Success Stories

Stage Craft: CMU alumna Sarah Ladouceur gives faces a theatrical lift

By February 12, 2019 October 17th, 2019 No Comments

Sarah Ladouceur came to CMU from Montreal in 2012 and graduated from our 32-week Complete Makeup Artist Program. After receiving her diploma, she moved back to Montréal, where she has found her place in the world of performing arts. She has worked on productions for Cirque Du Soleil, Opera de Montréal and Les Grands Ballets Candiens De Montréal. In 2018, Sarah had the opportunity to create looks for a product launch by renowned runway and editorial Makeup Artist, Pat McGrath. We caught up with Sarah to learn about why she loves being a Makeup Artist, and how she got to work for a legendary artist’s brand.

What made you want to pursue a career in Makeup Artistry?

When I was young I always knew I would go into an artistically-focused career, but I never knew where to start. My older brother works as a Director of Photography, which helped me narrow down my choices to a makeup career. We used to watch a lot of films together growing up while he was in university for film studies and I was still in elementary school. I loved analyzing how special effects looks were done; I used to watch a lot of “making of” movies such as Lord of the Rings, Evil Dead, and the famous prosthetic scene in Mrs. Doubtfire. I think that’s when I realized I wanted to be a Makeup Artist.

What did you enjoy most about attending CMU?

The faculty. Being able to learn from such great teachers is really what helped me pinpoint my “specialty” in the industry. We touched on a bit of everything, but it was when we were in class, engaging with the teachers, that I found my path and discovered where I fit best. Thanks to Kelly McCallum and Lesley Olson, I found my love for theatre and cinema work.

What have you been working on since graduating from CMU?

I’ve focused my work in theatre, film and fashion makeup, I’ve been able to work with great companies such as Cirque du Soleil, Opéra de Montréal and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, being their Head Makeup Artist since 2014. Since CMU, I’ve assisted on lots of indie features, TV series and keyed a TV show as a Hairstylist. I’ve worked as an assistant on the creation of Cirque’s Volta show, which is now touring the US. Recently I finished my fourth season on Les Grands Ballets’ Nutcracker, a production celebrating their 55th birthday in 2018. I redesigned all the makeups for the production back in 2015, and have been in charge ever since. We are going on tour in Israel in February 2019 with a new show called Vendetta, which I also designed the makeup for.

Recently you did makeup for the Pat McGrath Lust Gloss new shades – what was that experience like? How did the opportunity to do makeup for the brand come about?

I post my creative and beauty work on social media, because I feel it’s the best way to share my mood through my original content with the people who follow me. I was looking to collaborate with new photographers and came upon an amazing young photographer here in Montréal, Nastia Cloutier-Ignatiev.  Her work is popular on Instagram and it was a natural fit to collaborate. We shot a lot of stuff just for fun and to have content to post. She was noticed by the Pat McGrath brand, and we were asked to come up with some content using the new products. The whole experience was great – it definitely made me learn about commissioned content, and how hard it is to get it in the age of social media and influencers. It’s definitely a Makeup Artist’s dream to participate in such a cool gig and to have one of the greatest makeup artist’s herself looking over your work.

What is your favourite thing about being a Makeup Artist?

The non-routine. Being a Makeup Artist, you have the freedom to choose which gigs you want to work on and which team you want to work with. Of course, this doesn’t happen overnight; every makeup artist will tell you that they had to say “yes” to everything the first two years they started to work, but now I feel I have the experience to be able to create and share my passion through the jobs I get. After almost ten years of doing makeup, and six years after graduating, I’ve accomplished a lot but there is so much more I’d like to learn. It will always be a work-in-progress, with trends changing and technologies adapting.

What do you hope to accomplish in the future?

I want to get into wig-making. I loved that we had the chance to take that course at CMU, as it definitely made me love the art itself. I’ve expanded my knowledge of hairstyling since CMU and I would like to push my career further into the realm of theatre. Making wigs and setting them seems like the next new skill for me to learn. Being based in Montréal, I would like to work more on American features as well, as I’ve barely touched that yet. I want to consolidate work and travel too, so maybe interning in a theatre company abroad or assisting on some productions out of my city.

Keep up with Sarahs’s work on Instagram.

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