Karen Mason has worked as a hair and make-up artist for more than 20 years becoming one of the most sought after make-up artists in the UK. Working with international designers, photographers and celebrities, with work appearing in magazines and newspapers including Elle, the Times, Daily Telegraph and Marie Claire.
Karen was guest examiner for our students on their Portfolio building project and told us a bit about herself.
I was inspired by MUAs Paul Gobel, Kevin Aucoin and Pat McGrath and hairdresser Trevor Sorbie. I trained for three years in hair and make up and wig making. I then assisted for over three years learning the trade.
The best thing about this job is travel, change, the possibilities, challenges, creativity and making people happy!
The toughest challenge has been digging deep to keep centred and confident when an artist is unpleasant or aggressive. Keeping a solid self.
I have worked with the likes of Lesley Manville, Bee Gees, Dame Helen Miren, Catherine Zeta Jones, Sister Sisters, Dame Penelope Wilton, Cara Delevigne, Kate Moss and Alfre Woodard.
I have just worked with Jessica Oyelowo for the British Film Festival.
Current projects- red carpet, fashion & beauty shoots and hairdressing.
I would say if you have a dream, keep trying, keep giving 100% and keep learning. In this industry it's lifelong learning. You need to be humble and make great tea!
Learn hair 100% inside and out and work in a good salon for a time or with a good film hairdresser. Make sure you are flexible and understand colour.
I think for the future, as always there will be constant change but it will become more and more necessary to be multi skilled and to have multiple streams of income. Afro hair and strong hair skills are a must!