Now a Level 5 Specialist Hair & Media Make-Up student, 21-year-old Emily Bunting’s journey with South & City College started when she was 18.
Emily, from Selly Oak, had just completed her A Levels and decided to speak with a careers advisor about her interests and the options open to her. She had planned to to go off to university to study history, but there was a nagging doubt in Emily’s mind that she wasn’t following her passion, that she was instead choosing a subject to impress family and friends.
The careers advisor identified make-up as a potential career option and after attending an open day at our Longbridge (Bournville College) campus Emily enrolled on a Media Make-up (Level 2) course. She hasn’t looked back since.
“I’ve always felt more creative than academic,” Emily told us. “I don’t think I would have been happy studying history.”
During the three years that Emily has been studying with South & City, her highlights include attending workshops with specialist suppliers such as Kryolen; working on drag make-up; and completing modules in prosthetics and airbrush body art.
Of course, multiple lockdowns have meant a great deal of studying at home. This latest academic year has seen the theory side of Emily’s course being taught first, with students doing the more practical learning at home.
“I’ve received great support from tutors Pam and Evlynn whilst working from home,” said Emily. “They’ve given advice, teaching and equipment to ensure that I don’t fall behind. The equipment I collected included wigs and paints for body art, and I am even working on myself.”
With her Level 5 course coming to end this summer, Emily’s immediate plan is to continue studying with University College Birmingham (UCB) to convert the course to a degree. This is another step towards her ultimate aim of securing a dream job as an editorial make-up artist, working for magazines, catwalk fashion shows and photoshoots.
When asked what advice she would give to her 16-year-old self, knowing what she knows now, Emily said: “Firstly, believe in yourself. I really struggled with self-confidence back then. I would tell myself to not listen to doubt; to follow my passion and be proud of myself.”
Outside of her course, Emily invites people to follow her "unedited make-up journey" through her Instagram feed, where she shares her make-up looks, sketches, and product tips.
Do you want to become part of the glamorous media make-up industry? Get practical experience on one of our theatrical media make-up courses, available at four of our campuses across Birmingham.