Category Archives: 64

Back To School

I was never particularly good at any specific subjects in school, but always seemed to enjoy the majority of the classes I took. After I graduated, I moved 3 hours from home and attended a college just outside of the city. Although I loved going, it was a major reality shock to me, and trying to juggle living costs with homework was not cutting it. So, after a semester I decided that I was going to take some time off to sort things out. Not shortly after I thought it was a brilliant idea to enroll in a Makeup Artistry diploma program where I ended up paying more than $14,000 on tuition and supplies in 10 months, and in the past 3 years have rarely used any skills learned.

Throughout the past couple of years, I have really started missing going to school and learning. I have looked up courses at schools nearby countless times, and even went through with even registering for a few of them. Although, as soon as I found a single thing to use as an excuse I took it. I didn’t end up going to any of the classes I was enrolled in, and it eventually slipped my mind.

But, with my recent love of photography, I started weighing out my pros and cons of starting classes this year. I started really concentrating on it, and found that all of the cons on my list were things that I had mysteriously created. Excuses like, “The classes end at 10pm, that’s so late!” or “I’m saving up for a trip to see my dearest friend, and this will be cutting into that” or “The last time I made an impromptu decision to go to school I was $10,000 in debt and still am.”

The pros on my list made me start feeling really, really good about it. I’d be able to actually properly learn how to use the $600 camera I just bought. I’d get a chance to be motivated to continue creating with assignments and feedback from a professional. I would get a chance to meet some great people, and get an introductory to the field. And, even though I’d be cutting into vacation money, at least this would give me a chance to be in tune with my inner creativity on a daily basis, rather than a yearly trip.

Then, with the help of a friend finding the class at the perfect time, I leapt and landed in one solid movement. I went into the school on Monday,registered and paid tuition for a Beginner DSLR class starting today!!! It’s a 10 week course (once a week) that will explore the basics on how to use my camera technically and creatively. Talk about perfect timing! I’m excited for what the course has in store for me, and am excited to share what I learn! I will be giving you guys an update as soon as I can, but for now, it’s off to class I go!

{Via Google}


Wisdom Teeth and First Ever Video Blog!

I got 5 teeth pulled yesterday. 4 wisdom teeth, and one eye tooth that never grew in. I did go under anesthetic, thank god, and it was generally painless. However, I woke up with stitches all over my mouth. I have them in the back where my wisdoms were, and in front and behind my front teeth on the left side. Ouchies! I took quite a lot of time off from work to assure that I wouldn’t pass out from exhaustion, and I have really strong painkillers. The only problem is that I can’t eat very much, and really have no desire to because my any movement in my mouth hurts. But because of this, the anti inflammatory/antibiotic/pain med combination is really hard on my stomach.

But if you know me, then you should know that I try to make the best of things when I can. It was only until about an hour after we got home that we realized I had a video camera and that I needed to film myself trying to talk. It was so funny! So, I bring you my first ever videoblog! I assure you that I do not normally talk with a lisp, and generally look better. I hope you find this as hilarious as I do!

Death By Dentist.

I’ve been overly emotional tonight and it’s biting at me that I don’t know the cause of it. My body feels like a foreign object lately with things being off in weird ways. Yoga is helping, but I feel like I’m spending all of my time doing yoga, and when I’m not doing it, I’m thinking about doing it. Or I’m hanging out with friends that I just finished doing yoga with. Being out every day after work is something that I really can’t handle anymore.

With fall being in the present instead of the future tense, I am getting more and more stressed about Halloween and Christmas being just around the corner. I feel that I haven’t been crafting at all, and it’s driving me a little insane. I understand that last year I had a lot more time on my hands with the whole being unemployed for 2 months… but I still feel lacking.

I also went to the dentist today. It is one of my ultimate fears of all time. Actually, it is the one situation where I really get stressed out. I am usually very easy going and can handle stressful situations. Tattoos, doctors, blood tests…. I’m in – no sweat. But somehow I was scarred when I was in elementary and high school, and it’s my least favourite thing ever. I hate it so much, in fact, that I hadn’t gone to the dentist since I had graduated high school in 2005. That’s right guys, more than 4 years of not going to get a checkup even.

So I got in there, and everything was great. The technician was the nicest lady ever, and I informed her of my anxiety. She was so accommodating, I really couldn’t have asked for more. Well, the only thing I could’ve really asked her was, ‘Can you stop fucking digging into my gums? Can’t you tell that there sensitive?!?!!‘ The dentist was really great too. The outcome of my visit? NOT SO FUCKING GOOD. I have, I shit you not, 8 cavities in my mouth. 8!!!!! How the eff does that happen? I mean, I brush very thoroughly 2-3 times a day and all that shit….. I almost cried when they told me that. And to make things worse, I have to book a consultation to have my wisdom teeth removed. And to make things way worse, the dentist has to replace one of my fillings, and it may or may not turn into a fucking ROOT CANAL. I can’t even handle this right now.

Just typing this out right now is making me cry. Not the fact that I have to spend all of this money to fix my teeth, because I know it will be worth it. But the fact that I have to endure at least 3 more visits within the next month. This is why I’ve avoided this for so long.


Blanche Macdonald – “Make-Up” Your Mind

Recently I was asked to write a review of the makeup school I went to for this website. Art School Reviews is a website dedicated to potential students looking to learn a little more than just what the schools’ sales pitches are. Here’s what I came up with..

Barez Mardukhi as Zombie Doctor

Barez Mardukhi as Zombie Doctor

Growing up, makeup was something that allowed me to stand out in a crowd, and allowed me to embrace the creativity that I found difficult to express in other ways. It was always something I thought about pursuing, but didn’t know much about. It was appealing, but I wasn’t sure what my options were. Being the impulsive person I am, I decided to look into schools that offered the program I was looking for. I wasn’t interested in doing nails and waxing for the rest of my life. I was looking for ways to express creativity and to create art. That’s when I found Blanche Macdonald’s Makeup Artistry Diploma Program.

