Beauty Rocks Interviews: Liz Tagg-Wooster, MUA from the Iver Academy

I love to pick the minds of MUAs. They are so knowledgeable, have tried every product under the sun and can give great advice on both make-up and skincare! So when I had the chance to put forth some questions to Liz Tagg-Wooster, MUA and principal at The Iver Academy, I didn’t hesitate to ask!

First of all you may ask, what is The Iver Academy? It is a hair and make-up school based at the famous Pinewood Studios (putting London on the film map!) that was founded by a group of experienced tutors and professional MUAs. Many of the tutors have won BAFTAs and EMMYs for their work, showing you just how much time and experience they have in the industry.

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Liz herself has had a fantastic career as an MUA, travelled all over the world (the DREAM!) and was kind enough to answer my questions. Here is what she had to say…

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What made you decide to become a make-up artist?

When I was around 8 years old, the house next door to me was used as a film location for one of the Hammer House of Horror productions. There was a film crew outside for weeks and I was so interested in what was going on. The main thing I remember is the people walking around with plates full of what looked like tomato ketchup. I eventually plucked up the courage to speak to them and they told me they were making dried blood. In those days, many of the products had to be made from scratch. From then on I was hooked! I turned my little sister into an old lady by using tissue paper and latex glue, I fashioned cuts and bruises and did as many beauty tricks as she would let me.

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What is your typical day like?

As you can imagine, there is no such thing as a typical day for a make-up artist. It is so diverse. You could be in a glamorous location on a film set one day, for example I have worked in the Caribbean, Greek islands and beautiful stately homes or you could be doing a photo shoot in a unused warehouse in London desperately trying to keep your models lips from turning blue from the cold.

A working day can start early in the morning or if the production is filmed outdoors and the scene is at night you will be working through the night. You may be creating beauty looks one day or making people into zombies the next. It never gets boring.

Alongside my freelance work, being a tutor at The Iver Academy is another aspect that never gets boring. It is so rewarding teaching passionate people what you have picked up throughout your career. The courses are incredible and can really take the students places!

What are some of your favourite make-up or skincare products?

Some of the items that I take to every job are my Bobbi Brown pro-foundation palette and lip palette. Bluebird palettes are also a favourite of mine. Make-up artists always work from palettes as all the colours are on view and it is easier to work at speed.

What is your favourite look to create? Smoky eyes, Hollywood glamour or au natural? 

I absolutely love 1930’s Hollywood glamour! The make-up and hairstyles for this era are stunning.

Do you have any tips or tricks to pass along to readers?

Remember that the biggest compliment is for someone to say “Wow, you look amazing” not “Wow, your make-up looks great.”

Also, try and spend time getting your foundation perfect. Whether you like a light coverage or full coverage spend time with testers getting the correct shade and texture. Blend it well around the hair line and down the neck. If you don’t get the base right nothing else will look good.

For more information on the Iver Academy click here.

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