WESST Client Profiles

Southwest Makeup Institute

Noel Dalton began her freelance makeup artistry business, The Vanity Makeup Studio, in 2009.  Southwest Makeup Institute was founded in the Spring of 2019.  Southwest Makeup Institute (SWMUI) is New Mexico’s and the SW region’s first 200-hour makeup artist certification course. They offer students the opportunity to become fully immersed in the makeup industry through a shadowing program; a one-of-a-kind partnership program with other working makeup artists and industry professionals.  In July of 2020, SWMUI gained Film Industry recognition by becoming a “Fast Track” program, granting students ten days toward Film Union membership upon completion of their 200-hour course. SWMUI will provide the booming Film and TV industry in New Mexico with a fully trained and professionally capable makeup department workforce.

The obstacles seemed to be waiting for Noel when she decided to open SWMUI. No one had ever opened a makeup school in New Mexico before, and there was a long stretch of red tape to get through along the way. She stayed focused, even when it didn’t seem worth the trouble, and pushed to make it happen.  She is very thankful for the messy start of her business and all the stress it caused.  It created great resolve in her to succeed.  She says it is “indescribable!”  She is resilient, determined, patient and has the heart of a lawyer.

Noel was someone who always dreaded numbers, math and the “nitty-gritty” of running a business.  She immediately felt comfortable and welcomed by WESST. WESST has shined a light on the areas where she needed improvement and on the best parts of her entrepreneurial brain.  She has the capability to be strategic and creative at the same time, a powerful combination.  Noel wishes she had reached out to WESST a decade ago.  WESST has made her a more confident and resilient business owner in every possible way.

Our local community benefits from access to this type of education. The makeup industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world, and it would be a shame not to have a program like this available in New Mexico. This is her home, she believes in it, and she is honored to help provide training and mentorship that allows creatives to reach their dreams.  She dreams of people on-set bragging about graduating from SWMUI!

Client Details


Noel Dalton


Southwest Makeup Institute

"Without the help of WESST, I would still lack the confidence around running my business and what is required. Consulting has helped give me a clear and accurate direction, demystified things I was afraid of doing, and confirmed that what I’m doing has value and purpose. Each meeting was packed with thoughtful questions from my mentor, which allowed me to reflect upon my path more effectively and get clear on exactly where I’m going. I’m so immensely grateful!"
Noel Dalton
Albuquerque, NM

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