Full time make-up student Sophie Kelly is coming to the end of her year with Portobello Institute.  Here she looks back on her course and how she has changed her outlook on life.

As my course draws to a close I have been reflecting over the year and how I have grown as a person and make-up artist to be. The biggest change is my confidence and how the course and the industry made that happen. Before this course I was very shy and literally had no confidence. I was really struggling in my personal life and was dealing with a lot of negative things. I never felt like I belonged anywhere and felt I had to hide parts of me. This has now changed dramatically.  I have made the best friends I could ever ask for who have made me believe in myself and allow me to be me. There is no judgement at all. My confidence slowly increased with the help of these new friends and also of course my tutors who really drew the inner me out and guided me along they way. 

My make-up skills have greatly improved. Before I came to Portobello Institute my skills were ok but  I kept my make-up quite simple and natural. I never tried anything new or adventurous. I only ever did my mothers make-up as I was too afraid to do looks on anyone else.  Even at the beginning I really doubted myself and compared myself a lot to others thinking I could never be that talented. However, with the guidance and reassurance from my tutors and peers this slowly stared to change. Once I started to believe I could do it I became more adventurous and experimented with lots of different colours. I worked so hard to improve my skills each time I did a look. I still sometimes doubt myself and criticise my work but now that's because I strive for perfection.

My tutors are definitely the reason for my skills improving.  They all have their own individual style which allows students to learn different techniques and gives a unique view on our skills and how we can improve our work.  I have the utmost respect for all my tutors and appreciate all their comments and support throughout the year which helped improve my skills as a make-up artist in training.  Each of them were my guidance, not only in make-up artistry skills but also teaching me about the ways of the industry and the working world and the background knowledge of skin care, hygiene, business skills - you name it, they taught it.   

I may still have some work to but this course along with the people I have met and my tutors has helped me grow in self confidence and skills. I finally feel accepted for me and now feel I can be free to express my talent and who I am and not feel judged.

I want to thank the college, my tutors and the friends I've made along the way.  This course has allowed me to spread my wings.