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Make-up Artistry student hits the headlines with her face painting skills

A BA Make-up Artistry student from UCEN Manchester has been gaining media attention thanks to her incredible face painting skills.

Toni-Louise Fay, 30, has been transforming herself and her family members into a diverse cast of characters, from Eminem to the Queen!

With her creations gaining plenty of attention on Instagram, Toni attracted the attention of the Manchester Evening News, with word of her skills spreading across the country.

We spoke to Toni to ask how she honed her face painting skills and how she’s finding her course at UCEN Manchester. You can also head to Toni’s Instagram page to see more of her amazing work.

How did you first get into face painting and make up?

I was a nursery nurse/practitioner for 10 years and during that time I used to face paint the children. I soon learnt I was quite good at it and started it as a paid hobby for children’s parties, special occasions, charity events and fun days. I have always been interested in make-up, especially special effects, and would often create a lot of gruesome looks on myself using mainly tissue, cotton wool, liquid latex and fake blood.

Who is your favourite person/character to do?

My favourite celebrity transformation that I have done is Mr Bean! I found that really fun, especially when it came to playing about and mastering his characteristics once my make-up looked like him.

What’s it been like to be the attention of all this media coverage?

It’s been crazy! I never expected that just entertaining myself and family and keeping my make-up pages updated through lockdown would create such a fantastic reception! It’s overwhelming that people are noticing and liking my work!

What made you choose UCEN Manchester?

The Manchester College offered a Foundation Degree in Special Effects Make-up Artistry that I passed, before progressing onto the Make-up Artistry course at UCEN Manchester, to hopefully achieve my Bachelor’s degree.

What was your background before coming to study your degree?

As I mentioned earlier, I was a nursery nurse for ten years prior. Whilst on maternity leave, I decided it was the perfect time to take the plunge and dive into something that I loved to do, if not for my own sanity of feeling like I’d never left work, going home to then look after my own child after looking after everyone else’s all day, but also to show my daughter that she can always follow her dreams when she’s older.

How have your tutors supported you in your studies?

My tutors have done the best they possibly can, especially now under the current circumstances. A world pandemic isn’t something that’s dealt with everyday and everybody is having to adjust. Doing a practical course such as Make-Up Artistry is almost impossible at the moment but we’re all doing what we can and hopefully we will be allowed to get back onto campus soon to get all the practical side to our course done.

What’s it like juggling study with your other commitments?

Juggling study with work and having a toddler is not the easiest thing I’ve ever chose to do! There’s a lot of all-nighters, especially when deadlines are approaching but it is completely worth it and when you get your results back it’s the biggest sense of achievement.

What are you planning to do on completion of your studies?

I’m hoping to continue on my make-up journey and continue expanding my business as a freelance make-up artist. My biggest goal is to work my way into the TV and Film industry, working behind the scenes as a make-up artist.

What’s been the favourite thing or module you’ve learnt while studying so far?

My favourite module so far has been studio practice. I got to create my own looks, themes etc on models I had networked with for the camera and then put the whole photoshoot together exactly how I had created it. I also really enjoyed showreel. I’m a very hands on learner so the more practical work the better for me!

What advice do you have for someone currently applying to study?

Just do it! Find something you love and express yourself! Change is scary but it’s also so rewarding!

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