A day in the life of an Ultimate Pro Makeup Artistry student

My name is Lydia, I’m 27 years old and I have recently graduated from the Ultimate Pro Makeup Artistry course at CLMA. I wanted to write about my experience to give people who are considering this course an insight into my time at the academy and the next steps I am going to take in my career as a Makeup Artist.

Before starting the course I was working for Cassie in the academy. I would help Cassie with day to day running of the business and her own personal schedule. I graduated from the London College of Fashion in business management so for me this was a great challenge, assisting with marketing projects and helping Cassie with her busy schedule. 

After working side by side with Cassie and the team for around 8 months, Cassie suggested I take part in the week long Glam and Go course to gain some knowledge of makeup which would be beneficial when working in a makeup environment. It only made sense to have some sort of makeup knowledge when you’re working for a Celebrity Makeup Artist.

I was always a creative at school, studying Fine Art at A Level however became immersed in the business world and seemed to opt for a more academic route without realising there are, too, many prospects for a career in the creative industry. When I took part in the week long course it made me realise just how much I had bottled up my creativity. The second I picked up that brush and blended a purple smoky eye I knew I had found something I wanted to pursue.

I carried on working on the business side whilst watching the other students in class from the side-lines. It was actually quite difficult as I knew all I wanted to do was be in the classroom with them. That’s when I decided to enrol on the Ultimate Pro Makeup Artistry course and start my new career path as a Makeup Artist.

Before working with Cassie I had never even applied any eyeshadow to myself or anyone else, I had all the products but didn’t even know how to use them! The makeup brushes I owned were handed down from my mum and I used one brush to apply everything, I really had no clue about makeup and I rarely wore it so to invest so much time and money into a course was slightly daunting as I kept thinking ‘I don’t know anything about makeup, will I really be able to apply it at the end?’ And ‘what if I don’t like it, what if I’m not as good as other people, how will I get into the industry when I finish’. These thoughts quickly disappeared when I started the course.

The course is taught by Cassie and her team of incredibly talented tutors who are all professional working Makeup Artists. Every day is intense from 10am until 4.30pm and the amount you learn is quite unbelievable. I never realised how intense Makeup could be, the amount of skills and tips and tricks you need to master makes you realise why it is such a hard industry to master.

The first few weeks of the course we learnt about eras and the way makeup has been applied and adapted over the years. During this time we learnt a lot of basic skills such as how to prep the skin before makeup application, colour matching and mascara application. The first few weeks were the most fun as we really got to unleash our creativity with the eras and looks. I think the most comforting feeling for me was that you couldn’t leave until you had mastered the skill and if you did it wrong you had to take it off and do it again. It really helped me and all the other students as it was clear that the tutors and Cassie herself were so passionate about making sure you knew exactly what you were doing.

As the weeks went on, the lessons became more intense as we moved quickly onto advanced skills that were necessary for any makeup artist. Every Friday was model day, we would bring in our own model and practice all the skills we had learnt in the week on new faces. It also gave us chance to practice our etiquette when dealing with clients for when we left the academy.

By week 6 I felt confident enough to start testing which is where you source a photographer and model and plan a photoshoot with them to build your portfolio. My first test was very daunting, I remember leaving with the fear that I hadn’t done well enough and I wasn’t good at makeup, I actually sat on my own for a while really upset and the best thing was that I could just email Cassie and tell her about it and she just gave me the best advice ever and it helped so much. I had only been studying for 6 weeks so I had put a lot of pressure on myself however the images came out looking amazing and from then on I thought to myself ‘you can do this’.

By week 9 I had tested 3 times and I fell in love with the images, I’ve never felt so proud of myself! I had put all my skills to the test that I had learnt and it was really showing in my images. What was also showing was where I needed to improve and I was constantly asking questions and asking for criticism so I could get better.

By week 10 we were all physically and emotionally drained. We had put so much effort into the course and developing as Makeup Artists and our time was nearly over! Myself and the other students had gone from never picking up a makeup brush to suddenly being able to apply beautiful makeup to any face. The feeling was incredible! We had all evolved so much as both artists and people and it was so hard to believe that we all started as complete beginners!

Our final shoots at the end of the course were proof of how much we had learnt and how far we had come. At the end of each Ultimate Pro you have 3 photoshoots, one is SFX, one is Fashion and the other is Beauty. The shoots are like your final exams where you are graded on everything from etiquette, cleanliness of your kit, attitude on set and of course, your makeup application. The pressure really is on, like any exam, preparation is key and this is your chance to work with professional models and photographers to get some really amazing images to start your portfolio. 

Our final shoot days were all so amazing, myself and the other students really pulled together as a team, all helping each other with our models and little things like getting some behind the scenes shots. I think the only sad thing about the shoot days was that we knew our 12 weeks was coming to an end and soon we would be out in the makeup world flying solo!

Below is one of my final images which I am so incredibly proud of!


 I sit and write this with so much love and gratitude to Cassie and the team at the academy for the sheer amount of effort and dedication they put into these courses. The support I received whilst on the course and still now after I have graduated is second the none. Cassie genuinely wants everyone who steps foot through her door to leave confident and ready to take on the makeup world and I couldn’t wish to have trained with a more passionate, hard working person. The most comforting thing is that the support is endless. You may leave the school but you are ALWAYS welcome to come in and see the team, ask for advice and text Cassie or any of the tutors whenever you need any help, it’s the best feeling ever!

I still can’t believe I’m now a fully qualified makeup artist and If you are seriously considering a career in Makeup then there is no better place to train than with Cassie. I even go on test shoots now and people say to me ‘you trained with Cassie Lomas didn’t you’, which just shows the standard of training. You will stand out from a sea of makeup artists trying to make it in the industry. Everything from skin prep to general etiquette on set is noticed just by the standard of training you receive whilst with Cassie. 

I could not recommend CLMA enough and I hope this helps with anyone who is considering a career in makeup!

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