After struggling at high school Hannah Forster found her strengths in the creative world of makeup.
Despite initial concerns about her ADHD preventing her from pursuing higher education, the 19-year-old is now working towards a Level 4 qualification in Makeup Artistry for Fashion, Film, and Media at Cut Above Academy’s Auckland central campus.
After facing a tough time in previous education environments Hannah is certain she has landed in the right industry.
“I have ADHD which meant high school was a very real challenge for me. I struggled a lot and almost didn’t pass Level 2.
“Having two very academically intelligent brothers I always compared myself to them and didn’t think I could make it in life. Then I found makeup and I realised my strengths were creative and not academic.”
Cut Above Academy has provided her with a bunch of real-world experiences. Recently Hannah had the chance to do makeup for an Auckland University of Technology fashion show, reaffirming her love for the industry.
“I worked on three very different models which was cool because it took me very far out of my comfort zone.
“I learnt how to work on different faces and how makeup changes on each face as well as how to apply makeup swiftly but still with quality. On my last model, I only had 15 minutes to do her whole face, which was very stressful but also so much fun!”
Fashion shows aren’t the only way Hannah is putting her industry-ready skills to the test. She has crafted makeup looks for VIP guests at Symphony in the Domain and for a backup singer her trainer Gee Pikinga was performing with.
She also attended a masterclass by leading Aotearoa makeup artist Kiekie Stanners who has served as the Makeup Director for New Zealand Fashion Week and several other high-profile roles within MAC Cosmetics.
“It was one of the most inspiring things I’ve been to!” Hannah explained.
“It was so cool listening to her story about how she got to where she is, watching her do makeup, and taking tips from her.”
With a job offer from MAC Cosmetics, Hannah is excited to embark on her own career with the brand. Her future plans involve taking flight in 2025 and following her fashion makeup dreams.
“I want to travel the world and do makeup all around the world! I really want to go into the fashion industry and work on fashion weeks everywhere.”
She advises anyone looking into studying makeup at Cut Above Academy to go in with a positive attitude and commit to working and improving their skills.