Serena's story

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Serena Rose Parsons - Makeup and Special Effects Artist

Graduate of New Zealand Certificate in Makeup and Skincare (Introduction) and New Zealand Certificate in Makeup Artistry

What inspired your love for makeup and special effects?

I’m a huge movie fanatic and I fell in love with special effects makeup. Movies would be so boring without talented hair and makeup artists, and I really wanted to be part of that industry.


Why did you choose to study at WelTec?

I never thought I had a career in makeup until I went to WelTec open day.

One of the special effects tutors created a prosthetic wound on my forehead and I convinced all my friends I’d walked into a tree – it was amazing! Seeing those skills modelled in front of me made my decision to study at WelTec easy.


What was your experience like at WelTec?

The tutors were so passionate about what they taught – I really bonded with them and learnt so much during my time there.

The level 3 programme was great for learning the basics before we got into the specialised skills in the level 4 course. The Te Auaha campus was also an amazing study environment and we got to collaborate with other programmes like the film course.


What is your role now?

I am a self-employed makeup and special effects artist. I do anything and everything makeup-related, from short-films and weddings to contracts with the New Zealand Military.

Some of the projects I have worked on include Avatar, Mr Corman, a Keith Urban music video, Antipodes, NZ series The Māori Sidesteps, World of Wearable Art, and so many more!


Can you tell us more about your work with the military?

Of course. I have a contract where I head to their training days and create prosthetic wounds on acting civilians. The idea is to simulate a real environment that depicts injuries our troops could encounter during a real-life deployment.

It’s a job that I never knew existed until I pursued a career makeup – there’s work in the most exciting and unexpected places in this industry.


What would you say to someone considering studying makeup?

If makeup is your passion – go for it. I would go back and study at WelTec all over again because it got me to where I am today.

Check out more on Instagram @serenarosemuha

Study makeup artistry at WelTec

Turn your passion into a career and become part of the growing makeup industry. Learn hands-on skills from industry professionals in our purpose-built facilities.


New Zealand Certificate in Makeup and Skincare (Level 3)

Learn practical skills from skincare and maintenance through to classic and trending makeup looks. Gain an introduction to basic beauty services, communication, professionalism, and sales strategies.


New Zealand Certificate in Makeup Artistry (Level 4)

Learn fashion makeup and hairstyling for the runway, editorial and private clients. Study special effects, including character design, facial manipulation, ageing, wig styling, trauma effects and body art. Gain valuable business and creative collaboration skills. Stand out from the crowd with opportunities to gain industry experience in a range of projects.

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