1. What has been your proudest career moment?
I can’t really just say one, I feel like there’s been a few moments I’m super proud of. The first was when I published my first book, obviously that was incredible after a lot of hard work. I did my degree in English and my dream was to always write a book, and when it was made a reality and I saw it in shops for the first time, that was just amazing. I would also say, leading my first fashion week show years ago, the first one I ever lead was Matthew Williamson. I worked with him for a long time, I just remember people telling me, oh no you need to do this for years and years and years before you can lead your first show and I thought do you know what, no I’m going to do this within 2 years, and I did. I feel like that made me super proud. I also think becoming a Trustee for Beauty Backed is one of my proudest moments. I am so passionate about the beauty industry, and I am so grateful to be part of something that is really making a difference to people.
2. Who has been/is your biggest mentor?
Because I’ve worked in the industry for a long time, 20 years now, mentor wise I feel like there’s been a lot of different mentors along the way. A lot of them are my friends, I think the great thing about the beauty industry is how we cheerlead each other. I know my group of friends who are in the industry do that constantly and we just lift each other up, motivate each other, drive each other forward. So, I would say my friends really are my biggest mentors. I would also say Theo, my husband, we just talk all the time and I just think that ultimately without his support and advice, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing right now. I’ve just got this big group of friends that I’m so grateful for and to list them all, would take a while, so I’m not going to!
3. What’s the most valuable piece of advice you have ever received?
I actually don’t know where I got this bit of advice from to be honest, but something I really live by is ‘if you don’t believe in yourself, no one will’ and that’s not an arrogant thing, that’s just a, you know what, we deserve to believe in ourselves and believe in what we are good at and what we can achieve. I always tell people on my team and people that assist me, my friends, 'Listen! if you don’t believe in you, no one will'. So that’s the first point to success I suppose, but also to just being the best version of yourself. Also, my nan Doris and my other nan Daphne always taught me to wear the lipstick, feel good, wear the sequins, wear the clothes, you bought them for a reason, get them on, get that make up on and just live your life.
4. Which training body would you recommend for someone wanting to enter your area of the industry?
When it comes to a training body in make-up, personally it’s kind of an interesting one because I trained myself and I just think that the biggest training you can get as a make-up artist is to go and work on a make-up counter. You’re going to be doing multiple people’s faces, different skin tones, different ages, different dilemmas, every single day, I just don’t think there’s any better education than that. You’re meeting people everyday, learning social skills. Also, you’ll be able to build your kit because you’re getting your staff discount and your allowance, so it just this whole 360 strategy and if you can do that even a couple of days a week while doing freelance, you can build and build and build.
5. How do you make sure you stand out from the crowd e.g. up-skilling, research, social media?
When I make sure I stand out on social media etc, for me it’s all about being authentic, being my true self, that’s always what I am on social media, it’s always what I am at work. I think that’s so important, particularly in the world we are living in today, people know when you are not being authentic and I just think what’s the point, why would you waste your energy being someone else when you are good enough. Just be yourself and you’ll go far.
6. If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting their own business, what would it be?
Starting my own business was definitely the biggest thing I’ve done in my career, because it was such a big step and for me a big bit of advice really, like practical advice would be to save up some money first. If you can save up £5k to £10k, which is a hell of a lot of money, it took me a long time to do that, but I wanted to make sure I had that buffer. I would also just say, make sure you’ve got 3 months’ worth of money, so that if it does go a little slower than you like at the beginning then you’ve got back up because obviously you need to live. I would also say if you believe you should be starting your own business then absolutely go for it. If people tell you no, ignore them just go for it, do your thing and just believe in yourself and what you want to achieve. Be smart, learn how to negotiate, learn everything about the business. My commercial knowledge, my negotiating skills as well as obviously my creativity have grown so much having my own business. Listen, learn and if you do something wrong don’t worry, admit to your mistake, and apologise if it's effecting anyone else and just move on. Just know every step of learning that you do by building your own business is going to be valuable to you over the years.
7. What’s the best and hardest thing about your job?
Well, I love my job, I’d say the best bit about my job is all of it. I feel so grateful that I do a lot of different things. My main job is a make-up artist. I’m so grateful to still be shooting, doing editorial, doing campaigns. The creative side of it is what I love the most. I also am obviously so grateful for the social media side as well, because the reality of it is, in the creative side there isn’t much money anymore unless you are shooting campaigns, which I do but obviously that’s a lot rarer than shooting editorial. It’s actually hard for me to come up with a hard bit because I love hard work, I love a challenge. So, I almost see anything that’s hard to be a positive, I’m like well if it’s hard, it’s worth doing and that’s the way I look at things. I wouldn’t say something is hard, obviously you know it’s very fast paced what I do and it's constantly evolving, so staying on top of everything is really important but for me I see that as a challenge rather than a negative, if that make sense!
8. How do you switch off after a difficult day?
I switch off by hanging out with my friends and Theo. For me I love a good party, don’t know if you noticed. The social side of stuff, it’s really important to have that balance. I also love exercise - swimming and yoga are my main things. Swimming in particular I can completely switch off because you have to concentrate on your stroke so much. Just walking my dogs, being in my house. I love interiors so I’m constantly thinking what can I do next in my house. I’d say the biggest way I switch off though, is by having fun.
9. Desert island 3 course meal?
Desert Island 3 course meal, oh my god ,right.
Starter: Oysters, oh yes! Maybe a really good prawn cocktail. Can I have multiple things because you know if I’m on a desert island I might as well have loads of stuff. I don’t even eat that much, but you know some olives, maybe also some baked feta, my mouths watering!
Main course, my roast dinner, no one else can make it, I have to make it, I’m not sure I’d make it on a desert island, but it is my speciality, especially those roast potatoes.
Pudding, 2 things: cheese board - absolutely and this new ice-cream from M&S which is like the best stuff ever, I’d probably have the cherry and creamy type one. Delicious! Oh and a Mars Bar for luck and a bottle of champagne.
10. Which 5 people (dead or alive) would you have at your dinner party?
Ok, my dad definitely! Prince – legend. David Attenborough – Obvs. Cher– the icon that is, I mean I base most of my outfits around Cher. Just love her. I was like who’s going to dance on the table with me? I know my dad would,I know Cher would, I reckon I could get Dave up there. This is a very hard question! Ok let’s go with Jay Z. I’m going to have a great music line up at my dinner.
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