We have followed Emma for so long on Instagram, so we were delighted to be able to chat with her and hear some insights into her career journey, plus business tips and tricks!
We’ve watched her grow her business exponentially on social media, and love seeing the gorgeous hair and make-up looks she creates. Her posts continue to go viral, and when you see the magic she makes, you’ll understand why.
You can check out her work for yourself at @emmachenartistry on the ‘gram and find out more about her education + booking info here: www.emmachenartistry.com.
Thank you for taking the time out of your super busy schedule to chat with us, Emma! Firstly, what initially inspired you to become a makeup artist + hairstylist?
I studied photography while at school but my parents couldn’t afford the TAFE course once I finished school. I had always been pretty good at doing my friend’s hair and my own, so mum enrolled me in a hair course. I knew I liked hair and was pretty good with it but never saw hairdressing as a long-term career.
How did you first begin your career, and get into the industry?
How long have you been in the industry for?
After my mum enrolled me, I worked in salons for almost 10 years. I was good at hairdressing and liked it, but never felt totally comfortable doing cuts and colouring, so I started to apply for receptionist jobs as I wanted a break from the industry, but didn’t really have any other skills.
I couldn’t even get an interview for administration jobs, so I put myself through a short 3 month, part time makeup course.
I did it with no intention of becoming a makeup artist full time, I just thought it was something to do creatively until I figured out what I was ACTUALLY going to do with my life.
As soon as I finished, I started contracting for bridal companies and fell back in love with the industry.
Doing hair styling and makeup is where my passion is, and I’m so glad I followed my intuition which led me down this path.
Did you always want to work for yourself? How long have you been running your own business for? How did you make your career dream a reality?
I starting working for myself just under 3 years ago, my husband has always been my no.1 fan and pushed me to go out on my own. I was too scared of not making enough money to live and not being good enough to be booked out. I ended up quitting my day job and working heaps of random casual jobs to make extra money while trying to build up my clientele.
It took about a year for me to start making more money than I would have, had I been working for someone else.
How has social media played a role in the growth of your business, as well as your personal brand?
It really created my business. I’m so thankful for Instagram as it allowed me to share my work and passion and to get the recognition for all the hard work I’d been putting in, to develop my brand. It also connected me with other amazing artists, who gave me inspiration and encouragement to keep chasing my dreams. I never saw myself as a hairstylist, I always thought I was a makeup artists who did a “bit” of basic hair work. It wasn’t until I started posting my hairstyles which I was creating at shoots, that my Instagram page really started to grow.
Do you have any tips or tricks for other women who are wanting to grow their social media following & promote their business on Instagram?
- Connect with other artists
- Push yourself to constantly think of new ideas when creating content
- Not everybody will love you or your style, but keep creating your brand and style and the genuine followers will come
- Treat it like a business, post every day but make sure you keep your content relevant and you’re not just posting for the sake of it
- Post the kind of styles you want to attract
What are the best parts about your job?
Having the opportunity to work with other artists who inspire me every day.
Not having any more manipulating bosses.
What’s been your career highlight in make-up and hair?
Being flown to Europe to do makeup for the most amazing wedding.
Meeting and connecting with artists who I aspired to be like 3 years ago, and never thought in my wildest dreams would know who I am!
Starting my education classes and them selling out.
Working every day in the industry.
Which part do you find the hardest / most challenging?
Finding balance between my job and life.
Giving myself time off.
Administration (and to think I wanted to be a receptionist lol).
The timeframes on set you have to meet for hair and makeup.
What is the best piece of advice you have received during your journey in business?
Collaborate don’t compete
What are the greatest things you’ve learnt during your career?
That its okay to not be perfect all the time.
Back yourself and your worth.
You do a LOT of weddings and fashion shoots.
What are the most requested styles you’re getting when you’re on location?
I’ve just had to stop taking wedding bookings, as I just don’t have the time anymore, but on shoots its usually always my signature looks they book me for: textured waves / textured ponytails, undone twists and braids.
What are your tips for brides-to-be, who want to ensure that their hair & skin are on point before their big day?
Stay out of the sun.
Skin treatments and great skincare make for a great canvas.
What's your go-to hair hack?
Root touch-up spray
What is your favourite beauty trick?
Using cream blushes for cheeks, eyes and lips
What is your fave and most underrated beauty product that everyone needs to get their hands on?
What are your go-to drug store beauty products for gals on a budget?
L’Oreal Root TouchSpray from Priceline.
Model’s Prefer BrushSpray because everyone should be cleaning their brushes every few days!
Any hair trends that you are loving right now?
The French Bob
Which hair trend do you wish would go away / never come back?
Silver toners although each to their own, some girls can rock it.
Which make up trends are your favourite at the moment, and which ones do you wish would disappear?
Loving natural skin, embracing freckles and big brows.
Eyebrows that look like they have been drawn on with a sharpie have to go!
What would we find you doing when you’re not busy working?
Hanging with my dogs and I feel so lame saying this, but - gardening!
What's your favourite product from the Hello Hair range?
The silk pillowcases. Every single girl should be using them, as cotton causes friction on your hair, meaning your blow-dry or curls won’t last as long! Cotton pillowcases also can create fine lines.
What is next for you and your business in 2018 and beyond?
I’d like to have a bit more time for education and creating content on myself on Instagram, so people get a better idea of who I am - I tend to hide behind the camera a lot lol!