The Great Escape

Growing up in Sydney, Australia in the 70’s and 80’s was like living in a big glamour deprivation tank. It was the land of acid wash stretch jeans and scrunchies, in a time before mullet hair was even remotely ironic (hello Jason Donovan, I’m talking to you!) and a fluoro pink sweatshirt with a screenprinted koala on it was considered the height of chic. Even Kylie Minogue was daggy in those days, playing a teenage mechanic on Neighbours.neighbours1 And anyone who’s seen the Locomotion video knows she didn’t get fabulous until long after she left those sunny shores.

From when I first started getting pocket money I started buying makeup (baby blue Aziza eyeshadow of course, to go with my blue eyes, naturally!) By the time I was fourteen I was just a little bit obsessed with fashion, wallpapering my room with the supermodels at the dawn of their era. I yearned for a life where people pronounced ‘Chanel’ in the French way, not ‘Channel’, where the women were 8 feet tall with perfect whiplash hair and clad in skintight, dominatrix Versace. A world where white leather cowboy boots Did. Not. Exist.

So after doing an Arts degree at Sydney University, I left for London where I worked in marketing and fashion PR. turlongtonBut eventually the siren call of makeup became too strong to resist, and on returning to Sydney I decided to pursue makeup as a career.

Over the next few years I assisted in Sydney and Paris, and moved to London in 2007. Long having been an admirer of her work, I was lucky enough to be taken on as first assistant to the amazing Kay Montano whose extraordinary makeup skills and brilliant sense of humour make going to work every day a pleasure. And sometimes at work, surrounded by couture as I prepare a long-legged Russian beauty for the camera, I have to pinch myself and realise that those fuzzy koala sweatshirts are a long way away.


3 thoughts on “The Great Escape”

  1. Those koala sweatshirts were far away…’til you mentioned them! I may have to pull out some old photos and see just exactly how many delectable gelato-hued scrunchies we collectively owned…x

  2. I escaped Sydney and it’s fuzzy koala shirts as well with a dream of being a makeup artist in London! I know the weather isn’t nearly as great but there is nowhere I’d rather be! (mmm, maybe Paris??) :)

    1. London is such an incredible place to do makeup – it’s so creative and there is always so much happening! Paris is amazing also but I find it is a more conservative market (so London still wins).

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