Contacts are key for make-up artist Abi

Now a familiar face at Illamasqua Selfridges, and on film and TV shoots, Abi Pulleyn, 22, is a recent graduate of our BA (Hons) in Make-up Artistry (Fashion and Media).

Now a familiar face at Illamasqua Selfridges, and on film and TV shoots, Abi Pulleyn, 22, is a recent graduate of our BA (Hons) in Make-up Artistry (Fashion and Media).

Abi’s determination to gather professional contacts early found her working on Victoria Wood’s BBC film, That Day We Sang, and Love, Unemployed; an independent film screened at the Cannes Film Festival.

Abi is passionate about her craft and keen to dispel mistaken impressions of the make-up artist’s role. The make-up artist contributes to key decisions about how scenes are filmed, as Abi discovered when shooting a fight scene for Love, Unemployed: ‘We’d do a run through first without any make-up, then myself, the director and the fight coordinator discussed the best way to film it. It was a case of making sure we were filming from the right angles at the right time.

'That Day We Sang was a great experience and insight into what a make-up artist needs to do on a TV production. It was great to work with the key artist and watch what she did. I’d get up at 5am and start by setting up. We were working with children as well as adults, which helped to take the pressure off, especially for a work experience person!’

When she’s not on set, Abi works for professional make-up brand, Illamasqua. ‘I’m a level three colour creative and am able to go away on training with some of the best people in the industry.’

Abi’s tip for success? Get all the experience you can, as soon as you can. ‘It’s never too early to start getting contacts. Apply for jobs on counters because the experience you’ll gain is great - and it makes you feel more confident working with people. I did a lot of free shoots at the start and that’s great to build up your portfolio.’

Although she’s originally from York, Abi sees herself settling in Manchester. ‘There are more opportunities, especially with Granada Studios and the BBC moving here. I am definitely planning to stay’.

Abi Pulleyn

BA (Hons) in Make-up Artistry (Fashion and Media)