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Makeup Movers: KSSM

A great environment, friendly faces and a passion for practice are what make for a perfect place to carry out study.



A love of makeup is the reason that in 12 years the Kristen Stewart School of Makeup has seen more than 500 diplomas awarded to eager students, some of whom have attained prestigious roles in the industry throughout New Zealand.

Speaking to Kristen herself, it’s evident that the makeup connoisseur lives and breathes what she does.

She was excited to announce that they’ve now moved premises. “It’s nice to be in a space I’m really excited about. I’ve always wanted to provide a cool space with a nice vibe.”

The school offers “a good opportunity for people to kickstart their career. The main diploma happens four times a year for eight weeks and the part-time option, which involves two nights a week between 5-8pm, is great for people working or students in their final year of school who want to get ahead,” Kristen says.

There is also a great community of students past, present and prospective that showcase the KSSM name.

“We instill professionalism in our students and make sure they’re work ready. But when they leave the doors don’t close, we’re always here. They are all like family”.

Thinking of picking up the brush?  The next diploma starts 20 July, followed shortly by the part-time option commencing 21 July.


Kristen Stewart School of Makeup

Makeup Magic: Kristen Stewart School of Makeup

While it’s known as Makeup Artistry, the creative process of applying colour to face and body can also be big business and Kristen Stewart School of Makeup (KSSM) here in Christchurch is the go-to school to bring your talent to the market.


Kristen Stewart School of Makeup


With 23 years in makeup artistry behind her and 10 years as Director of KSSM, Kristen Stewart is thrilled with the diverse places her training has taken school alumni. Lochie Stonehouse is currently National Makeup Artist for Yves Saint Laurent and Giorgio Armani, and was Events Artist for M.A.C. cosmetics. Hawaii-based Natalie Bruce went freelance with Nike, Adidas and Roxy as clients, plus Disney movies and Jurassic World, Discovery Channel and Hawaii Five-0 to her credit.

Capped at 10 students, KSSM Diploma Courses provide work experience that you will not find at any other school. KSSM is constantly approached to bring students to work on real shoots and shows – the Ronald McDonald House annual fashion show event is a regular, plus this is the only school in New Zealand that brings students along with the core team of qualified artists to work at New Zealand Fashion Week!
The sole New Zealand school with fashion photography as their specialty, KSSM has a gorgeous new studio on Peterborough Street, where parking is easy.

Kristen loves seeing students flourish and become supremely skilled. “By the end of the course when they have access to the full makeup cupboard, I get to see who they have become as artists. Then they go into the world and find success – they’re like my babies.”




The bold and the beautiful: Kristen Stewart’s tale of two crafts

Kristen Stewart’s two businesses couldn’t be more different – there’s the bold and there’s the beautiful. And now they’ve come together under the one roof.

Lucy Urquhart, Michelle Raasch, Kristen Stewart, Rebecca Guyton, Claire Randall

First there’s Kristen Stewart School of Makeup (KSSM) – an innovative training school, which provides a professionally focused Diploma of Make-up Artistry for those passionate about make-up art in the fashion and photographic industry.
Then there’s the bold – Kristen Stewart School of Special Effects (KSFX). The only school of its kind in New Zealand, KSFX offers fast-paced courses in techniques such as SFX (cuts and bruises), airbrushing, prosthetics, TV makeup and working with facial hair and wigs.
Previously housed in Victoria Street, KSSM has now moved into KSFX’s space at unit 4, 75 Peterborough Street, close to the library.
“It’s a much bigger premises,” Kristen says.
“And it’s a much more suitable premises. It means we can have the beautiful side of the business upstairs and the industrial side of the business downstairs, bringing two separate identities under the one roof.
“It’s been really hard operating from two different spaces, so we’re excited about the future.”
There’s some more exciting changes in the pipelines for these innovative local makeup schools. Kristen says they will soon be offering more specialist short courses, in areas such as airbrushing and hair styling. “We have a photography studio and hair basins here, so the new facility will enable a much greater range of options.”