The Expenses (because we all know it’s not cheap)

The cost of their tuition is very expensive, so be very prepared to live the starving artist lifestyle while attending Blanche Macdonald. When I attended two and a half years ago, I was working two jobs while trying to afford living and going to school. I took the late summer program and paid about $11,000 in tuition. You were also required to purchase a basic makeup kit for a huge price tag. The kit included an airbrush, a compressor, and very basic (sometimes harder to use than other products that they recommend) products for Beauty, TV and Film and Special Effects. Keep in mind that this was two years ago, tuition costs must have increased exponentially since then.

Every time a new module starts, you can expect the first day to be a shopping day, where you would go to get your supplies for the course. This is sometimes frustrating when you’re not prepared. But don’t think that you can get by fine with just the basics in your kit, because there are a lot of supplies that need to be bought. The teachers will give you a list of all the items that need to be bought for the module, and will emphasize the fact that they are all required for the next day.

However, if you’re on a budget, don’t stress too much about it. Simply stay in communication with your teacher and let them know what your situation is. They’re there to help you succeed, and buying supplies for school over food is probably not the best option. A lot of times other students are willing to buy in bulk and split the costs amongst each other, and there were a lot of products on those lists that you could get away without for a while. The most expensive modules for the course are TV and Film and Special Effects, and the supplies can range from $1,000-$1,500 for just those classes.

The Program

Every teacher I had at Blanche Macdonald was directly from the industry, and most of them were still freelancing on the side. They are very thorough in their teaching process, and give you the chance to work on as many different faces as possible. Through the program, you are expected to work with a different partner each day so you learn to work with what you are given in any situation. From beauty to special effects, you may even learn to master working with someone allergic to latex (which is by far a makeup artist’s worst fear while working on set). Here’s a simple breakdown of the program.

Makeup 1 – This is where you learn the basics of running your own business, how to stay professional, and making networking a priority. It goes through where you can find your products locally, and how to use them correctly and efficiently.

Hairstyling – Here you learn the basics of working with different hair lengths and types. You will learn up to 20 different up-do hairstyles and will have a chance to create your own look for the final exam.

Makeup 2A – Fashions in Makeup/Photographic Makeup – This module is a definite blast from the past, giving you a chance to experience different looks from every era in the 1900’s. Each week they will teach you about a decade, and you will recreate a certain look from it. At the end of this course you will have a final exam, where you will get the chance to work with your first two professional photographers! The assignment is to test all of the skills you have learned so far. You will have to accomplish 3 looks featuring the Skin, Lips and Eyes with a limited amount of time.

Makeup 2B – TV & Film – TV and Film teaches you the ins and outs of the film industry and what to expect. You will learn how to handle makeups in different lighting and useful skills such as covering tattoos and theatrical aging. You will also learn to create a character and to execute continuity. Be sure to have quite a big budget for supplies for this section of the course!

Airbrushing – This is an introductory level course, which will teach you the basics of how to use the airbrush that comes with your kit and how it is helpful to you. You will learn different effects that will help detail certain looks you are trying to create. You will learn to understand how to use different mediums and will have the opportunity to create a character using body paint. Good luck finding someone who will want to be photographed almost completely nude!

Makeup 3 – Special Makeup Effects – By the time you get here, you will have a basic understanding of how to use some of the products you need for this program. You will learn how to apply what you already know towards safe and effective makeup application for prosthetics and so much more. Here you will get the opportunity to do latex aging, creating wounds using different mediums, applying bald caps and prosthetics.

Art & Technology – Finalize all of the images you and your photographers took to create portfolio-worthy photos!

A Few Pointers

Keep in mind that throughout the program, you are expected to bring in your own models for photo shoots. Make sure that you fully explain to your models what to expect throughout their sitting, and explain all health hazards. You don’t want someone bailing out on you at the last minute!

Also, a camera is definitely required through the length of the program. Throughout the program you are expected to take as many photos as possible so you can work on your portfolio. Props are encouraged! Having jewelry or clothing that goes with the look you are trying to achieve will make your photos that much more believable and useful in your book!

This school has great resources, so use them while you can. There are postings throughout the school where you can find volunteer gigs so that you can actually get out there in the real world! The more volunteer experience you have, the greater chance of you succeeding in this field. Take the film industry for example, it is almost impossible to find gigs that will pay you unless you are part of a union. And application towards the union requires an extravagant amount of volunteer experience, so take advantage of those postings while you can!

The Verdict

I was very impressed with the way the program covers every sector of the makeup industry from working behind the counter, to weddings and other special events, to working on sets, and to introductory lessons on hairstyling and airbrushing. The teachers were all very helpful and loved to see the eagerness to succeed in all of us. There were only a few people in my class that came out of the program wanting to pursue the same area of makeup as they did when they first started.

This program is great for people who are serious about pursuing makeup. There are a lot of people coming and going from the school, and competition is tough. I know a lot of graduates that aren’t using their schooling for anything, and only have a huge debt to show for it. If you’re just interested in taking the course to make yourself look better or do your friend’s makeup, it would be better to just watch Youtube videos and figure it out yourself. But if you are serious about an actual career, I would highly recommend taking this course.

Volunteering and networking are the only things that are going to get you ahead in the industry. Once you start looking into it, you’ll find that it’s more competitive than you might expect. As I was going to school, volunteering wasn’t much of an option because I was trying to earn a living and learn at the same time. I haven’t had much of a chance to do anything with my skills for a long time, but I’ve recently started working on my portfolio again and hope to someday work on set.

You can see some of my work on Model Mayhem!