NetChat Sessions: Aine Thomas
NetChat Sessions are weekly sessions where we talk to inspiring women in and around the Bristol community. This series offers the opportunity to hear the voices of inspirational young women in the industry, from entrepreneurs to artists- who are killing it btw!
This weeks discussion is with Aine Thomas: a freelance hair and makeup artist currently working in TV and Film (the industry that is really keeping us entertained throughout this pandemic!). We talk about the delayed response of the government reopening beautician’s, how the pandemic has changed the way of working and makeup artists that are inspiring her the most in the industry right now...
Tell us a bit about the work you do?
I am a freelance hair and makeup artist, I currently work mostly in TV and Film.
Where do you think beauty trends are heading in 2021?
Well due to having to wear a mask, there's been a significant focus on eye makeup (graphic liner) and a lot of beauty brands have been coming out with smudge proof lip products so I wouldn't be surprised if liquid lips have a resurrection this year!
What’s your favourite job you've taken/why?
I have different favourite jobs for different reasons. At the end of 2019, I got to work on my first legit TV show (Cursed) as a trainee, which was amazing getting to work with so many different makeup artists especially on an Arthurian inspired show with mythical creatures. The second would probably be a short film I worked on in the first lockdown called "Mrs Ellroy" directed by India Ines-Levy. This was my first shoot working within the new covid regulations so it was an eye opener into the new world of filming, but it was a period piece based in the 50's so I got to create these amazing updos on our lead actress Jen Martin.
Who inspires you at the moment?
One of my favourite makeup artist's - who actually showed me how makeup can be a form of art - is a woman called Joanne Gair who does hyper realistic body art. I'm also currently really into Isamaya Ffrench's work; she works mostly in the fashion industry, and the makeup looks she creates are just wild! She's created some of the most iconic runway looks in the last few years and is just insanely talented. When people try to write off makeup artistry as a bit of lippy and mascara, I immediately pull up her instagram to show what makeup really can be!
In regards to the delayed response of fully reopening beautician’s back in the summer lockdown; do you feel like these sexist undertones of ‘one rule for men, another for women’ have been felt throughout the pandemic with the work you do?
It's 100% been felt through the whole beauty industry. I could spend hours showing the differences of support that have been offered to male dominated industries vs. female dominated industries throughout this pandemic. But what really stuck out the most over the summer, is that the government's decisions were made out of a misunderstanding of our industry. They didn't take the time to look into it in the first place. Health and safety, cleaning/sanitation, and prevention of cross contamination is drilled into you from the beginning of any beauty related training.
I feel that the government totally disregarded the beauty industry as frivolous and unnecessary and although I understand that much of the beauty industry is considered ‘luxury’ there was a total lack of respect from the government. Beauty is a massive industry of men and women who have put blood, sweat and tears into training in a trade, building a business and making millions of pounds of revenue every year. They seem to forget that hair and makeup play a massive role in the creation of the arts that have kept us going through this pandemic - magazines, tv & film & music.
How has the pandemic affected your day to day industry practise?
As someone who has trained in hairdressing, beauty therapy and makeup I can tell you that health and safety procedures are drilled into you from day one. You're constantly aware of minimising cross contamination between clients, so the big changes for me have meant more PPE, and also making my kit covid secure (individual actors bags, depotting makeup, brushes and tools in covered containers) but I'm very lucky to work in TV and film where every production now has a covid supervisor whose job is to help make our work place covid secure.
What’s your favourite makeup approach?
The biggest thing to remember with makeup, whether you're applying on yourself or on other people is: skincare, skincare, SKINCARE! It's literally the pinnacle of creating a good makeup look - and that doesn't matter whether its heavy glam, bodyart or minimalist makeup. If you prep your skin properly your makeup will be a thousand times better.
To check out more follow Aine Thomas on socials here.