Tell us about yourself!

My name is Harleen Kaur. I’m married, have a 4-year-old son, and live in Norway. In the past, I’ve served both the aviation industry and sales industry. Now I’m an Entrepreneur and own my own company, LOOKSSTUDIO, in Norway. I have a passion to travel, listen to good music, and I enjoy learning and grasping knowledge as much as possible… especially when it comes to makeup artistry!

Why did you decide to become a professional makeup artist?

I decided to become a professional makeup artist because I’ve always wanted to make people smile. I’ve been in the service industry since 2012. Moreover, I used to work with customers in the aviation industry. During this time, I had to use and be familiar with a certain amount of makeup.

One fine day, out of the blue, my mother asked me to do her makeup. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but apparently she loved it! People around her loved her look and complimented her. Plus, she had the BIGGEST smile on her face! When I looked at her, I smiled, too. In that moment, I realized that if I could bring a smile onto the faces of others, I would get so much happiness in return. So, I decided to be a makeup artist!

QC Makeup Academy Ambassador Harleen Kaur portfolio image 1

Why did you decide to take online makeup classes, rather than enroll in a brick-and-mortar school?

Originally, I actually was looking for a brick-and-mortar school in Norway. But what I came across were schools that offered no in-depth courses. Moreover, their tuition was all extremely expensive, and the courses were only offered in a particular language.

I wanted something that was more global, as well as in the language which most people understood. While I was searching the internet, I came across celebrity makeup artist, Nathan Johnson. I quickly discovered that he’s the executive makeup instructor for QC Makeup Academy. As soon as I saw him, I recognized him from two seasons of Project Runway and thought “Why not learn from the master himself?”

For what other reasons did you choose to enroll in with QC Makeup Academy?

Firstly, QC Makeup Academy offers self-paced courses. Secondly, they also provide internationally-recognized makeup certifications. On top of that, many of QC’s courses provide starter makeup kits to aid in the students’ training. Personally, I LOVED the makeup kit I was given for the Master Makeup Artistry Course! Their eyeshadow, blush, highlighter, lip, concealer, and corrector palette are all lovely.

Furthermore, QC Makeup Academy provides both digital and physical copies of their course materials, as well as instructional videos you can watch online. If I ever want to be clear in my approach to the looks I’m doing, I can always go back and refer to these resources. Plus, I also love that there’s a Virtual Classroom on Facebook where any and every question can be answered by fellow peers, Student Ambassador, QC staff, and tutors!

You’ve graduated from QC Makeup Academy’s Master Makeup Artistry Course. How was your experience with this program and how would you say it helped you to grow as an artist?

“Incredible” would be a very small word to describe my experience. This course not only made me grow as an artist; it made me more confident, both personally and professionally!

The feedback I received from my tutors was totally bang on. It was never sugar-coated, which I appreciated. Rather, it was always very honest; said to try and bring out the in me. Through my training, I learned the core, fundamental techniques of makeup. I know now that I could never have learned this knowledge from just watching social media influencers. To be a professional MUA, you need a professional education.

Harleen Kaur Talwar portfolio image 2, Asian bridal makeup, eyes closed

In what ways would you say that QC Makeup Academy’s Pro Makeup Workshop built upon the knowledge learned in the MMA Course and refined your skill-set further?

This workshop is a step ahead and delves deeper into the art of makeup. In the Master Makeup Artistry Course, you lean the core techniques of makeup. Then, in the Pro Makeup Workshop, you develop your technical skills with more precision and through cleaner looks. It’s all about detailing and experimenting with your applications.

You’re also a recent graduate of QC Makeup Academy’s Hair Styling Essentials Course. Why do you want to add hair styling to your repertoire? How do you intend to incorporate this advanced training into your makeup career?

Personally, I believe that if one knows how to do makeup and hairstyling, then that person is preferable. Such complementary skills will surely set you apart from the competition! Whether it’s a bridal appointment or a movie set, you’ll ALWAYS be the preferred choice in the eyes of a potential client.

Not only will this additional qualification help you expand your clientele; you’ll also have a better salary. You can even be the savior for a “hair gone wrong” emergency during a fashion shoot!

How useful have QC Makeup Academy’s course materials and assignments been for your learning experience?

All of the materials I’ve received have been super fun, educational, and detailed. Each course has been very easy to follow every step of the way, whether it’s related to makeup or hairstyling. In fact, I always go back to the written material and assignments when I create new looks. My QC course materials are like my comfort area.

Harleen Kaur Talwar's portfolio image 3, male makeup

How valuable has been the feedback been from your QC Makeup Academy tutors, Nathan Johnson and Corianne Cowan?

