Just a girl with a blog…


April 2017

Grunge: An Adaptation

Grunge started as a sub genre of alternative rock in the mid 80’s to late 90’s where it originated in Washington D.C and died out shortly after it started with the style of music deemed ‘dirty’ and not ‘mainstream’ enough for TV and radio and carried a bad reputation with the band members and fans of this genre to participate in drug and alcohol abuse. With an article published in 1996 calling Seattle’s grunge scene a “Sub culture that has strongly embraced heroin.”

This was until famous grunge bands with the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains grew in popularity among people with a more ‘rebellious’ and darker nature who appreciated the themes the genre of music focused on and grew in popularity among teenagers of the 2000’s with lead singer, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana being a strong influence on the genre’s popularity increasing.

With the revival of the genre, teenagers took influence from the styles of band members with their outfits being usually for comfort purposes and looked ‘un-kept’ and styled in a ‘non-fashionable’ manner. With signature garments including Dr. Marten shoes, Flannel, buttoned shirts, ripped denim jeans and jackets.

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Over recent years, the ‘uncoordinated’ and messy look derived from grunge culture has become a more acceptable look and fashion trend typically among teenagers and young adults, but people of all ages have adopted the look also by adapting looks from members of various grunge bands and taken inspiration from the edgy and unisex style and aesthetic.

Edgier and imperfect make-up has become a trend on the catwalk with grunge and punk influencing make-up lovers to strive for a look less fresh-faced and glam to something darker and simple. The original look is very minimal and matte as it was not made to be eye-catching and more ‘heroin chic’. The make-up consisted of earthy matte tones on the eyes, smoked out with lots of mascara and pencil eyeliner applied to the waterline as the focus of the look, pale skin and either red lipstick or nude lips.

Former grunger, Imogen Mair, 17 stated ”






The Life Of a Freelance MUA

The industry of make-up artists is increasing substantially with an estimate in a 19.2% increase by 2024 with a higher demand for freelance artists who are able to travel to photo shoots, houses and other event venues such as weddings. With the help of social media, popularising unique and full faces of make-up, people are becoming interested in running their own businesses or working at beauty counters where more people have become interested in booking make-overs for night-outs or prom looks.

Because of the popularity in social media as a platform to demonstrate make-up skills across Youtube, Instagram and Snapchat, more teenagers and young adults influenced by social media have been more inclined to get into the world of make-up and turn this well-loved and creative hobby into a full-time job.

I asked professional, freelance make-up artist Sarah Gray based in Sheffield some questions about being a professional MUA and the work that is involved. I asked what first inspired Sarah into becoming a make-up artist which she replied “My interest in becoming a make-up artist came from an interest in fashion and photo shoots and looking at all the pictures in fashion magazines such as VOGUE.”

I then asked if she had a portfolio of work and if so/not, was it important to have one, Sarah said “I don’t have a physical portfolio of work but I suppose social media is my portfolio. People find me on there whether it being someone wanting prom make-up or someone wanting me to do a commercial photo shoot. It’s not very often someone will need to look through a portfolio, I think the last time I needed that was when I got the job at M.A.C.”

Sarah then stated the type of make-up looks she specializes in which is special occasion style make-up including “Weddings and going out make-up but I also do photo shoots where I can which is more of a fashion/beauty/editorial look. The only time I do more of a theatrical-style make-up is Halloween.”

Finally, Sarah talked about the type of make-up brands she likes to use on clients and if she ever recommends things to them. She mentioned she likes to use high-end products this including “A lot of M.A.C because I used to work there but I also love Laura Mercier, Illamasqua, Inglot… all sorts!.” For skin care, she mentioned she likes the brand Neals Yard. She added “I do recommend products if clients ask, but during make-up lessons I write down all the products I use.”




How To Get Into The Make-up Industry

Over recent years, the aspirations to become a make-up artist has risen drastically among girls and there has even been a spike in interest with boys.

This change may be down to the popularity social media has created among teenagers who has access to images and videos of various make up looks and tutorials created interest in make up at earlier ages than beforehand.

I asked Christina Parker, 19 a trainee make-up artist at Hillsborough College and freelance make-up artist what it takes to become a make-up artist and what steps she took to get to the point she is at.

I asked firstly, “What inspired you to train as a make-up artist?” with Christina responding “What inspired me to train as a MUA is that I’ve always liked make-up since I was young and as I grew up I was getting more interested in make-up. That’s when I decided to go onto a media make-up course to expand on my interest and to learn new skills and techniques.”

Christina has recently started her own business and is in the process of becoming a freelance make-up artist, because of this I asked which make-up looks she specialises in and enjoys doing. Christina replied to me by saying “I specialise in all different types of make-up such as special FX, body painting and beauty. I started with the beauty side first as it was the first thing that interested me and learnt at college. I started getting interested in body paint and special FX as I was ending the course as we spent a short time on them. I love SPX and body painting because I can express myself with make-up and art. I also enjoy doing beauty make-up because I see it as a way of bringing out the beauty of someone and shows their true self. I like making people feel confident with themselves and the way they look.”

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As more people become interested in joining this profession, I then asked what qualifications you would need to become a MUA and what actions she took to get to the point she is such as courses, work experience and more for people who may be want to take the same path. Christina said “The qualification I have is a level three, two year media make-up course that specialised in beauty make-up (basics) special FX and body painting.”

Finally, I asked what steps she had taken to become her own freelance MUA such as social media pages and advertisement as this will give others an idea of what they can do to become a make-up artist and get to the same point as Christina. She responded ” The steps I have taken include talking to people online, advertising myself on Facebook and looking for jobs that specialised in make-up such as salons and shops.”


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