Our Team

Gabrielle Jones

Gabrielle Jones · Director

Gabrielle trained in London's prestigious film, TV and Fashion makeup school GREASEPAINT and has been working in both London and NZ ever since. With over 23 years experience in this challenging industry, her work in London included photoshoots, editorial, advertising and film work. She completed a two year contract with the Victoria and Albert Museum in Covent Garden as their inhouse makeup artist.

While in the UK, Gabrielle also owned a SPFX/facepainting company FACE IT which employed experienced makeup artists and attracted clients such as Princess Catherine of Yugoslavia, Lord Litchfield and painted the faces of Princes Harry and William.

On returning to New Zealand, she has worked on many productions of which have included Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners, Tommy Knockers, Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules for several years.

She is highly experienced in the design of makeup and hair for the following genres: Contemporary, Period, Adventure, Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Gabrielle was the makeup designer for many American television series such as Young Hercules, Jack of All Trades, Cleopatra 2525 and the film Riverworld.

Gabrielle has worked with many news presenters and sports celebrities on a variety of projects from TV commercials to magazine shoots and was the on-camera makeup stylist alongside Paul Serville and Susanne Paul on Touchdown’s television series Style Challenge. 

Locally she has been makeup designer for such drama series as Nga Puna and Mataku, which she was nominated for Contribution to Design at the NZTV awards in 2004.

Before opening The Makeup School, Gabrielle worked on the Walt Disney production Power Rangers for 5 series as Makeup/Hair Designer and was Makeup Designer for Walt Disney’s movie Skyrunners. More recently, she designed the set up of the makeup department for the re-launch of Power Rangers — Samurai Series.

In 2011, she travelled to Papua New Guinea to work as Makeup/Hair designer for Andrew Adamson’s movie ‘Mr. Pip’ starring Hugh Laurie. 2012 Gabrielle was Makeup/Hair Designer on World War II movie ‘Emperor’, staring Tommy Lee Jones and Matthew Fox.

Since then she has completed another two movies as Makeup/Hair Designer. One (‘Beyond The Known World’) taking her to the Himalayas in India and the other was working on New Zealand Film director Toa Frasers latest feature film ‘6 Days’ which was filmed both in NZ and London. Both movies are still to be released.

She continues to work in the industry along with running and tutoring at The Makeup School.

Dianne Ensor

Dianne Ensor · Director

Dianne Ensor has been working as a makeup artist for 20 years. Her training was initially in Australia at both the Sydney School of Makeup Art and The Pivot Point Hairdressing School. Later she trained further in New Zealand.

Dianne has worked on a variety of overseas productions, such as The Grudge in Japan, Jonathon Creek in the UK and promotional work at the NAPTE convention in the USA.

In NZ her work history includes the New Zealand feature River Queen, television dramas Lawless, Interrogation and award winning Being Eve. Dianne has also worked on many American productions in key design positions such as Hercules, Young Hercules, Cleopatra 2525, Jack of All Trades, You Wish, Raising Whalen, Fearless and many more.

She also assisted internationally-acclaimed makeup artist Joanne Gair with her successful body painting books.

Dianne′s skill base is wide ranging. Her work embraces fashion, contemporary, character, fantasy, period and SPFX makeup. She has a strong aptitude in wig work, hair styling and design and is an expert hair knotter.

Before opening The Makeup School Dianne had completed three series as Makeup and Hair Designer for New Zealand's number one award winning television drama Outrageous Fortune. This led to Dianne collaborating with the Auckland Museum in the making of a 3D promo for the Outrageous Fortune exhibition.

More recently, Dianne worked on the feature film Mr Pip directed by Andrew Adamson as Key Makeup & Hair concept Designer.

She continues to work in the industry along with running and tutoring at The Makeup School.

Bex Elliot

Bex Elliot · Creative Director

Bex started her career as a hairdresser working in a demanding and creative salon environment. After moving to Melbourne she began managing and training staff in a large urban salon. Make up was her passion so she enrolled in an Art School learning Make up Artistry. Once graduating she was fortunate to begin assisting one of the tutors in film and theatre.

Returning to Auckland Bex began freelancing and worked on TV shows such as ‘last man standing’ TV3, TVNZ, commercials, photography and stage shows. This led to her joining the Makeup and Hair team for TV drama ‘Shortland Street' where she stayed for eleven years. This was such an incredible and unique learning experience, being able to work full time on a long running iconic TV show. After 5 years Bex jumped up to become Makeup Designer for the show and loved being on set daily, working with actors, producers, directors, crew and developing her team.

