Saturday, 6 June 2015

The Iver Academy and becoming Brigitte Bardot


Last week I found myself at the legendary Iver Academy, being made into my screen idol Brigitte Bardot by hands that have touched Kate Moss and David Beckham… PINCH ME!

The Iver Academy is a professional hair and make-up school based at the legendary Pinewood Studios – they filmed James Bond, Pirates of the Caribbean and Star Wars there don’t you know. The academy offers aspiring make-up and hair artists the best training in the TV, film, theatre and fashion from industry experts – we’re talking BAFTA and Emmy awards winning tutors with over 20 years in the business. If you want to work in film, TV, fashion… The Iver Academy is the gold standard in training.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to The Iver Academy blogger open day last week at renowned Greasepaint studios where the tutors have taught for the last 20 years – sadly Greasepaint is closing down and the tutors are upping sticks, well make up brushes, and heading to Pinewood. I was given the opportunity to be made up as one of my favourite TV/film characters and witness first-hand professional make up artistry in action. First of all, how difficult was it choosing ONE favourite character or look! I went through them all – Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, Sharon Stone in Casino, Angelina Jolie in Maleficent, Elizabeth Taylor in, well anything… and then it hit me, Brigitte Bardot. The iconic sexy-sixties-siren, I’ve always been obsessed with her look (check my Pinterest) and it was one, with the right tuition, I hoped I could replicate.

I hit the jackpot again when I was paired with Academic Consultant Christine Vidler to create my chosen look. Despite refusing to name drop – I tried, I tried, good old Google informs me she’s worked on anyone who’s anyone - Kate Moss, David Beckham, Halle Berry, George Clooney… if she touched my lips and their lips does that mean I’ve kissed Becks? Christine is a genius. She know exactly what I wanted – 60s Bardot with a Ginger from Casino flavour and despite the fact I’ve had my long mane chopped (she didn’t know that until I got there) she transformed me into this…..

Key to creating this looks is big, BIG hair. Which on me, is a tad challenging since I have neither the volume nor the length. Christine and the team matched my hair to a long hair piece, which was taken off to be styled whilst they worked on what I’ve got. Lashings of setting spray, heated rollers, backcombing and enough hairspray to kill the ozone layer and voile – I had volume! I looked a bit like Tina Turber but I had real volume. Once curled, she fit the piece into my crown, blended into my natural hair and added a 60s bouffant. It looked amazing – surprisingly natural and I instantly loved my new mermaid tresses.

Brigitte Bardot’s trademark make up is all about the sexy 60s eyes - strong crease, cute flicks and BIG lashes. Eyeshadow is used to create a more defined crease – no blending or fading here, just wiper blade motions to create a defined arch. Christine created the perfect cat flicks using Bobbi Brown gel liner (of course) and gave me some tips for getting it right on myself – no need to attempt to draw one perfect line, mark where you want the flick to end and carefully work up to it. What I lack in head hair I make up on the lash front, so I didn’t technically need the false lashes but in the spirit of on-screen makeup we went with it for maximum effect. I’m normally not a fan of false lashes but Christine applied them so expertly I wouldn’t have even known I was wearing them. I tried my best to note down the products used, it’s not fully exhausting but between watching Christine’s every move and admiring my new long tresses I was a bit distracted….

Bobbi Brown - Hydrating Gel Cream
Bobbi Brown – CC Cream Warm Nude
By Terry – Cover Expert Perfecting Fluid Foundation, mix of 8 and 10.
Laura Mercier – Translucent Loose Setting Powder
MAC – Mixture bronze and grey eyeshadows applied only in the crease
Bobbi Brown – Gel Liner
Eyelure – Lashes
Benefit – They’re Real Mascara
Bobbi Brown – Lipsticks Nude and Guava

Your chance to get a slice of the action…

Budding make up artists listen up! You can join the Iver Academy for their open day on Saturday the 13th of June in the events areas at Pinewood Studios. You’ll have the chance to meet the award-winning teaching team and find out everything you need to know about their industry courses – with everything from Advanced Certificate in Make-up and Hair Artistry, to Fashion and Beauty to prosthetics and airbrushing..

Find out all about The Iver Academy and its open day here.



  1. Claire you look amazing.

    Katie x

  2. I have read your blog its very attractive and impressive. I like it your blog.

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