Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE -

MAKE-UP ARTIST Kay-Ann McKenzie sees a world of op­por­tu­nity open in her field. The Kingston-based make-up artist, who was the sec­ond-place win­ner in the makeup cat­e­gory of the JN Small Busi­ness Loans Bar­ber and Beauty Bat­tle ear­lier this year, was re­cently awarded a schol­ar­ship to at­tend an in­ter­na­tional make-up cer­ti­fi­ca­tion course in Las Ve­gas, Ne­vada, in the United States of Amer­ica (USA).

“I be­lieve that this field of­fers a lot of pos­si­bil­i­ties,” McKenzie said, point­ing out that she has an in­ter­est in spe­cial ef­fects make-up, “which I can use to cre­ate em­ploy­ment and work on film sets here in Ja­maica”.

A movie buff, it was her cu­rios­ity about the ap­pli­ca­tion of make-up in en­hanc­ing spe­cial ef­fects in films that pushed her to be­come a make-up artist. She cer­ti­fied her­self with the HEART Trust/NTA last year, af­ter making a ca­reer switch which gives her more time to work with clients.

“The mar­ket is growing. More per­sons are aware of the in­dus­try and how it can as­sist them,” states Dawn Lindo, pres­i­dent of the New Kingston-based D’Marie In­sti­tute, a train­ing school for make-up artists.

Of­fi­cial data for the num­ber of per­sons em­ployed lo­cally is sparse; how­ever, Lindo es­ti­mates that it could be about 1,800. That fig­ure is based on per­sons trained at lo­cal institutions, turnover in the in­dus­try, and in­ter­ac­tion with con­tes­tants at com­pe­ti­tions she ad­ju­di­cates.

“Most stu­dents who at­tend D’Marie start busi­nesses to sell make-up prod­ucts that com­ple­ment their ser­vices, and phar­ma­cies are now hir­ing trained make-up artists to work at beauty care coun­ters to pro­vide tips to their cus­tomers,” she re­lated.

Alia Wedderburn, head of the School of Aes­thet­ics and Cos­me­tol­ogy at Ex­cel­sior Com­mu­nity Col­lege, agrees that there is po­ten­tial for the in­dus­try to cre­ate more jobs. And, she urges grad­u­ates to be more cre­ative with their ser­vice of­fer­ings.

“It’s hard to quan­tify how many peo­ple are em­ployed be­cause many per­sons pur­sue it as a part-time job, or as free­lance make-up artists,” she ex­plained. “I also be­lieve that for per­sons to flour­ish within the in­dus­try, they need to bring some­thing new to the ta­ble. For in­stance, they could com­bine make-up with skills in pho­tog­ra­phy or pho­tog­ra­phy fash­ion, or find a niche where make-up is in de­mand.”

Wedderburn ex­plained that lo­cal artists were well trained to work in fields that re­quire make-up artistry.

“There are many short four-to-eight week cour­ses, and most per­sons opt to take them. How­ever, there are longer cour­ses cer­ti­fied by the NVQJ or City and Guilds and sev­eral pri­vate institutions, which also teach skin­care and other as­pects of the make-up in­dus­try. Spe­cial ef­fects make-up is an ex­am­ple; and there are other niche ar­eas that are not com­mon in Ja­maica,” she added. STU­DENTS SHOULD EX­PLORE

Lindo noted that her school of­fers cer­ti­fi­ca­tion up to the diploma level; and she en­cour­ages stu­dents to ex­plore the dif­fer­ent ar­eas where they can find jobs.

“Lo­cally, we have film and theatre pro­duc­tions as op­tions for em­ploy­ment; as well as per­sons em­ployed as beauty ad­vis­ers,” Lindo stated. “We also en­cour­age our grad­u­ates to teach the skills they learn, if they have teach­ing diplo­mas.”

Gil­lian Hyde, gen­eral man­ager of JN Small Busi­ness Loans stated that, “The beauty in­dus­try is an in-de­mand sec­tor which has the po­ten­tial to gen­er­ate in­creased em­ploy­ment.”

She pointed out that to sup­port the beauty in­dus­try, the cat­e­gories of Make-up and Nail Tech­ni­cian were added to the JNSBL Bar­ber and Beauty Bat­tle, which was held at the Na­tional In­door Sports Cen­tre last April.

“I be­lieve that if this in­dus­try is given the nec­es­sary sup­port, it will be one of the ar­eas that will help to in­crease em­ploy­ment, and that is why we hosted the JNSBL Bar­ber and Beauty Bat­tle to un­earth the tal­ent in the sec­tor while open­ing up doors for per­sons to ex­plore the op­por­tu­ni­ties that ex­ist,” she added.

Wedderburn added that the suc­cess of the in­dus­try will also de­pend on the de­vel­op­ment of com­ple­men­tary ar­eas of busi­ness.

“Make-up artists should also ac­quire fun­da­men­tal skills in cus­tomer ser­vice and com­mu­ni­ca­tions. Those are es­sen­tial ar­eas that will also help to determine their level of suc­cess in the in­dus­try,” she stated.


Kay-Ann McKenzie (right) poses with her model at the JNSBL Bar­ber and Beauty Bat­tle held last April. Top left: Kay-Ann McKenzie ap­plies make-up to her model.

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