20 episodes

The Makeup Insider is a weekly one-on-one podcast exploring the life and career of makeup artists, hosted by freelance mua Vanessa Barney..
Finding your community of other likeminded mua’s – the creative, artistic, talkative, flexible, adaptable with a good eye for colour kind-of-people, can often be daunting. Like, where do you start?
The Makeup Insider is designed for just that. To build a collaborative online community of artists to build their confidence, connections and help drive their career to the next level.
If you’re just starting out or have been in the industry for a long time, tune in now, check out the key takeaways in the show notes and subscribe so you never miss an episode.
Find Vanessa @vanessabarney @the.makeupinsider

The Makeup Insider Vanessa Barney

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

The Makeup Insider is a weekly one-on-one podcast exploring the life and career of makeup artists, hosted by freelance mua Vanessa Barney..
Finding your community of other likeminded mua’s – the creative, artistic, talkative, flexible, adaptable with a good eye for colour kind-of-people, can often be daunting. Like, where do you start?
The Makeup Insider is designed for just that. To build a collaborative online community of artists to build their confidence, connections and help drive their career to the next level.
If you’re just starting out or have been in the industry for a long time, tune in now, check out the key takeaways in the show notes and subscribe so you never miss an episode.
Find Vanessa @vanessabarney @the.makeupinsider

    Geelong MUA Tess Holmes takes up through her path to success while juggling family life.

    Geelong MUA Tess Holmes takes up through her path to success while juggling family life.

    The Makeup Insider is a weekly one-on-one podcast exploring the life and career of makeup artists, hosted by freelance mua Vanessa Barney. This week: getting personal with Tess Homles, hair and makeup artist, mother and masterclass host.

    Tess is responsible for the makeup on the cover shoot of ‘Then there was her’, Sophie Cachia’s biography, which just dropped last month and the many-a celeb glow-ups, including Sophie Monk and Jessica Gomes. 
    “You know, it never really gets easier taking photos of yourself for videos, or listening to your own voice for that matter” - remarks Tess.

    Encouraging mua’s unsure what to charge when starting out, Tess suggests starting at a base of AU$150 for an hour’s work. Once you work out your market, brand and followers - you can start to increase your price. You just have to gauge what’s right for you and start off somewhere.


    Whether you’re just starting out or have been in the industry for a long time, tune in now, check out the key takeaways and subscribe for future podcasts below.

    KEY TAKEAWAYS:
    TRIAL AND ERROR.
    Makeup is art. It’s your own art, on a living canvas.

    Nothing is perfect until you practice - and as Tess says, nothing is wrong (I mean there’s not hitting the client brief - which is entirely a different story), but otherwise the best part about makeup is that you can really make your own look, because there’s no real right or wrong, it’s all about personal style.


    “It was all trial and error [in the early days]. It is all literally practice. You do something, then you rub it off. You know you can start again, and that is the best part about makeup.”
    Tess Holmes
     
    MAP TO SUCCESS.

    Didn’t meatloaf say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Well, along those lines are also striving make up artists hoping to make it in the big bad world.
    Tess mapped her way to success by creating a clear path of what she wanted, what she needed to do, and how to get there. Launching her self-titled makeup masterclass, Tess educates people on how to do their own makeup.

    Sponsored by Mecca and selling out EVERY TIME within minutes, Tess’ makeup classes are drawing people from all over Australia.

    While a masterclass requires a lot of work, it is very rewarding. You get to put your skills to good work by teaching a new generation of artists - you just need to find your niche.

    “I did my research and there was nothing out there [at the time]. There wasn’t anything for just your everyday person to learn makeup… So that’s where I started. I drew a map of what I wanted to create.”
    Tess Holmes

    THE ART OF JUGGLING.


    With two kids, a thriving career and hubby  - Tess is no stranger to the art of juggling.

    When you’re booked out on weekends, you’re going to miss some big things. Family things, friend things, life things - so learning how to juggle (and prioritise!) is super important.

