#realtalk 'How I help other women feel beautiful'

What do you love most about the career you have created for yourself?

It's taken me a long time to get to this place of running my own business full-time, but none of my experience has gone to waste. Even though I knew from a young age that I was an artist at heart, I had to learn that life presents its obstacles and these serve to enrich you, not hinder you.

Aside from the fact that I get paid to play with makeup, I love to help people feel good about themselves. I aim to work with them to uncover their uniqueness, their confidence and find their own beauty. I have some amazing testimonials that have shown me how powerful good makeup and education can be in changing our self-perceptions. I never get tired of watching my client's face light up when they see themselves transformed. 

When life gets overwhelming, what me-time rituals keep you grounded?

Yoga and aromatherapy are my main go-to's for a sense of peace. We have more candles and boxes of herbal tea than any sane person but it's my thing - I'm a sucker for anything that smells good and puts me at ease! I have an auto-immune illness that is heightened by stress, so it's important for me to stay balanced even when I am pushing past my limits.

I am a huge bath fan and believe that a good soak in epsom salts and essential oils re-balances me energetically so that I can give good vibes to those around me.

Your top 3 tips for staying cool, calm and beautiful before a big event or wedding?

I'm all about glowing skin so I have a bridal-prep routine that I recommend to all my clients to get "skinfit" in the lead up to their day. I believe that great skin takes work and this involves clean eating and regular exercise. My go-to breakfast always involves cleansing herbs such as turmeric, matcha green tea and ginger to ensure that my insides are humming nicely.

In the final days leading up to the event I invest in active skin treatments like microdermabrasion, light-therapy or oxygen facials to give a polished texture to the skin. And, my 'night before' prep would require a long soak in a rose bath with a hydrating mask. That ensures really juicy skin which guarantees perfectly polished and radiant makeup on the big day.

Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?

I've always been the type to create my own solutions where there's a gap in the market. From a young age I invented products and practiced my art, which then grew into various businesses in wellness and fashion. I've always had a job whilst funding my own ventures over years, but the final decision to leave the security of the corporate world at the end of last year to focus on The Makeup was particularly confronting.

There's a lot of risk in going it alone and making a living from your passion, but when I look at the opportunities I have had and the thrill of working knowing that I'm building something that's all mine, I honestly never feel like I am working. Running your own game is not for everyone - it takes tenacity and it's 24/7. I haven't had a day off in over 7 months but you've got to keep your eye on the prize and you've got to surround yourself with the right people - those who want to see you succeed. When it's all working in sync, all you feel is the "hum" (that Shonda Rhimes talks of in her TED talk), and that makes every minute worthwhile.

What does beauty mean to you?

For me, beauty for me is about feeling good in your own skin and "letting your little light shine". I believe that feeling beautiful is so much more than just applying products - it's a lifestyle and an attitude. In my work I have noticed that it’s so easy to reach for the quick fix so we can look different before we’ve even figured out what we have to offer. I really believe that great beauty starts with healthy habits; in skincare, in mindset and in lifestyle. 

This year I started #SkinFIT2016 - a campaign that seeks empower women with education that helps them transform their relationship with beauty and makeup. It's about feeling good in your skin, no matter your age or makeup experience. I've assembled a cast of professionals from the beauty, wellness and fashion world to showcase good habits that will inspire others in their own journey to 'skin fit'. They're all everyday people who respect their bodies and make time to invest in their health - no matter what's going on in their lives. I've been fascinated to learn about their own perceptions of beauty and what it takes to feel good in their skin. I'm hoping that this resonates with others and we can all find our own brand of beauty - no matter what that is. Be part of #skinfit2016.

Your favourite skincare or body care products at the moment?

  • My coveted skincare at the moment is the Skin Matrix range. This is a '10-years in the making' range developed by anti-aging skin expert, Sarah Wilkinson. The IQ Serum and Hydracell Moisturiser has taken my skin from great to phenomenal in a matter of days. I am a devotee of active skincare and this range is her best kept secret - if I could push this into my client's bags I would. It's the must-have secret to perfect skin! 
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector is my must-have illuminating primer for makeup preparation. It takes practically any skin from drab to fab before applying foundation. The thicker formula has an even light-reflection that never looks glittery but just gives a glow, as if you're lit from within. I also use this on shoots to perfect the skin when I don't want to apply foundation. It's effortless, natural and makes even the most sallow skins glow with vitality.
  • iT Cosmetics Illumination CC+ 50SPF Cream is a hero of "do-all" bases. I love that this is a skin-loving formula that gives as good face as the backstage makeup brands. Its colour-correcting, full coverage cream gives flawless, perfect coverage and protects with UVA/UVB broad spectrum physical-only SPF 50+. It’s all my skincare, sunscreen and luminous foundation in one, which means it works to refine and protect the skin whilst providing airbrushed perfection. And it’s transfer-proof, which means my glowing complexion stays put all day but never looks mask-like.
  • iT Cosmetics Your Brows But Better Skinny Pencil - is my must, must, must for perfect natural brows. Having a fine liner with an elastic formula is absolutely essential when creating defined, polished brows that never looks caked on. It's another of my desert island products and the colour is universal which allows me to apply it to every skin and brow tone. I literally have a panic attack when this is running low in my kit.