My Final Week at AOFM – Review | The Cupid Bow

OK. Here we go. It’s here. The final chapter! At the time of writing this I am already a qualified makeup artist and have had some fabulous working opportunities, such as working at Men’s Fashion Week, Wella Trendvision Awards, Clarke’s SS15 Presentation, on my first wedding and landing a job freelancing for Laura Mercier! Time has flown with being so busy, which is also my excuse for the delay of this post… So my final week at AOFM got a little bit bloody, a little bit hairy and a little bit… Zombie-y. That’s not a word but BOVVED. We were lucky enough to have Michelle Webb teaching us all week who specialises in special FX and prosthetics and has the most fabulous red hair that you ever did see! WARNING: Contains graphic images that may offend or upset. Or may make you wish it was Halloween already.
aofm reviewDay 1 – Cuts and Grazes and Zombies
Sooooo this was fun. Making each other look like we’d been beaten to a pulp and then posting pics online and watching our family and friends freak out. LOLSIES. Cruel but funny… And also a bit stupid on their part as they should have put two and two together! After giving us a run down on what products are designed to create which effect, Michelle handed us a slip of paper each which had descriptive details of an accident that we had to replicate on our partner. Mine read “You were plastering the ceiling standing on top of a tall ladder when you lost your footing and fell off, busting your eyebrow”. Made me cringe just reading it, but got to work quickly on my friend Megan, busting her face wiiidddddeeee open!
aofm reviewShe has the prettiest face ever so I felt horrible doing this to her… Especially when I posted it to Facebook and received comments from her mum and sister saying “what happened to you?”, “we don’t like it, has someone hurt you?”. Awwww I’m sorry! But I’ll take that as a massive compliment! I obviously can’t take credit for the next picture as it was Megan’s work on yours truly, but what an amazing job she did making it look as if I’d had a massive run in with a huge cat…

aofm reviewIt’s alright… You should have seen the state of the cat. But the best part of the day? Going to lunch like this and walking the streets of Soho to the gasps of strangers around us! After lunch Michelle gave us a quick demo on how to create a zombie using mainly latex and tissue. And trust me, her demo looked gross. Amazing, but gross. We had 2 hours each to recreate a zombie on our partners and I came up with this…
aofm reviewI dunno if you can see that poking out of Megan’s head in the lower right hand corner, but that would be a worm. Or supposed to be. In hindsight  probably used too much tissue so lesson learnt I suppose. But not bad for a first time eh? Wouldn’t wanna wake upwith that looking over you now would you?

Day 2 – HD Makeup for TV and Film
ALL HAIL HD MAKEUP. Whoever invented this deserves a knighthhood, or at least a very large chocolate coin. Cameras can pick up the tiniest detail and therefore HD makeup is essential which makes your skin look flawless without the slightest trace of any product. Make Up For Ever has become my new best friend, possibly my new favourite makeup brand not only for the cameras, but for everyday life. ‘Cause lets be honest… If you have the option to walk around with camera-ready skin 24/7, why wouldn’t you? Michelle started off the second day giving us a demo on how to use HD makeup, and more importantly how NOT to use it. Remember those pictures of Angelina Jolie and Nicole Kidman with the extremely visible white powder underneath their eyes on the red carpet? That my friend, is HD powder which is not designed for flash photography. Mmmm hmmm. You have been warned. Don’t go slapping on the HD powder before a flashing camera sesh unless you want to look like you have dunked your head in a pool of cocaine.
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Rachel’s already an absolute beaut, but the HD makeup left her skin looking absolutely fer-lawless! After lunch Michelle had a “creative character” task for us. Again handing us all a piece of paper containing a character description, we had a couple of hours each to create this character on our partner. Mine was a 1920s temptress… And this was what I created. Poor Rach.
aofm reviewBlocking out eyebrows… Not my favourite thing to do in the world.

Day 3 – Ageing and Facial Hair
Hands down the funniest day of the course. Who would know that I would be spending my Wednesday sticking warts and a moustache on someone? The morning was spent making our partners look about 60 years older, and after a demo from Michelle we were soon blowdrying latex onto faces, sticking on piggy moles and drawing on wrinkles. A ridiculous amount of fun and I had to stop a couple of times to compose myself. Not being funny… But Amy still looks prettay good here for an 80 year old. At least she’s had an insight into what to expect!
aofm reviewVaricose vein valley. However after lunch it was about to get really ridiculous. Out come the moustaches and beards and soon we were all getting in touch with our masculine side. To get the most realistic effect, we used crepe hair to create moustaches, beards and overgrown eyebrows. Those of you who know me well will know how painstaking it was for me to walk around with grown out, bushy brows…
aofm reviewYerrrrrrp. This genuinely happened.

