About us

The Iver Make-up Academy based in the heart of Pinewood Studios is the leading, industry based training school for make-up and hair artists. 100% of our graduates are offered work after graduation.

The Iver Make-up Academy, based at the busiest film facility in Europe, Pinewood Studios, was set up by the tutors and staff from Greasepaint Makeup School when Greasepaint sadly closed its doors.

Greasepaint was established in 1979 by the late Julia Cruttenden. Rebranded in 2016 the Iver Make-up Academy  continued Greasepaints 39 year reputation as the  leading, independant make-up and hair academy in the UK.

 With close to 2000 square feet of state of the art, studio space solely for the use of IMA make-up and hair students. We offer one of the highest spec training centres in the country.

Tutors at IMA  have been nominated for  1 x Oscar, 6 x BAFTA's , 4 x Primetime EMMY Awards, 3 x Make-up Artist and Hairstylist Guild Awards and 3 x OFTA awards.

Incredibly passionate about training the next generation with the highest skill set, we have enlisted the help of  colleagues, leading specialists in hair, make-up and prosthetics in TV, Film, theatre,fashion and events to share their knowledge with students. This in turn opens up pathways for every graduate to obtain work throughout each and every medium. 

The Iver Academy Agency is solely for our graduates. The agency has a wide variety of jobs coming in daily and we are proud to be able to say that 100% of our graduates are offered work

Find out more about the wonderfully talented Iver Make-up Academy teaching team and the exciting courses available to students in our interview with the founders.


The Iver Make-up Academy vision - An interview with some of the tutors.

Liz Tagg-Wooster,Tamsin Barbosa, Christine Vidler, Renata Gilbert, Joceline Andrews


Q. What inspired you to set up The Iver Academy? 

Liz- Principal: We were inspired to set up The Iver Make-up Academy because, as a group of make-up artists, we have been working for many years in the industry, and can see where the creative media skills gaps are.There is so much more to the job than being able to do a "nice make-up" or style the hair well. We teach our students all the soft skills that are essential for being successful in a very competitive industry.

Tamsin- Vice Principal: Having worked in theatre,TV, commercials, video promo's and Film I know how many avenues there are for good make-up and hair artists to get work but I am also aware that there are a lot of poorly trained make-up and hair artists struggling to make it. I feel it is so important to pass on knowledge to the next generation. If you ask any working make-up and hair artist the best place to train The Iver Academy will be on her list.

Christine- Academic Consultant: Ultimately, we all saw this as an amazing opportunity to bring together all of our creative skills and offer a comprehensive training programme within the most famous of film studios in the UK; Pinewood Studios. Between us all, we have worked within every aspect of make-up, hair and special effects, in all possible mediums, and we knew that anyone looking to start a career in the industry would really benefit from our combined knowledge and experience.

Jos- Academic Consultant:  It’s an amazing career path and we all feel so privileged to work in such an exciting and inspiring environment – we really just want to make sure this opportunity to learn is given to future make-up & hair artists.


Q. How did you choose the teaching team for the new academy? 

Liz: Well, we wanted to make sure that our students had a great atmosphere to learn in, so getting the right mix of tutors was vital. Our tutors are all highly skilled artists, working in make-up, hair, SFX, prosthetics, fashion and theatre. We all have a very good working relationship and promote a strong work ethic, which makes for a very dynamic & inspiring learning environment.

Christine:  We  have a number of high profile make-up and hair artists who act as consultants and experts, bringing the latest industry standards straight to the classroom. From fashion make-up artists to award winning film and television designers. The great thing for the students is that they are being introduced to designers who can then employ them once they have graduated.

Renata- Academic Consultant: We’re extremely lucky as the tutors are working industry professionals, so they are completely up-to-speed with all the latest products and techniques, and at every opportunity they will offer work experience to Iver Make-up Academy students. We can not talk about all the films that students have worked on as all MUA's are asked to sign NDA'S ( Non disclosure agreements ) to protect the content of the film before it is released.

Some of the films that have been released that the students have had work experience on whilst still students at the academy are Assassins Creed, Transformers, Star Wars, Last Dragon Slayer and Cherry Tree Lane ( working title )


Q. Who have your tutors worked with? 

Tamsin: Our tutors have worked with an enormous amount of high profile actors, celebrities, directors, brands and production companies such as Disney and Marvel. The list is simply huge! But it covers a really extensive mix of actors & actresses, as well as sports, music and fashion personalities, and even royalty. So our tutors have a very diverse background, which is a massive benefit to our students. 

