Success Stories

CMU Complete Makeup Artist Program grad talks Fashion, Music Videos and TV Commercials

By January 29, 2021 February 11th, 2021 No Comments

Luisa Duran graduated from CMU College back in 2004. With a career spanning in Fashion, TV Commercials, and Music, Luisa has gathered a wide breadth of experience in the entertainment industry. From her humble beginnings to her aspirations, Luisa spoke to CMU about how her start as a waitress in a restaurant in Toronto’s Little Italy gave her opportunities to travel and work with the best directors and photographers from all over the world. From working with stars like Drake, Timothée Chalamet and Nelly Furtado and having works featured in magazines such as W Mag, Vogue, ELLE and Fader, Luisa shows no sign of slowing down!


When did you become interested in makeup artistry?

I got a job as a PA on a show called “Cold Squad” in Vancouver. I saw the makeup trailer and knew immediately that that’s what I was going to do! 

Why did you choose CMU? What program did you enroll in and why?

I had just recently moved to Toronto and researched the best makeup school and lucky for me CMU was recommended as one of the top schools globally. I enrolled right away for classes that Spring. 

What was your experience like attending CMU?

I had so much fun! Before CMU, I had never really played with makeup to that extent – it was just something I knew I could do. And although it isn’t directly in my field per se, I absolutely loved the SPFX portion! I get to use it every now and then in music videos and commercials. I also met one of my closest friends, Lori Fabrizio, another accomplished grad of CMU! 

What’s the most important piece of advice or thing you learned at CMU?

Honestly the day they brought in an accountant to go over ‘write-offs’ and the organization required to run yourself as a business! It was absolutely useful and inspired me to really take myself seriously with structuring myself as a business. I also own a coffee shop and that one day really proved itself useful to me in many aspects of my life. 

After graduating, how did you get started working in the industry?

I was a waitress at a busy restaurant in Little Italy where a lot of the clientele worked in film. I started doing shorts/smaller commercials and small budget music videos primarily from jobs I got with the customers at the restaurant

What have you been working on since graduation?

Since graduation, I was able to work on a lot of different music videos along with dabbling in print/fashion and advertising. I was the tour makeup artist for Nelly Furtado’s Loose Album from 2006 – 2008; doing her makeup for the stage, TV interviews, magazine covers and many more! I then moved to London, England shortly after where I went into TV and Fashion. I worked for Vogue, ELLE, Tank and had a regular gig on a popular cooking show in the UK. I returned to Toronto in 2010 and was doing commercials and advertising with the odd music video here and there. One day, however, a producer friend of mine asked me to do Drake’s Video “Jungle”. 

Needless to say, I have travelled extensively and done some amazing jobs working with some of the best directors and photographers in the world! 


Where do you find inspiration for the looks you create?

It depends on the job. Some jobs just require the standard and so my focus is clean skin and timeless makeup. When I do stage or fashion I’m usually inspired by the wardrobe – I love to be in contact with the stylist and their description of the colours, textures to get my imagination going.

What has been your favourite job so far and why?

That is way too tough to answer! I have worked with so many extremely talented people. I have been able to see the world and work on global programs – I’ve even worked in tv shows in languages I don’t even know! It’s all been a dream and I am so utterly grateful for all of it! 

What are your goals for the future? Any dream makeup jobs?

My next goal is to move into the US market with representation! I have accomplished the majority of my career on my own, I would like to step away from the business of it and have my work curated so I can really focus on my talent. In terms of a dream makeup job – I would love to travel globally on an actors press junket for a major film. That’s something I’ve never done but would love to! 

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of enrolling at CMU or aspiring makeup artists?

If you see a future in this career know there will be tough times, some low times but stay steady and see it through! It gets amazing!

To see Luisa’s work, visit her website and follow her Instagram, @luisaduran.mua.