Interview with celebrity makeup artist – from working at New York Fashion Week to travelling to Hawaii to work on the hit TV show The Bachelor

As many of you would know by now I’m not the type of girl who can do their own hair and makeup. When I get up in the morning, I literally jump in the shower, wash my hair, get dressed, chuck my hair in a pony tail, brush my teeth and out the door I go. I was never the party girl type who would go out clubbing and now that I’m a mum I don’t go out at all but I must admit it would be a great skill to be able to make myself feel like a million bucks by being able to correctly apply makeup for the odd occasion that we do actually go out! About 2 weeks ago I attended an amazing Fashion Fundraiser and decided instead of paying a hair dresser to curl my hair I would go out and buy a curler. What a disaster that was! Not only did I burn my hair but I also burnt my hand. Any way when I had my little TV appearance on The Cafe to talk about Fashion Decider I meet the lovely and talented Rani Shortland who did my hair and makeup and make me feel beautiful. After spending about 1.5 hours with her I knew I needed to interview her for my blog.

The Cafe

(This is me after Rani worked her magic on my hair and makeup)

How long have you been a makeup artist, where did you train and how did you get your start in the industry?

I’ve been a makeup artist for 6 years now, ‘how time flies when you’re having fun’ :)

I trained in New York at a boutique Makeup School called ‘Chic Studios’. Living in ‘The Big Apple’ it was easy to then get into the industry as there was always so much going on. I started by doing TFP’s (Time for photos), which was unpaid, but was great for building up my portfolio and making contacts with models/photographers etc.

This lead on to working at New York Fashion Week, being a Head Makeup Artist with a team of 20 for a Fashion Marketing Company and working on such things as ‘The Real Housewives of New York’

What does a typical day for you look like as a professional make up artist?

The thing I love about my job the most is that every day is different. But typically it starts off by going to whichever studio is designated on the callsheet, meeting everyone involved in the shoot, setting up my makeup/hair stations, chatting with the photographer/art director about what makeup/hair look they are after, and then getting started on the model or talent. It can take between an hour to an hour and half to finish the entire look and is often my favourite part of the day as I get to chat away with the person in my seat and find out more about them. Then it’s a matter of standing by and keeping an eye on the hair/makeup throughout the day. Quite often this is fun too as I get to know and create relationships with the other crew on the shoot.

What types of clients do you have?

I have a range of different clients in different industries – the fashion industry, TV industry and Magazine industry mainly. I have a few private celebrity clients that I do on a regular basis for their TV/mag appearances or special events, and of course there are the bridal clients and anyone else needing my services for special events.

What are some of the most exciting opportunities you have had as a professional makeup artist?

The most exciting for me was working at Fashion Week in New York. Such an amazing vibe filled with so many talented inspiring people. It’s always exciting to do glamour shoots with celebrities as it gets the creative juices flowing. And I LOVE travel, so going on location to other countries, such as Hawaii for the hit reality TV show ‘The Bachelor’ or Tuscany for a wedding is pretty dam exciting too.

What has been the biggest challenge of your career?

Probably the biggest challenge was when I came back to New Zealand from New York city where I had established a good reputation and achieved a lot, and had to break into the industry here from scratch. It can be difficult to keep up the momentum to network until you get established again, but the most important part is to keep believing in yourself. Being self employed often means having to pat your own back when you know you have done a good job as there is no one ‘above’ you to give feedback. On the other hand it is incredibly rewarding once you have got to a point where the work keeps rolling in.

What three makeup items should no woman leave home without?

Lipstick, lipstick and more lipstick!

What is your top beauty tip? It can be anything

Apply your concealer last! Most people might think that concealer should be applied first, but to me the the most important thing is looking as fresh as possible under the eyes. So once you have applied eyeshadow etc, do a quick clean up under the eye and then finish with concealer..that way no sneaky fall out from the eyeshadow sticks under the eye 😉

What is you advice for young makeup artists who are just starting out?

Being a good Makeup Artist is not just about applying makeup – If you have a friendly warm personality, you have a good work ethic and you have the drive to keep going when establishing yourself in the industry, you will reap the rewards of having a fabulous career. Makeup artistry IS all its cracked up to be, but you have to put in a few hard hards first. Get yourself out there and go for it! Keep up the passion and keep believing in yourself x

The 1.5 hours I spent with Rani went by so quickly. Rani was so easy to talk to and I left feeling beautiful. She is some one I highly recommend. So if you are ever in need of a hair and makeup artist make sure you check out her details below:

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(Rani Shortland)

I have got a lot of exciting interviews lined up including next week’s one where I’m interviewing a model who is off to Fashion Week. Make sure you subscribe to receive a notification when the next blog post is up. xxxB

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