I am so happy to bring you this feature, especially as it meant I could finally photograph this beautiful soul – the one who makes sure that everyone in my studio is pampered and well looked after, while transformed into their best version of themselves with her brushes. She is one of the kindest people I know and I really love having her gentle personality around during my sessions. I feel incredibly lucky to have her as part of my team.
Without further ado, please welcome this little introduction by Shari herself into who she is and what she does:
I can pinpoint exactly where my love for makeup began; It was the routine of watching my mum make herself up for work.
She’s always been a singer and I’d sit on the bed and watch her go from mummy to this amazingly beautiful creature.
To me, makeup has always been magic.
I was around 9 years old the first time I played with real makeup. I took one of Mum’s eyeshadow palettes and asked if I could have it. It was full of shimmery jewel tones and I loved it. Many years later, mum is still singing but nowadays, she’s the one taking my palettes!
Ironically, I didn’t study makeup at university. I chose Fashion Marketing and Communication. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but I knew I loved creating things and I also had an interest in business.
It wasn’t until I lost my job at the end of 2009 that I decided to retrain in something that I really, really wanted to do. Up until this point, everything I was doing was self-taught.
I had been going to makeup trade shows, practising on friends, family and myself for years before that, but I really felt that I needed a qualification. I went on to receive diplomas in Cosmetic makeup and Fashion/Photographic makeup.
I’m proud to say that I am 100% obsessed with makeup and specifically, transformation.
For me, makeup isn’t just something you throw on your face before leaving for work.
To me, makeup is art.
I look up to artists like Pat McGrath, Alex Box and Kevyn Aucoin for inspiration and motivation to create beautiful images.
Something else I’m very passionate about is empowering women and helping women of all ages, colour, shape and size to see their true beauty, regardless of how they may perceive themselves.
It’s something that influences the way that I actually apply makeup to a woman’s face. I find myself teaching and explaining what I’m doing and why. For example, many women complain about their skin; I’ll take that opportunity to educate them about their specific skin type, why they may be having problems and what they can do to improve things. Taking a small amount of time to educate someone can give them more confidence than you’d imagine.
I feel really lucky that I found makeup. It excites me everyday and I never dread going to work. I welcome the challenges and I know it’s something that I’ll continue to pursue. Unlike a lot of jobs, the industry changes all the time and I know I’ll never stop learning. The job satisfaction is so amazing, there’s nothing like getting images back from a photographer or seeing your work in a magazine.
I’ve been able to work with amazing models, photographers, stylists, celebrities and brides. I’ve also seen my work in fashion shows, on tv and in print.
I honestly think I’ve found a job for life. I just want to keep learning, training and painting faces – plus I need to keep going until I reach my ultimate goal, working on a Hollywood production!
If you would like to know more / see more of her work, you can find Shari at www.shariknowlesmakeup.com as well as on facebook or instagram.