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Lucire: Beauty

Turet Knüfermann A beauty obsession From the West Midlands to Wellington, Rhian Morris remains passionate about make-up.

Growing a passion for beauty

Ashleigh Berry talks to Rhian Morris, make-up artist, cosmetics’ aficionada, and beauty blogger, who has ambitions to go even further with her passion


Where did you grow up?
In the West Midlands.


Where do you call home?


Where did you go to school?
I went to local schools, King Edward VI College, and then to the University of Birmingham. At college I took varied A levels: media, English, and politics. At university, I kept with what I enjoyed and chose to study an honours’ degree in English, which took three years.


What does your job involve?
My job as a make-up artist involves primarily advising women on their skin care routine, offering them tips and tricks for their make-up, providing a whole new look or doing something very specific—a particular look or style they may want to emulate.
   No two women are the same or have the same requirements. Setting up my website added another dimension to my make-up artistry career. I formed my website out of frustration that there wasn’t a New Zealand-based site where women could read reviews, interviews and catch up on what was new in the beauty industry. Although the site is in its infancy, I love developing something that others will enjoy and benefit from, and really love hearing my clients tell me that they have read my latest article or review. It’s extremely rewarding.


How long have you been working in the make-up industry?
Since I was 16. Working for Benefit Cosmetics was my first break in to the cosmetics industry and I fell in love with it.
   Even though I would always go to university and keep my studies academic, I had great fun with exploring make-up artistry as my part-time, then full-time, jobs. In doing that, I realized that was the route I wanted to go down rather than something which would use my degree—although I know it will come in useful!


What was your dream job growing up?
I was never one of those children or teenagers who had a set direction on where they wanted their life to go. I wanted to be many different things growing up. It is only in recent years that I decided that starting my own cosmetics company or brand would be my ultimate dream.


What has been your career highlight?
Working with celebrity make-up artist and product developer Michael Pierce was certainly a highlight: it was inspirational to be around some one so passionate about their job and the industry. He was amazingly talented and super-charming. I learnt so much from him. In addition to that, editing an interview with the legendary Dr Perricone also has to be in there. An amazing man who found the time to speak to me and my website certainly made me want to keep going with what I was doing—I have so much time for him!


Do you aspire to be like anyone?
I aspire to emulate my father, the hardest working person I know. My father is an example that if you apply yourself with the right attitude and work ethic, you can go far and achieve great things. My Dad is wonderfully knowledgeable and amazingly generous. Qualities far superior to any celebrity or other person I could name!


Who is your favourite make-up artist?
I am inspired by François Nars as a make-up artist. Recently when his 15×15 project was released, I gained new appreciation of his work. His make-up is simple yet complex—and I think he could make any woman look phenomenal.


What is the most common make-up mistake made in New Zealand?
It’s not so much a make up mistake, but I do get frustrated when I see women try to correct their concerns with heavily applied, congesting make-up. They may be concerned about their blemishes or dry patches and instead of looking at their skin care routine, they will apply lots of heavy foundation and then feel like nothing’s got better. I try and encourage women to look at ways they can improve their concerns before make-up, so that when they do apply their product it looks flawless and perfected.


What has been your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment so far, was probably making the decision to head over to New Zealand. It was very difficult to leave my family and friends, but experiencing life in such a wonderful country has been a worthwhile and rewarding experience.


What do you consider to be the winning formula to success?
My granddad always said to me, ‘You can get mountains from molehills,’ and I take that with me everywhere. The notion that you can achieve great things from small ideas is so important. I carry a notepad with me wherever I go so that I can always write down and develop my business ideas. I don’t believe that success is gifted to people, and I believe that hard work, a willingness to do what it takes, nerves of steel and extremely thick skin can take you far. Not being afraid to make mistakes and accept your weaknesses is so important—because that's when you can work on them and move forward.


What is something we don’t know about you?
That I am an ardent football fan—and missing supporting my local football team is probably one of the toughest things about being away from the UK.


What are you plans for the next five years?
My plan for the next five years would be to begin developing my own cosmetics brand, which would include skin care and cosmetics. I want to create something new, revolutionary and most importantly, a product line that will work for women no matter what their age and skin type. •


Above Rhian Morris works on the author and her friend. Below Morris with her two models.


Ashleigh Berry is a correspondent for Lucire.

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