The moment my daughter, Rachel, was born I knew I had to make a change. The thought of going back to work full time for her entire childhood and missing out on so much just wasn’t an option for me anymore. I have always been very career orientated so to suddenly feel this way, literally overnight, was quite a shock to the system. But seeing those beautiful big eyes looking up at me for the first time changed my life.
Initially I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do so I dabbled in a couple of things; I learned how to do nails – I hated it! I learned how to spray tan – I hated it! I even dabbled in multi level marketing for a bit – hated it! Sadly, I ended up going back to work full time and putting my little one into nursery, not an easy decision to make. Help!
Getting ready for work one morning it hit me, why don’t I train to become a makeup artist? Why I hadn’t thought of it sooner I do not know. I had actually been doing makeup unofficially for almost 20 years. Friends and family, even friends of friends, would come to me wanting their makeup done for a night out or special occasions such as weddings. I absolutely loved it, and I was good at it!
I had my doubts because I was concerned about working full time, having a baby and training all at once. I had so many questions: How could I possibly fit that in? And where on earth do I train? How do I start?
I researched many different places and finally chose on Sara Hill’s The Academy of Makeup. I loved reading the positive reviews online, there seemed to be so many success stories. There was also the option to get volunteering work experience after qualifying the Pro Makeup Course which I thought would open a lot of doors (something which college cannot offer). I was impressed and signed up for the Sunday Course.
It was hard leaving my baby six days a week and mostly just seeing her for a short hour or so in the evenings. But I had to keep reminding myself that this would benefit my family in the long run.
The course was fantastic! I was already quite good at makeup but I learned so much more. The tutors were lovely and not only showed us the skills and techniques but also gave advice on how to get started in different industries. This is something which has continued since qualifying – Sara and her tutors are always at the other end of the phone, email or even over a coffee if you need advice and guidance.
The final day of training is both exciting and scary, because you are officially now working for yourself but I didn’t waste any time at all though. Bridal makeup was the direction I wanted to go so I immediately started networking with other makeup artists and photographers. I assisted at weddings and booked bridal test shoots to start building my portfolio. Thankfully I have a very supportive partner who shares my aspirations and goals and would look after Rachel. However, I always made sure to keep at least one day a week strictly for family time (and still do).Debra's Photoshoot Day Images
My diary is becoming booked up for weddings and I feel confident that soon I can stop my full time day job and be able to support myself and family. Being a Makeup Artist will give me the flexibility to be a stay-at-home mum for Rachel. I absolutely love what I do now and wouldn’t change it for the world. The joy I get seeing the bride smiling ear-to-ear, feeling beautiful is such a motivation for me as I feel I have helped her feel that way. I don’t feel like I’m working as I enjoy it so much - I get paid to have fun!
Things you will need to know before taking your new venture. Expect to work for free for a while when you first qualify. It is the only way to build experience, confidence and portfolio. You will need to network, network, network! No one is going to find you if they
don’t know you’re there. Shout from the rooftops and run down the street naked yelling if you have to (ok maybe not the naked part!). Make lots of noise online and offline and eventually you will start getting paid work. Don’t be afraid to put yourself forward!
Yes, in the beginning I did need to sacrifice a lot of time with my little one and my partner. Building a good foundation for your new career is essential. But in the next couple of years our lives are going to change for the better, and forever! So thank you Sara Hill, for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. If you’re considering becoming a mummy makeup artist, do not hesitate. You won’t regret it, trust me! #Mumpreneur
Words by Debra Lawrie - Makeup Artist