Bryony Blake is brand ambassador for LowLow’s frozen ready meal campaign ‘Take 5 and make a difference during January 2015 – www.facebook.com/lowlowmeals
At what age did you realise that you wanted to work with make up?
As a child I wanted to be an artist, I was always very creative and spent my whole time drawing; at home or in the car. I loved drawing ladies in big beautiful dresses. My mother was an actress and I used to love (and still do) watching her make herself up. When I was about 7, she gave me a box of make-up and I absolutely loved it. Each week my friend and I would make each other up, not allowing the other to look in the mirror until each ‘makeover’ was complete.
Growing up, once the make-up bug had bitten, I offered my services to all of my school’s shows, making up the whole cast, as well as making up all of the amateur dramatic productions in the area.
How did you break in to the business?
I attended a very creative school, which had a real focus on art. I then went to Art College for a year, as well as attending evening school where I obtained my make-up artist diploma.
Achieving my diploma, spurred me on to enroll at the London College of Fashion where I gained a BA Honours degree in theatrical and media make up for the performing arts. The course was very hard and the standard was amazing. Having the qualification behind me definitely gave me the confidence to aim high with my career ambitions.
My break into TV shows came through a make-up artist, Jackie Tyson, that I did my work experience with when I was 16 years old. I told her that I would call once I had finished my degree, and I did. She asked me to assist her on Band Aid 20, which was massive for me and I was soon working with people like Chris Martin and Daniel Beddingfield. My next big break was when I got asked to assist Jackie on the second series of X Factor, followed by another great make-up artist, Patricia O’Neill, asking me to assist her on This Morning…and the rest is history.
Did you have a mentor, someone that inspired you?
My mother is a true inspiration, she is always very glamorous, always perfectly made-up and always looking beautiful. My grandma was exactly the same; I think a love of make-up and taking care of our looks runs in our family.
If you were on a desert island, what ‘must have’ beauty product would you take?
Am I only allowed to take one? Can I please take three? I would take lip balm; a good lip balm is a life saver. Eyelash curlers would be my next choice; you don’t need mascara if you
curl them properly and thirdly, a cream blusher. The blusher would also work well on your lips and eyes.
Which celebrity would you like to work with/make up?
I would love to work with natural and beautiful film stars such as Julia Roberts or Meryl Streep; I would love to talk to them about their skin care routine and enhancing their natural beauty. Facially, I think that Meryl and Julia are the most beautiful women in the world.
What shows are you currently working on?
I have just completed Catchphrase with Stephen Mulhern and am currently working on ITV’s This Morning (I do a regular Wednesday make-up feature) and Strictly Come Dancing 2014. I still occasionally work on X Factor and regularly work with a number of private clients.
What’s next for Bryony over the next 1 – 5 years?
I would like to travel more, both personally and professionally and see more of the world. Work wise I would really like to carry on teaching as one of my favourite parts of this job is helping people with their beauty concerns.
If you are running late in the morning, what one thing would you make the time to do, to give you that guaranteed ‘feel good’ factor?
Well, apart from my desert island beauty products above….tinted moisturizer, lip balm and mascara….oh god that’s way more than 2…..!
Make up questions:
What is the most popular beauty question you are always asked?
I always get asked “What kind of foundation should I be using?”
Does make up have a shelf life? Should I ever throw it away before it runs out?
All products have a marker on the packet showing the number of months you should keep it for, so you should really use the shelf life recommendation of the product as a guide. Apart from that, with a lipstick, as long as the texture and smell are fine, I would continue to use it until it runs out. With mascaras, I don’t keep them longer than six months (they have usually run out by then).
Does it make a difference how much you spend on make up?
I think it does when it comes to foundation; you should always be prepared to invest to achieve the perfect base.
What should I consider when buying make up brushes?
For me it’s the softness against my skin. Before I buy I always feel it against my cheek to make sure that it feels ‘right’.
What top 5 products should every make up bag have?
It would have to be: lip balm, concealer, eye lash curlers, mascara and blusher.