I’ve been asked by a couple of my readers about Makeup Forever Academy in Singapore, since I’ve taken a course there before in October 2009. Here’s my review on the academy, as best to my knowledge and as objective as possible.
The academy is located at the address below (with contact information obtained from their website:
MAKE UP FOR EVER BOUTIQUE and ACADEMY
36 Armenian Street, #02-06
Tel: (65) 6333 0678
Fax: (65) 6333 0686
11am – 9pm (Mondays to Saturdays)
Closed on Sundays & Public Holidays
The course I signed up for was the very first module, Fashion Makeup. It was a part time course as I was working at the time. The lessons totalled 30 hours within a month (10 lessons of 3 hours each, from 7pm – 10pm on weekdays), after which I had to sit for an exam. There might be changes to the schedules now, so if you’d like, do call them up to enquire. There are no pre-requisites to take the course so anyone can do it, even if you have no background in makeup.
The class I was in was small – only 3 students including me (the maximum in each class was 5 at the time) – so the instructor knew our strengths and weaknesses and we could ask as many questions as we liked. The instructor was the same one throughout the course, except for a couple of times when she had jobs elsewhere and was replaced by another instructor. It’s nice to bring a little notebook when you go for classes because you’ll definitely want to jot down notes. As I was in the part time course, I had to bring my own models to work on for each lesson, which could be a hassle (eg: coordination of timing, persuading friends to be my models) or advantage (different facial features of each model). If you are in the full time course, it’s 5 days straight in a week with 6 hours each day from noon to 6pm, and the exam comes after. Plus, you’ll be supplied with models to work on from the academy.
The Student Kit
I had to buy a student kit from the academy for me to work with. I hope I can remember everything that was in it… :
1) Sponges (2 – 3) for foundation application
2) A stack of loose powder in 4 different shades
3) A lip colour palette
5) A bottle of face primer
6) A bottle of alcoholic brush cleanser
7) A concealor palette
8) Tools for eyebrow shaping (scissors, shaver, brush and tweezers)
9) Brushes (one 5S, two 10S, one 12S, one eyebrow brush, one lip brush and one blush brush)
10) Eyelash curler
11) A bag to put everything in, as well as a sling pouch to hold your brushes
Now, this may be a bit too much for some people to afford, especially since everything is from the Makeup Forever brand. Therefore, if you’d like, you can bring your own brushes and tools instead and see if the instructor allows them for class use (technical reasons). If he/she does, you don’t have to get the ones from the academy. Money saved! I managed to replace the blush and lip brushes. A little note: the 5S, 10S and 12S brushes are for eyeshadow and eyeliner application.
Personally, I find that the student kit is comprehensive as it has all the basic components except for maybe a blending brush for eyeshadows. Eyeshadow, lipstick, gloss, mascara and all the real makeup are found in the academy itself and can be used for free during lessons in the studios. They also have makeup remover and cotton pads in the studios so your models can remove their makeup if they find it too heavy to leave with. Basically, the studio has everything that you don’t have in the student kit. In addition, you can return to the studio as many times as you want to practise with your models just as long as you call to book a slot beforehand. And when you do go down for your own practice sessions, you are also free to use anything (i.e. makeup, makeup remover, tools etc) in the studio. When in doubt, though, it is always polite to ask. Being a student at Makeup Forever also entitles you to 20% off any purchase from the boutique just beside the studios (not other branches, since the SAs in the other branches won’t recognise you).
By the end of my course (Fashion Makeup), I did learn some new stuff which I found pretty cool. First off, I learnt how to shape eyebrows and ever since then, I have never gone to anyone else to shape my brows. D.I.Y. rocks.
I also learnt how to create two different smokey eye effects, highlighting and contouring, how to add blush, colours of concealors and their purposes, the different types of foundation and when they are used etc. All in all, it was pretty interesting and I liked it.
I’m not sure where I stand on the atmosphere of the academy and the vibes the instructors were giving out. Maybe it’s the from-head-to-toe black attire (which is what professional makeup artists wear), or maybe it’s the makeup that shields their original expressions and modifies them into something else altogether. All the instructors have been trained in the Makeup Forever Academy in Paris and are no doubt highly skilled in their field. There aren’t many instructors there actually, so I cannot generalise on whether they are nice or proud (like how we know the M.A.C. SAs are). I guess it’s up to your own individual experience with them. For me, I really liked my instructor and the one who replaced her. However, somehow I always felt a little bit stressed when poking around the boutique and checking out all the cool makeup because I got the “if-you-aren’t-buying-don’t-waste-my-time-standing-behind-the-cashier” vibe.
The exam works like this: The instructor comes up with a scenario on the spot and within an hour, you have to come up with a look that fits. For example, in my case, the scenario was an indoor fashion show featuring various designers (so my models had to have a neutral look that would fit well with anything they’d be wearing for the show) and the theme was Hello Kitty (because it was a popular fashion trend at that moment). Oh my gosh. How I had disliked that mouthless cat before and now she’d come back to taunt me. It was a fun experience nonetheless!
I think that the course is good. I got to experience applying makeup on someone else other than me and I did come away with new-found skills. Even after I had passed the exam, I was still welcomed back to the academy to practise. As the class size was small, I made friends with the other two girls. What I wished for was the opportunity for us to work with real models in real fashion shows or shoots, or even just to observe backstage during the course itself. I had really hoped to have this experience but was disappointed. And finally, I can’t remember how much I paid for the entire course but it could probably have been somewhere around SGD2k, including the student kit, and paid in installments (call them up for more accurate and current information).
I hope this review was helpful, especially for those of you who are considering taking up a course in makeup. If you have any other questions, do leave a comment and I’ll try my best to answer them.