Chesterfield make-up artist's amazing transformation into film characters
Professional makeup artist Rachel Brobbin loves her job – making clients look good and feel confident.
But when lockdown hit the salon where she works Rachel escaped into the world of film characters by transforming her own look.
She said: “I just love being able to turn myself into somebody else. My favourite was Marv, the guy from Home Alone, who gets an iron in his face. I actually looked quite like him.
"I loved doing The Mask because of the shock factor even though it took me three or four hours. I’ve never used a bald cap before and I had to figure out how to put it on, it was hard getting it stuck onto the back of my head when I couldn’t see what I was doing.”
Cruella de Vil, The Corpse Bride and Frozen’s Elsa are other characters that have inspired Rachel’s makeovers which she does at her home in Staveley. She said: "I’ve got a whole list of characters lined up for the next few weeks. My next one is a Shrek series.”
Posting the works of art on her racheljessicamakeupartist Instagram and Facebook pages has opened the floodgates to suggestions from followers. "I keep getting people messaging me and suggesting characters,” said Rachel.
"The trouble is I’ve gone from lockdown when I had plenty of inspiration to trying to fit them around my jobs so the only spare time I get, it’s ‘right, sit down in your bedroom and get on with it.”
Rachel, 32, works at Embellish Hair & Makeup Studio on Chatsworth Road, Chesterfield.
She said: “What I love about my job is that you get to spend the best part of people’s lives with them such as a wedding morning. People are always in a really good mood, they are always going somewhere, they are always really excited…..it’s really rewarding and it’s a lovely environment.”
Embellish is run by Carrie Churches who steered Rachel into the makeup industry on her return from an enviable life abroad.
Rachel said: “I was a professional singer in a show team travelling around Majorca doing productions in hotels. Daytimes on the beach, nights on the stage – I was literally living the dream.
"In 2013 I got problems with my voice and had to come home for vocal rehab. When you’ve spent all your life training for something and you know exactly how to sing and then suddenly can’t do it, it’s awful. I had to go to speech therapy to teach me how to sing again.
"I needed to figure out something else I could do.”
At that time Carrie, who is engaged to Rachel’s brother, was working for a makeup company in Meadowhall. The company was looking for temporary staff and Carrie suggested that Rachel should apply.
At first, Rachel was hesitant because of her lack of knowledge but Carrie gave her a crash course in the use of brushes on the night before her interview. Rachel said: “I somehow got the job and was stood on the counter as a Christmas temp, even though I didn’t know anything about makeup!”
Five years ago Rachel joined the team at Embellish where she has polished her skills. Rachel said: “We do training days at work to keep on top of the trends.
"People come into Embellish looking for a soft glam look….obviously the stuff I do on myself, people don’t want that for a night out down Brampton.”
Practice makes perfect has been Rachel’s key to success. She said: "I once spent six hours practicing putting winged eyeliner on myself, wiping it off, putting it on again until my eyes were red raw.”
Her transformations into film characters have been a case of trial and error. “My first one was Jessica Rabbit, about four years ago,” said Rachel. “You have to block out your eyebrows like you do in drag and I wasn’t used to it so it was absolutely dreadful, even though at the time I was so proud of what I’d done. I’ve now bought a red wig so I can try to do Jessica again.”
Rachel matches her hair shade to suit the character. She said: “Normally it’s dyed blonde so I can colour it or wear a wig but I’ve currently got pink hair.”
Does Rachel ever leave home without a full face of makeup? She said: “I spend more time with no makeup on than I do with it on. Everyone thinks that if you do makeup you’ll look glamorous all the time.”
The main reason for Rachel’s predominantly natural look is that she also works as a personal trainer at Eley Fitness in Bakewell.
She said: “That job means I do a lot of exercise and I hate wearing makeup when I do it. I qualified as a personal trainer because Monday to Thursday people really don’t need their makeup doing; I love exercise and it was a way of earning a bit of extra money.
"I am still singing and doing gigs, but I’ve not been able to do that for a year or so because of Covid.”
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