Make Up & Beauty
You might think that growing up in London, a career in fashion or beauty would come naturally. Although I did end up fulfilling my dream of becoming a Movie Makeup Artist, the journey to that point was full of obstacles. For one, my family’s business was flowers. At the age of five I was working in my dad’s flower shop laying the foundation for funeral or Christmas wreaths, so you can imagine that the expectation was for me to carry on the family business. I, however, had other plans. What those plans were, I wasn’t certain of yet, but I knew that a career as a florist wouldn’t make me happy.
At the age of 12, my mother handed me two career books and challenged me to write a list of what I was looking for and search the books to determine what exactly I wanted to do with my life. In England the schooling differs from America, so when I turned 16, it was time to either work or go to 6th form college. I wanted to work. I wrote a list of all of the qualifiers for a job: different every day, meet new people constantly, not a typical schedule, ability to travel- you can imagine my parents thought I was crazy.
Ultimately while reading these books, I found the description of a Movie Makeup Artist and I knew that it was exactly what I wanted to do. Beauty and skincare is a passion of mine now, but back then I knew very little about makeup and quite frankly, felt very plain. One of my favorite shows at the time was Dallas and Dynasty. The show was filled with what was considered high fashion at the time and made it America, so America became my dream. To me, it was the land of Dallas and Dynasty and all things beautiful.
The odds seemed against me until one day my dad passed along an ad he’d heard on the radio advertisement about an open call for an agency placing girls as makeup artists in department stores around London. As you may have guessed, I got the job! But in landing my first job, I had to learn to look the part. I painted my nails, face and lips and headed to London feeling like a completely transformed woman. That was one of the first times that I realized how makeup can be used, not to hide your flaws, but to enhance your features and bring your inner beauty to the outside. While working for Heather Measures I made a connection with a coworker whom I expressed my ultimate dream to. She lead me to the London College of Fashion where I applied for their TV Makeup course. Although I was too young (only 16 and told they don’t accept students under 20) I convinced the Dean to accept me. My persistence in telling her that I would be back year after year until I achieved my acceptance and my previous experience at Heather Measures swayed her decision!
After two years at the London College of Fashion learning the ins and outs of hairdressing, wig making/design and tv/film makeup I graduated top of my class. I trained under Derry Haws, Makeup Artist to the stars and eventually went on to achieve my ultimate dream of being named Head Makeup Artist on a film.
As you can see, I didn’t simply wake up one day and know how to be a Makeup Artist. I fought many obstacles and pushed my way to success following a dream that I could only hope would become my reality. I know from firsthand experience the magic that makeup can bring into your life. It doesn’t have to be a product used for superficial purposes; it is a product that gives us women the confidence to be on the outside who we truly feel we are on the inside.
I am so excited to have this platform where I can share some tidbits and simple tricks to help you feel like your best self. What I realized in my personal journey is that women are all beautiful, but sometimes it takes us far too long to realize, accept and own our beauty. My commitment to all of you is to encourage you not to shy away from or try to hide your beauty but to embrace and own it. Take it from someone who once saw themselves as an ugly duckling, but with the help of a few tricks transformed to swan.