Vanessa Rose’Meyer is a senior make-up tutor for the Kings Crossbranch of The Beauty Academy in London. The 41-year-old from Kent started herworking life at 16 and for 22 years worked in finance and marketing at aleading accountancy firm in the City.
But after retraining as a beauty therapist she quit crunchingnumbers and started up her own business. Now, as well as tutoring at The BeautyAcademy she runs bridal hair & make-up company Blushing Bride by HCT.
We had a chat over a cup of tea to find out more…
Tell us a bit more about your background…
To be honest I had always wanted to work in the beauty industry –even when I was a little girl. But my parents were pretty old school, andwanted me to work as a secretary or in a bank. It wasn’t until I was in my 20sthat I decided to follow my heart and took a course where I met Coral Hadley,co-owner of The Beauty Academy. She was the one who suggested I teach.
There was a point where I was working five days a week in theCity, weekends teaching for The Beauty Academy and setting up my own bridalbusiness on the side. While working in the City I also worked on some theatreproductions as leading make-up artist at the London Peacock.
Are you still juggling lots of different roles?
Yes I wear lots of hats but I like it that way. These days I tryto focus on my business and my teaching but I have also recently had my firstchild – my daughter Trixie – so that takes up a fair bit of time too.
What does teaching at The Beauty Academy involve?
It’s extremely rewarding. Most of my classes involve teaching awide range of different make-up looks but we work to a curriculum so there areset lesson plans.
One day we might be concentrating on bridal make-up and the nextwe could be looking at a more vintage style of make-up.
What are the most popular make up looks to learn and why?
At the moment a lot of my students are keen to master the boldglamour look – big smoky eyes, fake lashes. But Audrey Hepburn-style make-upwith gel liner is also a hit.
Students have to master a number of different techniques toqualify and tick certain boxes. The most interesting one is high fashionbecause it changes all the time. This allows students to experiment a littleand look for inspiration from the catwalk. That can be quite exciting to see.
What do your students go on to achieve after training?
We teach a truly diverse mix of people from all walks of life.Some want to set up a salon of their own or have dreams to launch their ownmake-up range. Others simply want to get to grips with new techniques andalready work in the industry. A few just want a new hobby.
I’ve taught complete beginners, all age groups from teenagers topensioners and men as well as women.
In fact I recently had a 50-year-old male carpet-layer. I’ve alsotaught a male photographer who wanted to learn the art of make-up so he couldgive knowledgeable direction to the make-up artist on set.
How do you help your students succeed?
My job is to get them to develop and hone their talent and theirsis to bring their dream to fruition.
On the first day most students are pretty nervous. But five dayslater there is a huge transformation. They are confident in creating someincredible work and it actually brings a tear to my eye to see the improvement.I absolutely love to hear about the things they go on to achieve afterwards.
What are the main benefits of pursuing a career in beauty?
Beauty is a job which provides flexible working hours and a goodwork life balance. You can also be your own boss.
You can make a really good income this way but you do have to beprepared to put the work in.
It also helps to stay ahead of trends and keep up with training.The more you learn, the better you are.
This is something I practice as well as preach. In fact I amtaking a hair colouring and cutting course right now so that I can diversifyand expand.
What’s your top beauty tip?
My top beauty tip is to make sure you cleanse, tone and moisturisetwice a day. It will keep you looking young and fresh.