We love celebrating sharing our students’ stories. They inspire us, and we hope they inspire you too. Our latest MUA story comes from the wonderful Phoebe, who studied with the Academy last year…

I adore my job as I love the capacity makeup has to change the way people feel about themselves. Feeling good leads to happiness and being a Buddhist, I’m a huge advocate for happiness! Growing up, I was obsessed with models and their beauty. The hair, the skin, the glow. I would spend hours looking through magazines in awe of the makeup and wonder how they achieved those much-admired looks.

I began my makeup journey by assisting at weddings whilst living in Australia. I was mostly cleaning brushes and soothing the bridal party’s nerves, but even then I loved the buzz and excitement of getting someone ready for the biggest day of their lives. I knew on my very first wedding that I had found my future career.

Back in the U.K. I began working with Laura Mercier, the pioneer of the ‘flawless face.’  I fell in love with this brand and their message. It was, and continues to be, everything I stand for in makeup: making women look as beautiful as possible while making them look like themselves.

Having been freelance for some time, last year I completed the five-day Advanced Bridal Makeup Course at Academy with Kristina, who continues to be my mentor and inspiration. Whilst training with Kristina, I discovered my love for photography. It’s a joy to see my clients’ reactions when I show them how their make up appears through a lens.  Without doubt, I’ve learnt from the best in the business. This training has enhanced my versatility and confirmed my philosophy that every woman deserves to feel her absolute best. After completing the course I found that I felt so much more confident about every aspect of running my own business, and my career rocketed – and not just on the wedding front. Recently I have worked with Dr Hauschka, the premium skincare and makeup brand, creating social media content for their limited edition makeup collections. As someone obsessed with a flawless base, this is a perfect fit for me.

Great training has proved to be my greatest investment, but I’ve learnt a few other lessons on the way as well. It’s important to be patient and not expect overnight success.  I’ve been a freelance MUA for four years and it’s only now that I feel ready to quit my full-time job and go self-employed. I’ve taken the time to grow and develop organically as a person and I think this is reflected in how my business has grown.

I try not to compare myself to others as this can be extremely negative and unhelpful.  Everyone is on a different point on their career path, and if you’re constantly looking at what everyone else is doing, you’re not giving that energy to your own endeavours. I make a point of focusing on my work and I’ve found I’m much more content, which I think shows in my work. I try not to beat myself up if I make a mistake either. It’s how we learn. Instead, I pick myself up and keep going. I still get frustrated if I feel my makeup technique isn’t perfect but I try to use it as a motivation to keep practising and if I think there are any gaps in my skills, I won’t hesitate to take another course or class. (and I happen to know a great instructor!)  It’s really important to think about development too and podcasts are a fantastic source of guidance and inspiration. One of my favourites is Hashtag Authentic, I would thoroughly recommend a listen. Every episode leaves me feeling motivated and energised!!

Finally, I’ve learnt that it’s best to get hands on.  You won’t develop your skills behind a computer. I’ve practised on friends and family.  I email makeup artists to assist them. In fact, a lot of my spare time is taken up with organising shoots which isn’t paid work but gives me opportunities to network, meet new people and be inspired. You can’t put a price on that so get out there I say. Live and breathe makeup! And speaking of networking, I’ve found that it pays to be kind (I’m Buddhist!). The life of an MUA can feel quite isolating and helping others is so worthwhile. When makeup artists message me on Instagram with questions or to come and watch me, I’m more than willing to help. It’s flattering too!

So what’s next? As I said earlier, I’m taking the plunge and going full-time freelance – Eek! Wish me luck! (I’m also dreaming about having my own studio, but one thing at a time!). I’m so excited for the next chapter of my career and feel so lucky to have found a profession that’s my passion and has the flexibility to work around my lifestyle.

My website is also launching in a couple of weeks so look out for that but in the meantime, do come and say “Hi” on Instagram @phoebehaytermua!

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