Thank you for taking the time to chat with us Penny! What inspired you initially to become a makeup artist? How did you begin your career and got into the industry?


After seeing an ad on the TV in 2007 for Perth Fashion Week, I decided that I wanted to do makeup for runway and photoshoots! 

I phoned the company and asked who led their makeup team for runway shows. They told me who it was, but refused to give me his number. I jotted down his name and looked him up in the phone book, called him and asked if I could be of assistance in any way for fashion week – I was happy to get coffees, clean brushes, shine shoes – whatever it took to get me backstage! 

I ended up having coffee with him and he said the best way for me to learn was to be thrown in the deep end… you will either sink or swim, and here I am 11 years later swimming I guess!!!

I owe my entire career to that moment. And everything has snowballed from there! I have been blessed with so many amazing opportunities and I am so grateful every day that I get to do what I love for a living.

How many years have you been in the industry? 

I’ve been officially freelancing for approximately 11 years but have been doing makeup applications since the age of about 15! It all started with my best friend in her bedroom and her fancy Estée Laudermakeup. 

How did you work your way to owning your own business? 

It wasn’t something that I consciously made the decision to do, to be honest. 

I started out doing makeup applications on friends and family for events and weddings, and when I started making money from it, it was just an added bonus!

Working for yourself and balancing it all, is no easy feat! Do you have any tips for maintaining a work / life balance? 

It is a very hard feat! Early in my career I said yes to every single opportunity that came my way, in order to build my portfolio and a name for myself within the industry, which is starting to pay off now. 

I am lucky to have a bit of freedom to choose the jobs that work in with my life schedule, but as I really enjoy my job, it is still an internal battle to choose time for myself over work. 

Throw a husband and two teenage kids in there, and the juggle gets even trickier. My tip though would be to prioritise what is most import to you in life and the rest falls into place!

What is the best part about your job? 

Being able to shop for make-up and not feel guilty because it’s for “work” and also being able to travel and see amazing parts of the world!

What’s been your career highlight so far? 

Definitely meeting Rihanna and working with her for the launch of her beauty brand, Fenty Beauty.

Where is the most interesting place in the world that your job has taken you? 

I’m literally about to head on a work trip to shoot in Cuba – which I think will take the place as the most interesting destination!

Which part do you find the hardest and most challenging? 

Being away from my husband and kids definitely is the hardest part about my job, as I travel quite a lot.

What is the best piece of advice you have received during your journey in business, or life in general? 

It’s from my best friend’s dad. When I was confused in the initial stages of my career about what to charge for my services, he said: ‘always start the way you want to end

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