I have been following Emma on Instagram for a couple of years now. It was the textured up-do's and flawless make up that got me hooked! On many occasions I have tried to recreate Emma's hair and make up look on myself and clients. With daily tips in her stories I have picked up so many new tricks. Emma has 142k followers, replies to all social media enquiries and with a fully booked schedule I'm sooooo grateful to Emma for fitting in the time for this interview. I'd highly recommend a read for any one wanting to get started in the hair/beauty industry. Emma took a risk going it alone and it has certainly paid off!
Emma, you are undoubtedly one of the best hair and make up artists in Australia right now, but what came first, hair or make up?
Omg your so sweet! I’m not sure if that’s true but I appreciate the love. I started off as a hairdresser when I finished school, I liked it but always saw it as a back up career. I first applied to do a Tafe photography course, but it was too expensive for my parents at the time. I ended up staying in hairdressing for almost 10 years. I was good at hairdressing but was too much of a worry wart. I would stress about every colour and never ever in ten years did I feel 100% comfortable cutting and colouring. I had been applying for admin jobs for months and couldn’t get an interview. So in 2013 I decided to do a short course in makeup (x2 nights a week for 3 months ) just for fun. I never imagined myself to be a makeup artist or dreamed of being able to make a full time living from it. As they say the rest is history...
You have the relaxed beach wave down to a fine art. What are your top tips for textured beachy hair? (Us British like to pretend we’ve come straight from the beach!)
Not over styling the hair, the key is to use your clients natural texture and add to it not try to change it.
If you had to pick one product for your make up kit to give the glow we see so often in your photos, what would it be and why?
Becca Opal Liquid , as you can apply it on the highs of the face under foundation , you can mix it in with your foundation also to give a more luminous finish and its also great for the chest area .
You have always replied to my social media messages, that I am very grateful for! How long do you spend on social media a day?
Omg it can be a struggle working full time and trying to keep up to date with all the social channels, emails etc. But I would say on average I spend 1-2 hours on insta throughout the day, trying to reply to messages, comments and of course uploading content.
If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Morocco, I’m obsessed with all the imagery I see on insta and don’t even get me start on the rugs and homeware they make and sell!
Run us through a day in the life of Emma Chen?
This is a hard one as every day is sooo different. Usually I will re pack my kit from the day before and do a cross check to make sure I have everything for the job that day. I tend to do a lot of driving to Byron so I always make sure I download a good playlist for the drive. Once my shoot has wrapped up I always come home and shampoo all of my brushes and sponges. A lot of artists only use brush cleaner on their brushes to sanitise however I love how soft they feel once they're washed and I find the shape holds better. I will then try to get to my emails while my husband cooks dinner (I'm lucky I know!) and then recently we have been addicted to the TV show Married At First Sight, so we will watch that!
When thinking about your career so far, what has been the most defining moment and why?
For me it would be at the start of my career & remembering all the fear I had in taking a leap of faith and going out on my own, free lance. I never thought I was good enough to make it. It was a defining moment the day I quit working for others, truly backed myself and took that massive risk. I was 29 at the time, so financially I was scared as I had so many responsibilities, but it paid off! I worked so hard and took every single opportunity there was. No way I was going to let myself fail.
Lastly where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
I would love to travel a bit more with work and take on some different types of jobs to push myself out of my comfort zone.
Emma is a true example of hard work paying off. Incredible talent teamed with a good work ethos - a match made in heaven! The above photos are all Emma's work. For all things hair, make up give Emma a follow. Emma fills my feed with beautifully bronzed faces and I bookmark pretty much every hair up. Emma's stories are also quite funny, and you know - that always helps!
Thanks again Emma, come and see us in England soon. (It may rain a little too much, but we make good tea!)
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