I get asked quite a lot how I got into the industry. So here's my story! I really won't be offended if you scroll down just to get to the bit where I say what I've worked on...
I qualified from Nottingham Trent University with a BA HONs Degree in Textile Design, specialising in Fashion Embroidery. After a few years working as a Fashion Buyer I realised that the further up the ladder in got in the industry, the less hands-on and creative I was being. Number crunching all day really isn't my idea of fun!
A friend of a friend had been in a similar situation and had completed a makeup course in order to carry on with her career in fashion but to have a creative outlet doing bridal makeup at weekends- what a fabulous idea! So that is where it all started- I finished a course at the London School of Makeup & Beauty, whilst still working full-time and instead of using my new qualification towards the occasional weekend work, the makeup industry picked me up, swung me around to the point where I left my job in Buying and the rest is history!
For the last ten years I have been working in film, television, fashion, bridal and beauty. Although I did not learn Special Effects straight away, I started to learn a lot whilst assisting Makeup Designers on set and then I did a bespoke one-on-one course with the brilliant Mike Stringer, the amazing Special Effects Artist (Lord of the Rings) at his school, Hybrid FX, up in Leeds, UK. I have also completed numerous hair courses, a nail course and a brow course so I can do the whole sher-bang!
I now work as a Makeup and Hair Designer myself and run teams of hair and makeup artists on film sets- fun, fun, fun (and also my dream job)!
My work has been featured in: Vogue online, InStyle, Style (The Mail on Sunday), Componere, Vintage Life, Health & Beauty to name but a few and my work was featured on the beautiful and talented Joanna Vanderham on the cover of The Herald Magazine (Scottish newspaper magazine).
I have contributed with makeup and hair advice for Health & Beauty Magazine and Vintage Life Magazine.
I have headed up the Makeup Department for many ad campaigns with my most recent ones including: Pepsi, Microsoft, Nair, Bombay Sapphire and Science in Sport.
I have worked on various docu-dramas featured on Discovery ID for the American network. I have also headed up pilot shows for CBBC and the TLC network in America. Due to my fashion background, I have fallen into assisting in and creating the costume design for the above projects too. Always a challenge when you are running three departments for one TV show!
I have also headed the Makeup, Hair and Special Effects department on numerous feature films. Do hop onto my online page on IMDB to check out my credits under 'Gina Dowle'.
I live by the motto and always tell my team that Life should be fun and as none-serious as you can get away with! You can still be very professional, a perfectionist and do an amazing job as long as you keep a healthy perspective on everything going on around you. I love my job!