince George, film productions dotted the landscape in this momentous year and Blanche Macdonald graduates and instructors were lucky enough to take on leading roles.

At the forefront of many of the main costuming jobs that roll through Vancouver is Blanche Macdonald Costuming for TV & Film instructor Derek Baskerville. As an industry veteran with titles like I, Robot, Untold Stories of the ER and Wedding Bells behind him, Derek has an innate understanding of all the demands and responsibilities that come with a role in the costume department of any production. He also has an excellent eye for those students of his who possess such gritty sparkle. Students such as Fashion Marketing graduate Madison Douglas, who is excelling as an assistant to Derek on a number of his upcoming projects! Luckily for our Fashion Marketing and Design students, Derek is also an extraordinary mentor and has placed many Blanche Macdonald Fashion students and graduates behind the scenes of multiple productions.

“One of my greatest pleasures when hiring Blanche Macdonald graduates is that within a very short time they make themselves indispensable with their willingness to take it all on, ‘own it’ and have fun at the same time. In the industry we are always looking for people with fresh ideas and ways to make challenges work while working on tight timelines.  We are looking for people who bring enthusiasm, courage and a positive attitude when they join a new costuming team!”


Whether you are scouring the shops for that perfect piece as a Buyer, dressing background actors for key scenes, giving new clothes “old” life as a breakdown artist like Fashion Design graduate Julian Leclerc is on Netflix’s vampire hunter series Van Helsing, or challenging your skills in sewing and breakdown as a Truck Costumer; being prepared for anything and everything is crucial. It was this ability to acclimate quickly that saw Fashion Design graduate Andromeda Nelson ignite her passion working alongside Derek Baskerville as a Background Costumer on myriad projects and then promptly work her way up to Assistant Costumer. Similarly, Blanche Macdonald Fashion Marketing graduate Angela Ivanochko’s capability to be adaptable in all situations allowed her the opportunity to work as a Buyer on the CW’s breakout hit drama Riverdale.

Be over prepared and always expect the unexpected to happen. No day in film is ever the same, one day you might be shopping glitzy cocktail gowns at Nordstrom and the next your sourcing men's jockstraps for the high school football team. It can be challenging at times, like anything else in life worth having it requires a lot of effort. But there is nothing more rewarding than hitting up the theatre and seeing you and all your team's hard work showcased on the big screen - that is a moment I live for!”  


Building an encyclopedia of knowledge on style, fit and silhouette is pivotal in being able to translate fundamental looks for TV & Film projects. Just ask Iranian born Fashion Design graduate Maryam Asgari whose role as a Truck Costumer has her responsible for everything from assisting cast at their trailers to properly hot-stocking costumes with a complex series of breakdown phases. Maryam’s hard work has propelled her steady rise through the ranks on hit CW shows such as The Flash and Arrow, ABC’s Once Upon a Time as well as Disney’s Descendants 2 – where she was fortunate to work alongside LA-based Fashion and Costume Designer Kara Saun. As an International student, Maryam faced many adjustments while living abroad and in addition to those was now discovering a whole new terminology – all outside of her native tongue.  

“When I learned the term silhouette it was a huge deal for me. I was asked to day call on The X-Files reboot shortly afterwards and the designer needed me to find him a ‘beautiful silhouette’. I felt amazing because I had the confidence in knowing what that meant! The Fashion Awareness course gave me the knowledge to completely envision a look – beyond even the clothes. I’m able to make sure that everything is there to pull it together from top to toe and place it in the correct era.  Every day on set is completely different, I might be responsible for breakdown, design, background or even sewing. Moving across the world and enrolling in Fashion Design at Blanche Macdonald was intimidating, but has paid off – I work in an industry I love and feel creatively fulfilled.”  

TV and Film is an industry where being at the top of your game 100% of the time is the expectation – space at the top is limited and to play alongside of the best you need to have your game face on. Long hours, changing weather conditions and working accurately under pressure are just a few challenges working on set will throw at you and preparation is key! Fashion Marketing Graduate Renata Mihalickova (Assistant Prep Costumer/Buyer – Love Finds Its Way) quickly found this out maneuvering the world of Hollywood North.

“You have to be on time, whether it’s an early morning crew call or an overnight shoot, so organization is key. You need to work quickly and, most importantly, be accurate and communicate. In this industry it’s important to stay cool under pressure and be able to roll with a changing schedule. There is a very fast moving work flow and you have an ever changing job description. It’s so important to be able to be adaptive and ready for anything – all skills I learned at Blanche Macdonald!”

