Supplier Feature Series with Hair & MUA Elizabeth Crossley
Here we have an interview with the lovely, creative and talented Brisbane hair and makeup artist Elizabeth Crossley for our new and exciting Supplier Feature Series.
Elizabeth specialises in a range of beauty and wedding services including; natural wedding makeup Brisbane, special effects makeup Gold Coast and even a little bit of floristry. She is a double threat as she is a hair and makeup artist so she can do both for you on your big special day all under one booking!
Being in the industry for over 8 years now, Elizabeth has built up extensive, hard working experience. She has worked with big names and offers a lot more if you’re looking for a local makeup artist.
Learn more about Elizabeth and her story in our short interview below.
1. How long have you been a hair and makeup artist? And how did you get started in the industry?
I completed my first course, Diploma of Specialist Makeup in 2012 but I had always had a love of playing with hair and makeup and of film and art. I had always wanted to do something more creative but never had the drive to do it due to self-esteem/mental health issues, so I joined the industry quite late at 26. After years of full-time work and a university degree I never finished, I finally decided to just go for it after seeing a lot of selfishness around me at the time.
I originally enquired to do the course as they offered special effects and I was always intrigued by the behind the scenes of movies and how things were made. I didn’t have a plan to venture into the bridal and beauty side of it all to start with. I was working full time at another job and in between I was cramming in as many shoots, films and jobs as I could to build my folio and my network, as I didn’t know anyone going into it all.
Over the years I have pursued a lot of education to learn from as many people as I can in both FX and Beauty. As a part of this ‘full immersion’ into the industry I picked up a subcontracting job not long after completing my diploma with a bridal hair and makeup company and the rest is history as they say.
2. How would you describe your signature look? What is it about your style that sets you apart from other hair and MUA’s
I would say my natural bridal style (based on what I do for bridal shoots where I have more artistic freedom) sits at the more natural/soft glam end of the makeup spectrum and, I do tend to attract brides who are in line with this. Even my more glam requests are still soft as it’s about balance and making sure it all looks beautiful on camera and in person.
My go to hairstyling vibe is undone but put together. I like to think of hair like structural engineering – doing all of the base work to make sure the style stays in place throughout the day but also feels comfortable, looks great and doesn’t look too overcomplicated even if it might be.
I like the initial stage of looking at the inspiration and designing how it will all be created from the inside out and then customising based on the client’s hair and vision. I think you need to be continually learning so you never become complacent and there is so much information and so many talented artists to learn from.
3. What have been your highlights so far?
I think my main highlight has been the full circle that my life has taken where all of the things I was drawn to, things I was more naturally suited to or had a knack for all kind of aligned and came together for what I do and the direction I am now headed, I had no idea any of it was connected. I’ve crammed a lot in 8 years and all of it was useful whether a good or bad experience as it is all learning.
I’ve worked with and learned from some amazing and well-known people over the years so I definitely value those experiences but also being able to help make something a reality through hair and makeup is pretty rewarding.
I love that what I do is not ‘permanent’ and that it’s there for a moment on screen or a day for a wedding and then it’s gone.
4. How do you stay up to date with the latest bridal and beauty trends?
I actually try to steer away from the online “trends” as much as I can. I think a lot of what is out there is not useful and is used mainly for views and shock value. It can become overwhelming even for a trained hair and makeup artist. I love sourcing information and education from the pioneers in the industry and from people who have put the hard yards in to build their brand and techniques.
Trends come and go and there is a lot of misinformation out there. I usually introduce a new product into my kit and try it out a few times and go from there. It can get too ridiculously expensive if you constantly just keep getting what’s new and trending, so I do veer more towards more industry pro brands that the general public don’t really know about with a few known brands thrown in.
The Beauty Industry has had a huge boom online and there is so much more information out there for the everyday makeup lover compared to 5 years ago so you definitely need to pay attention but also be able to sift out the valuable information for you and your brand.
5. Where do you get your inspiration?
Everywhere. Literally everywhere. For example in the past when I’ve designed bridal shoots that coordinate vendors from all areas of the wedding industry; I have been inspired by architecture, history, art, movies, books, from the style of the vendors I’ve chosen, a colour scheme, a bridal trend from overseas that I think will likely make it to Australia, from other makeup artists and hairstylists, images I’ve seen on Pinterest and Instagram or things I would like to see more of or something I want to try out.
I see beauty in everything and have a very eclectic and vast range of things I am drawn to and am interested in. I’ve always been crafty and love using my hands to make things. I dabble in a lot of various crafty avenues and have tried many different and creative ventures over the years. It all helps to keep your brain and imagination firing. If it uses my hands and my brain, I’ll try anything once.
