Inside the Makeup Artistry Technician Program

November 10th, 2021 / By Eastern College

Heather Rose is a well-rounded makeup artist, lash technician, and more with over a decade of experience in the field. She is currently one of the instructors of the Makeup Artistry Technician program at Eastern College. Heather has an amazing array of experience doing makeup for movies, television, celebrities as well bridal to name a few of areas of expertise.

Heather stays involved in the makeup artist community as the owner of her own business and continues to take on freelance projects. Heather loves to stay connected with her students, and Eastern College alumni to keep up with all of their work. Previous to being an instructor with us, Heather had actually never considered makeup artistry as a permanent field. In this interview, we learn what drew her to the field of cosmetology and makeup and what she loves about it.


Heather Rose

Heather Rose – instructor of the Makeup Artistry Technician program at Eastern College.


1. What made you study makeup artistry?

I originally had a different career. I went to university I got a couple of degrees. I was moving in another direction and for me things changed. I was actually in a car accident that kind of changed my life and it really set me on another path where I decided that I had always wanted to do makeup. So, I went back to school just to do makeup. I thought it would be like a side job, just something fun to do in the meantime until I got myself back on track. Then I opened my business, I think it was a week after I graduated, and I never looked back. It just became my whole life

2. Are you an active artist in the field?

COVID-19 has definitely affected that, but I opened my business in 2007 and we continue to book events, mostly weddings. It’s kind of where we specialized. I do have artists who work with me and for me and we also do a lot of things through local television. We have Eastlink TV and sort of those local television stations here in Nova Scotia. So, we work a lot with them, and I actually do a lot with CBC as well, it’s kind of cool. I just covered the makeup for our Nova Scotia election when they did all the debates and televised events.

I absolutely love doing makeup on people who don’t usually like to have their makeup done. I love the challenge of that. The male politicians are not excited about the foundation.

Most of our television in Canada, especially news broadcasts, they don’t have makeup artists on staff anymore due to budgetary like. Makeup artists usually train the on-air talent to do their own makeup. So, most of the people you see on the news have done their own makeup that day and they only know one way and they know exactly how to do it. When I get to go work at CBC, I get to change up the host makeup and things and it’s really fun to do that. The women are usually really into it, the male hosts are not as much but we’re getting there.

3. What’s your favourite type of makeup to do?

There are a few things I really love. I love everyday natural makeup; I think it’s the hardest thing to do and making people look like they have no makeup on when they have a full face of makeup is one hundred percent the challenge that is so fun.

The other thing I absolutely love in my job is the mother of the bride, or mother of the groom, even an aunt. I love the mature-skinned women in the bridal party who probably don’t wear makeup every day. Maybe they’re retired, so you get to have that moment of making them fairly glam. So there, that’s my number one favorite for sure, as when someone books a wedding and there’s a couple moms or aunts in there.

4. What makes the program at Eastern College stand out?

There are so many things that make our program stand out! The number one thing is we are the only dual licensed program in Nova Scotia, all of our students leave with the provincial license in makeup artistry, as well as lash technology.

We have our suiting kits which are Makeup Forever and Mac we also give them a lash extension kit. They get all those things included in their tuition, which they’re not getting anywhere else. I think that the way the curriculum is written, which I know because I wrote it, is written in a way that that really helps our students build a foundation and then build upon that. We start really basic and add on slowly one subject at a time, one technique at a time so that you’re not overwhelmed with all this information. Everything kind of slowly builds and puts together like a puzzle.

On top of that, we do offer an introduction to special effects, which is 3 weeks of our whole program, which is the most any school offers. Special effects is huge, you could spend a year touring special effects and still not cover everything, but that introduction allows them to again just build that foundation.


5. What got you into teaching?

Honestly, it all came together in a strange way for me. I had a really good instructor who was very passionate, and she allowed me to do some teaching with her. I would come in and be a guest speaker and those kinds of things. Once I had the opportunity to stand in front of a classroom, I knew I couldn’t be anywhere else the second I stood in front of that room. Through my career, I’ve kind of done a lot of things within the school. I’ve been in a lot of different positions from assisting the director to just instructor. The more involved I got my passion grew for the education side of things. I don’t look at it like I go in and I instruct people I look at it like I go in and I learn from them. They learn from me. It’s kind of like a family when you get your whole class together.

I loved that so much! I have never been someone who was uncomfortable to speak in front of a crowd. I can talk about anything to anyone at any time.
The biggest presentation I did was for 450 people, so I’m comfortable with those things. That all helped me put together that I could be a makeup artist, but I could also sort of share my ability to talk to anyone.

