April 13, 2015

From Volunteer to Student: An Inside Look at Make-Up of the Femme Fatale

As a WICE Volunteer, Brandi Lunn tells us about her experience of switching hats from Visual Arts Program Director to student in one of WICE's Make-Up courses.

Visual Arts Director
Brandi Lunn
My original purpose of joining WICE was to meet people. I was new to the city and without much of a social circle and I had yet to master the French language. When I stumbled upon WICE, I had hoped that it would offer me an opportunity to make some new friends and speak English amongst them.

At the time (I joined WICE at the end of April 2014), many of the courses were winding down for the summer. While I was jotting down ideas of classes that I hoped to take in the fall, I noticed Volunteer section and sent in an application and hoped for the best.

Photo by Brandi Lunn
What many potential volunteers may not know is that the path to securing a role within WICE is a long one. Once your application is received you attend an orientation meeting. Next, you meet with the Director of the department you’re interested in volunteering with. Finally you meet with the rest of the team to learn more about the responsibilities of the role and how your skills will compliment the organization. By the time you’re officially crowned ‘New Volunteer’ you’ll have already met a large number of amazing colleagues along the way. You’ll also be so busy excitedly exploring the facets of the role and getting down to work that your original dreams of taking a course at WICE seems to fade away… at least that’s what happened to me.

Photo by Brandi Lunn
One day as I was looking at the WICE website, I began looking at all of our course offerings across the departments. By chance I noticed that the Art of Living in Paris department was featuring a ‘how-to’ make-up class that I felt would be of particular interest. Before I had a chance to talk myself out of it or come up with an excuse as to why I couldn’t take it, I just signed up! And I’m very happy that I did.  

Overall I was very satisfied with the course ‘Make-Up: Mastering the Look of the Femme Fatale’.  Learning how to apply such an iconic ‘look’ turned out to be a great way to incorporate some French flair into my daily routine.  Additionally, having a professional make-up artist as an instructor to show us proper technique, assist with color selection, and teach us how to adapt our make-up to fit any situation really helped boost my confidence. 

What impressed me most was the quality of the instructor and the large amount of individual attention I received, due to the small class size. Before the class was scheduled to start, we were asked to send photos of ourselves to the instructor so that she could prepare for the first class. When I say ‘prepare’ I mean that she brought an entire suitcase full of make-up that had been personally selected for each of the participants to suit our skin type, tone, etc. Make-up is a medium that caters to individual needs and I appreciated that the instructor catered to each of ours.

The positive experience that I had taking this course made me regret not signing up for more courses in the past! Since I’m someone who works closely with instructors to develop programs, it’s not like I didn’t know about all the wonderful courses offered by WICE. Plus, taking this course gives me an entirely new perspective so that when I work on program descriptions, course content, etc. I can speak to it as both a student and a program director which will hopefully better articulate what is to be expected from taking the course.

Being a volunteer does take time, a commodity we don’t all have a lot of. But since time is very important I encourage everyone, especially WICE volunteers, to spend it wisely… and take classes at WICE!