Thursday, October 18, 2012

AOFM: Academy of Freelance Makeup Review



Beauty Look
 makeup artist: Carolyn Thombs/ Photographer: Ferny Chung


Last October I attended the Academy of Freelance Makeup in New York City. This had to have been the best decision of my life! This was truly the spark that set off my career as a professional makeup artist.

This school is based in London and now is in NYC and Paris.  I am going to recount my experience from this class, but if you want to read more about the history or why you should choose them in their own words check out their site: http://www.aofmakeup.com/whyus.html

The first day of class I got to meet Jana Ririnui, (the founder of the amazing school) and got to receive my amazing brushes and brush belt. 

In the Combined Freelance course I learned everything from Backstage Etiquette, How to be a Good Makeup Assistant, Makeup Artist Hygiene, How to Create Beautiful Skin, Ethnic Makeup, Body Paints, Film/TV Makeup, Bridal Makeup, Eyebrow Shaping, False Lash Application, Understanding of Photography Lighting, How to Build Your Professional Makeup Kit, Period Makeup, Catwalk Makeup, Mature Makeup, Male Corrective Makeup, and many more topics were covered over the 12-day course. 

We also had a shopping day towards the end of the course and were able to receive Professional artist discounts on brands such as: Makeup Forever, MAC, Inglot, and NARS. I was able to create a full kit from that day of shopping. 

Editorial Look
Makeup Artist: Carolyn Thombs/ Photographer: Ferny Chung
On the last day of the class you do an editorial photoshoot with an amazing photographer, hair stylist and fashion stylist (I worked with Ferny Chung, Cecilia Romero, and Jules Wood). They were an amazing team. For the shoot you do two looks: editorial and beauty. The photos from this shoot were an amazing contribution to my portfolio.

So when I got home I was ready to get started on my career as a makeup artist and not just do it on the side. I started contacting makeup artists to assist and made a Model Mayhem Profile so I could start building my portfolio. I have met some very nice models and photographers through Model Mayhem. 

Come February I was able to work NY fashion week on the AOFM Pro team. First I had to attend the Runway Masterclass to see if I qualified to be a part of the team. I was! Fashion week was one of the best experiences of my life as a Makeup artist! 

Other perks from attending this academy is that they offer Post-grad masterclasses for you to go to and to keep up with your education. So far I have gone to the MAC Pro masterclass where we go to see a demonstration of some of the looks they did during Fashion week. I attended the Bobbi Brown masterclass which gave me a further understanding of the products Bobbi offers. Through that class I was able to attend the Pilot class for Bobbi Brown Pro artists. 

Most recently my work with the AOFM Pro team was during NY Fashion week in September and I got the chance to assist James Vincent (one of the most amazing artists) on two shows: Suzanne Rae and Sammi Sweetheart. 

As you can see AOFM is a great school for those who want to be a professional makeup artist. If that is you don’t waste any time and lock in your spot in the class now! Trust me it is worth it!


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28 comments:

  1. Hello! love this blogpost, very helpful! Iam considering going to AOFM in ny but I was just wondering. Did you have any experience doing makeup before attending? and did you notice a big change in how you apply makeup after you attended this school?

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    1. Hallo! I'm so glad this was helpful! I did have experience in makeup and was already working at a counter when I attended school, but I wasn't really doing any freelance work and not really working on my portfolio on a professional level, aside from taking pictures myself. I did notice a good change in my style after I graduated. I definitely picked up little skills that contribute a lot to the level of the work I produce now (especially in getting the complexion perfect). My application of the makeup was definitely refined and broadened because you learn so many different artists' application processes. One of the main things I love about this program is that they don't sugar-coat it and tell you that it is a hard business, but if you really love it and work hard in it you will reap the rewards.

      I am at my third fashion week as a part of the pro-team so this school was definitely worth it!

      Hope this helps even more and maybe I will see you at the next fashion week as part of the pro team!

      Good luck on everything!

      Carolyn

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  2. Hello Carolyn,
    I am also thinking of enrolling in their make-up program but I had a quick question. Do they provide a kit or is that something I should bring to NY with me? Also, I know you talked about this shopping day, what exactly do you do? Do you just shop all day for products for your kit or is it just products to help start your business? Sorry, last question! Do we have to provide models or do we just practice on each other?


