Christine talks to BAFTA 2019 winner Nadia Stacey

If you have missed Christine’s Live Zoom session with Nadia, here is your chance to watch the online chat again – 2 Award winning Hair & Makeup Designers discussing their craft. Nadia Stacey, “The Favourite” Hair & Makeup Designer & 2019 BAFTA winner chats to Christine Blundell about her career and her work on “The Favourite”.

Chat with Christine’s trainees Amy & Sarah

Trainee Makeup Artists & our recent graduates Amy & Sarah talk about being Christine Blundell’s Main Team & Crowd Room Trainee MUAs on her latest HBO TV Series “The Nevers”. Everything you wanted to know about day to day Makeup Artist Trainee role on film set. Email us if you have any additional questions and Amy & Sarah will be happy to help.

2 Designers chat about perfect Trainee MUA qualities

Watch the whole video to find out which qualities Makeup Designers look for in a Trainee Makeup Artist – a must see, if you are thinking about becoming one! Christine and Tahira talk about basic Onset Etiquette, their own careers, as well as giving you tips for how best to work & communicate on set. Please contact us if you have any additional questions, Tahira and Christine will be happy to answer them via email.

CB*MA Graduate Lisa Talks About Her Successful Career change

In this video Lisa is sharing her story that starts with her decision to embark on the dream career in Film & TV Makeup in her late 30s, while juggling her family life with studying at CB*MA. Straight after graduation Lisa did her graduate work experience on Christine’s project, Disney’s “Aladdin” and then went on to work in Birmingham REP theatre, followed by being a Crowd Trainee on the new HBO TV Series and another Sky TV Series straight after.  Lisa was also successful in gaining the ScreenSkills bursary for some additional Barbering skills training & also was chosen to be this year’s ScreenSkills Trainee Finder trainee. Listen to the whole interview to find out what’s Lisa’s advice to all of you wishing to change your career path as a mature student.

Trainee Makeup Artist & CB*MA Graduate Emmalee talks about her time at our Academy

Emmalee graduated in 2018 and she did her guaranteed graduate onset experience on Disney’s “Aladdin” straight after graduation. She was also successful in gaining a place at the ScreenSkills Trainee Finder initiative that same year and benefitted greatly from the scheme, attending workshops and working on a film set. More recently Emmalee worked as a Trainee Makeup Arstist on “The Crown” – listen to the whole interview to hear the ins and outs of Emmalee’s MUA career so far and benefit from the tips she wanted to share with all budding Trainee Makeup Artists.

Welcome to Christine Blundell’s Online Q&A – Part 1

Here is the first instalment of Christine’s online Q&A videos, in which she answers your questions, as promised. In this video Christine talks about her current work on the HBO TV Series & its Production challenges and many more topics that are part of the Makeup Artist and Makeup Designer’s job description.   Listen to the full interview to find out more.

More is to come, so do keep following us on Facebook & Instagram for more information about the current situation and to watch more forthcoming C𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗕𝗹𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗹𝗹 Q&A sessions and other MUA related online posts and videos. We are still receiving your questions, please email them to 𝗰𝗯𝗺𝗮@𝗰𝗯𝗺𝗮𝗰𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗺𝘆.𝗰𝗼𝗺 or post them to us via our 𝗙𝗮𝗰𝗲𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 and/or 𝗜𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 pages.

Christine Blundell remembers working with Johnny Depp & Kate Winslet on “Finding Neverland”

Strange times indeed.

After repeatedly cleaning the flat, I was flummoxed as to what to do next. I had cleaned and tidied up my makeup kit. My makeup brushes were spotless.

I could not go down to the makeup school as we are in a Lockdown.

It was then as that serendipity played its part and a what’s app notification from Nuria Mbomio, makeup artist and dear friend, pinged on my phone.

