From beauties to beasts
By Colette Warbrook
As a make-up artist, Rachael Cahalin may find herself working on a film set one day and with a bride-to-be the next. The 31-year-old, who lives in Newcastle, has a partner, Phil Bland, aged 33, and she also does manicures, pedicures, massage and reiki
What did you do before becoming a make-up artist?
I studied management design and communication at the University of Central England in Birmingham, and I then worked for Staffordshire University as an administrator.
I'd always been interested in make-up, though, and I've always liked the design and artistic side of things, and also fashion.
Where did you do your training?
I trained in massage in around 2004, in my spare time, while I was working full-time.
For the make-up I trained at the School of Make-up in Stockport, again in my own time, and that was about three years ago.
Tell me about your film work.
I did the make-up for a feature film produced by Reels in Motion, a company based in Stoke-on-Trent. The film is called Pulp and it opened the Stoke Your Fires Film Festival this month.
It's about comic book geeks and the shooting took place in Birmingham and Staffordshire.
I had to do a black eye for a couple of the scenes. Mostly, though, it was normal make-up, but heavier and with shine control.
With the male actors, you make them up but as if they're not wearing any make-up, so it's very natural for them.
With film work, continuity is crucial.
What are your tips for shine control?
Use a mattifying primer before applying foundation, and after the foundation use loose or pressed powder, probably translucent. But if you want to give yourself a bit more warmth, go with a colour similar to your foundation.
I also use blotting paper, usually by MAC, which is great on film sets, so the actors don't get overloaded with make-up.
When did you set up your business?
In March 2011, I left the university and went completely freelance.
With the make-up, I offer a mobile service, so I work with a lot of production companies, wherever the filming is taking place.
If I'm doing bridal make-up, I go where the bride is getting ready on her wedding day.
I do manicures and pedicures either mobile or from my treatment room in Oakhill, where I also do massage and reiki.
I offer make-up lessons as well.
What other work have you done?
I did a music video recently for the dance DJ Ashley Wallbridge.
The track is Keep the Fire and it was shot at a farm in Cheadle, which was good fun.
The theme of the video was a kind of underground fight scene.
The make-up needed to be quite natural but there were a few guys who had to look sweaty to make them look like they'd been fighting.
I also made-up two girls for this video, one with smoky eyes and the other more innocent, natural and sporty looking.
I also helped out with the fashion show for the Douglas Macmillan Hospice recently.
What type of make-up to you use?
I use lots of different ranges, including the brands MAC and Illamasqua.
I carry quite a lot of different things with me, just in case a client is allergic to something. I like to have a variety.
What beauty product can't you live without?
A good moisturiser, definitely.
I use a night cream and a lighter moisturiser for during the day, both by Neal's Yard.
Rachael Cahalin has a treatment room in Fremantle Road, Oakhill and also works mobile. To find out more, email email@example.com or call 07974 471225.