London based make-up artist Samantha Cooper is well established on the celebrity scene as the go-to make-up artist. A graduate of the prestigious Glauca Rossi School of Fashion and Make Up, she’s perfected the faces of Natasha McElhone, Gina Mckee, Richard Armitage, Sarah Ferguson, Kevin Spacey, Joanna Lumley, Keeley Hawes, Abigail Clancy and many more. Having worked on some of Britain’s top magazines and newspapers such as Grazia, The Times, Vogue, The Observer, GQ Magazine, and Radio Times, Samantha is clearly a well trusted artist in the industry. Being able to stretch her talents over a variety of different forms of make-up artistry has meant that she has become a well respected and sought after artist. Here she reveals the highlights of her career and her hopes to release her own make-up line…
1) What training did you do in order to become a make-up artist?
I had trained as a beauty therapist and decided I wanted to do something more creative, so I moved to London when I was nineteen years old and attended Glauca Rossi School of Makeup. I thought it would be fun and I was right!
2) Do you have any tips for budding make-up artists?
Working in as many different environments as possible, when I started out, I worked in Selfridges for Lancôme, makeover studios and this helps you build confidence and speed so you learn to work under pressure. Keep up to date by reading magazines and I test when I can to try out my own ideas. When working with celebrities, you are there to make them look groomed and polished so tests are a good way of expressing yourself. Remember to work, work, work! Keep going and don’t give up, it is a highly competitive industry, so you have to stand out and be the best you can.
3) What are your favourite products to use?
I love trying new brands and products, as they are always evolving with new science, but I love Estee Lauder concealer and mascaras. I like Clarins skincare too.
4) What is the best part of your job?
Meeting and working with amazing people. No day is ever the same, its creative, fun and I am very lucky that I have a job that I thoroughly enjoy.
5) What are the highlights of your career so far?
There are so many! I loved the madness of working on the X-Factor; it was action-packed and exciting. I am the key make-up artist for Duran Duran so I’m always working with the band which I really enjoy. I did a photo shoot with the beautiful actress Gillian Anderson (from the ‘X-Files’) which was really glam, so I had fun with that. Also Actress Natasha McElhone (from ‘The Truman Show’) was great to work with, they both have stunning features.
6) Are there any make-up artists whose work you admire?
Val Garland, she has a fantastic portfolio and really understands everyone’s individual beauty I think.
7) What do you specialise in?
I certainly specialise in working alongside celebrities, this seems to be an area I work in most. I also have a really good male grooming portfolio.
8) What is your favourite movie make-up look of all time?
Anything with Marilyn Monroe! I also love Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
9) Is movie make-up different to other types of make-up artistry?
Yes it is, you have to adapt and watch how the light changes. Movie scenes are often shot over a much longer period of time, as acting and lines are delivered so continuity is very important. If you were on set one day and then had to go back the next the makeup, would have to look the same as before.
10) What does 2011 hold for you career-wise?
I am really excited about 2011, I have a fantastic agent and we have a few things to explore, but I would like to get involved in more red carpet events and movies would be great! One day I’d love to launch my own range of makeup!