Q & A with Beauty Directory
Happy New Year! After being on holiday for way too long Im finally getting back to business with my first beauty blog for summer 2017.
Beauty Directory is an Australasian website that offers extensive product information, stories & photos for beauty editors & writers. They recently interviewed me about my career as a makeup artist & you can read the full story here. The above photo was taken by Neil Gussey on my first big shoot for the year- thats me making up legendary model Trudy Van Zyl for the ‘Femme de la Mer’ swimwear campaign (it was a fun day at Omaha Beach!)
When did you know you wanted to be a makeup artist?
I come from a very artistic family & as a child I was an excellent artist, constantly drawing & painting faces of glamorous 1970′s style girls. I was always inspired by my stunning hairdresser mum, who was never without false lashes & a fabulous hair-do, along with amazing outfits that she would make herself.
My style icon of that era was Cher & I would watch her show every saturday night, then carefully replicate her dramatic makeup using my mums extensive Mary Quant collection. At twelve years old my blending was perfect & I had a natural instinct for makeup & hair, needless to say my career path was formed very early!
What was your first big opportunity?
When I left school I went to fashion design college & worked part time in top a model agency as a booker, which is where I got my start in the industry. After completing a
modeling course I showed such a natural talent for makeup that I ended up working in the training rooms teaching makeup classes, which is where I perfected my craft.
One of the girls I was teaching was the fashion editor at More Magazine (huge back in the 80’s!) & she spotted my skills & starting booking me as a makeup artist on fashion shoots. I put together my working makeup kit in my mums leather Samonite travel case & headed to my first big job which was a magazine cover & editorial with a fluoro fahion theme. I still remember the thrill of seeing my work on the news stand next to the latest Vogue…
There were only a handful of freelance makeup artists in those days, so my work picked up very quickly. Before I knew it was was jetting to the Islands on a location shoot (carrying way too much luggage!) & getting to shoot with all the top photograpers.
What are the best/worst parts of your job as a make up artist
When I look back at my three decades in the makeup business I can see very little negative. Because I have worked at such a high level for so many years, I have always had an incredible variety of jobs which means I never get tired of what I do.
Every week is different & I still love the transfirmative art of makeup as much today as I did in the begining. My job now entails so much more than just makeup as I do wardrobe styling on just about every shoot I work on which involves lots of preproduction.
I also have my beauty writing, public speaking & a bit of TV work too, as its nice to have the variety.
I think the best part about being a makeup artist is having the ability to make people not only look good, but feel transformed- its incredibly rewarding to see how the simple art of makeup can literally turn someone lacking in confidence into a new woman.
What advice would you give to aspiring make up artists?
The phenominan of the You-Tube tutorial has meant that young girls are getting better & better at doing their own makeup, needless to say budding young makeup artists have alot of competition! However you need more than just the ability to apply makeup. Good makeup artists need to be able to interperate a face & know exactly what will suit that person. Not every client is a super model either so the job can be challenging to say the least.
If you feel that makeup is your passion, then dedicate yourself to the craft & become as good as you possibly can. Get out there & get noticed & the rest will follow…
And remember- practice makes perfect. It takes many years to perfect the classic liquid eyeliner flick & precise red lip.
Where do you see the trends going for Autumn/Winter 17
Dramatic makeup is back for next winter. We have seen so many incredible metallics on the runway recently, with flashes of intense golds & coppers making a comeback. A sculpted cheek & strong rich lip is also a hot look for next season, as well as grapic eye liner. The classic smokey eyes never go out of fashion, but you can play them up next winter with a hit of sparkle across the lid for added glamour.
What is “out” for Autumn?
Full coverage foundation paired with strong contouring has been the trend for awhile now, but a more natural looking skin is definitely becoming more desirable, with highlighting taking over from sculpting. Lots of the celebrities have been embracing a ‘No Makeup’ look of late & I can see that trend growing.
In my work I always create the perfect canvas by using a light liquid foundation combined with a dusting of pure mineral powder- this is so much more flattering than a mask of heavy foundation. My favorite makeup look combines a dewy complexion with sexy 60’s style liquid liner & arched brows, rosy cheeks with a touch of highlighter & a nude glossy lip. I also love a natural eye- just a wash of shimmer & mascara- balanced with an intense fuschia lip- its unexpcted, fresh & new.