Make up artist Sally Bunting: “Never let your creativity be caged, let it out”

Words by Steph Hodgkinson

Make up artist Sally Bunting

Make up artist Sally Bunting. Image courtesy of Sally

Make up artist Sally Bunting, 21, has been freelancing for the past few years. She gives Polka Dots & Potions an insight into the highs and lows of her job…

Being a make up artist might seem like one of the most glamorous careers, but life as a make up artist isn’t easy. Freelancing is particularly difficult in the current economic climate, as make up artist Sally Bunting says: “It’s a very expensive career and the work isn’t always constant.

“It’s hard because people assume I can get to all the locations easily. There are always people who want something for nothing as well but the products are expensive, so I have to think whether it’ll be of any benefit to me and my portfolio.”

The 21-year-old from Sheffield has been freelancing for the past few years and does make up for everything from weddings and proms to music videos, photoshoots and fashion shows. She studied cosmetic, theatrical, special effects and media make up at Sheffield City College.

Sally's 'wound' special effects make up

Sally’s ‘wound’ special effects make up. Image courtesy of Sally

Sally is under pressure to get the look right to ensure her clients are satisfied with their makeovers. She says: “There is a certain amount of pressure, but I always emphasise that if they want anything changing that they tell me. I wouldn’t be offended.

“A lot of it comes down to personal preference, especially with weddings, but I include a trial with my wedding packages to prevent situations like that on their big day.”

Sally’s favourite shoot was one of her first shoots for a photography student. “Her theme was ‘The Seven Deadly Sins’. It was really fun, and I enjoyed how I had a theme to stick to, but each look was totally different.”

Sally on the set of a photoshoot. Image courtesy of Megan Smith

Sally on the set of a photoshoot. Image courtesy of Megan Smith

She says the highlights of the job outweigh the expenses, though: “One of the best things about the job is the proud feeling I get when I get the images back, or when I help to make a bride’s day special.”

Her dream client would be Lady Gaga or Marilyn Manson because “both are incredibly individual and their looks are very creative.”

So which products does she swear by? “There’s a discontinued No7 Highlighter, which I cherish! It looks amazing for any look, especially bridal makeup. Brand-wise I use a lot of MAC, Illamasqua and Ben Nye. I’m also HD airbrush trained, so I use Airbase for that.”

Although it can sometimes be tough, Sally’s found her ideal career. What’s her advice for aspiring make up artists?

“Save up as much money as you can! It helps when you can afford high quality brushes and products. Also, never let your creativity be ‘caged’, let it out.”

Make up by Sally, modelled by Sally

Sally modelling her make up techniques. Image courtesy of Sally

Read more from Steph here

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