| The celebrity make-up artist and all-round creative who brought a unique and new makeup brand into the beauty world.
"Make-up is fashion for the face, not a uniform." – Sara Hill
In my day in the life of series I usually start off by summerising what the person does for a living in the title. But when the person you are interviewing is nothing short of an inspiration, someone who’s career you have not just followed, but idolised since you were introduced, well, it leaves you a little lost for words.
From MUA to owning Scotland’s leading Makeup Academy, Sara Hill has been leading the way in the Scottish creative scene since I attended the opening of my first envelope. Beating faces like no other and passing on that knowledge, she created Hope Street magazine to challenging societal norms and embracing the weird with frame worthy photography and cant-put-it-down wordsmithery. And it’s as beautiful as you think.
If that wasn’t enough to inspire you, she is also the founder of her very own (cruelty-free) makeup line, Sara Hill Makeup – which is fast becoming an MUA favourite. Seriously though, is there anything this woman can’t do? Well, probably not, if she put her mind to it! Here’s how a day in her life shapes up. Are you as ready as I am?
Hey Sara! You do so much, what’s the bridged version?
I create, I paint, I invent, I direct, I teach, I have fun and work hard.
What you have achieved so far in your career is nothing short of astounding. How did you get into this business?
It happened unexpectedly, I have been a makeup artist since I was 16 I’m now 36. I was working freelance in TV, fashion, with various music artists and for different brands as a trainer and national artist.
I was living in London and I decided to move back home to Glasgow. I had been teaching in at a precious Makeup school in London freelance and knew a makeup academy of the same standard didn’t exist in Scotland.
I don’t have any background in business, but I’ve leaned a lot as I’ve gone along. My passion for teaching and inspiring others to follow a happy life doing what they love was my driving force in my academy business. In my first class I just had four students and hired a back room space from Colours Model agency. After that, it all snow balled really fast! I am so proud of what the academy does! and of all the incredible talent we produce and my team and tutors are the best!
The magazine came next again unexpectedly, it started as a drunken fuelled notion one night while talking to my photographer friend Anette, I had no idea it would end up being sold in 28 countries. The makeup range a life long dream come true, it happened after meeting a hair stylist on a photo shoot that had his own products and learning what steps to take to create my own brand, this September we launch with a huge ( top secret) retailer which will be a big game changer.
When I get an idea into my head I always say it out loud, I make it happen. It never turns out how I imagine, always way better.
Bloody hell Sara. You are such an inspiration. But tell me, if you weren’t doing this, what do you think you’d be doing?
I’ve always loved the idea of being an inventor! Like the mad inventors you see in movies that make ridiculous gadgets to butter your toast or robots to feed your cat.
Do you have a life motto / mantra?
If you don’t ask you don’t get.
MINE TOO! Take us through a typical day. What time do you get up at?
I’m an early bird 7am, I do a lot of emailing in bed in the morning. If I’m not on a photoshoot or in a meeting I’ll be in the office with my team helping run the school, developing the makeup range or teaching.
How do you keep yourself organized?
My team keep me organised, they’re amazing! I have so much to focus on each day and so much going on at the same time, I couldn’t do it without their support. One of the best things I’ve learned to do is allocate and work with people I can trust to get things done. I’m also a list lover! You cant beat the feeling of ticking off something from your list.
How do you keep yourself going through a humpday?
Cuddles from my man, watching a box set on Netflix and having a wee hide from the world for a day really sorts me out.
What time do you finish?
I get loads of energy at the beginning of the day and again at the end. The middle isn’t the best for me in terms of focus, so I tend to work late in the afternoon or night.
Biggest misconception about the job you do?
That makeup is only about vanity and not a creative art form
How do you wind down?
WINE!! and Gin
What’s your favourite thing about what you do?
Everything, even the boring stuff. Every week there is a new skill to learn or a new task to master.
Any advice for someone who would like to follow in your footsteps?
Follow your joy. If something isn’t going your way don’t give up, but take it as a sign that you may need to make small adjustments to your strategy. Being flexible and focused in your dreams is everything. The most important thing you can give your new business isn’t money, it’s time and passion.
You can’t control everything. When things flow right its the best feeling in the world. Never start a business just to make money, start a business to make a difference in your life. Start a business to make a difference with the product or service you provide.
And that, my friends is how it’s done.