Blanche Macdonald Centre http://www.blanchemacdonald.com/ News from Blanche Macdonald Centre BLANCHE MACDONALD MAKEUP GRADUATES BRUSH UP IN IMATS NEW YORK http://www.blanchemacdonald.com/news/current/2017/imats-new-york-2017/ imats-new-york-2017

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.

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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.

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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!

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Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:00:00 PST
JEWEL FROM JAPAN - MAYUKO TSUJI SPARKLES IN THE CLASSROOM AND ON THE BIG SCREEN http://www.blanchemacdonald.com/news/current/2017/un-profile-makeup-graduate-mayuko-tsuji-japan/ 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!

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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'."

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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!”

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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.”

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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.

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Wed, 12 Apr 2017 00:00:00 PST
SHEAR TALENT: PRO HAIR GRAD JASHPER PARAS GUARDIAN OF LOVE AND BEAUTY AT B-BOMBSHELL SALON http://www.blanchemacdonald.com/news/current/2017/top-hair-school-graduate-jashper-paras-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 competition wins 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 Jashper Paras, Stylist at B-Bombshell Salon

What happens when you mix a spot of South Park, a dash of Pokémon and a heaping tablespoon of competitive cheerleading and shake it up with a little somethin’ extra? You get Blanche Macdonald grad and wearer of infinite hair bows Jashper Paras! With such eclectic interests, it’s no surprise that Jashper has found his home at B-Bombshell Salon “Where Geek is Chic.” Jashper is here, in charge and ready to rock your hair world with a dazzling smile that just happens to bring out the cutest dimples you ever did see - and let’s be real, a dramatic cape flourish upon entrance. With a penchant for everything and anything from easy everyday looks to crazy fashion colours, there’s nothing he can’t do - including a darn good bouncy blowout. Skills? Check. Entertaining? Double Check. Enter your new stylist Sailor Jashper Paras: Agent of love, beauty and killer hair days.


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

Jashper Paras: My favourite part of the Hair program was the TV & Film module. The module combined history and hairstyling - which was very interesting. Doing hair through the ages gave a great insight into which trends were popular in each era. On the practical side, it expanded our knowledge in styling by creating different textures and silhouettes that you wouldn’t normally do on a client. Also the photo shoot at the end of the module was like one big cosplay contest and we were given the freedom to recreate an iconic character from TV or Film. It was very fun!

BMC: 
What is your specialty (cut, colour, ombre, etc)?

JP: I love everything about hair! There is so much I’ve learned at Blanche Macdonald and in continuing my education with brands like L'Oréal, Redken and Davines. But my passion lies in styling. I love blowdry styling especially; there are so many possibilities and techniques to give a natural finish.


BMC: Was there any advice you got going into Hair school from your friends and/or family?

JP: Yes! My mother told to me to never be ashamed of working hard or letting people see you sweat. And I believe that some people can get caught up in appearances trying to look effortless, which ironically makes them not focused on their work. Another tidbit of of advice that I had echo in my head during photo shoot exams specifically was “KISS” or “Keep It Simple Stupid.” I'm not sure where it comes from but I heard it quoted by a drag queen, Ginger Minj during her interview for RuPaul’s Drag Race so basically, it’s gospel.

Top Hair School Graduate Jashper Paras, Stylist at B-Bombshell Salon

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

JP: My job placement gave me real life expectations of what it takes to find the courage to introduce yourself to salons and go through a hiring process. I chose to do my work experience at B-Bombshell Salon in New Westminster. I was attracted to it because of its unique gaming style setting and high quality products. This experience helped me find work because around a year later, I was asked to come back and work as a stylist!


BMC: What’s one hair trend you’d love to try?

JP: A few of years ago Davines came out with a colour idea called “Mother of Pearl.” The concept was to mirror the opalescent effect of the inside of a seashell on the hair. By taking slices of hair and applying red, blue and green to the hair in blocks it creates a very interesting versatile look.


BMC: What’s the one thing about doing hair you find the most difficult? And why?

JP: Breaking old habits. There are so many techniques and different ways to do hair. If something isn't working for you, try doing that technique a couple different ways and you'll find one that sits well with your style.

BMC: 
What movie title best describes your life?