    Tess sympathises with, and encourages other artists to try not to have guilt... Something she understands - often trying to balance being a mum and successful mua.


    “Only in the last couple of months I have learnt that I need to take time for myself… work is my break away from my family, but I need a break for me too. “
    Tess Holmes
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    • 1 hr 23 min
    Event MUA Nicole Aquilina talk about getting signed with an agent and moving into the commercial world.

    Event MUA Nicole Aquilina talk about getting signed with an agent and moving into the commercial world.

    The Makeup Insider is a fortnightly podcast exploring the life and career of makeup artists, hosted by freelance mua Vanessa Barney. This week: getting personal with Nicole Aquilina, Melbourne events-based makeup artist.

    Inspired by Australia’s Next Top Model, Nicole was drawn into the creativeness of the makeup, beauty and events world.

    With 11 years’ experience across commercial, weddings and events - she’s sought after for her artistry expertise and is passionate about her clients and her work. 

    KEY TAKEAWAYS:
    SAY GOODBYE TO MIRRORS.
    Makeup often looks bad, before it looks good - you know. While there’s no rules in makeup, it pays to have a happy client. That’s one rule that Nicole swears by, ‘don’t do your client’s make up in front of a mirror’.

    With one of the biggest trends this season making a comeback is the winged eye-liner, mua’s know that this can often be a challenge. And having a client take a sneak peak before the final reveal, could be a real mood kill on set.

    You have to be confident in making the brief work for your client - and keep final looks as just that.


    SO TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT. WHAT YOU REALLY, REALLY WANT.

    The big takeout here: Ask your clients what they want. Better yet, get them to show you.

    When you work on a counter, like MAC (which Nicole coins was the gateway into makeup before social media), you get to practice on people from all walks of life. Different genders, skin tones, facial features - it teaches you what theory and school just can’t.  

    People often go to a makeup counter with pictures on their phone of looks they want to replicate, and you get to show them the products that match their skin to achieve that look. When you’re freelancing and you have a client that wants a certain look, the best way to get them to explain that ‘natural’ look they saw on instagram is to show you.
    “It’s so important to ask your clients what they want. Like so many people say they want natural, but when you ask them to show you a photo of ‘natural’, it’s of Kimmy K.”
    Nicole Aquilina


    IT’S OK TO ASK FOR HELP.


    After building up clientele over the years, Nicole wanted to make the switch away from weddings and move into more commercial work.
    Her problem? She didn’t have the network. She knew that she wasn’t personally at that point in her career where she could easily do it, and needed to ask for help.

    Nicole encourages mua’s to get the experience, build your networks and don’t take setbacks personally. It’s important to know that a ‘no’ right now, isn’t a ‘no’ forever - so just keep going and focus on self improvement.

    “I find it really hard to let go of control. [But] sometimes you just need someone to hold your hand a little bit and help you out.”
    Nicole Aquilina

    • 1 hr 47 min
    Carla Dyson shares how she build her bridal and commercial client base

    Carla Dyson shares how she build her bridal and commercial client base

    This week: getting personal with Carla Dyson, commercial and bridal international hair and makeup artist.

    If you follow Carla, you can see she’s always been a creative person. Her social media profile presents her career highlights, industry secrets, behind the scenes footage and how-to’s. Her top tip: work on speed. It’s important for clients and will generate higher ROI for you in the long run.

    Carla is a woman of many talents. In lockdown she launched her own business, The Creative Directory - a community of creatives to help other artists take their careers to the next level. She also kept a little bit of herself [C.D] within the brand, passionate that the business is built as an extension of her values.


    Whether you’re just starting out or have been in the industry for a long time, tune in now, check out the key takeaways and subscribe for future podcasts below.

    KEY TAKEAWAYS:

    THE [NOT SO] GLAMOROUS LIFE

    Are you a workaholic? Reading this, are you also thinking about the 101 things you need to do to prepare for tomorrow’s shoot… your kit, the brushes, the client brief? Don’t worry. You’re not alone.

    Carla admits she’s always been a workaholic, always hustling and working as much as she could every opportunity she got.