Wed, 10 May 2017 00:00:00 PST
"Blanche Macdonald is the Harvard of Makeup." - Eve Pearl, five-time Emmy Award winning Makeup Artist new-makeup-brochure

We’re so excited to introduce you to the pillars of our Global Makeup Artistry program, the creative forces that drive it and the graduates who are continuing to gain world-wide recognition for their unmatched Makeup skills. Our commitment to the global artistry community has only strengthened our dedication and reputation for excellence. Throughout the years, we have been fortunate to have forged incredible relationships with some of the top artists in their field who contribute to the successes of our programs and our graduates even now.

We are so humbled to be recognized as the “Harvard of Makeup” by someone of Eve Pearl’s stature. As a five-time Emmy Award winning Makeup Artist and one of the leading authorities on beauty, Eve Pearl is also a highly successful entrepreneur behind the international cosmetics brand Eve Pearl with over two decades of experience in TV, film, print and theatre.

With a myriad of remarkable Daytime Emmy nominations and wins, along with multiple Leo Award and Canadian Screen Award nominations in this past year alone, we are so proud of the local, national and international artists that have come through our halls! Of course, it helps that our Global Makeup program was written by Hollywood Makeup royalty, our own Makeup Director Todd McIntosh who also happens to hold two Emmy Award wins and 13 nominations under his name.


We are so happy to announce that a mere ten days ago Blanche Macdonald Global Makeup graduate Jenna Servatius joined the ranks of award-winning artists and took home the 2017 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Makeup on PBS’ Odd Squad.

"With a show like Odd Squad where Kid Agents could run into any number of strange people, there is no shortage of new characters and villains to create. A challenge when working on a show with this target age range (5-8 years) is creating characters who are both fantastical and villainous without being frightening. This was achieved by pulling inspiration from various eras, historical figures, Japanese animation, familiar childhood silhouettes and lots of research. In some cases it meant the use of faux fur, resin moulds, and prosthetics, in others, beards, brow blocks and even bread.

"Being a graduate of Blanche Macdonald I feel has really set me up for success. The in depth training I received certainly has set me apart from other artists in my area. Hiring many assistants over the past few years I have seen at first hand the vast difference in the confidence, skill level and overall knowledge of an artist who has graduated from Blanche compared to other schools graduates."

Flip through the stories and successes from Blanche Macdonald Global Makeup graduates from all over the world going from experiencing the majesty of Europe through the eye of Kelseyanna Fitzpatrick, master of atypical beauty and the youngest member of Kat Von D’s Beauty Collective; to the phantasmagoria of Instagram star Mimi Choi’s mind-bending makeup; to the couture creations that have helped Lyle Reimer reach global audiences with his celebrity collaborations; or to Makeup graduate-turned-instructor Jon Hennessey’s cultivation of Vancouver’s top creative beauty agency, NOBASURA.


Tue, 09 May 2017 00:00:00 PST

Makeup is different for everyone. For some, it’s designated to special occasions; for others, it’s an essential daily routine. For Blanche Macdonald Freelance graduate AJ Woodworth, it’s a sacred ritual, deserving of respect in an appropriate space and environment. Upon graduating from Canada’s #1 Makeup School, that’s exactly what she set out to create. AJ’s dreams of a private and comfortable makeup studio have come to fruition in The Glamoury – Yaletown’s newest luxury styling salon.

“Before I did anything in makeup, I was a musician and there were always TV segments, performances or rehearsals that I had to be done up for, usually super early in the morning. I do not go out without my makeup on so the idea of going out to a store to get my makeup done, if they were even open that early, was horrifying. I always wanted something that was really private and that gave the clients an experience, which didn’t exist. So that’s when this idea started to take hold in me.”

With the idea firmly planted, AJ took the plunge and began searching for the perfect location to create her makeup heaven.

“Yaletown was a natural place to be in my mind. I was putting my business plan together and I contacted a leasing agent. I told him what I wanted and he basically told me it would be impossible! Weirdly enough, he called me a few weeks later and was like ‘I found your space!’”

Armed with a business plan and now a place to set it all up, it was time for AJ to decide exactly what aesthetic and feel she wanted her dream studio to take on.

