Kelly Daun | Student Spotlight

Posted on August 04 2018

Makeup artist Kelly Daun in her Salon

What industry were you in before you decided you wanted to join this one?

Prior to changing career, I worked in Oil and Gas as a project manager. I continued to do this for two years after graduating from TAOM, juggling Makeup and a full-time job. 16 months after graduation I got the keys to my salon The Lounge at Chapleton; six months later we opened the doors and I gave up my full-time job completely.

What made you choose the Academy for your training?

I searched up and down the country for a Makeup Course but none of them ticked all my boxes. It needed to be close enough to travel to as I couldn’t take time out from work to attend any full-time course. It was never the right time or the right type of course. One day, after a pretty terrible day at work, I was once again dreaming of what life could be like if I did something I actually loved. Another Google search and there it was, a pop-up Aberdeen Bridal course. I booked it there and then, maxed out my credit card then phoned my sister and was like ‘what have I just done!’

I loved the ethos of TAOM. Love what you do, change your career, change your life. It was the encouragement, the ‘we care’, ‘we want to help you achieve your dreams’ that did it for me. In that exact moment, I wanted to be anywhere else doing something I actually loved and the universe delivered! 

I booked it in April and had to wait until September for it to start. 

One of Kelly Daun's beautiful makeup looks

What advice would you give to others trying to find the perfect place to train?

Do your research; is it easy to get to? How big are the class sizes? Who are the tutors and what experience do they have? What can they offer you? Is there aftercare offered? Does their vibe match yours? Call them and have a chat. Or scrap all that and just sign up to TAOM! You won’t regret it :)

Upon completion of your course, what steps did you take to get your career started?

It won’t happen overnight. I rented a chair in a salon on a Saturday, it was near Christmas so it was the perfect time to catch the party season. I created a Facebook page and an Instagram page and just worked nonstop. I said yes to every opportunity; some worked out, some didn’t. I did a lot of TFP work just to make contacts and get photos of my work. I did my first wedding three months after graduating and I knew then that this would be the path for me. Photos from that wedding got me another wedding and it just went from there.

It was not easy, I made no money but god did I LOVE it. 

Kelly Daun applying makeup to a client
Tell us all about deciding to open The Lounge at Chapelton!

I never set out to open a salon. I thought that idea was completely out of my reach. But I had reached a point where I needed to make a decision – stay in full-time employment or make a push to be a full-time Makeup Artist. You reach a natural point where they interfere with each other. I then went looking for a space to do my makeup trials. Working out of salons was inconvenient and noisy and I wanted a quiet space to talk to my brides/clients.

There was a new town being built five minutes from my house so I emailed the developer and asked if there were any spaces that would be suitable. There wasn’t. A few weeks later they emailed me and said that a unit had just become available, the previous business had fallen through and did I want to see it. So we decided there was no harm in looking. The unit was too big for me but I loved the space. I loved Chapelton and it got me thinking. With the help of my boyfriend we came up with this crazy idea of opening a business together, this then developed into a salon. But I still thought 'nah! I am crazy, I can’t do this…'

I met with Sara and Bob for a coffee one day after the academy and talked my crazy idea through and she asked, 'why can’t you do it? Who says you can’t have your own business or your own salon?' That was that! A few months later The Lounge was born and I have never looked back. 

The entrance to The Lounge at Chapelton

What's your favourite part of being a makeup artist?

Every day is different! I make genuine connections with my clients, I get to know them and often I am there for some of the biggest days of their lives. Graduation, wedding, first date, engagement, awards … you can make someone feel amazing and that in turn that makes me feel pretty bloody good. 


What's your career highlight so far?

I have had so many. I feel genuinely lucky to be able to call this my job. We are coming up to our second year anniversary of the salon opening. We were a finalist at this years Trend Awards in the 'Excellence in Beauty' category. Watching the salon grow and thrive and helping my team grow in their careers and as people. That is definitely the highlight so far! 

Kelly Daun applying makeup to a bride

What do you see for your future?

I would love to expand the salon (crazy huh?!) I didn’t think I could fill the space we have and now I need more space! I also want to focus on my Bridal Business as weddings are my true love. 

I did some fashion shoots when I first graduated and I would love to explore this avenue again. Variety is key for me!

You can keep up with Kelly's work, or even better get booked in at her amazing salon at the links below!


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