Guest blog: Behind the scenes with make-up students at Top Model UK

24 students from Pinewood Studios-based hair and make-up school The Iver Academy worked backstage at this year’s Top Model UK event – billed as the world’s largest professional model search competition, held in London in April.

Led by tutor Christine Vidler, the Iver team completed over 1000 looks over the two-day show – a great opportunity for the students to perfect their skills. Iver Academy student Lara Pace gives us her account of the day from behind the scenes at the show...

9:00 AM: With one show successfully behind us, we arrive at the Hilton for a 9am start on Saturday morning. Having finished the day before at around 11:30pm it’s an early start, but we’re busy from the moment we arrive so don’t have the time to focus on being tired!

9:30 AM: Having made sure that our workstations are set out correctly, we gather together to watch Christine, who is co-ordinating the hair and make-up, perform a demo of the different looks we’ll be creating throughout the day. The show this afternoon is the worldwide category with three different looks within that show.

12:00 PM: By 12pm the models have been here for a couple of hours to do run-throughs on the catwalk. As soon as we’re done going through the demos we get the models into the chairs and begin with their hair and make-up. They need to be dressed for the catwalk by 1:00pm with their hair and make-up done. It takes around 40 minutes to prepare each look, but this can vary hugely depending on the hair and skin of the model.

As soon as a model completes their walk we start preparing them again for their next look. It’s crucial that we prepare them in the right order so that no-one is late to get back on the catwalk. The hardest element to this is finding the compromise between time and quality. Naturally you want the model to look their best, but don’t have the luxury of being able to spend hours perfecting your work.

3:00 PM: After we finish the first show we have to ensure that everything is clean and the workplaces are ready for the next show. Christine then does another demo of hair and make-up for the evening show.There’s just time for a short break before the process starts again for the next catwalk at 8pm!

11:30PM: Both shows are now finished. It’s been two long days but everything has gone successfully. Though we’re only able to catch brief glimpses of our work on the catwalk, seeing everything come together makes it well worth the hard work!

Image: Lara Pace working on a model

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