Recently appearing on the first series of BBC’s Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-Up Star, Belinda made it through to the semi-final and won great praise from the judges, Val Garland and Dominic Skinner. With her talent in makeup, Belinda regularly posts her designs to her successful Instagram account titled @beautybybelinda, which shows her many unique creations. Chatting with Belinda, she talks about her time on Glow Up, getting into illusion makeup and creating her work.
How did you get into illusion makeup?
I love makeup because of the transformations I can create and how powerful that can be. After doing these transformations for a while I was looking for a new way to push it even further and shock the viewer. That’s when I started introducing illusions into my work, I think it’s great to create art that makes people think.
How long did you train to become a makeup artist?
I am completely self-taught as a makeup artist. I apply a lot of what I learnt through Art lessons at school and the rest is through tutorials online and hours and hours of practice.
How do you come up with your designs?
I find inspiration from all different places. Sometimes it can just be a texture or a colour that I’ve seen as I go about my day and other times it may be a film or a book. I love looking at surrealism and I think that helps me to think outside of the box with my designs.
Is it more difficult to design on your own face opposed to someone else?
I learnt by working on my own face and creating designs to fit my features so I always find it quicker to transform myself. When it comes to painting details around the eyes I find it a lot easier on other people because I can really see what I am doing then.
Approximately how long does each illusion makeover take?
Illusion makeups are very time-consuming and I take over four hours even for the simpler designs. I think that’s because they have to be so accurate for it to translate correctly.
What was the social media response to your time on Glow Up?
The response I have got online after being on Glow Up has been incredible! Everyone has been so kind and supportive. I receive a lot of messages from people saying that they have been inspired to get creative and push out of their comfort zone and that means the world to me.
Which episode did you find most fun and which was most challenging?
Prosthetics week was the challenge I was most worried about because it’s something I’d never attempted before but it was actually the most fun I had on the show! When a prosthetic is applied seamlessly it is so rewarding and it opens up the door to so many more possibilities in makeup.
What was the best piece of advice you were given whilst on the show?
The best advice I received on the show was from Dominic (Skinner). He told me to trust what my brain was telling me to do and just have fun with it. Up until then, I think I was really scared to put myself out there for fear of failure. It’s when I started trusting myself that I became a real competitor in the show and I produced the best work I ever have.
Is there anything you would do differently if you had the chance to do the show again?
I wouldn’t have done anything differently on the show. I felt like I really put everything into it and I’m so proud of all the work I produced. Art is so subjective and that’s one of the things I love so much about it, so I stand by all of my designs.
Do you have a favourite look you’ve created?
My favourite look on the show was from fashion week where we were presented with a designers clothing range and we had to design a look to complement the clothes. I loved that we had to think on our feet and create something that would compliment but not over power the garments. The makeup was really different for me but I loved creating something so simple but with just as much impact as some of my bigger more complexed looks.
Which of your illusion works has created the most positive feedback?
When I put a mask illusion look on my Instagram I was nervous about how it would be received as it was quite a simple idea but it quickly grew to be my most popular look ever with over 100,000 people seeing it. I can never tell what is going to do well and what isn’t so I’ve stopped thinking about that side of it now and I just create stuff that I love.
Who do you practice your designs on?
I practice my designs on myself because I don’t know many other people who will sit still for four to six hours. If I need another face to practice on I will use my husband but he always falls asleep so that presents its own problems.
How much time do you spend creating looks each week?
I try to do two transformations a week so that’s usually at least eight hours of makeup. That doesn’t include all of the drawing, planning and designs that I do beforehand and the photographing and editing afterwards.
Are there other styles of makeup you enjoy working with?
Beauty makeup is a real passion for me and, unlike my creative looks, I love doing very natural and polished makeovers that make people look and feel like the best version of themselves. There is something so lovely about helping people find their confidence.
What plans do you have for your makeup career?
Glow Up really taught me that I need to stop limiting myself to one area of makeup. It was an amazing opportunity because I got to explore so many different things in such a small space of time and going forward I want to continue that! I am going to open my mind to all different opportunities and try and learn and grow as much as I can through them.
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