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Laura Millar's Blog

Laura Millar's Blog

These blogs are about Total Look Styling (hair, make-up, face & body art, costume design). They contain hints and tips for creative students and industry professionals. Online mentoring (CPD, Enrichment, Portfolio Building advice) is available via SKYPE, Zoom, etc. so do get in touch if you'd like to expand on any subject/skill shown here... or anything new that I may have answers for... Laura Millar x

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Instructions on how to easily make a coif (historical cap)

Posted on 15 July, 2021 at 14:15 Comments comments (1983)


When I saw some ivory coloured damask arm chair arm covers at a car boot fayre - I just couldn't resist getting them to adapt into coifs. I love finding old items and converting them into costume pieces... ...
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Diversity Face Chart Templates

Posted on 9 June, 2020 at 19:45 Comments comments (2377)

As an open-minded make-up ‘artist’ I find it strange that the majority of face charts represent only one type of face shape/features/skin tone: the female Caucasian. I have therefore produced a diverse range of Exclusively Themed ‘race’ face charts as a truer representation of the myriad of indigenous peoples around the globe. They also include unisex/transgender features. In my eyes, the ‘unhelpful’ terms ‘white’ and ‘black’ actuall...

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Split Palette Bird of Paradise

Posted on 10 May, 2020 at 10:15 Comments comments (214)

Now that we can hear the birdsong more clearly here are a few inspirational one stroke/split palette pics for Bird of Paradise theme body art. I did this look for a freshers week uni party... They wanted a bird of paradise body painted model for selfie ops... High quality Diamond FX is a must for black/white but I made my own Snazaroo large round split palettes for this gig - which worked a treat... You can then use a wide 1.5-2cm flat brush for application... I learnt my split palette...

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Eyelashes for Practice Model Doll Heads

Posted on 23 April, 2020 at 8:25 Comments comments (744)

When making binder visors for local care homes I needed a model to show off my creations. My fun practice doll heads worked a treat and to make them even more life-like I added some basic make-up and false eye lashes with strong glue. Check out how pretty and realistic they look now...

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Decorative C19 Binder Visors

Posted on 23 April, 2020 at 8:10 Comments comments (486)

As my C19 Binder Visors are mainly for care homes and private clients (who care for someone at home) I wanted to make some face shields that are more 'fun and friendly' rather than clinical and severe. 

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C19 Binder Visor Invention

Posted on 18 April, 2020 at 0:15 Comments comments (1482)

I know everyone's going to get sick of me banging on about covering your face up during lock-down whilst treating 'suspected covid-19' patients - but due to the deaths of so many wonderful care home staff - I just can't help myself...

As a costume designer (often working to a strict budget) I always like to challenge my creativity. When I was hunting around my stationary cupboard (during early lock-down) for some acetate (to give me inspiration) to come up with a face shield design - I ...

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Historical, Fantasy & Avant Garde - Big Hair Up

Posted on 31 January, 2020 at 14:30 Comments comments (1163)

I recently facilitated some BIG HAIR demonstrations for the Production Arts students at Fareham College Hair & Beauty Academy. Power point presentations showed traditional, historical looks that can be adapted for inspired fantasy or avant garde designs. Do get in touch if you would be interested in these topics as CPD, Enrichment or Industry Day lectures/demos/workshops.

  • Traditional & East Meets West Oriental Chinese & Japanese Court Hair Up
  • 18th Century Court ...
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Vintage 1940s Hair

Posted on 17 December, 2019 at 14:45 Comments comments (565)

Check out how to quickly these styles without using hot tools by visiting

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Mermaid Total Look Styling

Posted on 16 August, 2019 at 13:55 Comments comments (870)

My students for VTCT Level 2 & Level 3 love to design mermaids for their Total Look for Competition and Face & Body Art units. I encourage them to do photo montage mood boards and face and body charts (embelished with jewels/sequins for texture). 

Below are some of my own hair, make-up, body art and costume designs (for mermaid serving staff that I sent to VIP parties in the south of France!). I run head-dress and accessory workshops and love to use glittering, ...

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Costume Design Hints & Tips

Posted on 16 August, 2019 at 10:55 Comments comments (905)

From the Costume Design Course for Performance at Saint Martin's (University Arts College) in London I thought I'd share my hints and tips for swift costume designs. My samples below are based on the comedic play, THE IMPORTANCE of BEING EARNEST by OSCAR WILDE.

If you're not super-confident or quick at drawing figures, tracing paper is the key. Lay it over period pictures and trace the outlines with a pencil or fine felt tip pen (making sure your felt pen does not go thro...

