How I became a Makeup Artist
So, I'm not going to lie, being a Makeup Artist has so many benefits. I get to play with makeup all the time, continuously meeting new clients and I earn my own money. But for people wanting to get into the industry as a new starter, there's a lot more behind it than you might think.. It's probably easier if I tell you how I started. I was working at Tesco in Abergavenny and it was killing me. I had been there for 5 and a half years and just felt so stuck. My boyfriend was working away in the Alps living the dream and snowboarding everyday while little old me was working on the shop floor and counting down the minutes until I finished everyday. I literally decided to do a makeup course, totally out of the blue because I thought, well why not. The course was every Tuesday evening for about 3-4 hours and I bloody loved it. I never enjoyed school, never excelled in school but this was SO different. Every assignment I did I got some of the highest marks in the class and kept being told how talented I was. I was absolutely blown away. Friends would always tell me that I was good at makeup, which in fairness I though I was too but only on my own face. College finished and I got something crazy like 98% for the whole course which is something I had never achieved before. So then the job hunt began. I was still working in Tesco but applying for jobs day in, day out. Anything (at all) to do with makeup. Finally I got an email through a company called 'Charlotte Tilbury' saying that I was invited to have an interview in Cardiff. Now don't judge me, but I had NO IDEA WHO CHARLOTTE TILBURY WAS. I know, it's really embarrassing but I honestly didn't. I thought it was some small independent shop in Cardiff (lol), so of course I said yes. A few weeks later it was interview day and I was so bloody nervous. I hadn't had an interview since I started at Tesco almost 6 years ago and although I thought I prepared myself, I didn't. The whole interview was terrible and I promise I'm not exaggerating. I couldn't answer half of the questions because I couldn't get any words out, I forgot how to speak English and my armpits were wetter than a swimming pool. I actually had to apologize to the girls who were interviewing me because I was so embarrassed. Anyway, the Interview ended and I felt defeated so went and got myself a McDonald's and carried about my life. A week or so later, my life was made when I received an email from Charlotte Tilbury (not the actual Charlotte Tilbury, just the company) saying that I was invited to do a practical interview! This basically just meant that they wanted to see my makeup and selling skills. I knew I could do this. I grabbed my best friend as my model, got us both dressed head to toe in black and practiced my 'selling voice' all the way to Cardiff. I went into the interview with so much confidence because I knew I could do makeup! The interview went amazing. I glam'd up my best friend like she was going to the Oscars and suffocated her with all the product knowledge I had in my little brain (I was prepared this time). Low and behold, I got the job! I handed in my notice at Tesco and started working on the counter in John Lewis around October time so the Christmas craziness had yet to start. I went on training in London which was paid for by the company. I Literally felt like a celeb for 5 days. The training was amazing, I got to meet SO many other new Artists from all over the UK and even got a goodie bag full of skincare and makeup sent to me once I was back home. So counter work started and the Christmas season was in full swing. I wasn't the strongest seller but I was giving it my all and loving it. I was working 4-5 days a week and earning decent money as a makeup artist. Working for Charlotte Tilbury was definitely one of the best things I could have done at the beginning of my career. The constant training we had was amazing and the team I worked with were literally lush. That was something I was always scared of because 'beauty halls' have such a bad stigma. People would always warn me that it would be such a bitchy industry and I am very pleased to say I experience nothing close to what people were telling me. Don't get me wrong, just like in any other profession there's always some time of drama happening but I truly felt so welcomed. Christmas passed and store started to become quicker. This led me to leaving Charlotte Tilbury and moving over to Bobbi Brown literally 4 meters away! The two companies are polar-opposites so I was picking up new skills all the time. I stayed with Bobbi Brown cosmetics for another 6 months until my contract unfortunately ended. I was unaware that I was a 'temporary' employee, so as you can image I was devastated. I was so used to travelling back and forth to Cardiff every day and built strong relationships with my colleagues but i took it as a chance to work independently.
Whilst working for Bobbi Brown, I had been taking on the occasional job back in Abergavenny. I only had a small client base so I knew I would have to really push my business hard because I was now technically jobless. I had made a Facebook page and website for my business a few months prior to me leaving the company, but I needed a way to get seen in my local area and stand out. I had started going 'Live' videos on Facebook teaching men and women different techniques and skills I had picked up along the way. I remember my first live video and oh my days, I was so nervous. I'm not much of a public speaker but for some reason talking to the camera actually wasn't that bad after all. The views started picking up and so was my business. People would actually book me for makeup through watching my videos! I began to do about 4 live videos a week and I was absolutely loving it. January 2017 came around and I was finally able to rent a space to do my makeup from. I was determined to grow my business and do this on my own. The bookings started flooding in and so did the Brides! This was something I was so excited about. Bridal Makeup was something I had always dreamed of doing. Something that genuinely makes me happy is when I can help someone else feel beautiful. I'll be the first to admit I have insecurities about my looks, but also have features that I really love. This felt like the perfect job for me!
2017 went by so quickly, I gained a lot of experiences as a new business owner. You honestly don't understand how much time and money goes into a business unless you have one. Who knew I would be spending HOURS in my email box, writing new posts for Instagram and Facebook and organizing paperwork, every single night. Having your own business really is a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week job, but I was happy.
I then decided to build my skills and learn the art of eyebrow threading. Eyebrows were always one of my favourite things to do whilst doing makeup on a client. Now, although I feel very confident with threading now, it was a tricky one to master. Holding the thread itself was fine but actually lining it up to someones eyebrow and making sure I didn't destroy the whole thing was a little but more difficult. I practiced and practiced until I felt more confident and soon enough I had a loyal client base.
I have always enjoyed learning. Not really regarding traditional school type of learning, as I said before. But learning new skills that would help my business, I was into that!
From then on I have carried on working on my business and my relationship with my clients. in 2018 I had a goal of doing 12 weddings, 1 per month and I absolutely smashed that goal and did almost 30. This really goes to show that if you put the effort in, you really can do anything (sorry, super cheesy I know). I don't think I will ever stop learning though. New situations and new challenges arise all the time but my attitude right now is 'bring it on!'. I cannot wait to see what 2019 brings.