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Fashion, Beauty & Makeup department

It's been a very busy year for our Fashion, Makeup and Beauty departments and we are delighted to share some of this year's best bits. We had a fantastic group of very talented students with us in 2018, with some already securing employment in their chosen sector. Autumn 2018 saw the creation of our new “Creative Hub” which brought all 3 departments together.  This allows for full collaboration between all departments. As part of the student curriculum we scheduled a number of guest lectures from industry experts along with field trips to relevant events and brands which adds value to the students learning experience.

Beauty and Makeup department updates


Our students had the opportunity to visit the Dermalogica training faculty in the Swan Centre with their tutor Fiona Kenny. This field trip gives them an insight into both the product and the first-class customer care that Dermalogica prides themselves on.   Many salons work with Dermalogica products so direct training with the brand is invaluable to beauty therapy students.

Live Beauty Salon

Each year our students operate a live salon from the beauty rooms here in the college.   The salon is overseen by tutor Fiona Kenny and our students had lots of clients book in to receive facials, massages, manicures and pedicures.  Fiona ensures that high standards are met and there was lots of great feedback from the clients who attended, highlighting that the skills taught in class and mastered by our students are industry best.

Beauty Trade Show

Attending key trade shows is something we always get our students involved in and this year our beauty students attended The Beauty Show in the RDS which is a key event in the beauty sector.   An array of top beauty brands exhibit over the two days, in addition to plenty of masterclasses and talks taking place about upcoming beauty trends, so this is a fantastic opportunity for our students to network while surrounding themselves among future employers.


Our Beauty and Makeup courses are accredited by ITEC, ensuring our graduates leave with excellent industry recognised qualifications.  For their practical exams students are assessed by an external ITEC examiner and we were delighted to receive excellent feedback from the examiner yet again this year. The examiner commented that are students have extremely high professional standards, which over the years Portobello Institute have become renowned for and are extremely proud of this validation each year. 

Our makeup students also attended a number of key field trips throughout the year and we are dleighted to note just some of them. 

Urban Decay and Inglot

These top favoured makeup brands allowed our students visit their stores in Dublin for a private tutorial with their tutor Debbie Hopkins. Both brands carried out a demo, showcasing their products while giving a few MUA tips and tricks to our students which they loved.  A bit of shopping with their student discount was a must after to add to their makeup kits.

UCD Fashion Show

Our students got a fantastic opportunity to work backstage at the UCD fashion show.  Led by their tutor Lorraine Byrne our students experienced first hand what it is like to work behind the scenes at a show, proving it can be extremely demanding, fast paced but lots of fun and very rewarding.

Visit from past student Ciara O’Toole

Proving that if you work hard and take every opportunity offered, you can start working immediately after graduation.  With that in mind we were delighted to have past student Ciara O’Toole come back to visit our MUA students.  Ciara graduated last year, and she is already working with Inglot.  Ciara did a fantastic cut crease demo for our students on the day.


Fashion department updates

Our Fashion department grows stronger year on year.  The Fashion Buying and Merchandising course is our most popular with an excellent reputation in industry for its content and quality of student.  Across our full and part-time students some have already successfully secured buying roles with Pennys and Arnotts. 

The tutor team is exceptionally strong.  Annemarie McAuley is the head of the department and is armed with 20 years’ experience in business and Retail Training, working at senior level with companies such as Saks Fifth Ave and The Body Shop.  Nicole Jackson who teachers design studies is a successful designer who launched her own leather accessories brand QBU earlier this year.  All this industry experience gives our students fantastic insights into how the fashion industry works and more so, how they can apply their class learnings into real life work experiences, which Annemarie bases her curriculum around. 

Pop up Store

As part of their PR and Event Management module our students held a pop-up store in the fashion studio.  Each student managed their own individual space and were responsible for the branding and merchandising of their area.  On the day we had a mix of vintage classics, collectable trainers, Caribbean vibes and festival must haves.  To add to the event our fashion students collaborated with our makeup students who were offering demos and make overs on the day. 

Pure London

A trip to the Pure Trade show in London is a yearly event in the fashion calendar for our students. Taking place in the Olympia, Pure is the UK’s leading fashion trade show and is attended by buyers from large department stores through to smaller boutiques.  This event is a fantastic opportunity for our students to immerse themselves among top brands acting in the role of a buyer. 

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