JP: La Vie En Rose, the movie depicting the life of French singer Édith Piaf. The translation of the title is “life in pink” or, “life through rosy glasses”, meaning that you look at things with joy or a cheery disposition. I feel like I always strive to look at the bright side, to see the good in everything and everyone. It also describes the state you are in when in love, and I'm in love with life.

Top Hair School Graduate Jashper Paras, Stylist at B-Bombshell Salon


BMC: If you had to wear one outfit for the rest of your life what would it be?

JP: That's a hard question! I would love to wear sweatpants and a baggy knit sweater. But it would also have to be something all black and the outfit would totally have a cape or poncho – basically anything I can flourish for dramatic effect during casual conversations!

BMC: Which Sailor Scout are you and why?

JP: I love Sailor Moon but in my heart, I know I am Sailor Venus: Guardian of Love and Beauty. I most relate with her because of the way she balances her dreams of singing and being a volleyball star. Sailor Venus has an artistic side and a sporty side but at her core, I believe she is simply entertaining. She has a very carpe diem attitude, is driven in achieving her goals and so supportive of her friends. I like to express my artistic side through hair and the fact that I get money for it is just a perk of my passion. But I express my athleticism through cheerleading! I’ve been a cheerleader since I was 15 and I compete at national and international competitions. With both my passions of hair and cheerleading, I may falter and excel in certain aspects but I always try to keep a high level of entertainment. And that's who Sailor Venus is; she’s an entertainer, and a star just like me!


Photo credits: 
@jashpy, process photos by Sam Chua: Image Creator. All photos provided by Jashper Paras

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Mon, 03 Apr 2017 00:00:00 PST
CZECH MATE - GLOBAL MAKEUP CO-OP GRAD EVA SVOBODOVA PLAYS A WINNING MAKEUP GAME http://www.blanchemacdonald.com/news/current/2017/un-profile-makeup-coop-graduate-eva-svobodova/ 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!

UN Profile: Meet Eva Svobodova, Blanche Macdonald Global Makeup Co-op graduate from Vojkovice, Czech Republic!

Beauty. For Global Makeup graduate Eva Svobodova, it has been a lifelong fascination.

At University in her home country of the Czech Republic, Eva earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree studying the question “What is Beauty?” analyzing the theories of critics, philosophers and art historians who, like Eva, were searching for the answer.

Now, halfway across the world, Eva explores that very same question as a professional Makeup Artist in Vancouver, Canada. Moving from the theoretical to the practical, and from the pen to the brush, Eva creates beauty through her daring and dazzling artistry. Through her bold, colourful work she challenges us to question, to interact with and marvel at the medium of makeup.

In her short career Eva has graced the podium three times at the IMATS (International Makeup Trade Show) Battle of the Brushes, and she is already working as an in-demand Freelance artist for editorial, fashion shoots and films. With all that Eva has achieved just a month after her graduation, you would think she was born a makeup artist. But before she stumbled upon Blanche Macdonald two years ago, she didn’t even know makeup schools existed.

“I was 27 and I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was googling one day and I found Blanche Macdonald by chance. I didn’t know you could actually study Makeup Artistry! So when I found out about the school, I knew I wanted to do it.”

UN Profile: Meet Eva Svobodova, Blanche Macdonald Global Makeup Co-op graduate from Vojkovice, Czech Republic!

Eva had always loved art, but she was left unfulfilled by her academic studies at University. Hoping that things would become clearer with a fresh perspective, Eva decided to travel and improve her English. She obtained a work permit for Canada, and landed on the West Coast ready for an adventure. But after a year in Vancouver, the only thing that was clear was that she wanted to remain in Canada. With work permit options exhausted, she decided to apply for a student visa. But to study what?

“I wanted to do something creative,” she recalls. “That was when I discovered Blanche Macdonald. I came and met with a director, read the reviews and it was all great. Everyone was so excited about this Makeup program. The atmosphere was so professional and everyone was so nice. I was really excited. So I said okay, let’s do it! And I am glad I did it!”

Eva hasn’t looked back. Always facing forward, she continually challenges artistic boundaries, creating avant garde makeups that deconstruct questions of beauty and push at the borders of the medium. From pastiche to postmodern to painterly, Eva’s provocative work is as intelligent as it is eye-catching.

