Mireille Bertrand's Vision
With over 20 years of industry experience under her belt, celebrity Hair and Makeup Artist and Founder of Maquillage Makeup Academy, Mireille Bertrand has plenty of knowledge to share with future generations of makeup artists. Her passion for education combined with her successful international career have culminated in the grand opening of one of the most elite and globally conscious professional makeup schools in the USA and across the world. Here, she shares some of her dreams for her past and future students.
Q: After over two decades of working and teaching, what inspired you to open a makeup school of your own?
A: My vision for Maquillage Makeup Academy began forming years ago when I noticed there was something missing from many makeup schools currently open in the United States. Here at our school, we don’t simply teach you how to apply makeup, we offer a multi-disciplinary education where students are deeply immersed in their coursework, very much like attending an academic college or university, complete with assignments, field trips, comprehensive textbooks, the works. Your Maquillage Diploma means yes, you can paint a face, but it also means you have been trained in Business, Art, History, Etiquette, and all the essential skills it takes to make it as a professional.
Q: What would you say sets Maquillage apart from other makeup schools?
A: By opening Maquillage, it’s truly my goal to elevate the level of makeup education offered in the United States. Our curriculum is specially tailored to prepare students for an IMMEDIATE transition from student to working professional. Yes, we educate in classrooms, but we are also often on location; we might have class one day at the beach, or in a warehouse, so students can experience what it’s like to be a working artist who doesn’t always have access to a clean table and perfect lighting. We also recognize that there are so many skills you need as a successful artist aside from just the raw talent, which is why we also offer in-depth courses on Business and Etiquette. And then there’s the kit. When my faculty sees the kit for the first time they can’t believe it. This is no student kit, it is designed to go from the classroom on the Friday of graduation to set on Monday for your first job. It’s filled with nothing but professional brands that help our students feel confident and capable right out the door.
Q: Why San Diego for the location of Maquillage?
A: Today’s entertainment industry has expanded well beyond Los Angeles. I love San Diego because you have easy access to work right here, in Orange and Los Angeles Counties, and it’s also a short drive to the booming makeup market in Mexico, which is in line with the global approach Maquillage takes to a career in makeup - I want my students to be prepared to work anywhere in the world! In San Diego, I believe our students can focus on their education while maintaining a beautiful lifestyle when they are enrolled here. On their time off they can go to the beach, take walks, visit museums, libraries, and of course there is an active nightlife but it’s simpler than living right in Hollywood.
Q: What advantages do Maquillage students have when they graduate?
A: Our graduates always have the academy’s full and ongoing support as they embark on their careers. They are always free to use the facilities anytime they need, and are also invited to attend our Industry Workshops at no cost in order to always continue their education. We are also always looking to our graduates for job placement when we are contacted by local employers. Maquillage maintains relationships with Fashion Week in Los Angeles and San Diego, Comic Con, several halloween events all over Southern California, and multiple makeup lines, salons, stores,and venues who are constantly seeking new talent. As part of our global approach to education, we make sure you graduate with your marketing pieces in place too, such as your resume and portfolio. We will also soon be offering Teaching Assistant positions to exceptional students as well as a scholarship program. We strongly want our students and graduates to feel they are at home in this industry.
Q: How do you go about selecting Maquillage Teachers and Instructors?
A: Anyone who has worked with me knows I’m extremely selective. It’s critical that my Instructors are all educated themselves, and come to Maquillage with at least seven years of working experience to offer, no newbies or recent grads here. I’m often looking for artists who have worked on an international level so they can bring those experiences to the classroom. Of course they have to be motivated and have an impressive resume, but they also have to have a passion for teaching and inspiring the next generation of artists. My instructors have tons of experiences to share, and they are excited to offer up their secrets! It’s also exciting for me personally because some of my current Instructors were my own students way back when they were in school, so it’s also great motivation for Maquillage students to see examples of successful career paths my students have found.
Q: What are you most excited about being the owner of Maquillage Makeup Academy?
A: Actually, the aspect of being the Founder of Maquillage that I find most exciting is passing along this amazing curriculum we have designed to our students. I’ve accumulated over 20 years of experience in this industry, in Europe, the US, all over the world as an artist and a teacher, and the curriculum at Maqullage is really a reflection of my career and the skills I know a successful artist needs. I want my school to be filled with students who are inspired every day, and are happy to walk into the classroom, but are also ready to buckle down and work extremely hard. I expect only the best from my students, and believe they have what it takes to make a successful life as a makeup artist with a Maquillage Diploma in hand.