By Leah Fox
This unconventional celebrity hair and makeup artist gets no complaints from her customers, or any conversation at all – because they’re all WAXWORKS.
Emma Meehan, 26, had always dreamed of working with celebs and now enjoys tending to Freddie Mercury’s tache, darkening Lady Gaga’s bold black eye shadow or turning the Incredible Hulk green.
But her job is a little different to that of the usual makeup artist as after studying theatrical hair and makeup in her hometown of Blackpool, Lancs, Emma landed a job on the ticket desk of one of the seaside town’s most popular tourist attractions – Madame Tussauds.
Emma didn’t even realise the museum had a backstage studio until her creative expertise shone through while face painting for charity events – and she now burns the candle at both ends to keep the figurines in shape.
Emma said: “My job is completely different to anything I’ve ever done before.
“Sometimes I get home and tell my family ‘there was a head sat on my desk today’ – it can be very surreal.”
Emma’s day begins at 8.30am, when she and her team work their way around the attraction to check which figures need fixing up before the venue opens its doors to the public at 10am.
The studio crew continue to tend to the figures throughout the day, using an array of materials and techniques to maintain them as the oil paint and wax are easily damaged and scratched through people posing with their beloved stars and characters.
It’s not just the makeup that needs seeing to though, as the figures often need their clothes dry cleaning and their heads popped off in order to wash and style the real human hair.
The hair is often bleached by the bright lights at the attraction – so a painstaking process of re-inserting the ethically-sourced locks strand by strand has to take place, which Emma says is time consuming, and requires patience and a lot of breaks.
Emma said: “My favourite figure to paint has to be Lady Gaga because her paint work is so unique with big black eye makeup, and her hair is also really interesting to work with because it’s in a couple of different styles
“The weirdest and most hard is the Hulk, because he’s just so tall.
“Everything is so unpredictable – everything’s done in such a clever and unique way, and one day is never the same as the next!”
Emma thinks the biggest perk of her amazing job is getting to meet the celebs themselves.
The likes of Olly Murs, Paddy McGuinness and Gok Wan have marvelled at her work and are absolutely wowed when they visit.
She even gets the opportunity to travel up and down the country when celebs want to meet their wax doppelgangers in their hometown.
Emma said: “I absolutely love my job, and I feel so lucky to be able to say that I can paint everyone from Kate Middleton to the Queen – it’s not every day you can say those things.”