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Container Quandary

Posted on 12 February, 2018 at 13:35 Comments comments (1659)

So... You're on a make-up job in Central London and you need to leave in rush hour. (Hell!) You have to walk to an overground station, take a train (no seats!) to a central station - get off - walk down long, packed tunnels and up stairs - catch a tube after waiting aaaaages (still no seats!) - get off - walk down more long tunnels - change lines again - up stairs - out to a busy street - walking miles to the venue (because you want to save on the cab fare!)... Sound familiar to anyone?! You'...

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Split Palette One Stroke Workshop

Posted on 26 January, 2018 at 14:00 Comments comments (438)

I have done many split palette/one stroke workshops. To take your face or body painting to the next level this technique is a MUST!

There are many small spilt/one stroke stripe products on the market. Or for a less expensive option you can put two or three Snazaroo face paints (one light, one medium, one dark) in the fridge to harden a bit (not too har...

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VTCT Level 3 Make-up Artistry for Adults

Posted on 30 December, 2017 at 15:05 Comments comments (4257)

September 2017 - I started teaching a (part-time) 20 week VTCT Make-up Artistry course for adults at Fareham College, Hampshire. Wonderful college with great facilities and extremely helpful staff. It ends late February but may start again if enough students sign up. Loans are available. The units consist of:

  • Make-up Application & Instruction
  • Airbrushing
  • Media Make-up/Special FX/Casualty/Theatrical
  • Fashion Photographic

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60s Iconic Makeup Styles

Posted on 1 March, 2017 at 19:55 Comments comments (4562)

As a guest lecturer I was asked to teach 1960s makeup.

Think of the first modern super-models, Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton, the style of Mary Quant with either strong colours or going purely monotone for eyes - with pale lips. Opaque, wavy lines, long, false lashes for doll eyes, OTT and WAY OUT THERE! Or super sexy Barbarella, Brigit Bardot and Sophia Loren with doe eyes using black, flicked, liquid eye liner. Not forgetting the ultra sophisticated Tippy Hedren sleek, smart, secretary l...

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Posted on 20 January, 2017 at 20:00 Comments comments (375)

I recently showed students from Fareham College how to produce quick, freestyle body art swirls for tribal tattoo styles (Polynesian, Maori, Indian, etc.) in aqua face/body paints. This 'press and release' technique needs to obviously be practiced a lot in order to produce swift, perfectly curved shapes... For a realistic tattoo look - add loose talcum powder over the top to set the image, bringing the shine down.

Below are some of my own designs produced for clients at parties and fest...

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1920s & 30s Total Look Styling - Hair & Makeup plus Costume

Posted on 20 January, 2017 at 19:05 Comments comments (850)

I have done total look styling for performers and staff at many 1920s/30s theme nights at top venues in central London and around the UK. As a Hair & Media Makeup lecturer, I was recently asked to show some students at Fareham College pin curling and finger waving. Also typical makeup from this era which included eyebrow blocking for higher, thinner, pencilled-in brows.

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Posted on 20 January, 2017 at 15:55 Comments comments (650)

As a guest lecturer I was asked to teach this workshop for Fareham College Level 3 Production Arts Students. It is very hard to find information on this so I've decided to share the workshop with you... Some of the students used single wire taped and twined together... I have only photographed the sample I made which used chicken wire. The college didn'...

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Posted on 19 September, 2016 at 15:00 Comments comments (7173)

This is one of my favourite themes... combining a Midsummer Nights Dream with Celtic/Pagan earthiness; a colour mix of gold/bronze, browns and greens.

I love the images of satyrs and numphs so this was a good reason to bring them to life! My wonderful client (whom I have worked with for many years) wanted a 'hunting' aspect to the dancers' and human statues' hair, makeup, body art and costumes as well.

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Airbrush Designs

Posted on 15 June, 2016 at 20:15 Comments comments (355)

I long resisted using an airbrush for body painting, temporary tattoos and T-shirt/tote bag creations. Why? Carrying around a large/heavy compressor and regularly having to clean out blocked airguns for a start. However - I have now (at last!) taken up this challenging artistic technology thanks to client demand. At parties and festivals my colleagues and I can swiftly write freehand 'names' or 'stencil' images. Designs can also be pre-done before the event. This creative service is massive i...

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Mask Making for Different Theme Looks

Posted on 4 March, 2016 at 19:55 Comments comments (268)

I have made many different full face masks for our Mystique Masquerade meet and greet characters; here are a few...  I spray painted plain, papier mache, mask bases and added the features and embelishments on top. You can get so many theme looks from the same mask - by just adding different wigs, head-dresses, costumes and accessories. These are all for sale along with their costumes. Workshops are available too.

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