This week I’m focusing on one of our very own – Katy Messer has been in the industry for a long time – we first came across each other back in the SpaceNK days.. (no mention of years here people) – even then she had to manage being fully booked whilst also tending to the entire staff wanting their brows done…. I thought it would be better to get her on here now – as wedding season is approaching and you pretty much can forget about her resurfacing until the Autumn!
How long have you been a MUA?
For 14 years, since the age of 17, which blows my fib about being 25 out the water!
How long have you been working in the industry?
I’ve been in make-up ever since. I toyed with nannying for about 6 months at the same time as freelancing but it exhausted me and then my freelancing took off and I didn’t have the energy for it. Make-up has always been my passion.
When did you get your ‘big break’?
After working in make-up for 7 years I left freelancing to work for Laura Mercier and quickly worked my way up to the position of International Make-up Artist. That put me in the position to travel the world and I got to work directly alongside Laura herself on some fabulous projects. This opened up so many amazing opportunities and I got to see parts of the world I’d not have got the chance to otherwise.
What advice do you have for aspiring MUA’s trying to get into the industry?
Nothing beats experience. You can train as much as the next person but assisting, practise, passion for the art of make-up will hold you in better stead than any certificate. It’s a dog eat dog world and people will climb over you in a heartbeat to get to the top but if you’re truly passionate about the work you do, that will hold you in good stead. For experience, don’t overlook working at least part time for a cosmetics brand. In the right company they will nurture your artistry and it’s also a great way to build your kit.
Who has been your best client so far?
In terms of ‘celebrity’, being requested by Jade Jagger for some of her high profile campaigns has been fun. We worked together on her ‘Jagger Dagger meets Belvedere vodka’ campaign with photographer Terry Richardson.
And your favourite job so far?
I’ve had so much fun in so many places! One of the highlights was working Paris Fashion Week with the whole Laura Mercier International team. My flight was delayed and I had to ride a motorbike taxi to the show with my kit strapped on to the back. I made it with minutes to spare and the rest of the week continued at that pace. That and my spot on Wedding TV.
What are you currently working on/who with?
I have made the decision to go it completely alone and start my own company, Make-up by Katy, mainly focusing on high end bridal work with a little bit of fashion photography inbetween. I got married recently and couldn’t be trotting all over the globe anymore. Plus, I have a huge passion for Bridal Make-up, it pulls so many skills together that I am constantly challenged. When else do you need to ensure your model looks flawless for 12+ hours as well as being photographed almost constantly? I get a huge buzz out of every bride I make-up and I meet some amazing people through it.
How many brushes do you own?
Probably about 50 and I’m still adding to it.
What do you consider your speciality?
I’d like to say brows. I always ensure that my client has a great groomed set of brows, that goes hand in hand with my desire for balance and proportion.
See what she means – seriously – look at that brow!
What is your favourite brand, and why?
I still love Laura Mercier for her base products but I’m really enjoying my Yaby Eyeshadows and Blushers and am finding I’m using my OCC liptars in almost every job.
Giving my favourite overall would be liking picking a favourite child, I can’t choose!
Your kit is on fire – and you can only save 5 things. What are they?
I’m going to cheat here because I de-pot everything so I can grab palettes and have a whole bunch of things in one go, so…
My Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage palette, my Laura Mercier Blonde Brow Pencil, my Kryolan Cake Liner, my Yaby Blush Palette and my brush set, because they’d all be neatly packed together and easy to grab…