QC Makeup Academy Student Showcase Critique - QC Makeup Academy

QC tutor and celebrity makeup artist Nathan Johnson (@nathanwalnut) loves celebrating the work of talented makeup artists. In our latest blog post, he’s taken a peek into the Student Showcase and has chosen some of his favorites to comment on.

Read on for Nathan’s critiques of student work at QC Makeup Academy and be inspired!

Renad Barri

QC Makeup Academy Student Critique
This is a perfect example of professional level work. The application is precise and beautiful, and I adore the balance between the depth of the upper lid and the golden glow of the lower. The lip is perfection. The brows are perfectly shaped and the glow of the cheek is the ideal, subtle complement.

Now, some may argue that Photoshop was used on this image, and I agree that it was, but it was executed perfectly. In the professional world, Photoshop will be used and this is the exactly how it should be done.

If you want to work as a professional artist, this is the bar at which all of your professional work needs to be set.

Two notes for application perfection:
be sure that the application of the eyeliner is the same on both the inner corners of the upper lash lines. Also, below the left eye, there is a deeper line below the gold shadow that is not on the right side. Yes, no one would notice these things but me, but when you notice them and correct them, your amazing work will become even more astonishing.


Njeri Davis

Makeup course feedback

What a delightful and gorgeous prom makeup. Not only is the skin perfect, but the remainder of the application is as well. The crease work is beautiful, symmetrical, and flattering to the eye. The cheeks are perfect. I also want to compliment the subtle choice in lip color and the perfect application. This is beautiful work. I do not have a single suggestion to make it better.

Beautiful makeup, great styling, and beautiful photography form the trifecta of a perfect portfolio image. Brilliant. This is a photograph that will help you book a client.


Amanda Tomm

Special effects makeup artistry
This image is the perfect representation of an amazing fantasy look. It blends a flawless beauty application with elements of fantastical horror. This is a masterclass in highlight and contour, for both beauty and special effects.

Everything you want to pop, pops! Everything you want to recess, falls back. Look at the mask of the face – this is a perfect beauty application. The skin, cheeks, and eyes are flawless. The hardness of the brows and the running mascara (not to mention the horrifying white contacts), create a perfect connection to the razor sharp teeth and the black abyss behind it. This is an amazing yin/yang of beauty and horror.



Katie Harris

This is stunning. In this one image, Katie demonstrates four tremendous talents and each one of them will contribute to an exceptional and diverse career.

Makeup artistry portfolio model
Firstly, the makeup is beautiful. The complexion is lovely, the cheeks and lips are perfect, and the eyes are gorgeous and sultry.

One small note: make sure the eyeliner on the upper lash line goes all the way to the inner corner of the eye. This is important for several reasons. It makes the false lashes look less false, makes it look as though the lashes go all the way along the lash line, and adds definition to the eye. I would also like to mention that she highlighted the inner corner of the eye correctly. This is something most people misuse and abuse.

Secondly, she did beautiful hairstyling. Yes, it looks effortless, but that takes skill and understanding. A beautiful portfolio image should feature both professional hair and makeup.

Third, she is a brilliant photographer. This image is perfectly composed. A great photographer understands composition and lighting. Lastly, the fourth of her amazing skills…the ability to use Photoshop with a light hand.

Katie also used a real model! I cannot tell you how important this is. Real models know how to pose, and more importantly, use their eyes.

With all these skills, Katie could work in any area of makeup artistry, handling any or all aspects of the shoot.


Erin Stokes

Young makeup artistry student
Erin did this makeup when I challenged her to challenge herself. I just wanted to say BRAVO.

In this application, she utilizes some very advanced techniques and she executes them perfectly. The eyeliner is precise and beautiful. Bold colors are very unforgiving and she aced it. The blending on the lid is superb. It transitions perfectly from lid to crease to highlight. The brows are gorgeous. By keeping the inner part of the brow less dense, the brow remains beautiful and natural. The skin is flawless, the cheeks have a perfect glow, and the lips are beautifully applied.

Congrats on using such bold colors. When you do a bold makeup, there is no room for error, and I can’t find an error! Great job Erin, this is professional level work!


Corey Deslage

An amazing special effect is one that makes you see and believe something that is not there. And that is exactly what Corey has done.

Advanced special effects makeup artist course

I do not know if this was done with wax, third degree, or a prosthetic, and it doesn’t matter. What does matter is the level of detail and realism…and I would place this at 100%. The illusion is three dimensional, there are no seams or edges, and the coloring is perfect. The cracking of the skin along the edge of the wound and details within the wound itself are delicate, which is exactly what is required of an HD-ready illusion. Very, very impressive.


Casey Lesher

Professional makeup artist portfolio pictures

This is a beautiful photograph that is portfolio ready. The image and wardrobe styling are perfect for the setting, and the makeup is pristine. This is a fine example of the flawless face. Because the complexion is so perfect, an amplified lip and a sharp cat eye are all you need to make this a hypnotic image.

What she has done here is not easy and I commend her on her ability to make it look so effortless. Superb.

Thinking of becoming a makeup artist? Check out the 4 biggest DON’Ts Nathan Johnson wants you to know!

Author Nathan Johnson

More posts by Nathan Johnson

Leave a Reply