    Our industry, though, is not always as glamorous as it’s made out to be. It’s actually quite a taxing job on your body. For one shoot, there might be 12 - 15 different shots, at different locations in one day. And that means changes for hair, makeup, decor, etc. which means you’re likely standing in heels for 8 - 10 hours a day!

    Carla understands the impact on your body, but boasts, “I love it. That’s why we do it. It might be taxing, but damn it feels good when you sit back and see what you’ve created. What you’ve been a part of.”
     
    THE INSTAGRAM BUSINESS

    Are you really reaching your key target market if you’re not using reels?

    Instagram, like many other social media platforms, constantly evolves. The algorithms change and there are new ‘best practice’ guidelines more often than we would like. But did you know that reels for instagram not only have incredible reach, they’re also more time-effective for YOU as an artist.

    We’re all time-poor these days, so we got Carla to explain how she creates while she works… You no longer have that 5-minute window at the end of the shoot to take perfect still shots, she said, instead, just hold your phone up and film as you do it. This filming can be used for reels, with the footage being much more authentic and real - exactly what your audience is craving.
     
    “Reels are raw. Using apps like Facetune set the wrong beauty standards, it’s not right. We need to make sure we’re posting stuff that is real.”
    Carla Dyson



    THE ASSISTANT CHECKLIST


    If you’ve got the time, do it. If you don’t have the time, make the time - or consider if this really is the right career for you.

    A common theme weaved through each podcast is assisting. It’s one of the only sure-fire ways in our industry to get the experience, get known and get jobs.

    When assisting, think of yourself as an extension of that artist for the day. You’re not your own brand (yet) and you will absolutely be put through the ringer. But tough love breeds tough artists and that’s exactly what we need.

    It might sound harsh, but roll your sleeves up and get ready to work. Create a checklist of simple things you can do to alleviate the artist’s workload and make the shoot run seamlessly - such as, setting up the kit, clearing things, spraying things down, being really proactive and thinking one step ahead of what they’ll need next.

    “Above all, see the value in learning from the artist you’re assisting. If you make a good impression and continue to nurture that relationship over the years, it might just be (your) path to success.”
    Carla Dyson
    Marlene Olsen mentioned podcast. 
     
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    • 1 hr 32 min
    Pinky aka Nicole Thompson, makeup artist, author & mum shares her 20 year career journey.

    Pinky aka Nicole Thompson, makeup artist, author & mum shares her 20 year career journey.

    The Makeup Insider is a fortnightly podcast exploring the life and career of makeup artists, hosted by freelance mua Vanessa Barney. This week: getting personal with Pinkiiieee (aka Nicole Thompson), makeup artist, author and mum.

    With an eclectic career spanning 20 years, Pinky thrives on new challenges and has said yes to working all types of jobs from magazine, editorials and advertising, to body painting, celebrities and weddings. Challenged by the covid pandemic, she reassessed her work-life balance after child number two, and launched into freelancing.

    Whether you’re just starting out or have been in the industry for a long time, tune in now, check out the key takeaways and subscribe for future podcasts below.

    KEY TAKEAWAYS:
    SLIDING DOORS MOMENT.
    From interior decorator, merchandiser and singer to rockstar mua, Pinkiiieee was inspired by her love of drawing and painting and a casual conversation with her boyfriend (now husband of 20+ years) who suggested she bring her passions in artistry to life.

    As an impulsive go-getter, after a brief stint of industry recon, Pinky enrolled in makeup college. Nearly quitting halfway through the first year after feeling like she just wasn’t getting it right, Pinkiiieee encourages artists to stick with it, especially when things seem tough - because that’s when your sliding doors moment often happens.

    “My first thought was (that) I loved all the glitter and shiny things. I loved the idea of special effects and doing movies… (but) I loved the pretty side too, the glamour of it all and making people feel really good…. I just became obsessed. I’m glad I stuck with it.”
    Pinky
    WHAT IS MEDIA TRAINING?

