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If you’re pursuing a career as a professional makeup artist, then we have a treat in store for you. That’s because, in this blog, we’re going to be hearing from one of the leading names in the industry, Beauty Business Boss entrepreneur Mel Burnicle - someone who also happens to be an expert who we’ve collaborated with to create beauty courses online like these.

What is it like to be a makeup artist? 

This is just one question that is often asked by school leavers and people looking for a career change. We’ll be aiming to answer it next, along with a range of other questions, as we tap into the vast knowledge and experience Mel has gained on her journey to the top of the industry.

If you’re sitting comfortably, we’ll begin.

Hello, Mel. We’re pleased to be able to talk to you today. Can we start by asking who your biggest inspiration was starting out?

Hello, and I’ve happy to help. Actually, Kevin Aucoin was a major inspiration in the makeup scene for me. I’ve always thought that the way he could create with shape and colour was extraordinary. I was introduced to him by my Grandma, Beryl (also a lover of makeup & fashion), who gave me my first Kevin Aucoin book ‘Making Faces’. I still look at that book with the same enthusiasm I did 25 years ago!

What’s the most significant change you’ve seen during your time in the makeup artist  industry? 

The scope of work has changed across freelance makeup work. As the world evolves,

so do industries, as nothing stays the same. Social media makeup demo videos are being shot all the time, and where people would have had bread & butter jobs shooting for magazines, publications like this are now few and far between.

So, while magazine work has died off, online content has taken off, with brands now shooting not only their own advertising campaigns but also their own eCommerce content. 

What part of the industry would you change if you could, and why?

I run The Makeup Artist Guild Asia Pacific, and we are committed to fighting for the creation of a set of standards and rates for the industry. In NO other industry do clients dictate the rates. You wouldn’t get me telling my local plumber, “by the way, I’m paying you for ‘x’ for your services”. Also, most products available to freelance artists need to be purchased at retail prices - it’s ridiculous in this day and age.

Inflation on products is on the rise, so where are the profit margins? I want artists to have a successful and sustainable career in an industry that can be brilliant. As such, I will continue to push for better conditions and raise awareness of the challenges faced by our industry.

What do you think the future looks like for the beauty industry in Australia?

Beauty products enjoyed massive growth during the pandemic, with everyone doing their own DIY home services. Moving out of the pandemic, people are again craving interaction and that personal touch. So, if you’re a makeup artist  offering an excellent service that really looks after your clients, you’re on the right path. People want to feel pampered and cared for. 

People can do their one makeup, of course, but if you can do it better, with the right energy and passion, you’ll have a bright future with clients that keep coming back. 

What advice would you give to someone starting out on a beauty career?

Never be afraid to fail, and you’ll always succeed. Granting myself permission to fail years ago paved the way for my own success, and when you’re creative or in a business where you need to push the boundaries, you have to be prepared to make mistakes along the way. 

Sometimes it’s magic. Others it’s not. But what if your failures are just lessons to grow from? Instead of getting stopped in your tracks and thinking, “Oh, poor me!”, look for a solution and try to do better next time. Does anyone really get things right the first time around? Please think of how many takes they do in movies, so take what you’ve learned and try again.

Also, when trying to find your place in the industry, try a couple of environments within it that you’d like to work in. It’s broad, so there are many job opportunities, from freelance to retail to education to even owning your own business. Don’t be afraid to explore and try different things. I’ve been in the industry for 25 years, and I’m constantly upskilling through education.

I love that this is an industry that allows you to grow with skills, but also, these skills allow me the confidence to deliver high-end results because I have learnt, studied and know the work inside out! It’s empowering, and I love it!

Enhance Your Skills With a Video-Based Makeup Course From OCA 

It was excellent speaking to Mel; her words provided valuable insight into the makeup artist world, so we thank her again for offering them. The great news is that the upskilling she mentioned is easier than ever, thanks to CPD-Endorsed makeup course training from OCA that’s video-based and is offered with 1-to-1 mentor support, seven days a week.

If you’d like to know more about the enhanced learning experience we offer, you can look at our Student Study Demo or visit us today at There you’ll also find training covering more than 20 different professional industries and flexible payment options to make paying for your learning more manageable.

However, if you have any questions about our make-up course training or our full range of courses that cover more than 20 different professional industries, call 07 3039 0101, email our friendly team [email protected]or you can book a career call here

Ignite Your Passion As A Makeup Artist, Enrol Today!


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