Charlotte Easton makes people look good. No, she is not a public relations specialist, but rather a makeup artist with an extensive portfolio, who has also taught a course on her profession at the Isle of Man College.
“From a young age, I had a love of colour and expression and became interested in fashion,” she says. “Art and photography were by far my favourite subjects and I also had the opportunity to do some theatre makeup while I was at school for my Drama AS level.”
Makeup as a career only piqued her interest the first time she enjoyed a makeover from a professional artist.
“I was absolutely amazed at what she did, and I decided it was something that I might like to pursue,” she recalls.
Easton got her start in the industry in 2003, training and working for Clarins, Paris, while still studying at university. In 2009 she began her own beauty blog featuring different makeup looks that she had created, and writing reviews on makeup and skin care products. In 2011, she started working with a celebrity makeup artist, and made inroads into the lucrative wedding-beauty industry.
Initially, she juggled makeup work after-hours with a full-time day gig in marketing. But by 2013, she was ready for a lifestyle change and plunged into her dream job, working on numerous commercials, fashion campaigns, films and music videos on the Isle of Man.
“I undertook advanced training with one of the UK’s top makeup artists and developed my own unique style of artistry,” she shares.
The work is varied; today, her clients range from flower girls to grandmothers at wedding parties, young teenagers preparing for prom, and male and female models of all ages and ethnicities.
“Sometimes the client will be a designer, production house and-or a photographer,” Easton adds. “As most of my work is bridal, these clients have one thing in common: they want to look glamorous and natural for their special day.”
The fashion industry at home is flourishing, she adds. “There’s so much creative talent on the Isle of Man and lots of hidden gems when it comes to fashion. I enjoy being part of it all, working with professional designers, models, stylists, hairstylists and photographers.”
Like any profession, Easton’s comes with its own challenges. The makeup artist needs to stay on top of time management, as popular wedding dates quickly become booked up.
“It’s always sad to have to turn away brides who have their heart set on me being their bridal makeup artist.”
As well, Easton says that freelance makeup artists have experienced exploitation within the fashion industry for a long time. That is due to change, however, as the Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union is currently working with freelancers to help them negotiate rates, among other things.
“We believe that this will send a strong message to the fashion industry, and help stop the blatant exploitation,” she notes. “Equally important is that makeup artists seek professional qualifications, value the quality of the service they provide, do not undercharge, stick together and stand by their rates to avoid this problem from escalating.”
Looking ahead, Easton wants to continue to build on her good reputation and attract more clients, build up the training and teaching side of her business and explore more personal projects, including exposing her work to a wider audience through her blog and new social media channels.
“Having my own business means I’m constantly challenging myself to grow and develop my skill set, which I also find a really satisfying process.”