She too, was spring cleaning …her attic!! read more…

A Taster of Christine’s forthcoming Q&A online sessions, stay tuned and keep following us on our Facebook, Instagram, Blog web page and YouTube channel, more Film & TV Hair & Makeup Artist content released soon

A quick Taster of Christine’s online Q&A session

Oscar & BAFTA winning Makeup Designer Answering All Your Questions

Here is a snippet of what’s coming soon to our Blog, Facebook and Instagram pages – Christine Blundell answering all your Film Makeup Artist related questions. A great opportunity to pick the brains of the Award-winning Film Hair & Makeup Designer!

We have received many great questions from you so far, please do keep them coming!

One question that was asked quite a few times came from hairdressers who wanted to find out how easy or difficult it would be for them to re-train and become Film & TV Hair & Makeup Artists and if they should join our Four-month hair and makeup course to do that? Watch the video to hear Christine’s answer to this question and if you have any additional questions please do send them to us and we will answer them in Christine’s next online Q&A session.

Keep following us on Facebook & Instagram for more information about the current situation and soon to be launched full 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗕𝗹𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗹𝗹 Q&A session and other MUA related online posts and videos. Email your questions to 𝗰𝗯𝗺𝗮@𝗰𝗯𝗺𝗮𝗰𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗺𝘆.𝗰𝗼𝗺 or post them to us via our 𝗙𝗮𝗰𝗲𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 and/or 𝗜𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 page

Christine Blundell’s interview for Reel FEEdBack with host Kevin Dawson, talking about her career as a Makeup Designer in the UK Film Industry

You can access the full interview here

Chris and Mr. Turner 2019Christine recently gave an interview for Reel Feedback, with host Kevin Dawson, who talks to people from the music, TV and movie industries about her art and working behind the scenes and / or on screen. Kevin chats to Christine about her inspirations, her work and anything else that may come up in between.

The focus of the discussion was to get to understand not just how Christine began her Hair & Makeup career but what made her open a Makeup school for budding Makeup artists, too! Christine begins by talking about the night of the Oscar awards and how surreal it was walking past Clint Eastwood who congratulated her and someone else shouting her name to turn around and see that it was none other than “Brad Pit”!

Christine first got involved in hair & makeup when styling bands in the late ‘70s and working in salon in Kensington Market. She went on to open her own hairdressing salon, which she ran successfully for 4 years and then embarked on an intensive three-month makeup course. After completing the course, Christine worked on Phantom of the Opera doing prosthetics and went ton to work for LWT, gaining invaluable experience on sketch shows and T.V. films.

Christine talks also about balancing the Film career and the makeup school and training future Makeup & SFX Artists. Filming permitting, she usually teachers last week of Christine Blundell Makeup Academy’s 4 month course, so called Boot camp, where future Makeup artists and trainees have the opportunity to show off all their skills and knowledge learnt on the course. One of the amazing things at the Makeup academy is that where else will you get “Tom Hardy” or “Robert Downey Junior” popping into the school. This is because Christine preps her films here. Anyway enough of this go in and listen…..click here

Christine’s Latest Interview for London’s Metro newspaper tells all about the highs and lows in the life of an award- winning Film & TV Makeup Designer

The Oscar and Bafta winner, 58, on trying not to throw up on Brad Pitt and going to the pub with Hugh Grant dressed as a tramp

Travelling the world as a make-up artist on some of the biggest films ever made sounds like a dream job. Was it yours?

No, I always wanted to be a vet but I wasn’t academic and left school at 15. I became a hairdresser for punk bands as I was a punk myself. I set up Scallywags in London’s Kensington Market, then moved to Stevenage and opened a salon. I was quite a colourful character and I had a big clientele but after a couple of years I realised hairdressing wasn’t my endgame and that I needed to get back to London. I sold the salon and used the money to retrain in make-up. After a three-month course I was employed by LWT to work on Hale And Pace.

How did you make the switch to films?

I felt into it accidentally. I was asked to do Life Is Sweet and that’s where I got to know director Mike Leigh. Mike asked me to do the hair and make-up design for his next film, Naked, and we’ve worked together ever since. It was on Naked that I struck up a good friendship with [Harry Potter star] David Thewlis. He became godfather to my children.

