28 January 2022
Theatrical and Media Makeup alumni, Jenna Mcdonnell, developed the foundations for a successful career in the makeup industry at Coleg Gwent. This has led to her setting up a high-profile event at the Celtic Manor Resort this January with internationally renowned Makeup Artist Mimi Choi.
With a love for painting, a degree in Fashion Design, and qualifications in Art, Jenna loved the look of the prosthetics and creativity involved in the Theatrical and Media Makeup course. She chose Coleg Gwent as Crosskeys Campus offers a variety of tools and facilities to accommodate the creative aspects of makeup, and she enjoyed the support, small class sizes and personal touches the college offered her. The course allowed Jenna to be creative with her work – “Art is art and I loved that I could express myself in this course!”
We caught up with Jenna to find out more about what she’s done since leaving college…
“When I left college, I went traveling to Australia and worked in the Shangri-la and Four Seasons hotel doing makeup for elite and celebrity guests, which was an amazing experience.
I’ve won numerous awards for makeup and hair during my career. I’ve even completed a Guinness World Record as the fastest Hair Stylist. I felt I was able to push my hair and makeup skills through a diploma when I qualified as a Makeup Artist, meaning I could focus on both as a full-time career.
Since then, I’ve also done an AET teaching qualification, so I can now teach and accredit makeup courses myself. Then eight years ago, I opened an award-winning makeup, hair, and bridal beauty salon too. The qualification from Crosskeys Campus enabled me to have the insurance I needed to open my shop, which is something I wouldn’t have done without Coleg Gwent!”
“Day-to-day, I do makeup trials for weddings and lots of admin work during the week. Then on the weekends, I predominantly do makeup for weddings. However, we do have some weekday weddings too, depending on the months of the year. My typical August consists of around twenty-five weddings, meaning I work on a wedding nearly every day. Whereas in quieter months, I work on local film sets and I even do illusion makeup days for social media.”
World-renowned illusionary Makeup Artist, Mimi Choi, is Jenna’s inspiration. Based in Vancouver, Mimi is known for her pioneering work that has featured on international television shows, magazines, music videos and even the 2019 Met Gala.
Jenna has worked hard to set up an event that brings Mimi to Wales for the first time to showcase her talents and inspire future Makeup Artists through a makeup artistry masterclass. Mimi will give a live demonstration of her work in a 5-hour learning experience at the Celtic Manor Resort on 31st January 2022, with a limited number of masterclass tickets available to purchase.
Coleg Gwent’s Crosskeys Campus is proud to be the lead sponsor for the masterclass, where students can experience incredible illusion makeup artistry skills from a phenomenal talent. The masterclass will include an interactive question and answer session, giving the attending Makeup Artists a rare opportunity to find out more about Mimi’s global success. Attendees can bring along their own makeup kits to recreate the tips and tricks Mimi shares, and they’ll receive a certificate of completion after the event and a goodie bag of gifts worth more than £75.
Jenna has admired Mimi Choi’s work for years and is excited that she is coming to Wales in an “an unmissable opportunity for all makeup lovers.” Mimi Choi will also attend an exclusive after party at the Jenna McDonnell Salon in Newport, with entertainment provided by Welsh musician Jack Perrett.
Want to follow in Jenna’s footsteps? At Coleg Gwent, we have entry level beauty courses available across three of our campuses – Newport, Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone and Crosskeys Campus. Discover more about how you can make it in the beauty industry like Jenna – Register now for our next open event!