“I can’t take credit for the beauty in here! The one thing I can take credit for is the fact that I knew I wanted something different, something that would make a statement and feel luxurious when you were in it. I knew I wanted lights around the mirrors, lots of privacy – hence the partitions – and an old Hollywood vibe but without the sparkly chandeliers. So I started working with the team at Ste Marie [design studio] and they presented me with this colour palette of reds, eggplant, brass and wallpaper and I just fell in love. They basically took everything I wanted, combined it all and bumped it up 1 million percent! We also worked with Glasfurd & Walker [branding and identity design studio] who did all of our branding and signage.”


Now came time to decide exactly how to shape the perfect experience AJ had dreamed up so long ago. Needing no honing or clarification, AJ knew exactly what variables needed controlling in order to give each client the salon experience of their dreams.

“When people come in, they’re greeted with a client card and given a robe. They can tell us if they’d like to talk or keep it quiet, if they want photos or not, and what exact services they’re looking for. It’s really the best way for them to tell us what they want and for us to deliver it with the least amount of pressure. If they’re having a bad day and they want to come in and relax, they can. If they’re here to catch up on girl talk, we can do that too. I want people to feel like they can get whatever they’re coming for.

“After the card, they get our look book which has our 8 looks and 7 hairstyles to choose from. There are also other options and add-ons they can choose from, like teeth whitening. Basically we’ll do everything a client needs to get them ready for wherever they’re going or whatever they’re doing. This is also the reason we have little pockets of merchandise around the store like body glow, jewelry and a bit of nail polish. We want you leaving completely styled!”

Having each team member’s kit stocked with AJ’s personal favourites, as well as industry and cult beauty picks like NARS, Anastasia and MAC, is the perfect way to make sure there’s consistency and unification between each look or visit, no matter which artist’s chair you sit in.

And if that’s not impressive enough, there’s also the branded line of cosmetics The Glamoury carries.

“I wanted clients to be able to take products with them for touch ups but it was hard to get some lines in here. So I started working on our own line with a company in Toronto to supply some lip colours for us. It’s made in Canada, paraben free and not tested on animals.”

In assembling a team to complete her space, AJ knew that any artists she hired would have to understand the Glamoury’s culture and respect the sanctity of makeup as much as she did. The task seemed daunting, but luckily AJ knew exactly where to look. With such specific needs, it’s no wonder that half of AJ’s team are also graduates of Canada’s #1 Makeup Program.

“It happened pretty organically but Blanche Macdonald has been just so supportive in this area too. I go off of personality and my gut mostly, skill too but personality here is just so important. For example, when I first met Claudia I thought she was the sweetest person I’d ever met and her work was incredible. Then came Martha Camara and Ksenia Ogolikhina and of course, they’re all from Blanche!”


Before AJ could capitalize on her brilliant idea of a private makeup studio, she had to get the training she needed. When the day came to enroll in a Freelance Makeup program, she knew exactly where to go.

“My sister went to Blanche Macdonald for Esthetics and she knew Heather [Sosa, Makeup Career Director] really well from working with her at Holt Renfrew. I always knew Blanche was the only place I would ever go. I loved my time there and my teachers were amazing! You learn so much about everything, from sanitizing stations to interacting with clients and working with other artists, as well as the technical aspects of makeup. I wouldn’t have been able to do what I’ve done if I hadn’t gone to Blanche.

“I went back to Jen [Rothfelder] and Heather when I first opened and asked questions about everything from stocking to kits to the interview process. I go to them for absolutely everything, partly because they have so much to say and partly because they’re so awesome!”

Since their May 2016 opening, AJ has not only created this refreshingly unique space but has also launched a mobile version of The Glamoury for shoots and location services, pinned down collaborations with a number of events and other businesses, and is preparing for the launch of their educational classes starting in the spring. The Glamoury has met so much success in its first few months of business that it’s already got AJ dreaming about the future.

“We’re the official beauty sponsor for the Love Her event, we’re doing a fashion show at the Pacific Rim and we’re going to be in Hush’s Wedding Show at Terminal City! I want to grow this store and make sure it would be good to stand on its own first, obviously, but I’d love to open another location in Toronto. I’d probably never sleep again but I’d love it!”


