Jessica Marshall, the artisan behind her own makeup artistry business talks to us about how persistence, her calm nature, and her devotion to following her passion has helped her build her name in the competitive industry of film, television, and bridal makeup.
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Tell us about yourself?
I grew up on the coast South of Sydney very close to the National Park. As child, I was a bit of an adventurer. I was always out exploring in the bush or climbing trees. I took art classes from a young age, and loved it. So if I wasn’t out and about, then I’d be scribbling or drawing. I always had a very vivid imagination! I was introduced to the world of makeup artistry when I came across the special features section on a DVD one day. I was just so immediately drawn to the idea of makeup that I knew I had to do it! It had made such an impact on me at the time so much so that when I finished school I decided to get formal training. I knew then that this was exactly what I wanted to do.
What was makeup school like? How did you get your business started?
It was a big, steep learning curve, and there were a lot of challenges along the way. There were a lot of things that I had to figure out myself. It’s a very competitive space, and I guess unless you had the contacts to help you get your foot through the door, it really does usually take you awhile to “make it”. And that was what it was like for me. It took five years of doing jobs here and there for free. When no one knows who you are, you really need to start from scratch. You have to prove yourself to everyone and make your own contacts. I got in touch with other makeup artists and did a lot of photo shoots, a lot of them for free, just to get the shots I needed to build up my portfolio. You really need to promote yourself well and just get your name out there.
So Jessica Marshall Makeup Artistry, what is it all about?
My focus is simple. It’s about making women feel absolutely amazing. Although my makeup style is glamorous, focusing on bringing out each individual woman’s natural beauty is very important to me. For me, as an artist, it’s about being creative and being flexible yet confident, knowing exactly what you want to do when you see someone’s face, and really transforming that canvas into something extra special.
What made you decide to do bridal makeup?
Working in film, television and commercials is exciting, but it can be pretty overwhelming and intense throughout the day. You’re standing by doing touch ups for almost twelve to fifteen hours straight, and sometimes it can just be really exhausting. Bridal makeup on the other hand is not only something I feel extremely honoured to be a part of, but it has always been a magical escape for me. It’s fun and relaxing and never too stressful. I love to make people feel naturally beautiful and confident in their own skin and see them glow with excitement and exuberance for the rest of their special day. A lot of people are often afraid to wear too much makeup. Mothers of the bride and groom can get very anxious, but it’s a such a great feeling to see them pleasantly surprised at how it all turns out and see them start to relax and start to get excited about the rest of the day! Then there are times when I’m genuinely just enjoying the day with everyone else. A lot of the time it doesn’t even feel like I’m working!
“I’m constantly evolving as an artist and a person, and I have a job that evolves with me. The life of a makeup artist is very colourful and varied…”
How do you ensure everything runs smoothly on the day?
It’s challenging at first when you don’t know too much about your clients and what they like and don’t like. To help me get to know my brides and what they like, I recommend that they collect images of what they like and what stands out to them, so I can visualise exactly what they’re after. There’s usually some commonalities between the photos they pick and from there we can talk through how certain techniques could apply to them. I always plan ahead to make sure there’s adequate time on the day. So if there were any hiccups along the way, we’re never rushed for anything. I’m quite a calm person, and my personality has always worked in my favour when doing bridal makeup. The wedding day itself is a big day, and can be very stressful for a lot of people, not just for the bride, but for the whole family, and the bridal party. Being one step ahead, and remaining calm in any situation is reassuring for everyone.
What tips do you have for couples who are looking for a Makeup Artist?
There is definitely more to being a makeup artist than meets the eye – it’s so important to make sure that the person you choose as your makeup artist is someone who is relaxed, in control, is pleasant to have around, and can work well under pressure. They are going to be with you, quite closely for a few hours on one of the most special days of your life. There’s bound to be a few surprises and it’s probably going to be just a little bit hectic. So you wouldn’t want to have that intensified in any way. Good artists usually work largely from recommendations of people they have worked with in the past. Ask around. Word of mouth is very important, so read reviews from previous clients. Make sure they have the appropriate level of experience too and that their style suits yours. For example, If you are after a more natural makeup look, make sure you are happy with the work they’ve done for previous clients who have requested the same. A trial is also really important.
When is the best time for brides to start looking for their makeup artists?
Start the process of finding your makeup artist about 6 months prior to your wedding day. I wouldn’t recommend doing a trial too early in case of things like changes in your skin tone or even hair colour. Try to coincide the trial with a special occasion, so that when you have photos taken you have a good idea of what the makeup will look like with professional photography.
What do you think has kept you going after all these years?
I am so lucky to be doing something that I really enjoy. It makes me feel fulfilled and I have so much fun doing it. I’m constantly evolving as an artist and a person, and I have a job that evolves with me. The life of a makeup artist is very colourful and varied, you’ve just got to “roll with it”. Social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube and Facebook have definitely changed the game a lot. There are so many trends to keep up to date with. I know I want to do this for the rest of my life, and what has kept me going after all these years is seeing the positive impact I make every time I am with a client.
What advice would you give to people who are thinking about or have started to build their own businesses to pursue their own passions?
I think it takes a brave person to start their own business and follow their passion. It can certainly be a difficult path to follow and it takes a lot of work and self motivation but if you have the grit and determination to persevere even when things are tough, you can get there. And – It is so worth it when you do!
All images owned and copyrighted by WePlanr.
For more glamour and quiet, calm, confidence, visit www.jessicamarshallmakeup.com.au
To know more about Jessica’s bridal hair and makeup packages, send her a chat at www.weplanr.com