6. Why is it important that our program is the only dual-licensed in Atlantic Canada?

It means that our students get those two licenses. Those two full programs in 540 hours, whereas if you go anywhere else, they have to take each program. We offer something that you really can’t get anywhere else. That’s the whole point, to make sure that they’re completely job-ready and securing what they can do before they leave. It gives them a much more well-rounded career. I mean, there’s not a lot of time you do wedding makeup, and you do that bride’s makeup more than once. it’s not many moments you get to do repeat business, but having the section really gives us the opportunity to have our students go out to be employed with something that gives them that repeat business. That’s sustainable income that gives them something that’s a little more substance. Because makeup artistry—though it’s an amazing career—definitely ebbs and flows and you have really, really busy months like wedding seasons and January’s usually dead. So, giving something that somebody comes back every two 3-4 weeks to have their service maintained helps the longevity of their career.

it’s interesting too, because in Nova Scotia, cosmetology, is a licensed trade. You have to be provincially licensed, and I don’t think that’s necessarily well known, maybe even outside of Nova Scotia. A lot of provinces and even some of the states are like that. Nova Scotia has some of the strictest licensing so that really helps us our students once they’re licensed here, the world kind of opens. Your license will be looked at as equivalent to other provinces equivalent to other countries, and so it gives them a lot more opportunity.

7. How important is it to have the internship component?

The majority of our students who go on internships and want to be employed get employed by those employers who take them on. We have a lot of success with that. It also helps them get just some real-world experience outside of the classroom. We do as much as we can in the classroom, we have them work on each other, we bring people in, and they do a lot of photoshoots. They have three photoshoots within the program, so they get to bring in models.

I think it’s a totally different world when you actually have to deal with a live client right in front of you, which is hard to mimic in a school. I think it’s huge because it gives them more confidence. It gives them more skills that they can put on a resume. It gives them more experience and it helps them find employment, a lot of the time right out of school.

8. What’s the most interesting gig/job you’ve ever had in the field?

Many years ago, I did make up for David Foster’s Ovation Star search here in Nova Scotia. Talent that day was comedian, Sinbad. There were a few other big names. Lionel Richie was the lineup for the night, and I was fresh out of school, so I was terrified, and I learned very quickly. In that moment though, just say yes and just do it because once you’re in it you can. You can accomplish anything even if you’re scared, just do it. But that was definitely one of the wildest moments of my career, especially right there in the beginning. Since then, I’ve got a lot of politicians, a lot of famous people. That stuff doesn’t really affect me too much on a personal level. Everybody is a person.

I recently did a movie with some people here in Nova Scotia and the main character in the movie was a mermaid, so that was really challenging. I had to make sure all the makeup could withstand being under the water for long periods of time and that was a really big challenge for me as well. Those are definitely some of the more outside the norm because it’s mostly a lot of bridal, beauty, a lot of bridal over and over. So those are the kind of the things I got to do that are there outside of that.

9. Do you have any special certifications or training?

Yeah, obviously makeup artist and then licensed through the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia. I’m also a licensed instructor so I have the things that go along with teaching adult certification and all that. I am also a lash technologist, so I am a I do lash extensions lash lift which is perm lash tinting, brow tinting, and brow lamination. Some certified in all of those things. I’m also certified in advanced infection control.

And I love anything that’s education I, I’ll sit on any class. I’ve taken a lot of courses from Milady, the textbook company that we use through this through the Association and the program. And I’ve taken a lot of their instructor training classes through the years and it’s required as an instructor to do at least one advanced training a year.

10. What type of person should study Makeup Artistry Technician?

It’s such a wide opportunity for career development, it goes in so many different directions that I don’t think there’s one specific type of person or I don’t think there’s one person who couldn’t do it. I find that my students typically are a little more creative. The idea of having a job where they’re sitting behind a desk or they’re nine to five just definitely doesn’t fit with them. They can be a little more, I’ll say eccentric, or, you know, just personality that’s always showing. We’re a very accepting industry. It’s a very diverse industry. Mac Cosmetics ends says it best, they say all ages, all races, all genders. That’s who makeup artistry, who cosmetology has been for a long time. We’re very accepting of different sexualities, or people who are looking for a safe place to land in their life. They tend to go towards those careers that are standing there with open arms and I think that’s what this industry is. It gives people the freedom to be who they are, but also to express that and also have it fit. You know, I teach, and I have purple hair. I think it’s it just draws people who don’t fit inside societal norms. A lot of the time, and they want to express who they are, and they want to have a career that can sustain their life, but also make them happy.


If you’re someone who loves colour, fashion, and the world of entertainment a career in makeup artistry may be right for you. The Makeup Artistry Technician diploma program at Eastern College prepares students to apply makeup professionally in theatre, television, film, spa environments, and more. Because Eastern College is the only program in Atlantic Canada that offers dual licensing, your training will qualify you for lash technician positions as well. With your diploma, you can also be considered for roles such as brand ambassador, makeup consultant, and more in addition to working as a freelance artist. The Makeup Artistry Technician program is twenty-seven weeks with a month-long internship component which will help students get real-world experience on real clients before they graduate. Learn more about the Makeup Artistry Technician program here: Makeup Artistry Technician