You’ve worked with many of the greats in some far-flung places. What’s that like?

When I went to do Seven Years In Tibet in the mid-1990s I found out I was pregnant with my first child, Stanley, who’s now 21. I was in a campsite on a mountain with David Thewlis and Brad Pitt, and I had to let them know I was in the early stages of pregnancy. The next day we jumped on a helicopter and they were giving me sick bags as I was trying not to throw up. While I was in Kenya filming The Constant Gardener we had two Masai warriors, Samuel and Jackson, as our guardians. As we were doing the make-up in Nairobi I was sent the script for my next film — Doom. I was sitting in a tent in the desert listening to Samuel and Jackson’s jangling jewellery while reading a futuristic sci-fi script about ‘nano walls’ — it doesn’t get more surreal. Closer to home, I worked with Hugh Grant on Paddington 2 and we really bonded. We had this hysterical moment when we were doing night shoots in Primrose Hill and he was dressed as a tramp with a wig, false nose, broken veins and a beard, and we decided to go to a pub quiz. No one realised it was him.

Tibet treat: Brad Pitt PICTURE: REX

You won an Oscar and a Bafta for best make-up and hair for Mike Leigh’s 1999 film Topsy-Turvy. That must have been incredible.

My second child Alfie was six weeks old when I won the Oscar the following year. I went up to receive the award – my partner wasn’t there to see it because he went to the toilet at the wrong time – and as I came back I threw my Oscar at him, grabbed my milking machine and ran out of the auditorium. As I did so I heard this: ‘Oi, Blundell!’ It was Brad Pitt jumping over chairs to give me a hug. I had to wave my milking machine at him and say, ‘No!’ It was like a scene out of Carrie or The Exorcist — I was about to squirt breast milk everywhere.

Winning those awards must have been the high point of your career?

Yes, I’ve been shortlisted for an Oscar since with Legend and had various other Bafta nominations for Finding Neverland and Mr Turner but you can’t let it rule your life. It’s fun and a very generous nod from the world to say, ‘Well done, we recognise you’, but it doesn’t mean you have the Midas touch. After the Oscar my next film went straight to video!

There must have been low points too…

When I was filming Casino Royale I lost my brother to cancer. You’re working on the ultimate glamorous film while something awful you can’t control is happening in your personal life. What got me through was working with people who knew me on a professional level, not a personal level.

You’re now a make-up designer rather than make-up artist. What’s the difference?

I make sure the whole thing runs properly. Now I’m working on Joss Whedon’s The Nevers and it’s set in Victorian London. I have to work out if I want people to have facial hair, how long their hair should be and if people need wigs. It’s a huge undertaking and you’ve got to come in on budget.

Mistakes, you’ve made a few?

In Thailand filming Around The World In 80 Days I didn’t have enough facial hair for Jackie Chan’s army so I had to get a lovely helper to bring me some goat hair.

Is filming movies as glamorous as it seems?

I’ve just asked my trainee that and she laughed out loud. We’ve towed her car out of the mud three times this week — once at 9pm and once at 4am. It’s not glamorous. You need nerves of steel and strong self-belief. You’ve got to love it and be really committed.

Is that why you set up the Christine Blundell Make-Up Academy?

I was doing Casino Royale when I had the idea to open a make-up school. The quality of training after the BBC stopped their course was very low. I kept a notebook of what needed to be taught and 12 or 15 years ago we opened the academy. We’ve worked hard to make sure it’s not elitist and we’ve got bursaries available. It’s an industry that’s open to all and once you’re trained, it’s a career for life.

Top tip

Learn to tell when someone does or doesn’t want to talk. We’re working with famous people but at 5am they don’t always want to chat.

The facts

Salary: A trainee can expect about £120 a day rising to the junior’s rate of £240. Experienced make-up artists can earn about £350 a day.

Regular hours? No, and expect early starts and late finishes.

Short and sweet advice: Get the best training you can.