Graduate Feature: Mark Lenzi - QC Makeup Academy

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I am a retired special education teacher. In my 33 years as an educator, I have taught students from ages 5 through 17, in multiple different settings. I have worked with students that have disabilities; ranging from learning disabled, autistic, speech/language disorders, and students with severe/profound multiple disabilities. I am also married and have 2 adult children.

Why did you decide to earn your makeup artist certification and become a professional MUA?

I have always been fascinated by the transformation that makeup techniques can make. Since my retirement, I am now able to devote my time and attention to studying and practicing my passion. I have a curiosity for makeup and all it can do!

makeup artist certification graduate, Mark Lenzi, wearing bruise SFX makeup

How would you describe your makeup style?

I would define my makeup style as a natural, clean look. Most of my practicing has been on models with more mature skin, or on women who do not typically wear makeup.

It’s an awesome feeling to apply makeup, and explain what I’m using and what I am doing. To have the client be amazed at how they look with such little makeup applied is a wonderful moment. Unless I’m doing a fantasy or special effects look, my style can be summed up as: “less is more”.

You aced both your Master Makeup Artistry Course and your Special FX Makeup Course. Congratulations! Overall, how did you find the online learning process and the assistance you received from your instructors?

I was very excited to enroll, but also very anxious. The Mastery Makeup Artistry Course was my first ever online course. But I found that the Student Support Specialists are extremely helpful. I don’t know what I would have done without the help and support from Shannon, in particular.

The entire process of enrolling, getting started, accessing your course materials, and submitting your Units is all very clear. ALL of my instructors/tutors – Nathan Johnson, Michele Mulkey, Corianne Cowan, and Laurie Vukich – are amazing. They provide positive feedback, as well as advice and ways to improve your work. They push me to be the best makeup artist and hair stylist I can be!

makeup artist certification graduate, Mark Lenzi, wearing bruise and wounds SFX makeup

What is it about special effects makeup that you find the most fascinating?

It is so fun! All makeup can transform you, but special effects makeup can add that extra bit of shock. It’s also very challenging making the effect look “real”, and not just applied for shock value. There are lots of subtleties which may seem simple, but are not. For example: adding 5 o’clock shadow to a man, adding a mustache or beard, and old age makeup are all very tricky.

You’re also currently on Unit C of QC’s Hair Styling Essentials Course. Why did you decide to include hair styling in your overall repertoire?

I chose to enroll in the Hair Styling Essentials Course to broaden my skill-set. Since the theater is a venue I hope to work more in, having hair and makeup skills will be an asset. I did the makeup for 2 community plays, and the directors had actually asked me if I also did hair. At the time, I did not – so I knew I needed to get hair styling training!

old age special effects makeup

On top of the professional makeup you’ve done for community theatre productions, you’ve also been involve in a calendar shoot and a kids’ show. Can you tell us a little bit about these experiences?

I did the makeup for a community theater show called Calendar Girls. In addition to the show, they made a calendar to go along with the show, which I also did the makeup for. Other than practicing for my Course, this was my first “professional” experience. It was awesome. I had so much fun!

I had to teach myself how to apply a bald cap. (This was before I took the Special FX Makeup Course.) I also did some makeup and assisted a bit with hair for a community children’s show, Prince and Princesses. On top of that, I got to do some makeup applications for a local thrift store’s fashion show fundraiser.

I was supposed to do the makeup for the community show Little Women this past summer, but it’s been postponed due to the pandemic.

What did you choose to pursue your makeup artist certification through QC Makeup Academy?

Since my retirement, I’ve been able to devote my time and attention to studying makeup artistry. I browsed online an looked at the different online makeup schools, but QC Makeup Academy immediately caught my attention. I did my research, and decided to call and speak with someone.

I was anxious to begin an online class, having never taken one – especially in makeup, nonetheless! I spoke with Shannon a few times, and she was so encouraging and motivating. She stated that there was assistance whenever I needed it. I did need to call a couple of times… and she was right! Shannon and all of the online support staff are extremely positive and helpful.

makeup artist certification graduate, Mark Lenzi, wearing fresh bruise SFX makeup

Is there any particular makeup technique you’re currently working to improve?

Of course, all the time! But one skill that I need to practice a lot, in order to master its many beautiful techniques, is eyeliner. There are so many gorgeous looks, and so many different kinds of eyeliner makeup to choose from.

What’s on the horizon for you and your makeup career?

I want to continue my theater experiences, as well as participate in more community shows, fashion shows, and fundraisers. I was supposed to do a friend’s daughter’s wedding this June, but that unfortunately has been canceled.

I would also like to do makeup and hair for friends and special events. I would be very interested in volunteering for a group home for young adults with disabilities, and do their hair and makeup for special events (such as proms and dances).

Imagine: it’s Halloween, and you use your special effect makeup skills to turn yourself into ANY character you want. Which SFX look do you choose?

I have done a “zipper face” look for fun in the past, and it received a lot of positive feedback – including a lot of, “Eww!” “Yuck!” “Gross!”

So, I guess it looked pretty good. I also enjoy creating my own deep cuts with added extras, such as a large fish hook or insects.

makeup artist certification graduate, Mark Lenzi, wearing zipper face SFX makeup

Ready to earn YOUR professional makeup artist certification? Enroll with QC Makeup Academy and graduate in as little as 3-6 months!

Author Sarah Seguin

More posts by Sarah Seguin

Leave a Reply