We sat down with Rachel, the CEO of Makeup and Mane, to talk to her about her incredible business journey and inspiration behind this company. Keep reading to find out how Rachel’s career in makeup began, her favourite product and the future of Makeup and Mane!
What sparked your love for makeup?
As a young teen I was fascinated with the creatures on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I soon realised that it was somebody’s job to make people up like that! My love for makeup began in special effects, and over the years this grew into makeup, beauty and fashion as I studied my degree in Make-up and Hair for Media and Performance at the Arts University Bournemouth. It was then I also discovered an interest in wig making, which led to my love for all things hair.
Did you always want to have your own company?
Yes! I have always loved working for myself and the freedom this brings, and it was always my goal to launch my own company. I’m fortunate enough to be a highly self-motivated person, and find it fulfilling and enjoyable to set my own tasks and work schedule, and set myself milestones to reach. Over my eight-year career as a lecturer at universities across the south coast, I began to develop modules around employability and industry focused freelance skills, which not only honed my organisation and research skills, but also sparked an interest in marketing. It was then I began studying a part time MSc in Marketing, moulding my projects around the development of my company.
What’s one makeup product you could not live without?
Being a natural blonde my eyebrows are almost none existent, so for me it’s got to be brow gel! I love Illamasqua’s Precision Brow Gel in shade ‘Strike’ – It’s my go-to for everyday makeup, and it’s perfect for building up to a stronger glam look.
What was your inspiration behind the idea for Makeup and Mane?
The idea stemmed from years of booking in clients for myself and my team manually when working as a full time makeup artist and hair stylist, and getting lost in a sea of emails, DMs and voicemails. I’ve always loved using platforms like JustEat and Uber for food and travel, and thought wouldn’t it be wonderful to build a business like this for the beauty industry! I came up with the concept many years ago, and it’s taken months of planning and designing to get the company ready for launch.
What are your favourite accounts on Instagram for inspiration?
I can lose hours down an Instagram rabbit hole of inspiration, but there are certainly a stand out few that I love to keep up with.
- @popovysisters – these guys take hair inspo to a whole new level with their design of beautiful haute couture dolls
- @theupdogirl – Ellie is a hairstylist I’ve been following forever! Her gorgeous styles make for some great boho bridal inspo
- @terrybarberonbeauty – Terry’s eye for seeing the beautiful in the mundane is second to none. He’s a great reminder to take inspiration from the most everyday things
- @donttouchmy_hair – Sasha is an artist I’ve been following for years – her illustrations are a thing of beauty & really celebrate afro hair
- @atehjewel – Ateh is the word on what’s happening in the world of beauty. Her Instagram lives are my favourite for beauty industry real talk
What do you enjoy most about this job? And what is the hardest thing about the job?
I’ll start with the hardest thing – as with any new business there are SO many unexpected jobs, processes and costs that you don’t anticipate in the beginning. Wearing any number of different hats each day can be tiring sometimes – as the CEO of a small start up I have to be the marketer, PR manager, recruiter, website manager, administrator, accountant, team leader, the list goes on… all at the same time! The hardest part of the job is keeping up that motivation when things don’t go to plan, sometimes that can be a real challenge but there’s nobody telling you to just get it done, you have to find that get up and go yourself.
I’m going to cheat here and choose two things – the first is the freedom to design my own working hours around personal commitments – there’s no Monday morning dread, every day is totally varied and new. The second thing is the ability to exact change when needed. Anyone who’s worked for a company or organisation knows that feeling of frustration when you can see how something could be improved, but you’re not able to action that change. As the owner of my own company I have the power to change things for the better without having to ask permission. It’s truly liberating!
Out of makeup, hair, skincare and bridal, which one is your favourite?
This evolves constantly for me, lately I’ve been really interested in reading up on skincare, as it affects how we approach the application of makeup, and our bridal clients. If I had to choose one, it would have to be hair – I never cease to be amazed by the wonderful things hair can be manipulated to do!
What qualities do you look for when recruiting professional make-up artists and hairstylists?
After almost a decade of working in the education sector, it was important for me to work with fully qualified professionals who have dedicated years of study to perfecting their craft. Health and safety is hugely important when working in hair, makeup and beauty and so stringent hygiene practice is an absolute must. As we’re a mobile based business, being warm, friendly and approachable is also a key quality I look for in my team members – it’s important for our clients to know and trust who’s coming into their home, and to be able to relax and have fun during their treatment! Above all, I look for exceptional talent and a willingness to grow and learn.
What are you excited about for the future of your company?
There are so many things to look forward to as the business grows, but mostly I’m excited to build a network of talented professionals right across the UK, and be part of the personal and career development of each and every person on our team. I’m also very much looking forward to developing our service into an app, to make booking one of our wonderful professionals even more convenient for our valued clients.