1. What has been your proudest career moment?
It would have to be #FILTERDROP. It was six years ago when I started challenging how I felt about beauty and the way we perceive it, so I almost can’t believe that all of those thoughts and ten years of being a makeup artist eventually turned into something that would mark history within the industry. I think to many, the damage of filters on surface level didn’t seem like such a big deal but I know having had them affect my self esteem in such a prolific way, that talking about them more would create awareness of their damage. The campaign started off with an Instagram story where I voiced my opinion on how little real skin we seem to see online, the response and hearing personal relationships with them made me realise it was important to discuss. I asked my audience to post a filter free selfie using the hashtag if they felt it was possible, it grew so rapidly that the momentum was picked up by the press and the coverage became global. During this time I had filed a complaint with the ASA to change the guidelines so that promoting cosmetics online should be done truthfully and without a filter enhancing the performance of the product. After a six month investigation I received an email on 22/01/2021 explaining that as a result of the campaign the ruling had been changed. It was a Friday afternoon and I remember reading it three times through before I burst into tears (dramatics, always). I knew at that moment it had all been worth it, and that as a result of the ruling being put in place, seeing real, unfiltered skin online was about to drastically increase
2. Who has been/is your biggest mentor?
My Mum. Our family owned a hair salon in Clifton Village in Bristol called Headlines from 1982 and it became the most prestigious place to be. They had a continuous waiting list, became one of the first stockists for Clarins in the South West, and the photos, memories and stories people have of the salon are just so iconic, it makes me very proud. My Mum trained as a hairdresser from the age of 16 and travelled the world competing, teaching and winning awards for her skills, so by the time I was old enough to appreciate it, I felt so lucky being able to absorb her knowledge. I didn’t have much interest in hair but my Nan took me to a MAC event at Jollys in Bath when I was 15 and I know that’s where my love for makeup artistry started. I began assisting my Mum on wedding mornings and for my 21st birthday she bought me a 1-2-1 tuition course and a kit bag filled with products to get me started. I practised with friends and family and at 22 started my job as a retail artist with MAC cosmetics in Bristol. I think everyone I’ve ever met in this industry has mentored me in one way or another. I’ve learnt something from everyone but I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without her guidance, creative genes and insanely steady hand (thank her for my winged liner every time).
3. What’s the most valuable piece of advice you have ever received?
Anything in life that’s meant for you, will never pass you by.
4. Which training body would you recommend for someone wanting to enter your area of the industry?
I do believe that with makeup artistry, retail is a great place to learn. Working on a counter with a team of artists means you are constantly learning and sharing techniques. Not to mention that enduring work on a cosmetics counter during Christmas will build more resilience and strength than you ever thought possible. If it’s an option, 1-2-1 tuition is great as so much attention to detail can be exchanged. If you don’t have access to that, then social media is equally as incredible for learning makeup artistry. There are so many phenomenal artists out there to learn from, soak up what you can from their work, continuously practice, and naturally over time your own style and skills will develop.
5. How do you make sure you stand out from the crowd e.g. up-skilling, research, social media?
Integrity. This world constantly wants us to believe we should move onto the next thing because it will be better than where we currently are, and I feel with the beauty industry being as over-saturated as it is, it can be so difficult not to get caught up in that cycle. Over time I’ve realised the discomfort I feel from following trends, confirms I’m better off sticking at the things I truly loved because it’s genuine to who I am and what I believe. Trends are great, but they come and go, and I’ve learnt that by sticking true to who I am prevails in the long run.
6. If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting their own business, what would it be?
Failing isn’t possible if you choose to see everything as a lesson for redirection.
7. What’s the best and hardest thing about your job?
The best thing for me is hearing how I’ve impacted someone with my choice to work through my own confidence journey openly. It’s my continuous ‘why’ and I am forever visualising a world where women truly realise how beautiful they are. The hardest thing for me has to be the multifaceted nature of the job - my brain often struggles to balance everything because I don’t believe I am the best at everything I do. Eventually, I’d love to have a team whereby each individual is the best at what they do so it takes things off of my plate and allows me to focus on the things I’m really great at.
8. How do you switch off after a difficult day?
I love getting fresh air, a ten minute walk or sitting outside without technology listening to everything around me. I also LOVE cooking. Being in the kitchen with my music on and a glass of wine is the cheapest therapy I’ve ever had.
9. Desert island 3 course meal?
This is the best question in the entire world, and one I will take very seriously…
Starter - the biggest fresh fish & seafood platter in the world. Lobster, scallops, huge garlic king prawns, crab etc.
Main - spaghetti arrabiata, drowned in parmesan with a fresh tomato and red onion salad and a garlic pizza bread (no sharing) on the side
Dessert - a slice of cheesecake from the cheesecake factory with ice cream on the side (I like side dishes)
10. Which 5 people (dead or alive) would you have at your dinner party?
1 Shania Twain
2 Michelle Obama
3 Lin Manuel Miranda
4 Tony Soprano
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