A former kindergarten teacher who taught herself how to apply makeup by painting children’s faces on the job uses her incredible talent to transform herself into famous people – from Donald Trump to Mr Bean.
Toni-Louise Fay’s make-up talent, where she was booked for children’s birthday parties, proved herself during the Covid-19 bans when she made up as everyone from Boris Johnson to Eminem.
She was a kindergarten teacher for 10 years and decided to switch careers during her maternity leave in 2017 after her three-year-old daughter Harper-Rae signed up for a two-year special effects makeup course.
She is now studying for a second makeup degree at UCEN Manchester and has kept herself and her family entertained during the pandemic by looking like a dead alarm clock for everyone from Mr Bean to Eastenders’ Dot Cotton.
30-year-old Toni, who finances her studies with part-time cleaning work, said: “I started out as a self-taught.
“I would watch tutorials on Instagram and YouTube and then experiment with anything I could find around the house myself.”
“I didn’t have anyone to practice during the lockdown, so I had no choice but to use my own face,” she added.
“There are just so many different brightly colored eyeshadow looks you can do. That’s why I started thinking outside the box and looking for famous faces instead.”
Always a great lover of make-up, one of Toni’s favorite parts of her earlier role as a kindergarten teacher was making up for the children.
Soon she was such a dabbing hand with a brush and palette that she started making extra pen money by working at parties for local parents.
Then, in 2017, shortly after becoming a mother herself, she decided to take the plunge and turn her hobby into a new career – partly to show her daughter that you can follow your dreams.
Toni, from Rossendale, Lancashire, made a leap in confidence and quit her job before enrolling in a special effects course.
She graduated in 2019 and enrolled in a second makeup course at a college in Manchester in September.
She added, “As I learned more and more tips and techniques, I posted my work on Instagram.
“I felt a bit shy at first, but my confidence improved the more I practiced.”
In March 2020, when the first nationwide lockdown was announced, Toni, despite continuing her course online, had no one to practice on.
“I was like,” What now? “, She said.
When she discovered a picture of Donald Trump online in early May, she had an idea.
“He has such a distinctive face. I decided to challenge myself to see if I can transform into him, ”she said.
Toni continued: “I only used things that I already had in my make-up bag. I did a lot of contouring to get the lines and features of his face right.
“It took about 90 minutes, with a few breaks, and the entire time I had a photo from Google for reference.
“I finished off the look by putting on a bald cap and then digitally adding a wig using a special app.”
When Toni published the results on Instagram, she was thrilled with the support she received from loved ones.
Her brother Shane was particularly impressed and even presented her with a new challenge – to make herself look like him.
“Again, this lasted about 90 minutes, with breaks,” she said. “I sent the finished result to our mother and she literally spat out her brew.”
“She couldn’t believe it – she thought I had sent her a picture of him. Everyone who knows us thought it was funny,” she continued.
“I posted a picture on Instagram that was shared on another site and got around 8,000 likes – even from people Shane had never met before.”
Since then Toni has also transformed into the rapper Eminem, the actor Rowan Atkinson as his most famous character, Mr Bean and most recently Boris Johnson.
And she turned her welder friend Cameron Chesteron, 27, into a martial artist and boxer Conor McGregor.
“Cameron is the only other person I see since he’s in our bubble of support. I thought I would try,” she said. “It was quite difficult to look at someone and show them how to pose to get all mannerisms right.
“I tried to recreate Conor’s chest tattoo which is huge. Halfway through I thought,” What did I get myself into? Why didn’t I get Cameron to wear a shirt? “
She added, “As soon as the ban is lifted, I really want to try and take a closer look at other people.”
The only women Toni has made so far are Queen and Eastenders legend Dot Cotton, played by June Brown.
“I actually find it easier to make myself look like a man than a woman,” she added. “The men I choose have such distinctive faces that I have a lot to do.”
“I used a wig for Boris and I dyed the ends to make them look more blonde, but I used my own hair for everyone else,” she explained.
“For Mr Bean, I cut it off in a certain way so that it looked like his hairline, and for Dot Cotton, I curled the front and covered it with red face paint to mimic their perm.”
In order to give her creations a final flair, Toni will also study YouTube clips of her motifs so that she can reflect her mannerisms.
Her efforts have paid off, and her social media followers are crazy about her artwork.
Although she never expected to attract so much online attention, she is delighted to bring smiles to people’s faces at a difficult time.
And her biggest fan, of course, is her little girl Harper-Rae.
Toni, who is now planning to recreate Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp’s character in Pirates of the Caribbean or Marlon Brando in The Godfather, said: “I usually do the looks in the evenings when Harper is in bed so I can concentrate.
“I remember the first time I did one. I thought, ‘Oh god, I hope she doesn’t wake up now. She will look for her mother and find Donald Trump in her lounge instead! ”
“She loves makeup. I bought her a little kids’ play set and she’s obsessed with it. She’ll be asking me most mornings if I can paint her face.
“I can’t quite believe the reception I got on my makeup. It all started with passing the time during the lockdown and now I’ve got thousands of likes on social media. It’s wonderful.”