Christiane Dowling is an Award-Winning Professional Freelance Makeup Artist based in Sandhurst in Berkshire. Here, the total babe talks to us about her career so far, plans for the future and more…
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
Christiane Dowling Makeup Artistry was launched in 2016.
As a Makeup Artist I’ve always had very specific ideas regarding both my work and the service that I offer. Because I’m so passionate about what I do my priority was to create a company with the customer at the heart of everything, from the very first point of contact. As well as providing exceptional standards of Makeup Artistry, I’m committed to outstanding customer service. The only way to have 100% freedom to completely implement my own ideas and standards was to work for myself.
My brand bears my name, so it’s really important that Christiane Dowling Makeup Artistry is synonymous with professionalism and quality and that each and every customer leaves feeling delighted with my work and also the experience.
What’s your background?
I feel very privileged to have initially trained classically at the Glauca Rossi School of Fashion & Photographic Makeup in London. Glauca has trained some of the most successful makeup artists in the industry, with several Vogue covers between them. Previous alumni include incredible artists like Charlotte Tilbury, Florrie White and Elisabeth Hseih. I couldn’t have chosen a school with better credentials.
I also graduated from the internationally acclaimed London Makeup School having undertaken specialised training in the fields of Asian and Arabic Makeup and Special Effects (SFX).
It’s very important that I’m versatile and have training over a wide genre of makeup artistry skills to offer my clients the very best in terms of service, as well as industry knowledge and expertise.
In addition, I love to attend events like London Fashion Week Festival and the International Makeup Artist Trade Show at Olympia each year to keep abreast of all the new season trends and product innovation.
How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
For now, just me. I’m the sole owner of Christiane Dowling Makeup Artistry.
As the Company expands, the future will probably necessitate employing more staff depending on the direction that I choose to take it.
If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
Although with hindsight there are probably things that I could have done better, I wouldn’t choose to do anything differently. Without making mistakes and dealing with challenges I wouldn’t have the life experience and skills that I do now
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
Starting my own business at a young age (I was 19) has not been without its difficulties and the learning curve has been steep.
The last few years have had their challenges, but everything has moved so fast that I’ve hardly had time to stop and reflect. I’m definitely not the same person that I was two years or even 12 months ago. I’m learning all the time and am far more resilient as a result.
Early starts, long days and anti-social hours are not always easy and arriving home to a long “to do list” isn’t the glamourous career that some may envisage. I do feel though that it’s important to be personally involved in and accountable for all aspects of your business, especially in the early years.
Saying that, I could never complain or look back, the payback has been immeasurable. In addition to doing a job that I absolutely love and meeting some incredible people, being my own boss has given me more freedom than it has challenges. I can make my own choices regarding my work/ life balance and working incredibly hard has given me opportunities that I would never otherwise have had.
It might sound clichéd, but I have also been extremely fortunate to have a fantastic network of family and friends who have always supported and encouraged me. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
I have an unhealthy addiction to Heinz Tomato Ketchup.
2019 is almost here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
Increase in brand recognition over the past 12 months has been phenomenal. Growth has been mainly organic, originating from shared client recommendations and positive social media reviews. Hopefully 2019 will be a year of similar expansion, particularly in the Home Counties and London.
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
Every bride’s face on her wedding day, every bit of positive feedback and every lovely letter.
Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
There are so many beautiful cities in the world that it should be hard to choose, but no place feels as much like home as London.
Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?
Angela’s Angel plumping lipstick from Mirelle Cosmetics.
To me, style is a person. I have always considered my nan to be the embodiment of style and elegance and she is a huge influence in my life, both personally and in my career. She is also my chief co-conspirator in excessive makeup purchases.
Best thing about London to you?
There’s no place quite like London, it has a personality all of its own. No matter what the time of year, looking down at the City from one of the rooftop bars is always breath-taking, especially at night.
Madison at St.Pauls, Aqua Kyoto on Regent Street and Radio Rooftop on The Strand are among my favourite places to enjoy the city’s skyline.
If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear every day?
A classic pair of black jeans. Comfortable, but always stylish.
Favourite love song?
I don’t have one, but if I did I’m sure that it would be something by Ne-Yo.
Best place for a coffee?
Whenever I’m in London, I try to fit in a visit to Élan Café on the Brompton Road. The atmosphere is pretty amazing with stunning ceiling to floor floral displays. The service is great, despite always being busy. Oh, and the coffee’s excellent too!
Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
Learn from yesterday but live for today. Start each new day with a blank page and write the best story that you can.
Justin Beiber. I admit it, I’m a Belieber!
If you could spent 24 hours in anywhere in the world, where would it be?
The Maldives. I’ve never been, but it’s 100% on my wish list.
In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
At this stage, I just want to keep moving forward, experiencing life and travel before deciding on the direction I would like to take my business in.
At the moment I’m hands on in all aspects of Christiane Dowling Makeup Artistry and too rapid a growth would ultimately necessitate sharing some of the responsibilities and relinquishing some control. I’d rather do less things exceptionally well, than a lot of things adequately. Quality, reputation and service are all areas that I will never compromise.
In the future, who knows? Every week new opportunities arrive in my inbox and no two days are ever the same. To launch my own label makeup brand would be incredible, but I still have a lot more to learn about the industry. I have A-Levels in Chemistry and Biology, so the science bit has always been of interest to me. Charlotte Tilbury is an incredible inspiration to me personally, having trained at the same Makeup School.
Travelling is also a huge passion, so opportunities to combine travel with work are always worth exploring. Who knows House of Coco, maybe one of your luxury travel expeditions may require a Makeup Artist one day? You know where I am!
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