Tue, 02 May 2017 00:00:00 PST

Amidst the sprawling metropolis of New York City, film fanatics and beauty aficionados flocked to Pier 94 New York, New York this past month to take in everything Makeup at the prestigious International Make-up Artist Trade Show (IMATS). Held annually in only six mega makeup hubs across the globe (LA, New York, Vancouver, London, Toronto and Sydney) IMATS is a cosmetic wonderland and an opportunity to rub shoulders with the best of the best: from tip-top Makeup industry veterans and innovators, to Award-Winning Artists and YouTube/Vlogger sensations. This year, two superstar Blanche Macdonald Makeup prodigies – recent Global Makeup graduate and first time competitor from Ottawa, Ontario Aurezo Sanari as well as Global Makeup Co-op graduate and two-time competitor from Monroe, Michigan, Erin Geer – were selected to compete in the hotly contested Battle of the Brushes competition at this renowned event. With thousands milling about and Facebook live feeds streaming away, these two took to the stage with a carefully selected group of outrageous new makeup artists to battle it out for those coveted podium spots.

Blanche Macdonald: How did you prepare for this event?

Erin Geer: With the Battle of the Brushes Prosthetics category you aren't told how many pieces  or even what exact pieces you will be getting. Because of this, there is only so much prep you can do. I practiced at home for the last two months, making sure I knew my layers and the order I would do things in so that I didn't get lost. This helped a lot in my time management.

Aurezo Sanari: I received the news that I was a finalist seven weeks before the show, which is exactly when the preparations began! In terms of preparing for the day itself, I packed doubles of every product I used just in case something didn't work!

BMC: What spoke to you most about the theme of each contest? What aspects did you want to integrate into your look because of the theme?

EG: I LOVE LOVE LOVE creating aliens and creatures!!! It is a giant passion of mine. When I heard that Guardians of the Galaxy was this year’s theme for the Character / Prosthetic competition, I couldn't wait to apply. One thing I noticed while watching the movie was that a lot of the characters had illuminated skin or different shaped heads. I knew I wanted to try to incorporate those aspects.

AS: I’m always drawn to the Middle East and constantly inspired by their countries, the beautiful women and their rich culture. Competing in the Beauty / Fantasy category, I knew I wanted to include those things along with some gold into it. I didn't want to go political with my concept but I couldn't find myself creating something without emotion.


BMC: Were there any challenges you encountered?

EG: Oh man - figuring out how to put lighting under a bald cap was my biggest challenge for sure! It wasn't until about a week and a half before we left that I was able to create a piece that worked properly and allowed me to attach it to the hair wrap without major issues.

AS: There was one problem that arose during the two hours I had. When I had practiced before I left, the tears I was using for my look dripped freely but the area we were in for the competition was so cold, the tear drops wouldn’t drop at all! I spent a lot more time trying to get them to drip naturally so I ended up leaving it for a bit and coming back to it later.

BMC: How did you prepare for such a high-pressure, public competition?

EG: I had some amazing teachers at Blanche who really took the time to make sure that I knew what I was doing. I just imagined my competition was a final and I was fine!

AS: During my year at Blanche Macdonald I kept hearing about IMATS and our instructors and faculty at the school are very encouraging. I watched everyone on stage and thought to myself - I think I can do that! And I still can't believe I did! I was overwhelmed by how many people believed in me and it made me work even harder.


BMC: When your name was announced as a winner in your category, how did that feel?

EG: During the competition I wasn't able to pay attention to the other contestants’ work so I wasn't sure what any of the models looked like. Once I got a look, I was blown away. It could have been anyone's game. When my name was called for 2nd I was so happy! It's not everyday that you get to compete against such a talented group of people and come out on top. Honestly, this year's group was really strong.

AS: It's hard to describe the feeling I had in that moment. There were so many emotions - I couldn't even believe I was in New York to begin with, let alone competing at IMATS and when I heard my name I didn't know what to do! I was a deer in headlights - I took a step out and paused because I couldn't quite believe it, and then kept walking to the front of the stage. It was an incredible feeling, I felt like my heart was going to burst!

The Blanche Macdonald Centre would like to offer our warmest congratulations to Erin Geer and Aurezo Sanari, along with huge thanks to our staff in the Blanche Macdonald Makeup department whose hard work was at the heart of these astoundingly talented students!

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:00:00 PST
JEWEL FROM JAPAN - MAYUKO TSUJI SPARKLES IN THE CLASSROOM AND ON THE BIG SCREEN 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 celebration of culture, 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!