    Thank you for your help!!!!
    Hannah Heller

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    1. Hello Hannah!
      You will definitely love this program!
      They provide the makeup and all of the tools you need. On your first day they will give you a brush set, which you will use every class and that is included in the price of admission.
      For your shopping day, it is towards the end of the two weeks. They take you to a few stores where you will be able to get the professional artist discount to start building your kit. Throughout the different lessons I made sure to start making a list of products I liked to use and which ones the different artists/teachers said were must-haves. Also the night before the shopping day I found it helpful going online to check out what the different brands had to offer (unless you already know) and writing a list of things you want to get. It will make things go much more efficiently.
      So basically the shopping day is a way to start building your kit with the benefit of getting the professional discount, so you don't have to spend millions of dollars on makeup (a bit of an exaggeration, but you know what I mean :)).

      And lastly you will be working on the other students in the class, usually a different one each day. For your final photoshoot they will have models there for you.

      I hope this helps!
      And hopefully I will see you during fashion week on the AOFM Pro team sometime in the future!

      Please let me know if you have any other questions!

      Carolyn

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  3. I like your article and it really gives an outstanding idea that is very helpful for all the people on web.
    Make Up School

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  5. Hi! I want to go to this school soo bad! Have you gotten any paid gigs yet? Also I think ill have to take a loan out because I want to take the makeup hair and airbrush course. Do you know of the best way to handle the finances for this school seeing they don't offer any help.

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    1. Hello!
      Yes I have gotten plenty of paid gigs since graduating. Attending this school really gave me the motivation to kick start my career as a makeup artist full time!
      I was lucky and had some scholarship money from college left over so I was able to use that in order to pay. But the classes are definitely worth your time and are more reasonably priced in comparison to other schools.

      I hope this helps! Keeps me updated on your progress and let me know if you have any other questions!

      Carolyn

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  6. Do you recommend this program to somebody who is decent and doing her own makeup, but is really passionate about becoming a professional makeup artist? I don't have any experience when it comes to working at a counter or doing other peoples makeup, so even thought i dont have a ton of experience, will this program teach me a lot ?

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    1. Hello Tiff!
      Yes this program is great for those who have little to no experience all the way to very experienced! It not only gives you a great starting knowledge of the industry, but also (and most importantly) hands on lessons for makeup application and technique! I went into this program with a very solid foundation and definitely doubled my know-how of the industry and was able to refine my technique. I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any more questions!

      Carolyn
      p.s. sorry for the delayed response!

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  7. Hi!! I'm also thinking about enrolling to this school to Total Pro course. But do You have any information can I take something like students loan? Because in this moment I won't manage financially. And I have a question- how about your work as a makeup artist now?? Do you have a work? Do you have any problems to find it? How it look's like? Or if you can't find a job can I embrace the aftercare&support programme? Thanks in advance!

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    1. Hello! The course is definitely worth taking! They however do not offer loans, but I'm sure you can take out a loan from a bank or something. My work definitely became more refined from taking this course (check out my website: www.carolynthombs.com). I do get work now and make enough to have a living. Being a makeup artist does take money to start your own business so if you don't mind taking out a loan to start that would be the best option. After the course you have to be prepared to be proactive, they teach you what you need to know to survive and how to get started but they don't hand jobs to you on a silver platter. Which in my opinion I think makes you a better artist because it teaches you how to navigate this world on your own. The aftercare program is for continuing your education and can lead to job leads, granted most of them are in London because that is their main office. But things have been growing in the NYC area.

      Also if you have a true love for being a makeup artist you will be able to make it, but know that it takes a lot of hard work and making connections and doing things for free in the beginning.

      I hope I was able to answer some of your questions! Please let me know if you have any others and I will be happy to answer them!

      Carolyn

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  8. Hi Carolyn! I really want to attend this school but I have been having trouble reaching out to them. Is that something you experienced when enrolling into their program? I tried to visit the school today in NYC with the information provided through the website and I was told by the doorman they moved two years ago. Which sounds strange because you wrote that you attended last year. I tried calling the number they provided through the website as well and no one has picked up. Did you experience this before? Do you have any advice on what I should do? Did they really move or are they still located at 318 W 39th St? I'm sorry for asking so many questions. I'm very distraught about the situation. Please get back to me! Thank you so much!!

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    1. I actually didn't have any trouble when I was enrolling. I don't know if that was because I was the 2nd class to go through NYC or what. This past February the studio was still in the same location I believe. I had no experienced that at all. Maybe because we are in the midst of all the Fashion weeks that they are busy? And no worries! I will find out what I can and get back to you with more information I hope!. If you have any other questions please let me know! Is there an email address I can contact when I find some answers?

