When you’re in school, it’s super hard to have to decide on your future career. There’s already hours of homework and study and you’ll soon be making decisions about college courses and what to do after school. At KISS we’re chatting to people in different industries about how they’ve landed their dream role, what they actually do, and their advice to you.
This week we’re talking to Abby Birch, a full-time makeup artist, and beautician who tutors in her field. Sharing what she studied to get where she is now and the obstacles she faced getting there, Abby shares invaluable advice for students hoping to follow a similar path to her.
What is your current role?
My current role is as a full-time makeup artist, makeup tutor, and beautician.
Can you describe what your general day at work looks like?
In this job, every day looks so different! Some days I will do glam makeovers back to back. Other days I am in a TV studio doing makeup for on-screen talent or perhaps I am teaching a makeup masterclass.
The best part about my job is every single day is so different. I also do a lot of day admin work which includes planning social media content, organizing my bookings, and chatting with clients. Teaching is definitely one of my favorite parts of the job.I teach makeup courses, 1:1 lessons, and doing courses in schools with transition years and 6th-year career talks.
How did you decide on this type of career?
I have always been very passionate about makeup and beauty so I have wanted to do this career for as long as I can remember. I started to take it seriously when I was about 15 or 16 and started to research how I could make my hobby a career!
What did you do to get to this point in your career from after school onwards?
After school, I studied theatrical and media makeup. It was a one-year full-time course and gave me a cert in makeup artistry. I also did some add-on courses to gain qualifications in brows and lashes. I also studied digital marketing the following year because I knew I wanted to run my own business so this allowed me to be able to gain an insight into how to market myself correctly.
What are the ups and downs of the role?
The job is amazing but definitely has its ups and downs. Building a clientele at the beginning is really hard and time-consuming. Makeup can also have super unsociable hours so bear in mind your Saturdays will probably be spent preparing everybody else for nights out! However, once you stick with it, stay persistent, and work hard, the benefits of the job outweigh any negatives.
What advice would you give to a student looking to get into your line of work?
If you are serious about getting into the industry, get your qualification. Work hard and network as much as possible. In this industry, it really is who you know. It is super important to have a good portfolio so practice is key. Take pictures of all of your work and create a presence on social media. Always take any experience you can get. Just work hard and you will get exactly where you want to be.