5 Minutes with Christine Vidler

Monday, December 04, 2017

christine vidler applying makeup

Image courtesy of Warpaint magazine

Christine Vidler has over 35 years’ experience working in the fashion and TV film industry. As well as being part of the teaching team at The Iver Academy, Christine’s work has taken her all over the world, where she's worked on notable fashion productions: The Clothes Show Live and Top Model UK, plus worked with an array of British and American celebrities.

Christine talks about what it takes to be a successful make-up artist and gives her advice for getting into the industry…

When did you know you wanted to become a make-up artist?

I worked for the BBC in Television Production many years ago in their Television Studios and was fascinated by the make up artists working on the same shows as me.  It had always been a career I wanted to do but in those days it was very difficult to get the right training and opportunity so I applied internally. Their training scheme was excellent and after three months intensive tuition I worked at Television Centre on various productions as a trainee for a while before becoming a qualified make up assistant.

You’ve worked in TV and theatre as well as fashion, what technical skills have you found are useful across all industries?

Being able to make a quick judgement as to what is required and what will suit.  Knowing what to use that will work.  There is no second chance on the shows I work on so you have to know your kit and have the right tools.

What is your most used tool in your make-up kit?

There isn’t just one tool actually, but if I had to make a choice it would be two for make up which would be good make up brushes of all different shapes and sizes and a selection of good foundation bases.  This is the canvas of your work and without a good canvas the painting wouldn’t look very good.

For hair it would be a good setting spray and a precise pin tail comb.

Fashion shows require a lot of looks, where do you find inspiration from?

My inspiration comes from art galleries, particularly The National Portrait Gallery, historical books, architectural books and good editorials, particularly American Vogue.

Who do you typically work with on a fashion show, what has this taught you about the personal skills needed to be a make-up artist?

When working on a fashion like any of the other live shows I work on it is a team effort.  On a fashion show you work closely with the fashion designer.  From the very start when the shows are still in preparation there are several meetings and that is when ideas are brought to the table.  Personal skills are very important.  You have to be able to understand a designer’s vision and see their passion.  PR is of the utmost importance.

So far, what do you consider to be your career highlight?

There are so many career highlights.  As a professional, I never talk about models, celebrities or actors in a personal way, but the highlights that jump to mind are the amazing opportunities I have had in having access to places and events all over the world that I never would have had if I didn’t have this career.  Far too many to mention. 

What advice would you give to someone looking to get into make-up artistry?

My advice would be to get the best training possible, work hard and never assume you know everything because with this career you never stop learning new skills.  Treat everyone how you would want to be treated irrespective of their position.  Also to have compassion and enthusiasm.