Here's looking at you
PUBLISHED: 06:58 21 April 2014
She is an international make-up artist who has worked on everything from high fashion shows to stars such as Elbow and Ray Davies at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games and with a wealth of TV and film stars.
But from her first steps in her career - as a teenager on a make-up counter at King’s Lynn - to running her own cosmetics company, studio and make-up business from her Norwich base, Louise Young has always considered Norfolk her home.
She moved to the county in 1968 and attended West Norfolk and King’s Lynn High School for Girls where she decided to pursue her dream career. Since then Louise has worked on Strictly Come Dancing, catwalk shows at London Fashion Week and been the late film star Peter O’Toole’s personal make-up artist.
Louise’s interest in make-up began at a very young age; she recalls adding lipstick and eyelashes to the stars in film annuals and newspapers with colouring crayons: “I have always been fascinated by make-up, the golden age of Hollywood and film stars.”
She started her career with MaxFactor on a make-up counter in Lynn when she was 19 and says: “My days working on the counter taught me a great deal. I was presented with different faces and skin types throughout my working day, which was great experience for my future career.”
In 1988 she moved to London to train in all aspects of make-up at Greasepaint, the make-up and hair school set up by two ex-BBC make-up artists in the 1970s. Louise learned skills for theatre, TV and film work, before taking a specialist prosthetics course in 1989. She returned to live in Norfolk and work as a freelance make-up artist around the country.
Almost 30 years later, Louise continues to work on the latest films, most recently working on Disney’s re-make of Cinderella, which stars Lily James, Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter and is directed by Kenneth Branagh, as well as the sci-fi super hero film based on Marvel Comics, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Guy Ritchie’s The Man from UNCLE with Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer, which are all due for release in 2014/15. She says: “We work long hours on a film, sometimes 15 or 16 hours per day, but I love every minute of it; it doesn’t seem like work.”
As well as her career in film, fashion and TV, Louise runs her own cosmetics company, Louise Young Cosmetics which launched in 2007. Her make-up brushes are created by hand by a British manufacturer in the UK using responsibly-sourced wood. Last year, Louise was invited to the House of Commons as she is a British exporter of beauty products. She says: “I am extremely proud to be a British brand and the visit to the House of Commons was a great compliment.”
The company produces more than 50 different brushes, stocked in Selfridges, Fenwick, Harvey Nichols and Nordstrom in the US, and she is open to new designs: “I’m currently in talks with my manufacturer about creating a range of brushes for special effects make-up artists.”
Her big plans for 2014 include working on more films, running courses, visiting stockists and expanding the cosmetics side of the business, with concealer, blusher, bronzer, lip gloss, lipstick, foundation and other products being launched later this month to join her existing eye shadow palettes.
“The ethos of the brand is to create a capsule range of products of professional quality to simplify make-up application. LYC products can be used for more than one thing – for example the eye shadows can be used as brow powder or used wet as eyeliner. People don’t want to have to carry lots of products; having a palette that fits easily into a handbag but has multiple uses is perfect.”
Learn from Louise
Louise is a qualified lecturer, and wrote the BTEC National and HND Media Make-Up courses, the first of their kind in the country. She guest lectures nationwide, and internationally, and recently took on a studio in Muspole Street in Norwich where she runs courses in bridal make-up, and fashion and photographic make-up. She also offers tutorials for individuals or small groups. She says: “I love teaching; I enjoy teaching members of the public how to look and feel their best as well as training make-up artists to work in the industry.”
www.louiseyoungcosmetics.com; email firstname.lastname@example.org