What Will I Need in my Make-up Portfolio for my Uni Interview?

I just received an email asking about what sort of things you need in your portfolio for a uni interview for a make-up course. Just to make it clear - I've never applied for a make-up course, but I do know what you need since I've looked into it many a time and talked to a lot of uni tutors who teach on make-up courses. I also have a photographic make-up portfolio which I've been adding to for over a year.

Photographic Portfolio
-  Photos of make-up you have done for neutral/ everday/ bridal looks, evening looks, period make-up (important), fashion/editorial looks, special effects/ prosthetics (don't panic if you don't have these since they're only just being added to most make-up courses) and stage make-up. Include face charts and design sheets with your photos if possible.

- Drawings, preferably faces and people. A sketchbook is ALWAYS asked for at art based uni interviews since it shows an understanding of design processes.

- Evidence of hair styling capabilities if you have any.

- Evidence of costume design if you have any.

- Evidence of make-up related work experience if you have any.

- If you've ever done photography, include some of your photos along with a little bit of writing about how the shots were taken. It shows that you have an understanding of how makeup and photography work together.

Keep your photos in an A4 black portfolio folder. ALWAYS save your photos in as high a resolution as possible so that they can print to A4 size in a decent quality - there's nothing worse than blurred, lazy photos in portfolios! Where you can, add just a snippet of writing about your work, such as '1950s period make-up. Model - Susan White. Photographer - David Finch.' or for film work, 'SFX burns for film 'The Last Sunrise'. Actor - Henry Wood. Director - Emily Glover.' just to show an awareness and appreciation of those you work with

Written Work
- Print out your personal statement and add it as the very first page in your photographic portfolio. Not necessary, but a good reminder for the tutors looking over your portfolio of the reasons to which you are applying.

- Two of writing in different styles, such as a short essay about make-up and an evaluation of your own work. If you haven't done an essay, I strongly recommend working around a piece about how historical/ period make-up influences catwalk and fashion make-up.

- Always annotate sketches and drawings, nothing fancy, just an idea of how you work, such as 'Original design for the swamp monster on the left. I decided to add silicone nose and forehead pieces to give more of a look of a monster, final design can be seen below.' Add a photo of the applied make-up where possible and evaluate it.

Keep your written work in a separate folders.

Always display your work in a neat, tidy, organised and professional manner. Speak with confidence and certainty in your interview and think up as many of the questions you expect them to ask so that you can prepare answers! They will always ask these questions -

- Why are you applying to this course? What do you hope to achieve on it?

- What are your plans for once the course has finished?

- Did you come to an open day here?

- Who are your favourite artists in this industry? Why?

- Which exhibitions or shows have you been to lately?

- Do you do any related work in your spare time?

Don't be afraid to let your personality come through in a positive way and have a bit of a laugh, it will make you more memorable and uni interviews generally aren't too formal. Always be polite, clearly spoken and patient. Show genuine interest , ask questions. Dress smart but casual, tame your hair and take out/ hide piercings if you can.

Good luck!


  1. Thanks for the comment, the Hat Museum is fab!!

    What a brilliant blog you have btw! x

  2. @ Sarah Ann, it is! Love the dress up area haha, nothing like being a big kid. Thank you :)


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