Global Makeup Graduate Mayuko Tsuji has quietly captivated her audience since day one at Blanche Macdonald. Her charming demeanour, enthusiasm to challenge herself and commitment to learning have been nothing short of inspiring. Quietly brave and fearlessly bold, it's hard to believe this Osaka-native moved all the way to Vancouver on her own - despite speaking very little English.

Mayuko wasted no time getting comfortable, eagerly immersing herself in a new culture and navigating her way through a foreign city. She then settled into her studies at Canada's Top Makeup School where she continued to demonstrate gratitude and benevolence to anyone that crossed her path. Her soft spoken words are articulated with profound sincerity as she recounts her experiences of coming to Canada.

"I am originally from Osaka, Japan. Japan is an incredible country for so many reasons, however, it is a difficult place for an aspiring Makeup Artist. When I was growing up I was very interested in Makeup and I was always reading fashion magazines and watching video tutorials about makeup. I remember this time a friend asked me to do her Makeup. I was surprisingly pleased with the outcome and it was after that experience that I said to myself, 'This job is amazing. I could make people really happy'."


Filled with ardour for this thrilling industry, Mayuko was determined to carve out a niche for herself in the world of Makeup. It wasn’t long after this that she began exploring her options.

“I knew that Makeup was what I wanted to do so that was the first step. I travelled from Japan to New York to look at Makeup Schools, however, I quickly realized how hard it is to obtain a United States visa. Unlike Canada, they do not offer any support, so you need to hire a lawyer which is very expensive. In addition to this, for how expensive the tuition is, most of the programs they offer in New York are only three or six months and I was looking for something longer.”

A small hiccup but by no means a hindrance, Mayuko said goodbye (for now) to New York and began to look at her other options. It was a conversation with a friend that brought her hunt to a close.

“A friend of mine who is Canadian told me about Blanche Macdonald Centre. She told me it was the best school in Canada. Soon after I came to visit the school and I met with International Admissions Director, Lina Lee. Right away I felt at ease with Lina. She showed me around the campuses and I knew right away that this was it. This was the school for me. I applied right on the spot and have never looked back!”


Mayuko never doubted her choice. Though she’ll admit that things were far from easy at the beginning, she was armed with determination, ready to face every obstacle head on. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Mayuko’s positive attitude proved to be her greatest ally, landing her in the driver’s seat of numerous artistic projects within Vancouver and beyond.

“Coming to Vancouver had its challenges but was also the best decision I ever made. I moved here not knowing anyone and was living on my own. Everyone was so kind though, and I've met lots of new friends. School was a lot of work but so much fun. It exceeded all my expectations!”

Mayuko has not only learned her way around the city, but she’s even learned to expertly navigate the creative community. Mayuko is glowing in her accomplishments, as she shares the news of her latest, and most exciting, project to date.

“During my last week of school I was filmed for a reality television show based out of Japan by Wonderland Tours Inc. Productions called “Gutto! Chikyubin” (Worldwide Postal Service). It documents people living abroad, pursuing different avenues of studies and careers. It is a show that I have always watched and I thought, if I could be on it, it would bring great awareness for my career. So when I was home for Christmas I asked my mom if she’d nominate me for the show. It was one of those far-fetched things that I thought would never happen. But then months later I received a call out of the blue! They called me a week before the filming was scheduled to start to let me know that I had been selected.

“A small film crew flew in from Japan to film me for four days straight in Vancouver and at the Blanche Macdonald City Square campus. This was during my final exams so it was really busy. It was a stressful few days but it was so much fun and such an amazing opportunity. I feel very grateful to have been a part of it.”


With her boldness in dreams, and her initiative in making industry connections, Mayuko is well on her way to future successes. Eager to take on even more daring moves, she already has big plans for her burgeoning future.

“My goal is to move to London, England. My first love is Fashion Makeup and so that is the place to be. The energy and passion of London is so exhilarating! I hope to start my career there and then you never know, maybe end up back in New York.”

Currently, Mayuko is happily living back home in Japan. Brimming with ambition, she is working at Lancôme in Tokyo, gaining experience and making connections in the global makeup scene.

Moving ahead, Mayuko plans to see out her calling in the world of Fashion Makeup. With her professional savvy and natural charms, one thing this is for certain: wherever Mayuko’s next journey takes her, it will be filled with beautiful things.


Wed, 12 Apr 2017 00:00:00 PST