Day 4 – Bald Caps
Ever since (recovering from) watching My Sister’s Keeper, I always wondered how bald caps were applied. How on earth did they get all Cameron Diaz’s hair under it? Well today I was about to find out. Not surprisingly, bald caps work better on those who already have short hair, so my classmate Carmen who sports a short undercut on both sides, offered to be used for Michelle’s demo. We watched in awe as the bald caps was pulled over Carmen’s head and Michelle turned her into a silver, glittery alien!
aofm reviewCarmen had a lot of fun getting that all off for lunch… In the afternoon we split off into pairs and had the chance to create our own character using a bald cap on a model that had been brought in specially. I teamed up with Rachel to create this scary clown on one of the other makeup tutors…
aofm reviewIt stills scares me looking at her now. Sorry Lina!

Day 5 – Burns and Ripped Open Tummies
The week was flying by so quickly, and looking back on all of this now I can’t believe how much we crammed in! We were in for another jampacked day starting off with Michelle demonstrating how to create realistic burns using just melted gelatine. The most important part was making sure that the gelatine had cooled down enough before we put it straight onto our partner’s skin! There were a few yelps throughout the day, but thankfully no third degree burns. Well, not real ones at least.
aofm reviewEww. Actually looks a bit painful doesn’t it. It’s enough to stop me going out into the sun full stop. PAH. Yeah right. After lunch Michelle moved onto giving us a demonstration of how to create a ripped open tummy effect. And it was GRIM. Especially the part where she hooked an IV pump through it and pumped out blood. VOMMMM. Think some actually landed on my shoe. Which was nice.
aofm reviewaofm reviewWe decided to add some extra cuts, grazes and a gunshot wound to our model Melody as well. Just because, you know, we could.

Day 6 – Character Photoshoot Day
So here we were. Our FINAL ever day of the course. I knew the course was going to fly by, but to be honest it seemed to go in the blink of an eye. We had learnt so much in an unbelievably small amount of time and after day we were about to be set into the real world. WAHHHHH. Before we graduated however we had an intense day ahead of us. We had 2 hours each to create any special FX character of our choice, using all and any of the techniques we had learnt throughout the week. Mine… Didn’t run so smoothly. I had planned to create a cracked china doll, but halfway through the transformation decided I hated it. So I had two choices. Either I carry on and just stick with it, or I change it for something a lot better and work quickly. 10 points for guessing correctly. Yep, I threw all caution to the wind and after a mild heart attack realising that I only had an hour to create my character for this all important final photoshoot, I started again to create  a burns victim who had been involved in a horrific house fire. Turned out alright though eh? Poor Carmen, actually breaks my heart a little bit seeing her like this!
aofm reviewDone. We were done. The course was over! After our funfilled (and for me, stress-filled) final day we were handed our certificates and a well deserved glass of bubbly!
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I am now a fully fledged, qualified hair and makeup artist! It’s so strange to think that the course ended over 2 months ago and I have been incredibly lucky to have been so busy since. AOFM continue to give a great aftercare program as promised, offering us masterclasses, refresher classes, job and assisting opportunities! I loved every second of it and I made some amazing lifelong friends, still speaking to the girls on a regular basis. A fabulous time in my life! If you would like to read my other parts of my AOFM journey you can read them here:

Week One
Week Two
Week Three
Week Four

A massive thanks to all staff and tutors at AOFM for kickstarting my new career! Make sure you are following me on Bloglovin’ here to keep up to date on all my glittery adventures!

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4 Comments

  1. July 22, 2014 / 4:16 pm

    Love your blog!!Aaawwwww miss it so badly when I read it!!

  2. Jess
    September 25, 2015 / 11:39 pm

    I have just read all of your posts about AOFM and loved every single one. I am thinking about doing a course with them and this has just given me a great insight into it and definitely convinced me to go ahead!

    Thank you so much!

    Jess x

    lifeonblog.squarespace.com

  3. April 19, 2017 / 6:34 pm

    Great post and congratulations on your qualification! I am just researching becoming a MUA and found your post. I’m looking into their online course as getting to London could be difficult but I’m not sure yet! Great blog post xx

  4. Carly Ratcliffe
    April 20, 2017 / 1:19 pm

    Good luck in your training hun and thanks for reading 🙂 xxx

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