Most recently Bex worked with Bobbi Brown managing the PRO Britomart store, developing the business and setting up PRO for NZ artists, representing the brand in editorials for Mindfood, NZ Weddings magazines and was Head designer for NZFW Bridal couture. She filmed weekly for TVNZ ‘Kiwi Living’ real woman reveals’ and shot for NZ Wedding Bridal website. Bex enjoys public speaking, teaching corporate woman about beauty, fashion and enhancing confidence. 

We are very excited to have Bex on board our talented team as Creative Director. She continues to freelance working with actors, presenters, models, brides and all woman. She is inspired by collaborating and telling a story through the visual medium coupled with mentoring and developing both people and business.

Sarah Thomas

Sarah Thomas · Head Tutor

Sarah started her hairdressing career over 14 years ago completing an apprenticeship and going on to gain her National Certificate. She worked for Servilles for several years where she was a finalist in the prestigious Loreal Colour Trophy which led to working with the Loreal Creative team for fashion week. 

Sarah then went on to study makeup, joining the M.A.C team and working on numerous show with designers such as Zambesi, Juliet Hogan, Twenty seven names, Nicole Miller and Trelise Cooper. Other freelance work included the Vodafone Music awards, the Style Pacifica Awards and several M.A.C body painting master classes painting the models prior to the events with Lordes makeup artist Amber D.

Sarah discovered her passion for teaching while managing a hair salon where she was responsible for training and development. This led to teaching hairdressing at a hairdressing academy.

Currently along with still being on the M.A.C. freelance team and looking after her two small children, we are now very fortunate to have Sarah as one of our core tutors here at The Makeup School.

Nicola Harvey

Nicola Harvey · Tutor

With a passion and artistic flare for makeup, Nicola completed her makeup qualification in 2000 and since then has worked for cosmetic houses such as L’oreal, Lancome and Napoleon. She went on to work for M.A.C Cosmetics, was often on set, backstage and behind the scenes, and has worked closely with N.Z fashion designers and ponsored celebrities, including international Kanye West tour with U2.

She headed M.A.C.’s makeup team for NZ music awards along with personal makeup design for Bic and Boh Runga, Atlas and Elemenop. She has had a number of published editorials over the years in Fashion Quarterly, Pulp, Remix & Metro.

Her work has been seen on the catwalks for NZ and Sydney fashion weeks, working with NZ designers Juliet Hogan and Trelise Cooper.

Nicola has also been involved with photoshoots & music videos for Anabelle Fay, Atlas, Anika Moa. Nicola has worked with another senior M.A.C artist for a season of the TV3 comedy, The Jaquie Brown Diaries. She is very happy to now be part of The Makeup School team working as Senior Makeup Tutor.

Nicola has a passion for teaching and developing students artistry and industry skills.

More recently, Nicola has been designing "looks" as key makeup artist for The Westpac Red Collection at New Zealand Fashion Week and the charity event Fashion For Quake.

Kimberley Hill

Kimberley Hill · Tutor

Kimberley has a passion for makeup-artistry and the fashion industry. She has gained an extensive knowledge while developing and refining her skills during the 5 years working full time for M.A.C Cosmetics.

During this time she has had the opportunity to work on numerous shows including New Zealand fashion week for designers such as Ruby, Zambesi, Trelise Cooper, Stolen Girlfriends Club, Huffer, Whiri, Twenty Seven Names and many more. She held the position of team leader or the Key Makeup artist for various shows.

Kimberley has worked for other designers such as Jimmy D, Lara Parker and frequently worked on Look Books for Ruby and Liam.

Kimberley's work can be seen on the pages of fashion editorials in magazines such as NO and BLACK.

She also has had the opportunity to work backstage at Style Pasifika and the Vodafone NZ Music Awards.

She is now pursuing a new exciting direction in her career as a part time tutor at The Makeup School, where she hopes to inspire students and share her knowledge and skills with them. She continues to work also as a freelance make-up artist for M.A.C; specialising in fashion, beauty and bridal makeup.

Athena Pessione

Athena Pessione · Tutor

Athena has a background in the arts and a natural eye for creativity. Studying makeup locally and abroad sparked her passion for the industry, which she has been working in for over seven years.

In this time, she has had a successful career with Mac Cosmetics, developing artists and managing three stores across NZ.

Working primarily in the fashion industry, Athena has worked with an extensive list of Fashion Designers including Trelise Cooper, Stolen Girlfriends Club, 27 Names, Moochi and many more.

Athena has created looks for a variety of projects including Campaigns, Lookbooks, Runway, Fashion Editorials, TV, and Music videos. She has worked as part of the MAC team for four consecutive years on New Zealand Fashion Week.

