“What we do is so much fun!”
“Build your career slowly; then people start to trust you.”
We all try not to become our mothers, but it doesn’t work!
I just remember her saying, “It will be a problem for you if you don’t love what you do. So make sure!”
When did you know that makeup artistry was the path for you?
It’s not about 100% knowing. But to work because you love something is the best place to come from, because then you’ll do anything – sweep floors, help the stylists, the photographer. You have the absence of an agenda.
There’s a lot of attention on makeup artistry, with whole generations wanting to become makeup artists.
They’re very lucky nowadays to be able to know so much, and to see what goes on backstage via the internet and social media. But I had no idea! I remember at my first show, I was shaking the whole time because it was something that I’d never seen before.
What’s your advice to those who want to follow in your footsteps?
I knew I wasn’t going to make money at the start, so I found another way to support myself – I was a receptionist. It’s smart to work that way. Otherwise, you get vicious and desperate, and no one wants to work with you. Build your career slowly; then people start to trust you and pay you well.
Was it easy to get comfortable as a boss? Now you’ve got 50-70 people working for you.
I just did whatever needed to be done. I started out travelling the world with 20 bags on my own, then 40 bags. Then I got an assistant – 40 bags between us. You just keep going and before you know it, there are 70 of you.
What do you look for when hiring?
Patience. No arrogance. Zero ego. You need to be strong, to be able to work at four in the morning.
Zero ego is a great mantra. You also seem like a real mentor.
My team has been with me for 15, 20 years; we mentor one another! Without a team, we’re all nobody.
What made you start your line? People have wanted it forever.
I was questioning myself, “What do I crave? What have I never seen before?” And the incredible gold that I’d been using was nearly finished, and I was panicking. So when I found (a new gold), I had the mad idea of, “Why not just do a line now?” The morning after we launched it, the phone rang non-stop. I was in shock.
So your decision about what product to do first just came from what you loved? Such an interesting lesson about gut.
Yes, it was something which I’m completely passionate about. So that when I open my mouth, I’m not lying!
When it comes to diversity in fashion, we’re finally seeing a broader range of models on the runway. How do we make it last?
It can’t be only this season. Look at the world! Even if you’re talking on a greed level only, why would you not want to appeal to the whole planet? The more diverse the runway, the more diversity there is in advertising, and the more people are going to feel included and want to shop. It’s so basic.
Everybody likes to ask women, “How do you do it all?” But truthfully, what do you not do?
I don’t go to the spa or get my hair done enough. I don’t go to the gym enough. But I do take six weeks’ holiday – the whole fashion industry does.
You truly love your job, don’t you?
Really and truly. You arrive at work every day, and genius things are happening. You’re crying with laughter, or because you can’t think of an idea. Sometimes I look around the room, and say, “We’re supposed to be adults.” Someone’s thrown an almond at you. Music is loud. One day I dressed up as Darth Vader as a joke, and filled the studio with smoke and walked in. So, we have the best time. I don’t want to let everyone know how good it is. I’ve told you too much! I should have just said it’s miserable. We never sleep.
So, “Don’t do what I do.”
Yes. I feel bad for anyone who wants to do this job. But I have a lot of fun.