The IMATS judges obviously agree. In two years Eva has taken home first, second and third prizes across two categories in Vancouver and in Toronto.

“The first time I was at IMATS was in 2014. I saw the Battle of the Brushes contestants and I thought, that’s going to be me next year! So I made it my goal. I applied, and in 2015 I won first place in Beauty/Fantasy. It was a surprise! You hope for it but you never expect it. It felt great!”

UN Profile: Meet Eva Svobodova, Blanche Macdonald Global Makeup Co-op graduate from Vojkovice, Czech Republic!

Bolstered by her win, Eva applied to IMATS 2015 in Toronto, where she won third place in Beauty/Fantasy. Then at IMATS 2016 in Vancouver, she placed on the podium yet again with second place in Character/Prosthetics. But this time it wasn’t just the prize that made it special. Eva fulfilled another goal: meeting Todd McIntosh, Blanche Macdonald’s Emmy-award winning Makeup Director. Todd was Eva’s personal Battle of the Brushes mentor in a private one-on-one coaching session of a lifetime.

“Before I enrolled I was reading the brochure of the school and there was Todd McIntosh. I thought, I want to meet him. And then I got to have him as a mentor! It was a huge honour, it was amazing. He was so open. He showed us a demo and how he does Prosthetics. He was really nice and gave me great advice and feedback on my work. He was a huge help. I love him!”

Creative, determined, driven and unstoppable, Eva is a true artist, combining raw talent with a winning work ethic. But to define Eva in one word would be: fearless. In her work, in her art and in her life. She takes on challenges with grace and confidence, embraces risk and takes leaps of faith across continents, across careers, across expectations. This fearlessness will continue to raise her to soaring heights of artistry and success. It is the foundation upon which she will build her amazing career.

Have No Fear: these are words Eva lives by, and her most precious advice to fellow budding artists and international students.

“Don’t be afraid of the language. Don’t be afraid at all. Because everything is just fine and everyone is so supportive. I loved my time at Blanche Macdonald. If you know you want to do makeup, this is just the best place to be!” 

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Tue, 21 Mar 2017 00:00:00 PST
Instructor Leah Ehman Blends Small Town Charm and Big Screen Experience at Blanche Macdonald http://www.blanchemacdonald.com/news/current/2017/top-makeup-school-instructor-leah-ehman/ Top Makeup School Instructor Leah Ehman

Makeup students lucky enough to be attending Leah Ehman's classes at Blanche Macdonald soon realize that they’re being treated to more than expert training from a Gemini Award-winning artist. They are getting the opportunity to fall in love with the artistry and emotion that go hand in hand with the creative process.

“I was on the set of Tron: Legacy when I realized that I’d achieved what I’d set out to do,” she smiles. “There is a scene where Garrett Hedlund enters the Tron world and is transformed into a computer program. The director asked us to come up with a look that had never been seen before. We were able to create some pretty amazing makeups that I’m very proud of on that show. On that set I was surrounded by international superstars like Jeff Bridges and Olivia Wilde. I’d already been working in film for many years, but that was a moment when I realized where I was and the level of work I was producing. That's when I realized my dreams were coming true.”

Leah understood the magnitude of her achievement. She's been a major contributor on TV shows and films including Suckerpunch, Stargate Atlantis, I Robot, The Big Year and countless more. Coming from the tiny northern Alberta town of Athabasca, it’s been a remarkable journey.

“Art has always played a major role in my life. Both my mother and grandmother were art teachers and my brother grew up to be a professional artist. Even today, one of my favourite things to do is spend an afternoon at galleries or museums. I remember being five years old scooping up clay to sculpt horses, and copying paintings from my parents’ art books.

“Growing up I was often mistaken for a boy. I was an ugly duckling always wishing for the swan transformation. I would save up all my babysitting money and invest it directly into magazines, clothes and of course makeup. I used the makeup to paint a more feminine me.”

Top Makeup School Instructor Leah Ehman

Leah began her working career in hair salons, moving from Calgary to Edmonton and eventually Vancouver. By the time she reached Hollywood North, no one was mistaking her for a boy anymore.

“A talent agent spotted me and asked if I’d like to be an actress. I didn’t have the personality for that, but I did work as an extra once and awhile.” 

One of those shows in need of a stunning extra was the X Files. It was where Leah’s eureka moment arrived.