      Carolyn

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  9. Hi Carolyn!
    I'm from Israel and I really want to attend the AOF school. Do you think that studying in the London school is better than NY? It seems they offer more jobs over there. Also, is 3 weeks enough to really learn? Are the classes everyday? Pardon my English, It's not my native languagh :)
    Hope to read your answer soon.
    Avital

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    1. Hi Avital! I believe that the London school is the only one offering classes at this moment. I heard that all inquiries about the new York classes were being swept to the side. So I believe the London school would be the best option for you. And they have a better after school care program in London as well. The classes are everyday except for maybe one day off in the middle of the course. There are different course lengths as well depending on what you would like to learn/focus on.

      I hope this helps! I am so so sorry for my extremely late reply!

      Carolyn

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  11. Hi Carolyn!

    I've just been doing some research on AOFM & I stumbled across your article. I was happy to see that it received such a good review from you as it seems many makeup artistry programs don't satisfy people as much as they'd wished. I just have a few questions. Before attending AOFM did you attend & study at a normal college? I'm currently pursuing a college degree in something that I'm not entirely sure I even want, & I was just wondering if you had the intent of becoming am makeup artist from the get go. If so, is attending AOFM & making a move to NYC in the next year worth it if becoming a successful makeup artist is my ultimate goal?

    Hope to hear from you soon!
    Ana Luz

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    1. Hi Ana!

      I am so so sorry for replying to you so late!

      I did have a great experience with AOFM, but as far as I know I don't believe they are offering classes in New York at the moment and don't know if they plan to change that anytime soon. So the only classes they do have regularly going are in London. You can also check out Oliv Ares Haus of Glam, I believe they are planning on opening a school at some point in NYC. I have worked with them before and know that their school will definitely give you the education you need to jump start your career without spending another year in school and getting further into debt.

      I did attend a 4 year college before starting my business and attending AOFM. I loved it because I studied art and languages there, which I believe has also contributed to my art and mindset for the business.

      If you are attending a 4 year college now, I would suggest taking photography courses and possibly being a business major because that will definitely come in handy when you venture out on your own. While there you can try and get a part time job at a makeup counter to become familiar with products and to get easy practice time on clients. This also helps to build your clientele. Also try to find a more seasoned artist in your area and see if you can assist them on jobs. This will definitely help in the learning process as well as learning backstage etiquette and how shoots should run.

      I hope this helps, please don't hesitate to email me with more questions! bookings@carolynthombs.com


      Sorry again for my late reply! Good luck!
      Carolyn

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  12. Hi! Do you live in or NYC to make fashion gigs more accessable? I've always wanted to go to AOFM but live several states away and want to be involved in high fashion, but didn't know if it was something a little more easier to do if you live closer. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Erica!
      I do not live in NYC, so most of the work I do there is by traveling there. I don't believe AOFM is holding classes in the states at the moment. I believe Oliv Ares Haus of Glam may be hosting a similar school sometime in the future either in LA or NYC, though I am not sure if they have started registration for that yet.

      It does help living closer to NYC, unless you have a fashion scene where you live?

      I hope this helps! Let me know if there are any other questions you may have!

      Carolyn

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  13. Hi Carolyn!
    Such a great post. Thank you for sharing! Just wanting to get your feedback on applying into the course. Did you get a letter or email of acceptance? how long did it take for them to get back to you?
    I applied online for the London campus but not too sure how the process works after applying.


    Thanks Carolyn!

    Katie

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    1. Hi Katie!

      I am not sure if the London program differs from the New York, but I believe I applied in the summer of 2011 and then heard back maybe a month or so before the class started in October. I have been hearing lately that they have been somewhat hard to get in contact with. And personally I have stopped working on their proteam for the past few fashion weeks. I don't want to deter you since I have heard the London school is much different since it has been established so much longer.

      So to answer your question I believe I got an email with acceptance to the program. If it has been a month since you have applied, and have not heard an answer I would email them to check in.

      I hope this helps and I can't wait to hear about how your experience was with the program!!!

      Good luck!
      Carolyn

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  14. been searching about the academy for a while and i was wondering,i read that assisting is not payed, wich is ok, but im not sure i i understood right, do they pay for accomodation/ displacemt? i mean they offer really good opportunities but, i dont know if i can spend so much money on flights therefore i dont know if its worth for me to go to the academy, do you know somethig about this? it would be amazingly helpful if you could answer me XOXO
    thanks!

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  15. So they don't offer any courses in NYC anymore? Do you know when they'll start up again?

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  16. Hi Carolyn,

    I called aofm New York in April and was advised to get back to them before August to know the next New York course date. I happened to fill out an application through their website again in May, then received a reply from them saying, classes already started for the month of May, and I just missed it.

    Do you know if they are actually taking classes again? I have been getting very inconsistent answers from them.

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  17. Hello Carolyn,

    I just sent you an email, hope you can respond.

    Thank you :)

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