UCIA sat down and spoke to Brooke Sutherland about her success as a specialist Airbrush make up artist and how she created her own business and started a following.
What was it that drove you to the makeup world and which artists inspire you?
When I was in primary school, I used to always go through my mums makeup bag and I used to always put her lipstick on before school. I would always try and sneak some powder in there too but she always caught me. I have always known that I have wanted to be a makeup artist and in year 7 I began to study everything that would help go towards makeup artistry, like art, photography and all those sorts of subjects.
For inspiration, I don’t really have many makeup artists that inspire me only because I feel like once an artist inspires you, you kind of, somewhat copy their work. My inspiration mainly comes from my clients, from the photos they bring to show me, their personality and all those sort of factors. So, there is no actual person themselves.
What formal training have you had? Courses etc. Would you recommend this to other people interested in makeup artistry?
We are so blessed at this age where social media is so available and the internet, YouTube and all those platforms can be used to research are so easily accessible and you can learn anything off the internet these days. I think with makeup artistry it is the same thing. In year 12 I did makeup artistry at Chisholm Tafe and I feel that I did not learn as much as I could have, but maybe that was because of how young I was. After I finished year 12 VCAL, I enrolled into the Academy of Makeup on Chapel St, and I did a Diploma 4 back in 2011 and that is where I learnt all the basics. I feel these days you don’t really need to go to school, they are so expensive and you can get similar training by going to a makeup artists and learn the basics off them, that is enough to start it off.
How long have you been doing makeup for? Take us back to your first makeup experiments, to your professionalism now.
I have been doing makeup for 5-6 years now. My first experience with makeup would be with my sister, who was my guinea pig. I was looking back at old photos the other day, and recognised how bad the unblended smokey eye was, how I did it then compared to how I do it now. It is really interesting to see how far I’ve come, because everyone starts from somewhere.
Starting up your own business, how did you learn the business side to things? What do you need to do this?
I have not had any training or done any business management courses but have had a lot of experience with customer service and retail in the past and I think just with the years of experience it all comes to you. With decisions on the business, I always look to someone who has developed themselves, so someone that inspires me. For example, I look to a girl named Jess Lewis, I always look to her for inspiration because to see someone at such a young age that just does so well is inspiring and we can feed off each other in a way.
What sort of makeup do you specialise in? Special effects, beauty etc
I specialise in bridal and glamour. I was never really into the special effects because I think you have to have a lot of patience and it is a really hard market to get into. But then again, there is competition everywhere you go but I love bridal the most. It is really nice to be a part of someone’s special day.
What is your take on makeup artistry in the world? How would you like to see it influence people? What are the benefits?
Social media, especially Instagram these days have such a big impact as they are so many big accounts that feature makeup artists that do a lot of these extreme makeup highlighting and contouring, which for a makeup artist it might be easy to do, but for the average person it could be really difficult. I am sure a lot of people have sat down in front of a YouTube video and tried to recreate a look with highlighting or contouring with the crèmes, and it is really hard. Each year something new comes out, something different, something changes so it will be interesting to see what the next big makeup fad is for 2016.
You have 14.6 thousand followers on Instagram.. How do you feel about this? How did you start getting a following? Self promotion, marketing, social media etc?
I am really blessed to have a lot of great followers and I am lucky in the sense that I don’t get bullied on Instagram. Where I see a lot of people with a big following and they get a lot of slander, where I think all my followers are actually true people, and a lot of them are Melbourne based. I think I got to that number, and hopefully still growing by marketing, for example tagging, hash tagging and all those sorts of things and with the rise of social media these days, it has made starting a business a lot easier but your presence on social media needs to be active and you have to be really involved with Facebook and Instagram. I like to be active and I constantly do uploads, because the more you’re active, the more your work is seen. All the social media are where people find their inspirational photos.
What memorable responses or experiences have you had from your work?
I think the best gift you can get is someone saying thank you to you for doing their services for you on their wedding day or even if it is just a normal appointment or sending a photo. The best compliment would be a referral though.
What are your must have products. Can you share with us 3 makeup must haves?
1. Prolong Wear Concealer by MAC
Light application but still full coverage. I like to use this on someone who tends to have normal to oily skin. I wouldn’t recommended it to anyone with dry skin as it does dry quickly and matte. It works perfectly for any kind of setting.
2. Tarte, clean slate timeless moving primer.
This is good for anyone that has a lot of open pores. I like to put this all over my face, it moves everything out and makes my foundation look flawless. It really buffs it into the skin and is good for anyone with oily skin. It is also good for girls when they get spray tans, because when we do get spray tans I don’t think we tend to realise that our pores are more open and the spray tan tends to sit in the pores, and this primer tends to smooth it out for your foundation.
3. Beauty Blender Sponge
This is so good for so many reasons! I put my foundation on with a brush and then buff it into my skin, so there is no lines from the brush. Cream contouring, it is also good to buff all around your face so it looks seamless. It is perfect for under eye concealer and can get really close to your lash line and it doesn’t hurt! Poke yourself in the eye with it, and it doesn’t hurt. Every girl should have a beauty blender!
Do you have any handy makeup tips for the struggling girls out there?
- Definitely wear a foundation that matches your skin tone/neck.
- Wear products that are recommended for your skin type.
- Maybe go and get a skin test from Endota spa, so you know what your skin type is.
- You need to be putting the right products on your face that suit your skin type. Problem areas; oily, dry, combination etc
Any advice for aspiring makeup artists?
I would say don’t get caught up with the Instagram trends. Don’t copy what is going on. There is nothing wrong with trying new things out yourself and finding your style and working with that.
How can we follow or reach you in the makeup world??
On Instagram: @BrookeSutherlandMakeup