International Makeup Artist and Entrepreneurial Beauty Boss Melanie Burnicle shares her business journey and holy grail Aspect products.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m curious by nature, always asking questions of myself and life. Like everyone, life has thrown many challenges at me, now 43 I’m in a great place to really understand and accept all that comes my way. Meditation is key in my life and provides me peace and gratitude. I love the wisdom of age but let’s keep it real, I also love to look how I feel - youthful. I’ve worn many hats thus far in my career - makeup artist, hair stylist, producer, presenter, performer, writer and beauty expert. Now multi award-winning entrepreneur, yee ha! Sounds very cool but there’s been 23 years of blood, sweat and tears to get me here! I’m extremely passionate about life and choose to live it to its fullest potential - I push myself outside my comfort zone daily. One of my strengths is that I can see opportunity, visualise what’s not there and make it a reality. I’m always solutions-based when hard things pop into the frame, finding answers or accepting to allow things to be, not one to create more roadblocks.
Congratulations on recently winning two Gold Stevie Awards for women in business! One for your podcast Brilliant Brains & Beautiful Minds and one for Solo Entrepreneur of the year. What do these awards mean to you?
2020 was all about acceptance, love, compassion and empathy. Those four words were how I chose to work through the interesting year. I had so many great things in the pipeline such as travelling the world (New York, Amsterdam, Las Vegas and Vancouver) presenting to salons, freelancers and creatives to help them with the business side of their craft. Everything was pulled from the agenda by early March. I needed a minute to stop, let go, grieve a little for the year that was meant to be. I gave myself a month of Covid meltdown then remembered who I was and that I could still make 2020 successful. I chose to reframe and be open to opportunities. So, I “pivoted” my businesses and turned 2020 into a year where I helped others and delivered online education, changed our awards platform to ensure artists had something positive to focus on during Covid. I had the time, so I created my podcast and interview series that had been on the back burner for 3 years. I thought what the heck, I will enter the awards in 2020 and to WIN 2 GOLD was absolutely beyond my expectations, but a good reminder that I have the power to choose my path now and always. The podcast is my curious nature wanting to understand, learn and see the world through someone else’s eyes for a moment. It really opens you up to more possibilities internally and a greater understanding of humankind. Winning an award for asking questions and talking well, that pretty much sums me up!
What inspired you to start The Makeup Artist Guild Asia Pacific (MAGAP)? Can you share the story behind it?
I was searching for community in my industry, often as an artist you would work alone and not have much connection with other artists. There are also standards on some jobs that weren’t acceptable and put artists at risk and I wanted to change that to ensure they were looked after and could create and maintain a sustainable career with longevity. What better way to break down barriers and bring people together than celebrating their diversity and uniqueness – Enter The MAGAP awards. I cry for about 3 days after every awards, the emails I receive and the love in the room encouraging everyone to come together, be kind and motivate one another. It truly is a remarkable event, helping the young and flourishing artists move along their journey is a wonderful moment and to see senior artists and brands recognised for their creativity, flair and dedication to their craft is just spectacular. I love it!
What is the most memorable moment of your career so far?
I must say there have been many and I am so grateful for all of the successes, failures and anything that has presented itself to me. There is so much to learn from the harder times that now I look back and I am most grateful for these big lessons. Knowing now I can handle anything that has come my way, the good, the bad and the ugly really creates a resilient mindset that can’t be bought and an openness to the opportunities that come my way in any shape or form. Taking out Solo Entrepreneur of the year during Covid 2020 has blown my mind and really allowed me to grow even further and deepened the trust within myself and my path ahead. The award celebrates all 3 of my businesses of which I am so proud of. My driving force in life is to unite, nurture and empower others and to be recognised for that is extremely gratifying. I trusted I was on the right path but to be acknowledged on a global playing field and by the big players inspires and motivates me to up the ante again and strive for even more into the future.
If I am thinking back on shoots, one of my favourite shoots to date would have been in the Northern territory with Jess Mauboy for Women’s Weekly and she was in an Alex Perry Gown on a swing in the rainforest! It was fabulous, such a beautiful moment when shooting in the Australian outdoors with a great crew of people. The energy was electrifying. I also just worked on the most recent ARIA’s with Christine Anu - she’s one of the most talented, kind and humble performers I have ever worked with and her vocals give me chills every time. She trusts me to bring her visions to life with hair and makeup and I love being right there and this time in the rehearsal room with Australia’s top female performers singing ‘I am woman!’. Really some days I just can’t call it work! It was mind blowing - the love, respect and talent in that room was incredible and I was a little fly on the wall to its marvelousness.
What are your holy grail Aspect Skincare products for the ultimate makeup prep and how do you use them?
Behind the scenes in the studio on talent my standard skin prep when I have a short amount of time is:
If I have extended time with my clients and the skin is dehydrated e.g. some of my celeb clients will have got off a long haul flight (when we would fly), I will use the Fruit Enzyme Mask then apply the Probiotic Mask for 20 mins (this is a fave of mine personally as I am always a little dry on my skin). I can do this before or while I am working on the hair or nails of a client, so I manage my time to ensure the skin is at its best before applying makeup.
What’s one of your favourite makeup hacks you can use with Aspect Minerals?
I love using the Liquid Foundation in a darker shade as my contour and to warm up the outer edges of my face. Blending in the creamy warmth along the hairline, jawbone, and under the cheekbone is a great way to bring the face to life! And I am a little, who am I kidding, TOTALLY in love with the Primer! Won’t be going anywhere without that! It creates the perfect skin texture to apply makeup over.