Liz: Some of the highest calibre acting clients our team have worked with include George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Dame Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz, Eddie Redmayne, Daniel Craig, Dame Helen Mirren, Hugh Jackman, Reese Witherspoon, Matt Damon, Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman and Daniel Radcliffe. The fashion & sports industry clients have included David Beckham, Lewis Hamilton, Thierry Henry, George Best, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Karl Lagerfeld. It’s so varied, and it’s this high level of professional experience that our students will be benefitting from.


Q. What makes The Iver make-up Academy different to other make-up schools?

Renata:  We teach in small but vibrant tutor groups, and most importantly, unlike other courses, we aren’t tied to an outdated curriculum. We can adapt our courses to meet the needs of the industry. Also, all of our courses are hands-on and are taught through practical demonstrations. We cover every aspect you would need to know to become a successful make-up & hair artist working in today’s media environment.

Tamsin: We know what is required of a trainee make-up artist so our graduates leave here with this knowledge and more. There are a lot of techniques and they can not be taught in a 3 week course.You can not fast track into this career. Our courses are designed to build on skills and are very highly respected by the people looking to hire. In fact there are only 3 UK schools who have this reputation and The Iver Make-up Academy is one of them.

Jos: Obviously, the key benefit of training at The Iver Make-up Academy is that the school is placed in the most perfect location. Pinewood Studios is known worldwide and has been the filming location for many of the most successful films this country has ever produced. The opportunity for our students to be right at the heart of these studios, with the opportunities of work experience that might arise, is fantastic. Many students have been given work experience just through a designer visiting us for a coffee.


Q. What skills and techniques can students expect to learn with you? 

Liz: Our students will have the chance to explore all the areas of make-up and hair that the film, TV, theatre and fashion industry requires. They can choose to take our most comprehensive  30 week training programme, or opt for one of our other courses. But we don’t just teach the practical skills; we also train them on the high standards of industry etiquette, continuity and script break down and how to work from a brief.  All these aspects put together will produce great make-up artists.

Christine: We cover the basics of TV and media make-up and hair in our shorter courses. Students can take a module at a time and build up their skills this way if they do not want to take the longer courses all in one go. We offer comprehensive advanced modules for creating character make-ups, special effects, prosthetics, modern and period hair, air-brushing and fashion that can all be booked as separate modules and we’ve planned our course structure to give students the flexibility to add on modules if they are not already covered in their chosen course. We hope this opens up the training opportunities to everyone.


Q. How do you choose your students? 

Tamsin: In terms of existing skills, we don’t expect anyone applying for our beginners courses to have any prior experience as we cover this, but we do have requirements for some of our advanced courses.

Liz: We also like to meet all prospective students for a short informal interview to make sure they understand the full commitment required for a career as a make-up artist, and that they are following the right path for their own goals. We want all of our students to succeed, so we look for determination, creativity and a real passion for the industry.


Q. How are you helping to support your students once they have graduated?

Renata: Once graduated, our students all receive a certificate from The Iver Make-up Academy, which is a testament to their skill and expertise in their chosen course. As well as this industry-recognised training, we provide excellent links to the industry through our agency.

Christine: The agency gives all current and graduate students the chance to receive work opportunities. This service is free to all Iver Make-up Academy students and graduates of Greasepaint make-up school. It is provided for as long as they need it. Graduates are only  put forward for jobs that require the skills we have trained them in. If they have not been trained in specific skills then not all jobs will be open to them as we can not vouch for their ability.

Liz: As well as the support of our agency team, our tutors always recommend students on as many productions as they can to give them even more work experience. Our track record at Greasepaint Make-up school can testify to this. Students we have taught have recently worked on productions such as Mary Poppins, Star Wars, Stan and Ollie, Harlots, Will, Darkest Hour, Entebbe, Murder on the Orient Express and Beauty and The Beast to name but a few. We see the academy as a permanent support system for our students, so even after they have graduated, they are free to return and ask advice from their tutors, or to get help practising techniques that they may need to brush up on for forthcoming work.