Student Feature: Katie Berry - QC Makeup Academy
katie berry

Name: Katie Berry

Location: Ashburton, Canterbury, New Zealand


QC Courses currently taking:

Social Media:

Tell us a little about yourself!

I was born and raised in the UK and moved to New Zealand when I was 21. I have been here for 5 years and absolutely loving it. I have a HUGE passion for the beauty / makeup industry. My partner and I live on a 4000 hectare station in the backcountry of New Zealand. He is a full-time beekeeper and runs his own honey business. My day job in HR/Recruitment and makeup is my escape, hobby, and side business. So, we are extremely busy people and entrepreneurs trying to make it in this big world!

When did you decide you wanted to take a professional makeup artistry course? What inspired you?

I love learning, and I’m passionate about makeup, so it made sense to combine the two and do a refresh. I felt it was something I could use and turn into a side-income to help my partner and I achieve our goals. I did a lot of research into courses all over the globe, I wanted something that was affordable and reputable.

Which palette could you not live without?

I absolutely love my Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam palette, it’s my go to at the moment. Although that might change next week when I go to Mecca for my monthly stock up shop! I love NARS Orgasm Blush, I think it suits every skin tone as it sits beautifully and reflects differently on different people. My go to highlighter is definitely ‘Oh Darling’ by Mac. It is dewy and very summery. I just love it.

Katie’s work before (left) and during (right) taking QC courses!

How have your skills evolved while taking your courses with QC Makeup Academy?

I was definitely a bit rusty when I started the course; I rushed my blending and I was quite heavy handed. My tutor, Nathan Johnson, was awesome! He always got back to me overnight and I felt like he definitely challenged me. I started taking my time more, especially towards the end of the last modules as I wanted them to be perfect. I have one last module to finish, but life has been so hectic. That’s a good thing about QC – you can take your time and submit when you can.

You’ve partaken in two bridal shoots so far in your career.  What motivated you to organize that collaboration, and what was the most rewarding thing from that experience?

I really wanted to work with local vendors who inspire me, and who I felt would create something amazing with my partnership. They were both really fun collaborations and the girls involved were so creative. I had a vision about what I wanted to achieve and we all nailed it. I also wanted it to be an opportunity where I could showcase some of my best work, and it would be something we could all benefit from, including the photographer. It takes a lot of work, but its super rewarding and I recommend that any makeup artists, should definitely find a photographer they can work with to help them create a portfolio they are proud of.

From your social media accounts, it looks like you primarily focus your services on bridal makeup. Have you thought about, or are you working towards, branching out to different types of makeup services? What are the biggest challenges?

Bridal has definitely been something I have marketed quite heavily. The reason for that is that I’m super passionate about that industry, and I feel it is important to put the brides’ interests and needs first. So, it was important to me I offered a premium and dependable service to brides and be a dependable. I also love the vibe you get at weddings, it’s the best feeling in the world lifting up the mirror and showing her the finished look, it’s so different to trials and it gives me warm fuzzies.

I am definitely branching out into other makeup. Formal and special occasions is becoming really popular especially once the bridal season finishes for me.

I do also do LVL Lash Lifts, HD Brows, Lash Extensions and waxing/ tinting. I’m trying to be a one-stop shop for my brides and clients. Then they can come to the same place to get all of their treatments done! It’s been a huge success and I’ve only just started!

Do you have a favorite style or look to do on clients?

Smokey eye and soft glam seems to be what everyone requests at the moment. However, I absolutely love when a client says “do what you like.” When that happens I always go for a glowy finish, with an eye colour that makes my clients eyes pop. It’s usually a colour they never would have gone for and they always love it.

You’ve been doing work as a freelance MUA. Has there been any obstacles you’ve had to face? How did you deal with it?

Travelling is definitely the biggest one for me as I live so far away from the city. The nearest town is 35 minutes away. Although I have a small local community that I can service, and I do offer travel across the whole of the south island. It can be a problem and an added cost – which has cost me a couple of bookings. In saying that, the ones who are prepared to pay that extra little bit of money are always so happy they did! As you want to book the best makeup artist out there, not the cheapest or most convenient!

As a freelance MUA like Katie, you’re bound to run into some difficult clients. Read up on clients every freelance MUA will meet.

Author Catherine Hammond

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