This week is going to be an emotional one! Wednesday marks my last day as a retail makeup artist for Estee Lauder, so that I can have more time and flexibility with my family. I am so grateful to all of my lovely clients who have supported me in growing my business, so that now I can be completely freelance, and work hours to suit the needs of my family! It has taken a while to get here, but it is definately a goal achieved!
Back in 2004, I was in the middle of doing my BTEC diploma in makeup at Hugh Baird College, following completing my VTCT diploma at Liverpool Community College. I was also freelancing, mainly doing short films and bridal work, with the occasional fashion photographic job. I had aspirations of being the next Kevyn Aucoin (my makeup hero!), but then the company my husband worked for folded, so he was left with no job, and no redundancy. I could not afford to carry on at Hugh Baird, so I had to leave, and I joined an agency for beauty retail called Engaging Faces. They placed me on a few different counters over the Christmas period, but I knew I needed to find something full time and permanent, and FAST!
I got a job with Benefit Cosmetics as a Counter Manager in a Boots store. I really sunk my teeth into it, and discovered I loved the challenge of driving sales and the whole business side of managing a counter. Eight months later, a job came up for Counter Manager with Estee Lauder in the same store, and the store manager encouraged me to go for it. I had to think long and hard, I always thought Estee Lauder was a more 'mature' brand, and at that time I was still young and thought I was too cool for that particular brand (this makes me laugh now!). After much consideration, I went for it, and was successful! In 2008, I was promoted to Business Manager of the new flagship counter in Debenhams Liverpool One. I had a fabulous little team, and we worked our socks of building that counter from scratch (literally). It was at times stressful, at times rewarding, and a lot of times it was just plain fun! You know, work hard, play harder and all that! Following the birth of my son in 2011, I stepped down as manager and returned as part time makeup artist. I have enjoyed the last 3 years so much, I really enjoyed my job being free from the stresses of management. And I love my colleaugues so much.
So it is with a heavy heart that I made the decision to leave, but it is time. I have spent the last 3 years building my business and clientele, and now I am ready to spread my wings, and take the leap. I will miss so many people I work with, they are a great group of people. Contrary to popular belief, beauty advisors are quite clever, and they have a wicked sense of humour too! You have to to succeed in the job! It is such hard work, but can be fun too. I will also miss my "regulars", those lovely ladies (and a few men too!) who always come to me for advice on their makeup and skincare. Some of which I have known for nearly 9 years. One of my lovely ladies gave me a big hug yesterday and made me well up when she said, "Who will be here on Sundays? I only shop on a Sunday so I will see you!".
I will miss my Counter Manager Rose and my fellow Beauty Advisor Roisin especially, but I know we will still see each other! We have an unbreakable bond that only surviving Christmas in retail can make. Thank you ladies for making my job so great xxx.