Who am I?
Hi. I'm Kimi and I have always loved makeup! Ever since I was a little girl. Think of me as the resident “How to Beauty” girl. I’m all for people expressing themselves in any way they like and in my blog series "That's What She Said", I'll be exploring all aspects of the beauty world; from makeup shaming, to mirco blading, to more extreme beauty trends and more. I want to talk to people and understand how and why people do things, without judgement. So why do I want to do this? Here is my makeup journey so far:
My first memory of makeup is my mother’s Avon kit. I don’t know if she ever sold it or how she happened across this kit but it was vast! It was a big peach coloured case that was crammed full of makeup. Palettes of colourful eyeshadow, every shade of lipstick, blush, concealers, EVERYTHING! It was a little girls dream and I loved playing with it! I used to do my mum’s makeup, my cousins makeup, my own makeup, I would do makeup for anyone who dared to sit in front of me. It was the beginning of a lifelong love affair.
Baby Kimi, already perfecting the beauty blogger pout
As I grew up I built my own collection, mainly from my mother and step mothers hand me downs but I treasured my collection which sat proudly on my desk and was only worn on special occasions (I attended school on the Gold Coast and we had a strict “no makeup” policy).
Kimi's creativity and love of makeup started at a young age
I still continued to do my friends makeup at sleep overs and would come up with crazy uses for different products (lip gloss as eyeshadow…Which is actually a current trend). When I left school I moved back down to Canberra to live with my mum, I still only wore makeup for special occasions but one day it dawned on me “I can wear this every day.” The idea was mind shattering. I could wear makeup every day and be whoever I wanted to be on that day! I could wear bright red lipstick one day and a smoky eye the next or both together if I wanted! I never saw it as a way to cover up or hide who I was I just loved the creative aspect and the fact that I was only limited by my imagination.
How I became a Makeup Artist
One night (14 years ago) I was sitting on the couch watching TV and saw a commercial about becoming a professional makeup artist. It had been something that I had never considered but the idea thrilled me. I got up the next morning and started making inquiries and was enrolled days later. At the time I was working at a bar so I was able to enrole full time which meant in a mere 6 months I would be qualified.
My mind was set on Hollywood and being a movie makeup artist. Over the next 6 months I went to classes 3 days a week. We had a very small class of 5 people. I quickly made friends with one of my classmates and we spent all our time talking about makeup and what we wanted to achieve. At the end of the 6 months we were the only 2 in our class to graduate and we were told the likelihood that makeup would ever be our job was minimal, not because of our skill, but because it was such a hard industry to make a living from in such a small town. Over the next few years I continued working in hospitality and picking up makeup jobs where I could. I realised that I didn’t enjoy doing weddings, but that was the bulk of the jobs I was getting. After a few years I stopped taking jobs. I stopped dreaming of Hollywood or ever being makeup artist as a full time job. I felt defeated. I even stopped putting any effort into my own makeup choosing instead to wear very little. I stopped collecting makeup and only kept what I needed.
Realising my passion
Years later I was getting married and I knew exactly where I was getting my dress from. I had several friends who had gotten engaged and all gushed about the same designer, Vicky from Rockstars and Royalty. Over a 12 month period I got to know Vicky as I had my dress made.
Kimi on her wedding day
One day I had my best friend Alex with me and Vicky was talking about an upcoming photoshoot and mentioned in passing that she was looking for a makeup artist. Alex chimed in “Kimi is a makeup artist!” It was like that one sentence put a jigsaw puzzle back together in my brain. I was a makeup artist and I had been sitting on my hands with a cloud in my brain for years.
I started taking on jobs again and remembered why I loved it. I loved the creativity of doing photoshoots compared to weddings and I loved working with creative and enthusiastic people. I even eventually began loving wedding makeup! With the current beauty trends I find brides are taking more risks and wanting more dramatic makeup which makes me so happy. I began to realise that it was ok that it wasn’t my full time job because it was a way to express my creativity and that was enough.
Kimi's makeup for an Alice in Wonderland inspired shoot with Rockstars and Royalty. Photo by Belle Photography
What Would Blair Do?
How I came into YouTube is funny. I was oblivious to the whole YouTube makeup blogger community until about 2 years ago. I was chatting to my friend over the phone one afternoon telling her I was bored and she suggested I watch some YouTube makeup tutorials. Huh? I watched a lot of YouTube but didn’t realise there was such a thing.
I spent the next few weeks with my eyes GLUED to YouTube. These girls were amazing on another level. I loved their creativity and the fact that they, like me, did makeup because they loved it not because they wanted to hide. I wanted to be a part of that but just didn’t think I could do it.
I struggled wondering whether I was too old, if my teeth were too crooked, if I was pretty enough, if I was tough enough for the potential trolls. Eventually decided I had to give it a shot. I uploaded my first video on the 3rd of November 2015, it was a spring makeup tutorial and I was so proud of myself! After that I uploaded weekly. Every Sunday I would drag out lights (borrowed from my mum) and backdrops into my kitchen and sit down and play with makeup. I would then sit up for hours editing my videos.
One of Kimi's Halloween makeup tutorial looks
For 6 months I let my imagination run wild. I felt like I had really found my passion. Then one day I got approached by a Multi Channel Network (MCN). For those of you that don’t know a MCN is a company that helps promote your channel to get you more subscribers and views. They take a small percentage of your YouTube earnings in exchange for their services. If you sign with a good MCN they can be extremely helpful so the idea that someone wanted to help me was too good to be true.
I read over the T&C’s and spoke to loads of people. I agreed to sign up with them and handed over my channel. I was naive. They delivered on nothing and held my channel in a hostage state. I was afraid to upload on the off chance that this dodgy place would take money from me. Also be aware that when you sign up with an MCN, YouTube will no longer help you if stuff goes south. I had no choice but to delete my channel and all of its contents. That day was so upsetting, I again felt defeated.
I sat down on the couch that night and watched some TV. I flicked over the channel and Gossip Girl was on. As I sat there and watched it, pondering my failure, I thought “What would Blair do?” and in that moment my new channel was born.
Kimi's new YouTube channel, What Would Blair Do?
I tried not to focus on the failure instead I saw the experience with my old channel as a sign from the universe that I can’t expect someone else to help me, I have to do it myself. My channel is still very small in terms of subscribers but I love making videos so much! My dream would be to grow my channel to the stage where it is my job but I’m ok if that takes time. I love what I do and I’m willing to put in the effort to achieve my goals.
Kimi's latest makeup tutorial look
Kimi is a Makeup Artist of 13 years and started a beauty YouTube channel 18 months ago because she was passionate about helping people with their makeup struggles. In her blog series "That's What She Said", Kimi will be exploring the world of beauty and talking to people about all aspects of the beauty community in order to remove stigma and dispel myths about the industry in a 100 per cent positive way.