    With the increase in reliance on social media to elevate your artist profile, strengthen and widen your industry and client networks and basically act as a platform to land you consistent work - media training might be something to consider.
    Pinky first completed media training in New York, revelling that it was ‘quite intense’, but acknowledging the importance of understanding each platform from a PR lens, how to answer difficult questions, how to talk about a ‘product’ in the most interesting way and how to be consistent, concise and calm under pressure.

    Visual cues such as facial expressions, often tell a greater story than your words. When you’re active on social media, in front of the camera or talking about your product you need to be cognisant of all elements.

    “The first time I watched myself back I was mortified. It was in a room full of people… and I thought I was bright and bubbly, but my facial expressions made me look like a cranky b*tch!. It’s about the energy you bring when you say something that really changes what you’re saying.”
    Pinky

    BE IN THE MOMENT.

    Have you ever watched a Fashion Week reel on instagram and thought, ‘Wow - there are some crazy styles right now!?’. Part of the amazing culture of our industry is being in the moment, being part of something bigger.

    What a 30 sec roll looks like post-event, is often illuminated as a whole story, where you’re there. From the huge catwalk, to the themed decor, the lighting, the fashion styles, oh and we can’t forget the makeup! It’s no wonder many artists aspire to land these types of gigs.

    Pinky encourages you to be present in your moments. Be part of the action, the creativity, the people. Be part of what is being created that day and you’ll find more fulfillment in your work.

    Looking back at some of her favourite moments, Pinky says it’s not neccessarily one favourite job, but being part of something magical.


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    • 1 hr 48 min
    Mr Maybelline for 10 years, countless fashion weeks & celebrities, Nigel Stanislaus has done it all.

    Mr Maybelline for 10 years, countless fashion weeks & celebrities, Nigel Stanislaus has done it all.

    This week: getting personal with Nigel Stanislaus, a Singaporean-Chinese hair and makeup artist living in Melbourne whose celebrity client list spans Bella and Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner , John Legend , Jenna Dewan, Tina Arena, Troye Sivan, Olivia Newton John, Peaches Geldoff, Ruby Rose and Michael Bublé.
     
    Born and raised by strong, resilient women, Nigel was compelled into the artistry life by the glamour, the strength, the flexibility and the attitude on how to survive, and how to thrive!
     
    With an impressive repertoire of clients, industry experience and portfolio of work:
     
    Editorials include L’Officiel , Harpers Bazaar, Elle, & Marie Claire. Former Mr Maybelline and  Asia’s Next Top Model Judge. NYC resident and makeup director to almost 200 shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia.
    Whether you’re just starting out or have been in the industry for a long time, tune in now, check out the key takeaways and subscribe for future podcasts below.

    KEY TAKEAWAYS:
    SET YOURSELF A GOAL
    Whether you’re working to pay bills, unleashing your creativity or aiming to be top dog - it’s important to set yourself a goal.

    Nigel believes that if you manifest things, life will take you there. Sure there’s bound to be a few u-turns and bends in the road - but you will eventually get to your destination.

    Not sure where to start? For Nigel, it was the fear of failure that always pushed him to have a plan, show up, be present and be the absolute best that he could be. Start by writing out your goals for the next week, month or year ahead - and see where it takes you.
     
    LOVE WHAT YOU DO

    Artists love to be inspired by the world around them. Nigel is passionate about his work and enthuses that, ‘makeup should make you feel something, it should give you emotional energy - like you’ve been dancing for hours’.

    Our industry is tough, you need passion, skill and a whole lot of tenacity and grit to make it. Nigel (aka Mr Maybelline) always dons a big smile and love of learning.

    Inspired by boots he saw in Rome or flicking through instagram, Nigel’s life goal is to teach kids who want to do makeup to know that it’s a beauty blender. Whatever you’re feeling - angry, sad, scared, hungry, excited - just paint it out. Use your passion, use your emotion to give your work substance and you’ll always love what you do.
     
