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Caroline Barnes 1

How She Carries On with Caroline Barnes

Makeup application is a superpower

  • Caroline describes how two days in the life of a make artist are never the same
  • How her career with L’Oreal helped to kickstart her makeup journey
  • How her passion for people making women feel fabulous drives her

Caroline Barnes is a professional makeup artist with a career spanning the TV, fashion and music industries. Caroline talks to 35 Thousand about traveling, her career with L’Oreal and passion for making women feel fabulous.

Tell us about your work…

“I have been a professional makeup artist for 27 years. I am fortunate to have had a fantastic career spanning the TV, fashion and music industries.I have travelled all over the world and met some incredible people and shared experiences I would have never been exposed to, if it not had been for my job. I love people and I’m passionate about making women feel fabulous, as well as the artistry of makeup.”

Do you work in the spare room, a skyscraper or other

“I have a small office at home which I painted and made more pleasing to spend time in over lockdown and it’s a better environment to film in. I’m either on location or in a studio across London.”

What parts of your work give you energy?

“Creative images and people. I am a makeup addict and I love all the new innovation and formulas that are being created.”

What parts of your work drain you?

“Everyday is usually different. New address, new team, new talent. Whilst this is also inspiring having no regular pattern to your working week, it can be exhausting.”

Most pivotal point of your career so far?

“When I signed on the dotted line for my first makeup contract – it was for L’Oreal and fortunately I have been contracted to big makeup companies from thereon in. It is an absolute privilege to have a platform to help communicate the art of makeup and cosmetics to consumers.”

Caroline Barnes
Caroline is passionate about helping women to feel fabulous
Best piece of advice you received that you now pass on to others?

“Life is long. Sometimes you are winning and sometimes you aren’t in the lead. The story of the hare and the tortoise is always reassuring when you feel you are falling behind. Keep the faith that success ebbs and flows, and remain positive always.”

What’s your context outside of work – do you have family, other people counting on you, pets, hobbies, external commitments?

“Husband, three gorgeous boys, a dwarf chinchilla rabbit and a goldfish who is 10 years old, which is a massive achievement for a goldfish! I have many of friends and our house is always a mess but I’d rather the hustle and bustle of a busy home compared to a tidy, quiet home. My new found love is running, either alone or with my dear friend. This small effort is really keeping me balanced.”

Describe your pre-pandemic day-to-day… 

“Oh gosh like most working mums, balancing family life with a hectic work schedule and trying to keep everyone happy!”

How has your daily life changed, what’s your new normal?

“I’m not working as a makeup artist as much as I used too. Instead I’m in my office creating content and communicating my love of beauty and the best products to buy via my social media channels.
I much prefer to be painting peoples faces but at least I can still remain part of my community and remain inspired. Hopefully this will change soon and the industry will return to normal. Fingers crossed.”

Has the Corona crisis impacted you personally and professionally? How?

“Professionally yes. I worked so little last year it was terrifying. Fortunately I can still earn money via my channel and social media but it is not my happy space, nor one I solely want to do.”

What, if anything, keeps you up at night?

“I’ve always been rubbish sleeper. Anything and everything wakes me up. My husband breathing (poor man) or a worrying thought from the day I hadn’t processed.” 

What have been your best coping strategies over the past year? Do you have any objects, routines or tools that you found particularly uplifting? Gin or gym?

“Not the gym but definitely gin! Really not keen to go back to the gym nowadays. Happy with my running and so long as I can keep this up that will be the exercise tick box TICKED for me.
I love a gin and tonic. Especially one early evening, as it just has the ability to soften the day and bring on relaxation.”

What has kept you sane? And kept your family sane?

“Knowing that we are lucky to not be in hospital or grieving the loss of loved ones. It was also important to reassure the boys that it was OK to feel fed up and we just had to try and let time pass until better days arrived.”

Did 2020 change your outlook on life in any way?

“Uummmm… Just how much I love people in my life, they give me ENERGY! Also just to slow down and not pack my days with endless actives.”

Are you travel ready? Where do you want to go, with who or would you rather stay home?

“Yes desperate to go away to feel the sand between my toes and stare endlessly at the horizon. We have plans that we had last year to Greece and America but we will have to cross everything and wait and see.”   

Finish this sentence “If you look in my handbag at any time you will ALWAYS find….”

“Mask, hand sanitiser, toothbrush (currently having Invisalign), around three lipsticks, phone and my keys. Pretty standard I guess.”

What are your work-from-home saviours? (routines/ products/ coffee/ music?)  

“Up at 6.30am. Take a probiotic. Coffee. Skincare – Vitamin C in the morning Retinol at night.
Camomile Tea before bed. Neom Oil Diffuser daily in my office. The rest is always varied and different.”

Caroline believes that makeup application is a superpower
Describe your style?

“I have alway been a bit of a tomboy and because I have a feminine figure I like simple clothes and not too many patterns. Comfy and effortless I would like to say.”

Name your 5 essential items of clothing

“A great bra, an oversized hoodie, a long soft dress, skinny jeans, a cashmere jumper.”

How do you see your business or career in two years from now? 

“Working with credible, interesting clients whom I like and respect and to carry on communicating to everyone with the super power that is makeup application.” 

What’s something you haven’t conquered yet but really want to?

“A press-up! God knows I’ve tried. I blame my big boobs but that’s just an excuse.” 

What could you say to your 20-year-old self that would help her the most?

“In the end, everything will be OK. BUT if you sit back and wait for it to happen nothing will change.
Dig deep, be tenacious and never say no to work.” 

Do you have a life motto or mantra that really resonates with you?

“IT IS WHAT IT IS. This covers everything from the deepest grief to clients letting you down. Acceptance is key in order to move forward happily in life and this mantra just allows me to do just that.” 

Take a look at Caroline’s website here, her Instagram here and her Speed Beauty YouTube channel here.

If you loved reading this then you will love peeking into the life of retail beauty brand founder, Paula Floyd, founder of Headkount.

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