One of Irelands' most esteemed and distinctive makeup artists Aimee Connolly is guiding the makeup brushes of future creatives with the establishment of her makeup school.
Aimee, know for her distinctively fresh, pared-back, softly contoured makeup style in a sea of Instagram makeup trends has developed Sculpted: The Academy to champion upcoming makeup artists, and provide them with the tools and qualifications they need to work in the makeup industry on a global scale.
With her experience with bridal and TV makeup, as well as the development of her own makeup range, Aimee is a glowing example of an Irish woman building her business from the ground up.
'Funnily enough, I actually got into makeup after doing work experience with Benefit Cosmetics, so I kind of fell into it just before I was 16 because I didn’t have any work experience sorted,' she told SHEmazing.
'Then, I was offered a job in Urban Decay so I worked every weekend for three years, went on to MAC, and then I started working for myself but I was only ever doing it part time, much like when I was still in school.
So I started working for myself just before my Erasmus when I was 20, but then when I came back I just stayed working for myself, and when I did graduate from university the business was busy enough to go full time.'
From her fabulous work on a range of clients, Aimee was able to pour her expertise into designing products for the women she worked on in her Sculpted by Aimee range.
'It’s a mixture of having worked on so many people over the years be it weddings or TV and all that, and having worked in the industry for six years, I was very used to working with products, I saw what was lacking and knew exactly what I wanted and what my clientele wanted, and that’s really where Sculpted came from.'
'The reason why I went for the face products initially is because I used to love how simple it was to make someone look amazing, and people I think used to think that there was a lot more layers to contouring then there actually was. So they would say oh I could tell you did her makeup by the way her cheeks are, or how many layers of crèmes do you have on her to get that sculpted effect – and then I thought how good it would be to have a handy kit that’s more towards the easy approach to contouring and not the full cream contour.'
And with three new products launching this year, Sculpted by Aimee has no signs of slowing down.
After listening to the needs of her clients, Aimee turned her attention to the needs of the Irish makeup industry, and spotted a demand for a professional makeup academy that catered to beginners, long-term makeup artists and gals looking to up their personal makeup game.
Hence, Sculpted: The Academy came to fruition, along with it's VTCT World Class Qualification offering.
'I have big plans for the academy to change the structure of how we learn these things,' she said.
'I think the beauty industry in Ireland is so successful, which is great, and there's so much information online where you can get a step-by-step (tutorial) at the drop of a hat, but I think with that, and with the desire of girls who see the lifestyle of these online makeup artists, they want to be that so I think the competitive nature is huge beachside there's such an influx of artists.'
'It's a good thing because it shows that there's work for everybody but at the same time it does make it very competitive.'
Amy stresses that there is no 'right or wrong' when it comes to makeup artistry, but feels that there can be a pressure to engage in a certain category of makeup that is popular online.
'There's a huge natural reaction to do a very heavy Instagram look because people seem to have a lot of followers along that trend, but my biggest advice is to stay true to what your about and what your style is, because as much as it may seem like 'oh I should do that because everyone has those followers' you'll build yourself up as a brand with a different look if that's your thing.'
For those who do want to maintain an online following? Aimee advises two things – good quality photos and consistent work.
Whether you're a MUA who wants to get proper training, a gang of girls looking for a fun makeup workshop, or you're in search of a professional one-on-one theory and practical mentor class, The Academy offers it all under the same roof.