    “When people say, ‘oh, the glam is here’ to me, it’s not really like that. It's deeper, more personal... It’s business for me, it’s my career, it’s my identity - it is so much more than just magnetic lashes or painting someone..”
    Nigel Stanislaus


    GIVING BACK (TO ARTISTS)

    Taking kids off the street as his assistant, Nigel boasts that the hard work and commitment from those who assisted him out of High School, are the ones to watch out for in the industry today. These kids are now directors, artists in demand, entrepreneurs of up and coming brands… Giving back to the community and having young artists coming up the ranks around you is so important.

    As a senior artist you can influence a lot of change. Having an assistant is really critical for your workload, but the role is also an important mentorship, showing them how to develop hair and makeup skills, as well as an understanding of the industry.

    Nigel confides that although he may not be the kindest mentor (in fact, many would argue he is quite militant), he is serious about his craft and had to fight to get where he is today.

    “I’m not your therapist and I’m not going to be your BFF. I’m here to work, you’re here to work - let’s get it sorted. You need to have thick skin and a good attitude. Don’t even think about talking back to me with a potato cake in your hand, I will break you with my Tony Bianco heel!”
    Nigel Stanislaus
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    • 2 hr 7 min
    Vogue published, commercial & editorial MUA Ashleigh Carpenter share her story.

    Vogue published, commercial & editorial MUA Ashleigh Carpenter share her story.

    This week: getting personal with Ashleigh Carpenter, Melbourne makeup artist and hairdresser.

    Predominantly working on commercial and editorial shoots, Ashleigh always wanted to be a makeup artist.
    Using a mood board, she curates looks she’s obsessed with, keen to master and to influence her style. She also lets her creative side flair working Melbourne’s Spring Fashion Festivals and Sydney’s Fashion Weeks.

    KEY TAKEAWAYS:

    TEST, TEST, TEST > SHOOT
    Have you ever gone to a modelling agency with a photographer and asked their clientele, ‘Hey do you want to do a shoot?’... Seems crazy, right? Well, that’s exactly what Ashleigh did, only she calls these test shoot memories, ‘Little fun things!’.

    All artists, models, photographers, etc. need images for their portfolio. So, what better way to increase your network and build your portfolio all at once than through connecting these worlds?

    Slowly over the years, Ashleigh found photographers through Instagram or her networks and joined forces to create test shoots based on looks she wanted to build, and showcase. Her biggest tip? Choose photographers that complement your vibe, get creative and curate the shoots in the direction best suited for you.


    PUTTING THE [ASS] IN ASSISTING

    It’s important to know your style and what value you bring. For Ashleigh, her style reflects being in flower fields with flowy dresses (cue Australian Ballet, Channel, this season’s clothes) and the value she brings - over 14 years in the industry, with 97% of her jobs encompassing hair & makeup.

    Same goes when you’re assisting. While you may have a distinct style, you’re there to assist a lead mua, lead hair stylist or the director of the shoot. We often hear, ‘it’s better to be seen than heard’ and as harsh as that is, it’s the way of our industry. You need to learn how to assist correctly and what value you bring.
    “I would go and do assisting jobs before I started work. They were massive days, but I knew I needed the experience and to build my portfolio... Each job I was sent on had a different vibe, and a very different style to the commercial jobs I had experience in, so I’m glad I put all the hard work in along the way.”
    Ashleigh Carpenter

    TRUST YOUR GUT
    If Ashleigh had to pass on any information, she swears it would be to really trust your gut. She took a big leap and had to trust her gut and know that what she was doing was the right thing… and thankfully, it paid off. While we recognise this isn’t always the case, trusting and validating yourself is always important.

    Ashleigh also encourages listeners to try and find an agent that’s like a mentor. You shouldn’t have to sell yourself to have them represent you - because if you have a solid portfolio and online presence, they should be able to accurately see your work and know whether they want to represent you before they meet you.
    “I’m a big believer in goal setting. At the start of the year, I write my goals for the year ahead and for the next 5 years. I always check-in throughout the year to see where I’m at, or what I could be doing differently to meet my goals.”
    Ashleigh Carpenter


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    • 1 hr 41 min

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