I would say that Nathan is like an encyclopedia of makeup knowledge! His feedback is always to-the-point and honest. If your work is good, he’ll totally compliment you on where your strong points are. On the other hand, if you need to improve, he won’t sugar-coat it. Instead, he’ll be upfront about where you need to get better.

In particular, his feedback was especially beneficial for me during Unit B of the MMA Course. Nathan is truly an eye-opener. His feedback and words of wisdom are always in my mind palace. I’d easily say that he’s one of the best educators I’ve ever met in my life!

With Corianne, it’s like you’re working and learning from an all-rounder who knows it all. She is so gentle and sweet! Plus, she’s always approachable on social media and ready to help, no matter what you’re facing. She’s always there to above and beyond; letting you try all hair styling techniques and whatever suits you best for your assignments.

In the end, I can say that QC Makeup Academy, Nathan, and Corianne are like my second family. I can’t live without them!

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned so far from your certification programs?

Balance and consistency (both in terms of clean looks and humbleness in work) will help you in achieving your goals. Never rush into things, and practice as much as possible! “Practice makes perfect” is what these programs have taught me!

You’ve recently joined QC’s team of Student Ambassadors. As an Ambassador, what’s the #1 thing you want brand-new students to know about QC Makeup Academy?

If you wish to build yourself both personally and professionally, want to get the best education, and wish to learn something new, QC Makeup Academy is the place for you! This is truly a school that will help you turn your passion into a profession, in a learning environment that’s entirely at YOUR own pace. QC makes dreams come true!

QC Makeup Academy Ambassador Feature, Harleen Kaur Talwar, Portfolio Image 4

You’re located in Blystadlia, Norway. What has the COVID situation been like where you live? Has it affected the way you need to work as beauty professional? If so, how?

We are current in the second wave of COVID. Suddenly, the cases have increased. As a result, we’re in a partial lockdown wherein all malls and stores are closed. That being said, hair and beauty salons are allowed to remain open!

The beauty and personal care industry in Norway hasn’t changed much since 2019. Norwegians are typically affluent consumers who place a high degree of focus on appearance and personal care. Weddings and other such events are still happening. However, they can only have a maximum of 10 members present if it’s an indoor event. Because of this, many brides are either opting to do their own makeup, or they’re shifting their wedding dates.

But the fashion, movie, and television industries have not suffered as such. Moreover, the sale of cosmetics, haircare products, and skincare products have actually increased. This is, in part, because many social media influencers have increased the sales of eyeshadows and palettes.

What services do you currently offer your makeup clients?

Currently, I offer my clients makeup applications for day and night looks. For example, I offer ‘Deluxe Makeup’, which provides more attention to at least one focus point. I also teach a group makeup course (for a maximum of three people) that focuses on educating others on all the new medical and hygiene precautions/regulations out there. Recently, I’ve also been receiving a lot of male hairstyling clients in the salon where I work. I’m also a freelance MUA in this salon as well!

Harleen Kaur Talwar portfolio image 5, Asian bridal makeup on self

What are your top career goals as a makeup artist?

To be honest, my career goal is to provide the education and techniques I’ve learned to those who can’t afford professional training. I wish to be an educator to everyone who needs it! To achieve that, I wish to grasp as much education and knowledge as I can from every single sector of the makeup industry. In my eyes, you can never know too much!

I also have a dream of doing a makeup look with Nathan Johnson. I’d love to assist him in his work – even if it’s only for a few minutes!

Finally: In your opinion, what is the true secret of success as a makeup artist?

Without a good education, patience, and practice, one can never reach up to their goals in life. To have success as a makeup artist, one must have balance and maintain all three!

Inspired by Harleen’s journey? Begin your own by enrolling with QC Makeup Academy today!

Author Sloane Seguin

More posts by Sloane Seguin

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Yay! This was a great read! Well done!

    • Sarah-Lynn Seguin says:

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Cheri! <3 We're beyond excited to have Harleen join the Student Ambassador team, and can't wait for all the awesome blog articles she writes in the future! 🙂

      All the best,
      The QC Team

  • Paula Alleyne says:

    Welcome to the family Harleen and keep up the great work!

    • Sarah-Lynn Seguin says:

      That’s so kind of you to say, Paula! We’re sure Harleen’s going to appreciate it. 🙂 We feel so honored to have SO many amazing Student Ambassadors representing QC Makeup Academy – including yourself!!! <3

      All the best,
      The QC Team

  • Luzaan de Bruyn says:

    Hi Harleen, what an amazing blog!! Hope to see many more.

    • Sarah-Lynn Seguin says:

      Hey Luzaan, thanks so much for commenting! We couldn’t be happier to have Harleen join QC Makeup Academy’s team of Student Ambassadors! She has TONS of great insights to give, so stay tuned for future blog articles by her! <3

      All the best,
      The QC Team

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