Positivity breeds positivity!
I love artistry and when I first met Nicola, a flawless bundle of energy, her passion and creativity was infectious.
In this creative edit I take you into the world of a makeup artist, her top tips, words of wisdom, inspirations, working with Margaret Zhang, Dior and more.
I originally trained as a beauty therapist and Esthetician specialising in the skin, performing facial treatments like microdermabrasion and other popular electrical facials of the time. I worked for a number of years in one of England’s most prestigious health spas as a premier therapist looking after high profile clients and celebrities. I’ve always had a passion for makeup and after seeing an ad in the back of Vogue magazine to train to become a makeup artist I knew it was the right thing for me.
I packed up my bags and moved to London to enroll at the Glauca Rossi School of makeup in London’s Maida Vale in 2003. I studied fashion, television and media makeup, passing with flying colours.
I started freelancing In London and made the move to Australia in 2009, first to Melbourne and then to Sydney in 2010, where I work mainly in fashion, editorial and advertising.
I have been extremely lucky to have travelled to some incredible places with my work, I’ve shot in LA, the Philippines, all over Australia – my favorite being The Kimberley’s – such incredible landscape and of course London where I’m originally from.
I shoot a lot with the Australian Woman’s Weekly, so I get to meet a lot of celebrity’s which is always fun! We also shoot extremely influential people with incredible stories. I recently did a shoot with Nahji Chu founder of Miss Chu. Her story of living in a Thai refugee camp during her early childhood after her family escaped communist Laos was heartbreaking and inspirational. Made me really appreciate growing up in a society where we are free and encouraged to pursue our dreams.
Words of wisdom
It’s also important to set yourself realistic goals.
My advice for anyone starting there own business is to never give up, the first few years will always be tricky, you will question yourself constantly but with enough passion and determination you can achieve anything.
It’s also important to set yourself realistic goals, whether it’s daily or weekly, it will help you stay on track and give you a sense of achievement.
Surround yourself with positive people, people you can bounce ideas off, people who inspire and support you. Positivity breeds positivity!
I get inspired by nature, I always mix my Instagram feed up with flowers, I find them fascinating, the colours and textures can spark of a creative idea for a shoot which I’ll run with and bring it out in my makeup looks.
I’m also inspired by other artists, whether that’s a makeup artist or a fine artist, working on a face or on a canvas, I find the whole process of creating something beautiful and unique fascinating. I love (makeup artist) Alex Box she is so incredibly talented, always pushing the boundaries with makeup.
Top makeup tips
Choosing a colour that is either too light or too dark is a big no-no, your foundation is supposed to blend seamlessly with your skin, balancing out tone and discoloration and helping to hide imperfections. It is not supposed to give you a tan – save that for your bronzer and blush! Going lighter than your natural skin tone on the other hand can leave you looking grey and a bit sick looking – nobody want’s that!
2. Under eye concealer
Going too light and using to much product will actually draw more attention to dark circles and puffiness. Too much product will also sit into fine lines and wrinkles. Instead use a small amount of your foundation under the eyes to even out discoloration, then using a fluffy brush (I love MAC #217 for this) buff on a light reflecting hydrating concealer, I love By Terri ‘Touche Veloutee Enlightening Concealer’ or L’Oreal’s ‘LUMI MAGIQUE TOUCH OF LIGHT’. Concentrate on the inner corner of your eyes only – Less is more!
Less is more!
There should never be any visible skin in-between your eyeliner and your lash line – especially on the top, leaving Gap’s distorts the shape of the eye. This can easily happen if your eyeliner is drying out, dragging the skin as you go. Opt for a creamier pencil, and then soften the line with an angle brush – encouraging the product closer to the lash line.
You can also check out her blog post Makeup 101 for lots of other tips and tricks.
Dreams for 2016
I love travel and seeing new places, I quite fancy doing a proper stint in LA maybe NYC I love the glamour of the red carpet… So we shall see. I would also love to be a creative director for a makeup brand, I work a lot with Dior in Australia, and I absolutely love everything the brand empowers, high fashion mixed with old Hollywood Glam. (hint hint Dior )
1 – Go to Egypt and check out the pyramids
2 – Skydive
3 – Climb a mountain – always wanted to do the Inca trail in the Andes, Peru
4 – Live in NYC for a while
5 – win the lottery – it’s only a matter of time 😉
There are a few bloggers I follow… I’ve worked with the incredible Margaret Zhang @margaret_zhang on various projects, most recently the Australian launch of Dior poison girl perfume. I’ve never seen anyone work so hard, the girl kills it, talk about multi-tasking! Her Instagram is fascinating; I get totally lost in her world. I also love Ash Syne @syneofsyne her effortlessly ‘cool girl’ style is relatable and her posts are beautiful.
I love Makeup artist’s Wendy Rowe’s website she is an incredible makeup artist and also writes a beautiful blog, lots of ‘behind the scenes’ footage and the latest products and skin care reviews.
The items you can’t you live without
1. My white sequin connies (converse) – perfect for standing for 10 hours
2. My black textured citizen jeans – because they make my butt look good! Ha
3. I have the softest grey merino silk jumper from country road – I’m all about the comfort these days, it’s my favorite – it also has a hole in it! Ha
4. I love my Tony Bianco nude pumps (heels) – they go with everything, perfect for meetings and also dancing all night!
You fav Hills & West accessory?
Ohh I love the Morgan back pack – I am often running around in between shoots to meetings with my laptop and normally a bag of makeup, which gets heavy, and us makeup artist have to look after our backs – so its so practical and obviously very chic.
I also love the Morgan mini convertible clutch – I love a small bag when I go out and this is just divine!
Check out Sydney Makeup Artist with loads of gorgeous pics, video tutorials, makeover tips, skincare and reviews. Gain an insight to the world of a Professional Makeup Artist and be inspired to create some magic yourself.