Makeup artist training built the foundation of an enviable career
It's a rite of passage for every high school student: figuring out what you want to do when you graduate.
"I was taking a lot of art courses and was into a lot of artistic pursuits," Samantha Compton remembers. "I read a lot of magazines related to beauty and fashion – and I absolutely loved doing my own makeup. Then I found out that makeup artistry was a career."
So, rather than going into a university kinesiology program as intended, Samantha decided to follow her passion. Although she had a variety of training options, it was important to her that she be part of a professional makeup program at a college.
"I took a tour at the School of Makeup and Esthetics at George Brown College," she says. "But, once that tour was over, I didn't need to do any others. I liked that the classes focused exclusively on makeup and the people were so warm and welcoming. I ended up registering right then and there."
In 2005, Samantha started taking classes that she could apply toward the Professional Makeup Artist (Advanced) Certificate (now called the Comprehensive Makeup Artist Certificate). Right away, the school made an impression on her.
"The classes were small and very hands-on," she says. "You learned something and then tried it right away. After you took a course, you were good to go."
And her teachers – who are all industry experts – were a great source of encouragement when it came to doing exactly that.
"They told us to keep all our options open – take any opportunity we got and try it all," she says. "They also took us to work on a number of fashion shows and helped me get involved with a student film. I learned so much from those experiences."
Since finishing her certificate, Samantha has found her greatest success in television and film and now works for some of Canada's top networks, including Global Television, CBC Television, Food Network and HGTV. She has also taken advantage of Toronto's bustling film scene by working on sets doing special effects makeup.
"I apply what I learned from every class," she says. "I wouldn't be comfortable in those situations without those classes. Specifically, I would say the Makeup III course has had the biggest influence on my recent successes. Besides a focus on film and television makeup, that class covered on-set etiquette – knowing how to act on the set, knowing how to behave professionally. That's served me well."
In fact, Samantha's certificate has provided her with very well-rounded qualifications. She feels that some of the courses – like Hairstyling for Makeup Artists – have even helped give her a leg up in the industry. All of this means she's been able to follow her teacher's advice and "try it all." In addition to her television and film work, she does a lot of bridal and has also worked very consistently with talent agencies doing the makeup for their models' headshots.
Samantha recently added to her resumé again by accepting a position as an educator for Jane Iredale. In this new role, she travels to schools and spas throughout the GTA passing on product knowledge and tips specific to the Iredale Mineral Cosmetics line. But, as she expands her career, she's also happy to reflect on where it all started.
"I enjoyed my time at George Brown so much," she says. "And I'm thankful for how much the teachers really cared about setting me up for success. They were very involved and supportive, and I really appreciated the valuable feedback they gave and the amount of one-on-one time I had with them. I walked around feeling so confident and so ready and so excited to be a part of this industry."