After more than 18 years working as a freelance make-up artist and teaching others to apply make-up, Kristen Stewart landed a teaching stint at a local make-up school in Christchurch, where she discovered that the students did not know how to properly apply make up and recognised a gap in the market.

Juggling work, parenting, and life generally, became quite a challenge, so to help sort them out Kristen, decided to start her own school. Her vision was for a school focused toward fashion and beauty, based on what she had learned with her own flavour added in from experience of working in the industry.

The Kristen Stewart School of Make-Up (KSSM) was realised at the end of 2008, in Peterborough Street; with its very first Diploma Course of five students in February 2009.

The course has since grown, but has a limit of 10 students each course, to ensure personalised tutoring and knowledge of each student and their progress. This individual attention is what separates the Kristen School of Make-up from the rest.

After the February 2011 earthquake, however, the school lost the premises on Peterborough Street. With a full class suddenly displaced, Kristen decided to continue the classes three weeks later in her own living room. Although the space was limited, all the students came back and enrolment was continuous for future courses.

It was a trying time, but after a difficult eight months, the school was able to acquire a space on Victoria Street.  

Because the Kristen School of Make-up continues to grow in leaps and bounds, in 2018 we packed up and moved again to a larger premises around the corner on Peterborough Street, that not only is bigger but is more accomodating for the students and offers them a photography studio to document their work.