About Terri

Terri Tomlinson has over 25 years experience in the industry and works in all areas. She currently creates makeup for commercial print, film, Television, video, weddings, and real people. She is well known for her super-natural camera ready work in HD and print, as well as her “clean and pretty” beauty makeup style. Terri is the owner and main educator at Terri Tomlinson Makeup Training Academy (MTA) which she opened in 2010. The MTA studio is located in Addison and open to the public. In the studio Terri works with private clients as well as students, mentors artists, and retails products she uses professionally, including her own line.

Terri spent the first 10 years of her career in the retail cosmetic industry, working with lines like; Lancome, Prescriptives, Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, Revlon, YSL, and Smashbox. As a makeup artist Terri opened and managed cosmetic counters for Neiman Marcus, traveled and worked large scale events, created a training program for makeup artists, and wrote a book on cosmetics and application called Foundations: A Makeup Artist’s Guide to the Basics.

After publishing her book Terri studied Makeup for Production and Hairstyling for Set at MUD in Los Angeles. “MUD allowed me to work privately with an instructor. I knew that makeup for Television and Film was very different and so turned to a professional school to perfect my craft.” From there Terri started her career over, growing her portfolio, working with an agent, and building a clientele. The last 15 years has brought her great success and insight into the industry. Terri’s work has been seen in a wide variety of publications and broadcasts, from Rolling Stone and The New Yorker to CNN and The Style Network. She works in Print, Runway, Television, Video, and Film.

In 2008 she began training makeup artists privately, which has led to the creation of Terri Tomlinson Makeup Training Academy.



On Makeup

My philosophy on makeup for the “real world” has always been very simple; the skin should look flawless and the features enhanced. Every face has something beautiful about it, and makeup should enhance what that something is. If I can make the skin look alive and perfect, then everything else is icing on the cake. I love a smoky eye just like anyone else, but for me, the skin and the shape and texture of the face are so much more alluring. For production, my style tends to be more on the natural side. I like people to look fresh and alive, I love cheek color. If you want to know what products I’m using follow me on Twitter @TerriTomlinson3.


On Being a Professional Makeup Artist

There are more working makeup artists in the business than ever before, working in all areas, in many levels of expertise. Some do good work, some great, some not so much. Anyone can buy a nice brush set and say they are a professional. We live in an area with no regulation, no licensing, and no certification. So what makes someone a professional? What separates a professional makeup artist from someone who paints a face?

First and foremost I believe it is understanding and practicing makeup art as a craft.
(Definition: an art, trade, or occupation requiring special skill,especially manual skill.)

Professional artists don’t just paint a face, they define and accentuate. They soften areas that are sharp and sharpen areas that are soft. They utilize light and color theory to conceal, correct and enhance. Each face is a story, a new challenge if you look at that face as a craftsperson. Work is individuated to the person in your chair, to the job, to the desired outcome.

We are artisans really, like a plumber. Can someone learn to be a plumber in one day? Probably not, however it is a start and perhaps in that one day they can learn a lot about say, fixing a leaky faucet or even if they want to be a plumber. The more they train and work, the better plumber they will be. (Plumbers actually can spend 10 years and over 10,000 hours to qualify as a Master Plumber.) Most makeup schools last for 6-22 weeks and even they are beginners when they graduate. It is something that evolves as you work and learn. I learn something new on every job I do and in every class.

This is what I believe and what we practice and teach at Makeup Training Academy.

MTA’s full program is 20 days and I believe that when finished students will have a strong understanding of their craft, they will know if they have the love for it, and they will also understand that they have only scratched the surface. We can give you skill and give you time to practice and learn technique, teach you the theories behind everything we do and how it connects to different mediums, educate you on product, cross-contamination, and how to conduct yourself. MTA can teach you the craft, and that is when your journey really begins.


– Terri Tomlinson