6. What are your go-to brands you would normally take with you on wedding shoots?
I actually still use a few Makeup brands I was introduced to in makeup school. I went to the Academy of Makeup and we used mostly Bennye, Temptu and Gorgeous Cosmetics so a few products from those brands have stuck by me and I haven’t found anything else I like more.
My kit has expanded over the years to include a lot of other brands like Wayne Goss, Sigma, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Stila, Jeffree Star Cosmetics, ModelRock, Tarte, Sian Richards, Skindinavia and Embriolysse. I’ve swapped a lot of products to cruelty free and/or vegan and changed my disposables (mascara and lip wands) to bamboo instead of plastic but I do wish brands would cut down on their packaging. Hair brands I love are Babyliss Pro and Cloud nine for hot tools and I adore Lorna Evans Carbon Fibre combs and the products I use are mostly Nak, some White Sands and KMS.
There are a lot of brands and products out there so a lot comes down to trial and error and what works for you and your style of artistry and the work you do. I think Bennye are an awesome industry brand as they have nailed both FX products and Beauty products so that works for me as I do both. I often wait for the “hype” to die down for a product then I may try it if people are still talking about it.
7. What do you think sets you apart from other makeup artists and hair stylists?
I think being able to offer both mobile hair and makeup services under one business has been super helpful as it’s easier and sometimes more affordable for the bride. I have a huge hospitality background (19 years) including event coordination, high end functions and fine dining restaurants and I feel a lot of the skills from that industry have been ingrained into me and my business.
I also really enjoy the process of getting to know and helping the bride. I don’t just come in and do hair and makeup and then leave. I’ve been a stand in florist, I’ve made hair accessories because the ones a bride ordered weren’t correct, I’ve laced up wedding dresses, I’ve second shot weddings and shoots with professional photographers and I’m there until the end to make sure everything is okay and the brides veil is in place.
A lot of us are jacks of all trades in a way and I have always made sure to never feel as though what I do is “just a job.”
8. Any pre tips and tricks for the bride?
It’s all about the prep work so the day runs as smooth and stress free as possible. Look after your skin and hair, get into a routine if you can. We can do amazing things, but we aren’t miracle workers. Obviously not everyone is able to afford regular trips to the hairdressers or expensive skin products but there is a lot you can do from home to prepare for your wedding and there are a lot of really affordable options.
The number one thing I would say is don’t try something new that you have never tried before the day before your wedding. No one wants an allergic reaction on their wedding day or their makeup breaking down too fast from something they randomly used because a friend said to do it the night before. Just get into a routine and stick to it and it doesn’t have to be crazy or overcomplicated.
Most brides usually have about 12 months or so before the wedding so you can definitely get into a groove in that time. A lot of artists have extensive skin and hair training so just asks us if you have any questions. I do recommend having your brows professionally shaped and your lashes tinted before the wedding. Definitely start this as early as possible if you can if it isn’t something you have never done before so there are no crazy surprises the week of.
We are over saturated with beautiful images of hair and makeup and beautiful brides and it can get very overwhelming and that’s okay. Our job is so much more than just lipstick and hairspray. We need to be able to read people and try and see what they see in an inspiration image and how they wish to present themselves visually. We often look at images from a technical or artistic aspect when a bride may see something else in that image so communication with your artist is key!
Most of us are empathetic, helpful personality types who do really want you to have a great wedding day and we really value our part in that. I really try to get to know my bride (as much as possible from a trial) and their vibe for the day so I can better interpret their requests in order to make sure we nail it for them and they go off to marry their love feeling excited and happy. I highly recommend having a trial so the artist can see you in person and get to know your face and hair and go into the day more prepared.
Another big piece of advice for brides, the day of the wedding goes so fast and its always best to be ready earlier than you actually think you need to be. Your photographer will usually give you a time to be done with hair and makeup (if they are coming to you for photos before you leave), and you may think it seems like it is too early to be ready but it isn’t.
9. What is your best beauty advice you can give to another woman?
The number one thing I have learned being female and being into skincare and makeup is literally hormones play such a huge part in it all. Since taking steps to improve that area of my life (I tried a lot of different things), my skin has become so much better and my mental health has improved exponentially.
I am also a huge advocate for mental health in general and really taking steps to embrace who you are. It sounds so cliché and odd but the “beauty” industry (which can seem very superficial) has helped me learn to like myself more. Painting so many faces and meeting so many people you really see that every face is different, every face is a culmination of a life and of genetics from so many lives before and everyone is beautiful. It’s the best beauty advice I can give.
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