Rachael Brook: Makeup Muse
Femme Info: Makeup Artist, Founder & Beauty Blogger at Rachael Brook Vlogging the perfect @PricelineAU and @rachael_brook winged liner look through her educational makeup tutorials. Follow her amazing tips here.
I’m a hair and make up artist in the fashion industry and a beauty blogger in my not-so-spare time. I absolutely love working with creatives who are brilliant at what they do and playing a part in creating beautiful images.
WHAT HAS YOUR CAREER JOURNEY BEEN TO DATE?
I started assisting the incredible make up artist, Rae Morris, from the age of 15. I did 5 private make up lessons with her, and that’s how I learnt all the make up basics. I had part time jobs to make money to survive and spent the rest of my week following Rae everywhere she went – I tagged along to help out at photo shoots, video shoots, book meetings, fashion week, agency meetings, make up shopping, celebrities homes, birthdays, launches, and even her dog’s vet appointments. You name it, I was there. That probably sounds quite extreme, but because I lived so far away, after my parents had dropped me off with Rae in the morning, I was her responsibility for the day and she was stuck with me at least until my parents had finished work. I assisted Rae until I was 19 and it was by far the best experience I could have ever asked for. I started working in the office at Rae’s (then) agency, DLM, as one of my part time jobs, here I learnt how to be a make up artist from a creative perspective. I also learnt how the industry works behind closed doors. I knew what a good portfolio looked like, and how the images were positioned to best captivate the viewer. I learnt how to write biographies, produce shoots, and what it takes for a client to book an artist. By the age of 19, I was represented by DLM as a make up artist in my own right, and that still sits in my mind as one of the best highlights of my career.
From there I started working for magazines such as Dolly and Girlfriend and slowly built up to shooting regularly for Cosmopolitan, Cleo, Shop Til You Drop and loads of other mags. When I wasn’t shooting for magazines, I was doing advertising shoots for different labels, working with celebrities who I had made friends with along the way, and doing fashion shows when the opportunity came up. I launched my current website (RachaelBrook.com) in 2012. This blog is entirely my own. All the images are shot exclusively for it, and I do all the make up myself, of course!
WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION / STUDY BACKGROUND?
I completed my year 10 School Certificate and I also have a Certificate 4 in Hairdressing, neither of which I particularly enjoyed acquiring.
WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND WOMEN STUDY OR DO TO BEST EQUIP THEMSELVES TO GET INTO YOUR INDUSTRY?
Most make up artists go to a make up college and get a Cert. 4 or a diploma in make up. I also think the best thing you can do is to get experience within the industry you want to work in by assisting a make up artist whose work you admire. It’s an experience that money can’t buy and you learn so much.
WHAT SKILLS AND TRAITS DO PEOPLE NEED TO SUCCEED IN YOUR INDUSTRY?
Obviously you need to be fairly good at doing hair and make up. From there you need to be great with people, because there’s going to be a lot of them that you need to get along with. From your agency, to the clients, to the photographers, models and stylists, all of which change on a daily basis. If you are good with running a business that helps a lot too, but otherwise if you are lucky enough to get an agent – it’s their job to help out with that side of things. Persistence is also a great trait to have in this industry and a thick skin.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
This year has marked three huge career highlights for me. The first was my very first shoot for Vogue, which turned out to be a cover shoot. The second, is signing with my new agency MAXCONNECTORS, who deal with influencer campaigns and brand collaborations. The third, was my first job through MAXCONNECTORS, where I had the opportunity to be the Priceline Pharmacy Beauty Director for 30 Days of Fashion and Beauty in September. It was an entirely new experience for me, and involved being in front of the camera a lot more than I am used to. I had my first live TV appearance on The Today Show and I had the opportunity to travel the country to share my beauty knowledge. Each year I write out a list of goals I would like to achieve and do everything I can to make sure it can be ticked off by the end of the year. Maybe that’s my biggest achievement, always accomplishing what I set out to do.
WHAT PART OF YOUR JOB DON’T WE SEE ON INSTAGRAM?
You see most of the good parts on Instagram. You see the endless supply of make up, the beautiful models, the fun behind the scenes shots where I’m playing with the props, and all the lovely events we attend. The things you don’t see are the bags under my eyes when I have to be awake at 3.45am for a sunrise shoot, the 30kg make up kit I drag everywhere with me, and the valium I take before a flight because I hate it so much. Oh, and I usually don’t post photos of our catered lunch, even though it’s usually AWESOME with a slice of salted caramel tart on the side.
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNT FROM A MISTAKE YOU’VE MADE IN THE PAST?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to trust myself, and to create my own journey in this industry. Just because one make up artist has done it one way, doesn’t mean I need to follow exactly in their footsteps. Different artists are always going to enjoy working on different projects and you need to accept, and work with that.
HAS YOUR DEFINITION OF SUCCESS CHANGED FOR YOU OVER THE COURSE OF YOUR CAREER?
Absolutely. When I first started I had a very clear vision of what I wanted my life and career to look like, but as I’ve grown up I’ve realised that vision I had didn’t really involve having close friends or much of personal life at all. It also didn’t include expressing my creativity. I was so desperate to work on certain jobs that I had completely looked past my need to fulfil that creative side. Now I consider success to be having a beautiful balance of working hard, playing hard and creating things at every opportunity I get.
REFLECTING ON YOUR CAREER TO DATE, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOURSELF AT THE BEGINNING?
I would tell myself to be patient and to enjoy the entire journey – not just the part where I reach my goals because they can be a long time coming!
HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED ANY COURSES, SEMINARS, BOOKS OR GUIDES THAT HAVE CHANGED YOUR LIFE?
My all time favourite book is Unlock Your Potential by Liz Wilde. It’s like a bible to me. Every time I’m feeling like I need to refocus, I read through the book, answer the quizzes and set myself new goals.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE STRESS / ANXIETY / WORK LIFE BALANCE?
I make sure I spend time doing something I love each day (I learnt that from my favourite book, as mentioned above). I spend time with my dogs who are my favourite things in the entire world and also a great stress reliever. I love listening to music (gangster beats in particular) and catching up with my friends for long lunches and dinners, or even just a decent phone call if we don’t have time to actually meet up. When I’m feeling very stressed I will go to the beach or take my youngest pup for a long walk, or sometimes just try the good old retail therapy trick.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?
That is a damn good question!! Since joining the MAXCONNECTORS team, I’ve opened myself up to a whole other realm of exciting new projects, so within the next few weeks I’ll be figuring out what those are and how to move forward with them. I’m in a slight between stage in this moment where i’ve just accomplished one goal, and now I need to work on setting another.
WHAT THREE WORDS WOULD YOU USE TO DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
Impatient, creative, passionate.