Melanie Burnicle – Makeup Artist & CEO of The Makeup Artist Guild Asia Pacific
Posted October 12, 2017, by Jenny Sakr
Makeup artist and CEO of The Makeup Artist Guild Pacific (The MAGAP), Melanie likes to live outside her comfort zone, she’s a big picture visionary and no dream is too big. She lives by Richard Branson’s quote that “if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.”
Melanie describes herself as a boundary breaker, change instigator, path creator and thought leader.
What is The MAGAP?
In a nutshell, it’s a community which has been put together to unite and empower makeup artists. We nurture artists through education, communication and strategic business networking. We also celebrate artists’ talents and achievements at The MAGAP Awards (we had our first one this year).
What did you study to get to where are?
Originally I studied to be a makeup artist/hairstylist, I also put myself through media training across the different platforms. I found a love for the business side of the beauty industry and so I trained myself across different areas including; effective communication, marketing/PR, sales, account keeping and general well-known software programs. I love to learn and feel I will always keep myself well educated and up to date.
How long have you been in beauty?
I’ve been CEO for 12 months and a makeup artist since 1998.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
First a hairdresser, then a motor racing driver (I think as my dad raced I thought it was cool), then I found a love for performance of dance and stage.
What was your first job?
My first paid job was a feature in a TV commercial for Frosties.
When did you first know you wanted to work in beauty and what inspired you?
In my early teens at a dancing summer school, we participated in a makeup workshop to learn how to apply makeup and I was naturally good at it. I was always doing everyone’s makeup for events and shows after that. After I stopped dancing I was lost in my direction as I’d had a one track mind to perform and wasn’t open to the opportunity of anything else at the time. After conforming to expectations I worked in a call centre and was making good money for a girl who finished school at 15 after year 10 with no real qualifications. I still remember my mum saying “you don’t have skills what are you going to do?” I said “I can talk!” hence the job in call centre. After a few years, I was really unmotivated and felt quite unhappy. I worked on finding my happy and realised my loves were makeup and naturopathy, I was tossing up between the two. I asked myself the real question what do I love for me personally? What do I want to do every day? Makeup! That was my passion and still is.
Tell us what a typical day on the job is like
There is no typical day that’s what I love! In the last week as a makeup artist I’ve worked on a fashion campaign, editorial magazine cover, corporate video, a singer/songwriter for a red carpet event and attended the industry tradeshow. I’ve also written articles for Esprit Magazine and was interviewed by Woman’s Day for some expert tips and tricks. I’ve also been lucky to have to experience and review facials and play with some beautiful beauty products.
Back in MAGAP world I’ve pitched for sponsorship prospectus, engaged with brands to build alliances for members, did interviews for our newsletter, implemented content for social media, attended various events…. the list goes on. On top of all that we are also currently working on our feature event for the MAGAP, a two-day gala in 2018 – its very exciting!
I also spend at least one day a week on our sales strategy, generating new leads, increasing members.
What’s the most interesting thing that’s happened to you in your career?
You never know where a conversation will lead. I have been in amazing situations because I really listened during a conversation, I saw an opportunity and asked a valid question which has led me to many amazing roles in my career.
Name the best and worst parts of being a makeup artist
Best bits are the amazing diverse people that sit in my chair. I have everyone from the girl next door, celebrities, models, politicians, CEO’s, everyone has a story and I love listening and seeing the world through someone else’s eyes for a period of time. I love making people feel good.
The worst would have to be the when the alarm clock goes off at 3 am.
What’s the most important career tip someone has given you?
Patience. It’s definitely something that doesn’t come naturally to me, it’s not in my top 5 character strengths that’s for sure. I remind myself to enjoy the process/journey.
What do you wish someone had told you before starting in this industry?
Trust in yourself. When I was younger I would second guess if I was good enough all the time. I now know that I am. It doesn’t mean that fears don’t creep up every now and then, especially when you are doing something new. But at this point in my career not trying something due to fear of failure doesn’t work for me, I will push the boundaries, celebrate my successes and if something isn’t working I change my approach. As long as I trust in the purpose of what I am doing I will succeed, it may just be a process of trial and error before I do.
Where do people have to start to get into makeup artistry and what is a standard salary for this role?
There are so many paths you can go down as a makeup artists, from freelancer to retail, educator and brand ambassador. Either way, the best place to start is with a makeup course. Salaries range greatly and could be anywhere between $50k – $200k.
Name a career highlight
It’d be hard to just name one but here’s my top three:
My first magazine cover
Running my first company
Signing on as Makeup Director for a global brand 2015/2016
What’s next for you?
I will work with the Makeup Artist Guild to build and grow the brand and bring to life its education platforms. I feel this is where I will leave my legacy this lifetime! And as for makeup I love it and wish to keep painting faces and making people feel good for a long time to come.
I do have some personal brand projects I am working on, including some amazing interviews, keep your on eye on my Youtube channel.
How would you describe yourself in a few words?
Creative little bumble bee, yoga lover, spiritual and happy.
Jenny found her way with words while interning during uni, since, she's produced articles on it all – from hair and beauty to homewares, travel, career advice and study tips. On a weekend you're most likely to find her lining up for a table at the latest cafe or restaurant.