Interview: Rhianna Angell

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Rhianna is an aspiring makeup artist. She has currently set up her own business. Her passion for makeup is shown through some wonderful photography on her Instagram. I was lucky enough to have a little interview with her about her career plans.

Hello Rhianna! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you?

Hello! I’m great thank you, albeit a little nervous, this is my first interview!

Tell us a little bit about your background.

Originally I had no interest in make up, probably due to my Mother having little-to-no interest and being brought up in a fairly masculine household. I was also, and still am, fairly lazy, so those extra 10 minutes in bed were definitely better than having to put make up on in the cold! I didn’t really get into make up until I got into year 9 at school (around age 14) and wore the Maybelline mousse foundation and the yellow tube of mascara, the thought makes me cringe to this day!

I adore your work. What inspired you to start doing makeup?

Thank you very much! The feeling is mutual. I used to watch my Nan apply her make up in the morning and was completely blown away by how she made her eyes look bigger and how her lips could change colour. I found it, and still find it, one of the most fascinating things about make up. I’d definitely say that my Nan inspired me, as she really opened up the world of make up to me, often spoiling me with a few products from MAC when I was just getting started. I said to her when I was younger that if I ever brought out my own make up line (still a huge dream of mine) then I would name multiple shades of lipsticks and eye shadows after her. I have very fond memories of make up shopping with her, and I still look forward to it even now.

Have you always been into makeup and fashion shoots?

Like I said earlier, I was never really one for make up and fashion when I was in my early teens. I didn’t really care what people thought of me. However, I do remember having a white superdry hoodie and dyeing it pink because the colour had run on it. Gross pink blotchy mess! However, I did do art and fashion textiles at school. I always remember how I wanted to get people to question their thoughts and beliefs, and I often created some strange pieces of work, much to my teacher’s dismay. However, I have never been one to be in front of the camera. Very rarely do I encourage people to take images of me but when I do, then I go for it! My friend Ellie recently did a small portrait shoot for me, so I could give some images to my grandparents. But I think I would prefer to be behind the camera if anything. Perhaps that will change.

How has your creative process changed since the start?

My creative process has changed massively since the start of my journey. I used to only wear a small amount of make up and very rarely would I even put a lip balm on, but now you’ll see me regularly with pink, red and even purple lipstick on. I love it! I’ve definitely become a lot more motivated with my work and I’ve realised that if I want to pursue this then I need to work bloody hard to get there. It now gets me out of the bed in the morning, and into the freezing cold!

What equipment do you use for your work?

Originally I used boots natural collection everything, which is a fantastic place to start, if anyone is reading this and wants to begin to build their kit. Now, some of my favourite brands include Laura Mercier, NARS, MAC and ByTerry. I aim to use high quality products in order to give a high quality finish. That includes skincare, tools and make up. Contradictory to what I initially stated, I do believe that high quality products help in creating high quality results but I also believe that a good workman never blames his tools.

What tools or materials could you not live without?

There are three things I ensure that I must have before I go to a client or shoot.

1. Micellar water. This is fantastic for quickly cleansing and prepping the skin before make up, as well as helping to clear away any mistakes. Very cheap too. I recommend the Garnier one.

2. Cotton tips, or whatever people like to call them! These are a god-send. I struggle with some aspects of make up, particularly doing eyeliner on others and lipstick. These can help you (with the micellar water) to clean up edges, clear away any mess caused by fall out, and application of lip and eye products.

3. A blending brush. Possibly, the most important tool that I have. If push comes to shove, then you can do an entire eye look with this one brush. Application of crease colours is fantastic as it really allows to to effortlessly and evenly distribute the shadows. Great for blending away any harsh lines, and also great for applying concealer. I recommend the MAC 217 blending brush.

Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?

I have a love-hate relationship with social media. On the one hand, it allows me to get my work out there and be seen my potentially hundreds of people. However, you also get the individuals who may try to take advantage of a younger make up artist trying to get their business to take off. However, it really has allowed me to meet some fantastic people from a large range of specialties, and I have had the privilege of collaborating with some, and hopefully collaborating with others in the future! I do think that anyone who is attempting to start a business, creating social media profiles will definitely help reach large numbers of people.

What’s your typical working day?

At the moment I don’t have a typical working day – I’m doing an amalgamation of different things! However, yesterday I organised a charity event in aid of Dorothy House, a charity very close to my heart. I spent the morning with other clients who have booked me for different events in the future and then I spent around four hours at the charity event. Some days I could only have a couple of clients to see, other days I could have up to six clients to see. Its very tiring but I wouldn’t change it!

What are you currently working on?

At the moment I am currently getting involved with a few look book projects, as well as making my business more well known to the community. This could include going to wedding fairs, doing fundraisers or just chatting in online forums to see what people are looking for.

Which area of your work do you find the most fulfilling?

I love doing weddings. I think they are one of the most fulfilling and rewarding aspects of my job. Having the privilege of helping someone look and feel like the best version of themselves is so utterly rewarding and I love seeing the end results!

Who inspires your work?

A lot of people inspire me to work hard, my parents for example would be the obvious choice. However, who inspires my work… I would have to say others whose work I stalk! I couldn’t possibly give a single name, whether I could give a name at all really! I love looking at peoples work and try and figure out what they’ve done or what products they’ve used or how I could my own little spin on it. Probably a boring answer – sorry!

Do you have any favourite makeup artists or photography shoots that you adore at the moment?

The Chanel Rouge collection blew my mind away! As soon as I saw it, I wanted to know everything about it and what products were used. Kristen Stewart absolutely rocked the shoot and has one of the most beautiful faces to work with in the make up industry.

What do we hope to see in this up and coming year for your Instagram and your work?

I really want to get my Instagram up to scratch and incorporate a lot more of my non-traditional work on it. For example, I love Halloween, so maybe I can include some of that in there. As for my work, you should see a shift in my approach to brides and colours used etc. I’m looking forward to trying new techniques and looks on people. I’m not just a one-trick-pony anymore!

What are your career plans?

I would love to have my own make up and skincare line in the future, and that will be the point that I think I would have really made it. However, that can change. I’m looking forward to having a year or so to really focus on my business and get it fully up and running.

What will you do in your freelance makeup career?

Again, who knows? I think I will continue with bridal for a long time and hopefully pursue that as my main call of work. However, getting into special FX is another goal of mine, so perhaps I will begin to freelance doing that as well!

Do you have any advice for anyone who would like to start doing photo shoots and makeup?

There is no point in just sitting and hoping that something will come along. You also don’t need to go and buy the most expensive make up. Start out with what you have. Use your make up bag and practice on yourself and family members. Start posting things on Facebook and other social media. If you have a job, then start saving a little each week or month. If you don’t have a job, again you can’t just sit expecting something to happen. Go out and get one. For a large amount of time, I was a waitress, and I saved and saved and eventually got a job that I love. There are opportunities out there, you just have to go and find them yourself. Don’t rely on others.

What's the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given?

I was told, and continue to be told, to take risks. If you are worried about something then take the risk, if something bad happens then that’s okay, but at least you weren’t playing it safe. The greatest entrepreneurs of our time didn’t get where they are by playing it safe- go and chase your dream!

Please give this lovely lady a follow on Instagram ‘’ and Facebook ‘’. Photography by Ellie McDowell.