“I walked into the hair and makeup trailer and I couldn’t believe it! They put me through the works. That’s when I first saw the level of excellence involved in being a film and television Makeup Artist. I thought to myself, I could do this!

“I attended makeup school in Vancouver, but I didn’t receive the level of education that Blanche Macdonald students get. Not even close. I had to seek out extra training on my own. Monique Venier was a teacher of mine. She was incredibly inspiring. She took me under her wing. I assisted her on photo shoots, runway shows, and even my first film. It was a cheesy film called The Fear Resurrection. It was so exciting. I couldn’t wait to jump out of bed and get to work every day.  Monique was everything I wanted to be. Now that I’m a teacher, I strive to do the same: share my knowledge, inspire and nurture creativity.”  

Top Makeup School Instructor Leah Ehman

Leah loved her first taste of the movie life. Nothing was going to stop her from making it her everyday reality.

“I wanted a career where I could work alongside creative geniuses. I wanted to be surrounded by hard working people who had made it. I was working as a waitress on weekends and volunteering Monday through Friday on film sets. Living on Mr Noodles and toast didn’t stop me from chasing my dreams. Eventually I received a call from Lili Marchenski of ACFC and after an interview I was invited to join the union. This led to my first job as first assistant on a sci-fi series called First Wave. That was when my career exploded! I was very excited and proud of the work I was doing. Soon I had enough experience to join IATSE. My first day call was assisting Jayne Dancose on a show called Millennium. I got to paint a dead foot. I remember sitting in front of the television as the episode aired, and seeing my work. I screamed, ‘That's my foot!’” 

Matching her natural talent with an easy charm and a hunger for hard work, Leah’s reputation swiftly spread through the industry. In a few short years she’d risen to the position of department head, receiving three Gemini Award nominations and winning one for her work on Stargate Atlantis. 

“My work was submitted for the Emmy Awards when I was Head of Department for Unbreak My Heart, The Toni Braxton biopic. We shot the entire movie in three weeks. We took Toni’s character from a small town girl with acne to the superstar she is today. We recreated her music videos, awards shows, makeovers, and her battle with lupus. I was doing up to ten makeup changes on our lead actress daily and overseeing the large cast as well. I brought some of my Blanche students on set to assist me. I love giving the stars in the classroom a foot in the door. That's one of the reasons I became a teacher. As a Department Head, I’m always looking for people who possess great work ethic as well as creative talent. That’s how I choose my assistants. I want team players with good attitudes who can take direction. I wouldn’t hire an amazing artist with a bad attitude, and I make sure my students understand that.”

Top Makeup School Instructor Leah Ehman

Students are reaping the benefits of Leah’s expertise in class and on set, but that exchange of creativity is a two way street.

“I’m constantly inspired by my students,” she insists. “They are from a different generation, so they’re interested in different music, media, and fashion. Teaching has made me a better makeup artist. I don’t encourage students to copy my work, I want them to discover and explore their own style. I help them develop that. This way they will become Department Heads and industry leaders. By the time they complete their studies at Blanche Macdonald, they can do some pretty impressive stuff. I want the next generation of makeup artists to be outstanding, and I hope that my students make that happen.”

Leah wants her students to succeed. She supports them from the moment they walk into her classroom. On one condition... they need to push themselves the same way Leah pushes herself. 

“Try everything. Accept jobs even if they scare you, be professional at all times and do every job to the best of your abilities. Even if your work is cut in editing, you’re still proving yourself. Every new opportunity will build pride and confidence in your work.”

For Leah, professionalism and artistry go hand in hand. Sure she's tough, but the girl from Athabasca has the same enthusiasm and creative spirit she had when she was a five year old sculpting horses out of clay.

“Even now, whenever I accept a job, I love diving into the research and character development from the script. I’m always eager to meet the group of talented people that I will be working with from job to job. The whole process is fascinating to me. 

“I’m learning every day, whether it’s a new technique or just a different point of view. You learn from your mistakes. Keep your eyes open all the time. Looks at faces, art, nature, tragedy and celebration. You can draw from everything around you. There is inspiration everywhere!”

Leah Ehman's Top 5 Movie Magic Makeup Products!

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Thu, 16 Mar 2017 00:00:00 PST