For part 2 – I want to talk more about life at April Love: the course, the classroom and the instructors.
I feel like I need to repeat myself: I am very glad I signed up at April Love Pro Makeup Academy. I learned so much in the course, and the entire staff was extremely friendly and great to learn from. No, I am not being paid to say it. I’m not even being asked to say it. I’m saying it because it’s true.
The 12-week course flew by, and I learned everything from smoky eyes, to 60s makeup, contour & highlight and even face painting & glitter tattoos. I still have so much to learn and many more needed hours to practice for me to become “good” in my opinion, but I’m off to a great start.
April Love is located in San Gabriel (Los Angeles County), between the 10 and the 210 freeway. It’s a nice, boutique style school and because it’s not huge, you get more one-on-one time with the instructor and class aides. There were approximately 15 people in my class, and April called it her “big class.”
There are several choices in class types: pro beauty artistry, advanced artistry, hair design and special effects. I chose pro beauty and plan to take advanced artistry and hair design sometime next year. I also had a choice of with-kit/without-kit options for my course. I chose without-kit since I already had a full kit. Unless you are working on your kit and have it close to ready, I would select the with-kit option. It comes with everything you need: brushes, foundation, powder, eye shadow and much more.
There are mirrors all around the room, and all the hanging images are work either done by a student, instructor or April Love.
There are plenty of products for us to use so we don’t need to bring our kit and adjustable chairs to shift the model up or down, depending on your height. Bending over to work on someone causes serious back aches, which makes me truly grateful for these chairs. I’m 5’9” so I push the chair up as high as it will go, and I never have back aches. (I’ll have to tell the story of my crazy back/spine problems in the near future!)
There are also products available for sale to students. If I want an extra pack of sponges, another makeup palette or some more brushes for my kit, I can get it all at April Love.
The first part of class is the lesson/demo. The instructors work slowly enough for you to take notes (and pictures!), but quickly enough so you’re not impatiently waiting for the next step. Every instructor in the class was super friendly, including the class aides. The instructors each have an amazing background in makeup, and you really feel like they care and want to be there.
As soon as they’re done with the demo, we break for about 20 minutes, then on return work with a partner to recreate the look we were just taught. I love working with a different person each week. Working on various face shapes and textures makes learning about products and application that much stronger. During this time, the instructor and class aides walk around and help you work better. They don’t make you feel bad if you’re applying makeup wrong, instead they offer support and positive reinforcement to make you want to improve.
When we’re done, we switch and then become the model for our partner. Although I can wash my face off, I like driving home with a face full of makeup. It makes the drive more interesting and my husband gets to see what we did that day. 60s day was especially interesting. I walked into my mother-in-laws house (during a PARTY) with 60s makeup and they were very surprised. But one mention of Twiggy and it turned into a conversation of how amazing the makeup in the 60s was.
During the week, it’s very important to practice what you learn, even if you do it on yourself. It’s such a great refresher and helps everything stick!
I had such a great time at ALPMA. The 12-week course went by so quickly, and I wish I could do it again. A-ha – I CAN do it again! ALPMA lets you retake classes as many times as you wish. You can even choose to retake the entire course. There are several classes I plan to retake for better practice.
Below is some of my work in-class. Again, I’m a beginner and this was during school, so please don’t expect professional looks just yet.
Class: 60s Makeup
Class: Color Theory
Class: Details – eyeliner, lashes & lips
Class: Avant Garde Makeup
I’m waiting on the pro pictures of my final look, and I’ll be posting those as soon as I get them. My final look was pop-art-esque based. I didn’t go full cartoon, but you can still tell my inspiration was Lichtenstein.
Although I love this school and will take more classes, if you’re searching for a school, you have to find one that is right for you. Not everyone is going to have the same experience. This school was perfect for me, and I had so much fun during my initial time at ALPMA. The instructors were easy to work with, the other students were all nice and down to earth, and April Love herself is a doll.
Stay tuned for the next adventure: Part 3: My Graduation and Overall Experience