What was your first makeup job and what did it teach you?
“It was for a theatre show, part of work experience offered during my course. I was so nervous as I wasn’t naturally good at beauty makeup! I was a tomboy in high school, so all the creative makeup (body art, SFX gore, blood etc) came easier to me. I practiced on my friends and family before the show until I felt more confident. Goes to show, you can improve your skills if you love what you do and have a great attitude!”
Tell us about your career so far?
“At the age of 18, I finished my Diploma and knew I wanted to excel as a makeup artist, body painter and SFX artist. To improve my skills and confidence, I worked 7 days a week for 4-5 years.
I entered numerous national and international makeup competitions to test my skills and promote myself as an artist. I was grateful to win 3 different competitions that put my name on the map! The NYX Face Awards in 2018 sent me to LA to represent New Zealand, and that was a monumental moment for me. I never thought in a million years a girl from Papakura would fly to the other side of the world and represent her country doing what she loves. Since then, I’ve received lots of freelance jobs and brand collaborations. I became a SFX makeup tutor and recently landed my dream job working as a prosthetic artist on the new Lord Of The Rings TV show, Rings Of Power."
What’s a working week like for you?
“This year, I decided to take the leap and work for myself full time. I now have freedom to work on projects I’m really passionate about and have amazing work-life balance. Previously, I was working up to 80 hours a week and was exhausted!
A typical week for me now is freelance makeup work, a few days to myself for planning and working a couple days in the BodyFx shop. I also host my own makeup and SFX classes every fortnight, along with a Makeup & Wine Night event where I teach people how to do their own makeup.”
What is the most amazing project you’ve worked on?
“Hands down the Lord of the Rings 'Rings Of Power' TV Show! I worked on this dream job for roughly 2 years and I saw the most incredible set designs, costumes, makeup, prosthetics, locations, the list goes on! I also met the most amazing people that are now life-long friends. I also learnt so much about the industry and myself.”
We love your Special FX work! Any tips or advice for anyone thinking of getting into this?
“PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! I literally turned all my friends and family into random designs/characters so I could upskill. Get yourself a basic SFX kit, some body paints and cheap brushes (because they will get ruined) and get creating! Start by creating your favourite characters or makeup that inspire you. Recreate looks from Pinterest or instagram to get you started. Watch lots of tutorials and even practice techniques on yourself.”
Best thing about being a makeup artist?
“Everyday is different and it does not feel like a job! I get to make someone look beautiful on their special day or arrive at an epic set to create a head-to-toe prosthetic character! Most days just feel like I am playing with paints and creating something cool. And oh yes, I get paid for it too!”
The most challenging thing about being a makeup artist?
“Freelancing is not easy. Finances are irregular and it can be very stressful. You have to manage yourself very well if you want to stay afloat and become successful. You need to have a point of difference as there is a lot of competition.
What do you credit your success to?
“Hard work and lots of sacrifices at a young age. I was not naturally good at SFX makeup and beauty, but I had the passion and attitude for it. So my success goes to my persistence, perseverance and work ethic.”
What advice would you give to someone thinking about becoming a makeup artist?
‘If you want to go far as a makeup artist, never stop up-skilling! Constantly learn and practice! If you have gaps between jobs or spare days, organise photoshoots or content for your website or social media. If you stop creating, you will get slow.
Utilise the benefits of social media too! I get 85% of my clients from my instagram account. I post nearly every second day, I engage with my followers and constantly show that I am working and available for bookings. In this day and age, if you don’t post on social media, you aren't relevant and may be forgotten.
Also brands may want to collaborate with you if you are tagging products. I've received most of my kit from brands wanting to work with me.
You must have a warm and welcoming energy about you. You are working with real people, so as makeup artists, our main job is to make that person feel as comfortable as possible, provide the best service and create our best work.
Final piece of advice, do not give up! If you truly want to become a successful makeup artist, you have to experience the hard yards! Everyone starts somewhere - I started on a makeup counter in Life Pharmacy, moved onto freelance jobs and teaching, then film. The road is not easy but make sure you have an open mind, a bloody great attitude and thick skin as there will be some rejections and some difficult jobs. Be a sponge to knowledge and feedback, take everything as lessons! If you are truly passionate about this industry, you will have no problem but to attract the jobs you are after.”