Becoming a makeup artist to the stars and fashion houses is no easy feat. Exceptionally long hours, countless flights across different time zones, dedication and extreme hard work are just some of the qualities and requirements you have to accept in order to even be considered.
We sat down with Anna Priadka, Global Makeup Artist for NARS Cosmetics to find out about how she started her career and if she had any tips on becoming a makeup artist for all you budding creatives. Not only does she happen to be one of the loveliest people we have ever interviewed, she also had some great tips and tricks on breaking into the business and carving out your own name.
How to become a makeup artist with Anna
- Q How did you get into the makeup industry?
- A I actually started my career as a model when I was 16, where I worked with a lot of makeup artists and picked up a lot. I also had three sisters who were mad into makeup, as was my mum so developing an interest in it wasn’t so hard! After countless shoots and shows- and a few bad makeups in between I thought ‘you know what I can do this’. So I cancelled a show season in Milan and did a makeup course instead!
- Q What do you love most about your job?
- A Creating. I love putting makeup on a face and watching the features transform.
- Q What are your hours like?
- A It all depends on what I am doing as my role as a Global with NARS is so varied. If I am travelling on PR and event visits, my days can be anything from 6-12 hours long possibly with travel on top. Fashion week it is usually the same story, whereas my general office, mentoring and social media days which I use for filming, developing content and helping coordinate makeup events are usually shorter and based near home. As a freelancer, hours vary from one extreme to the next. I remember not having any work for three days or so and then having a three day stint where I once did 17 hours in a day assisting on a shoot! You have to be prepared to take all or nothing.
- Q Has the industry become tougher to get into?
- A No! If anything the emergence of social media has made it much easier for Artists to be recognised, which is a great thing. I do feel when I started out, it was a lot harder and the industry felt so daunting! The general path for working in fashion or film would be to assist a top artist, and slowly work your way up. Now I feel it is a lot quicker to be successful. The only downside to this is sometimes exposure wins over experience, which can be frustrating for artists who have gone through the process of slowly building their career.
- Q What 3 tips would you give to budding artists?
- A Work hard, be humble and don’t give up!
- Q How important is social media in building your brand?
- A Like it or not, it is very important now. I hardly see any Makeup Artist with a proper portfolio or website these days, as it is all on social media. The first place I look if I am ever hiring someone after their CV, is their Instagram. It’s a shame but true that working in such a visual and fast paced industry means your work needs to be accessed quickly.
- Q What are the top 3 qualities of a successful makeup artist?
- A 1/Having a unique makeup style 2/being personable, and easy to work with 3/focus and determination
- Q What has been the highlight of your career?
- A Working with Francois Nars in Paris this year was the biggest achievement to date. Working with him, I was totally in awe and had the upmost respect and gratitude that he had built such an incredibly inspiring brand, and given so much to the makeup and fashion community over the years. I had bought his makeup your mind book when I was 17, and to work with him years later was a moment I’d dreamed of- so take it as a note to dream big!
- Q If you were to do anything different, would you?
- A I think I would have fully embraced the world of social media a little earlier on in my career. But I really do believe that things come when you are ready for them, and I don’t think I would have had as good an understanding of it back then. Overall though, I don’t have any regrets. I’ve taken risks so that I wouldn’t look back and think I should have done anything differently, I think it’s the worst thing you can do.
- Q What makes NARS such a special company to work for?
- A That the founder, Francois is still so heavily engrained in our DNA and also still a huge part of the brand- he creatively directs and shoots all our campaigns. This means that they are so unique- you look at a visual and know it is NARS. That is so special, as the industry at present is saturated with brands that all have the same point of view. It makes me proud to work for a brand that is progressive and unique.