Currently working as a Pro artist for Mac cosmetics, and a stylist for the NZ label Knuefermann, her work can be seen in the pages of Magazines such as Remix, Together Journal and Fashion Quarterly.

Athena is excited to share her knowledge and inspire up-and-coming make up artists through tutoring at TMS.

She continues to work as tutor for TMS’s popular part time Fashion and Beauty Certificate Course.

Dan Perry

Dan Perry · Special Effects Makeup Tutor

Dan has been in the industry for over 20 years starting out working on a horror feature film which lead him straight onto Lord Of The Rings, keeping him employed for 2.5 years.

Dan moved to Auckland in 2001 and worked on numerous impressive productions such as The Last Samurai and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe before Designing and Supervising the prosthetic department of TV series Power Rangers for 3 seasons along side Head of Department Gabrielle Jones.

In 2008 Dan joined forces with Mainreactor Workshop and supplied prosthetic appliances and supervised such shows as Legend of the Seeker, Spartacus, The Evil Dead remake and 2 seasons of Ash v Evil Dead.

He is now about to start on the second season of the Shannara Chronicles. He enjoys all areas of makeup effects but his love is with painting finishing and airbrush work on his own creations.

This is Dan’s third year teaching special effects makeup at TMS and we know our students are very fortunate to have such a gifted prosthetic technician in the classroom who passes on so much of his years of experience and knowledge.

Abbie Gardiner

Abbie Gardiner · Tutor

Abbie Gardiner works fulltime as a freelance makeup artist with over a decade of experience in her field. She offers creative makeup design for Runway, High Fashion, Editorial, Commercial and Television productions and numerous magazine spreads. Her no.1 passion is being involved in Wedding, Special occasion makeup and Educating woman on how to apply makeup correctly.

Abbie also collaborates with many of the countries leading hairdressers. She was awarded Industry Makeup Artist of the Year 2016 and has travelled and represented New Zealand over in Monaco receiving the Bronze Award and more recently she is off to Barcelona for the International Wella Trend Vision Competition.

Abbie has a wonderful relationship with MAC Cosmetics and was awarded Freelance Artist of the year 2014. She enjoys sharing her passion for the industry she loves and mentoring like minded people that share the same passion.

We are lucky to have Abbie as part of our talented TMS team and it is so rewarding to know our students are learning from the very best.

Angela Stewart

Angela Stewart · Tutor

Angela has been in the make-up industry for 14 years. In this time she has gained a wide range of make-up artistry experience both in NZ and internationally. In New Zealand Angela's work has included working for make up giants Chanel and MAC cosmetics, doing the make up for magazine shoots, commercials and television shows such as Shortland Street. She has also worked on numerous fashion weeks, both here in NZ and in the UK.

She has honed her fashion make up skills working backstage on many shows including The British Lycra Awards, The L'oreal Hair Awards and Fashions Rocks held by the Prince's Trust.

In 2003 Angela left for new adventures in London which over 5 years saw her work on a variety of productions such as the remake of Alfie with Jude Law and Siena Miller, the Missy Elliot concert at the Hammersmith Apollo, and the US television show Entertainment Tonight.

Angela is thrilled to be on board with The Makeup School, where she can pass on her artistry knowledge and experience to the next generation of New Zealand's make up artists.

Vanessa Darwin

Vanessa Darwin · Tutor

Vanessa has been working as a Makeup Artist for the past 11 years. After discovering the M.A.C brand in 2000, Vanessa embarked on a successful career as a Makeup Artist and Retail Manager for over 7 years.

During this time Vanessa won numerous accolades including M.A.C Retail Artist of The Year in 2003, M.A.C Retail Manager of The Year in 2005 and in 2006. These awards saw her travel to New York and Sydney where she worked alongside some of the worlds top Makeup Artists, gaining extensive knowledge and skills in the industry.

Vanessa has been involved in New Zealand Fashion Week as a Key Makeup Artist and saw her leading teams for Hailwood, Nom*D and Zambesi.

Vanessa has designed the advertising campaigns for Ruby and Madame Hawke for 3 consecutive seasons. She has published work in NO and Pulp magazines and has worked closely with Modelling Agencies to develop the makeup skills of up and coming models.

Vanessa was part of the exclusive M.A.C makeup team chosen to work with Missy Elliot and her backup dancers for her New Zealand tour. She has worked extensively with New Zealand talent and celebrities for several years at the New Zealand Music Awards.

She is very pleased to be able to share her knowledge, experience and skills as a tutor at The Makeup School.