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GFW19: Interview with student makeup artist Jimmy Liu


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As expected, Graduate Fashion Week has been brimming with talented designers eager to showcase their collections and get their first taste of life behind the runway. The focus may be on the designs themselves, but where would the shows be without the equally talented makeup artists on hand to take the looks to the next level?

Image Credit: Jimmy Liu

We got to catch up with second-year makeup and hair design student Jimmy Liu, who worked behind the scenes sculpting the faces of those ready to kill it on the catwalk.

When asked what the reason behind beginning a career in the beauty industry, it’s clear Jimmy’s passion for making people look and feel beautiful is what drives him.

He explains, “At the beginning, my mum didn't want me to do makeup as she wanted me to do something more useful for my career, so I made a proposal to convince her about my future being creative. I wanted to do something different from what males usually do and I have a passion for making someone look extremely stunning. Also, I am looking forward to doing makeup and hair for my family in the future. Imagine if you have a wife or a child, you can make them look prettier and improve their confidence, how would you feel?”

When it comes to inspiration for his looks, he turns to his friends and YouTube channels: “I think we should all respect people’s work and get inspiration or learn from them.”

Image Credit: Jimmy Liu

For Graduate Fashion Week, the team were given direction from the lead artists. Although the looks themselves were decided for them, the artists all took their own approach, using different products. “All we had to do is take the orders, take the responsibility and complete the tasks,” Jimmy says. “Everything was designed by the lead artists, and I just picked the right colour and worked on the clean lines carefully.”

Although exciting, it’s no secret that working backstage of a catwalk show means working under strict time pressures, leaving no time for mistakes. Jimmy says: “I just take a deep breath, and it mentally helps. I normally work really calm during the process. However, I would ask questions when I struggled.”

Despite the stress, the reception from those around him meant all the hard work really paid off. “Most of my friends and the models said well done to me; perhaps that's an encouragement. Every time I see their smile after applying makeup, I realise that's what I was looking for. So worth it.“

Image Credit: Jimmy Liu

Now that the week has come to a close, Jimmy is hopeful to take his career to a management role, explaining that he “would love to do more fashion shows to gain experience in the industry... I used to work as a creative director for two charity fashion shows previously, mainly selecting models, collaborating with the team of mine (makeup artists, photographers and videographers). Therefore, I kind of want to learn something about management in the fashion industry.”

Before the interview ends, Jimmy adds: “I would love to say a big thank you to the people who helped me a lot and the people who gave me an opportunity. I love my mum - and the lovely makeup artists who inspired me a lot: Adele Lynch, Georgia Waigh, Aleksandra Sedjuka, Vanessa Lazarova and Georgina Mistry.“

For more GFW exclusives and behind the scenes stories check out our GFW homepage

Lead Image Credit: Jimmy Liu

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