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Camera Roll: Bobbi Brown Program in Makeup Artistry

Every summer, students in the Bobbi Brown Program in Makeup Artistry class gather in the brightly-lit Bobbi Brown and Steven Plofker Design Technology Makeup Suite, wielding blush brushes and mascara wands and perfecting their makeup techniques. They spend hours practicing matching foundation to skin tones and creating looks for different situations and settings, using each other as models.

But they don’t come just to practice makeup—they’re also becoming professionals and learning about the business. When students complete both weeks of the program, founded by Bobbi Brown ‘79 as part of Emerson’s Professional Studies and Special Programs, they earn a professional certificate in makeup artistry. 

During the course, students first learn the fundamentals of makeup artistry. They practice popular looks on one another, such as winged eyeliner and the “smoky eye.” On another day, students create inspiration boards and make their visions come to life. They learn how to do makeup for HDTV and runway fashion, and they discuss details of working with high-profile celebrities with the experienced instructors.

“If this is something you love to do, you’re going to learn so much during the two weeks that you’re here,” says instructor and professional makeup artist Allison Parisi. Parisi loves watching the “evolution” of students’ creativity, and is excited that, after the course, students are able to go into business for themselves.

We visited the class on the final day of Week Two, the Advanced Makeup Artistry portion, when students were practicing looks from various decades. Explore our photo gallery below.


Students practice makeup on each other using photos of some of the most famous faces in history for inspiration.

Students practice makeup on each other using photos of some of the most famous faces in history for inspiration. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

The Bobbi Brown and Steven Plofker Design Technology and Makeup Suite has mirrors, lighting, and, of course, makeup. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

Instructor Allison Parisi applies bronzing powder to a student's cheeks. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

Instructor Allison Parisi applies bronzing powder to a student’s cheeks. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

A student's notes from "Decade Day," when students practiced creating looks from various decades, starting with the 1920s. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

A student’s notes from “Decade Day,” when students practiced creating looks from various decades, starting with the 1920s. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

Allison Parisi demonstrates different techniques. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

Allison Parisi demonstrates different techniques. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

Students practice "color swatching" to match the makeup perfectly with different skin tones. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

Students practice “color swatching” to match the makeup perfectly with different skin tones. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

The students formed fast friendships with one another during the two-week program. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

The students formed fast friendships with one another during the two-week program. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

Students experiment with bold colors during the second week of the course, Advanced Makeup Artistry. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

Students experiment with bold colors during Week Two of the program: Advanced Makeup Artistry. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

During the course, students practice techniques using dozens of Bobbi Brown products. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

During the course, students practice techniques using dozens of Bobbi Brown products. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

Students laugh and joke while discussing 80s makeup. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

Students laugh and joke while discussing 80s makeup. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

Mirror, mirror, on the wall...or on the table. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

Mirror, mirror, on the wall…or on the table. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

Students are supplied with a plethora of brushes for concealer, foundation, blush, eyeshadow, and more. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

Students are supplied with a plethora of brushes for concealer, foundation, blush, eyeshadow, and more. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

A student practices blending techniques with a brush. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

A student practices blending techniques with a brush. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

A student uses the BBU palette from Bobbi Brown, which has colors for all skin tones. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

Students finish up their looks at the end of an eight-hour day. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

Students finish up their looks at the end of an eight-hour day. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

Instructors Jaime Perez and Allison Parisi, both professional makeup artists for Bobbi Brown, pose for a photo in the Makeup Suite. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017

Instructors Jaime Perez and Allison Parisi, both professional makeup artists for Bobbi Brown, pose for a photo in the Makeup Suite. | Photo: Derek Palmer 2017