Spotlight On… Melina Strachan
Melina, how long have you been a makeup artist and how did you get your start in the industry?
I’ve been a makeup artist for nearly 20 years. Ever since I was a kid I have loved makeup.
I started off my career in retail, working for luxury brands like Armani which I helped to launch in the UK and Ireland, Laura Mercier where I ran a makeup studio at Harrods and By Terry. After 10 years in retail I went freelance.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
What inspires me is nearly everything in life. I’m inspired by high fashion, music, movies and definitely people. I believe when pushing creative boundaries, you must seek inspiration in anything!
Who are some people that have inspired you throughout your career?
When I started my career, I remember looking through one of Serge Lutens makeup/art books and was blown away. Some of his creations could take up to 16hrs to do. The work is completely original, far from traditional simple pictures, it’s a world of magic, fantasy and beautiful (almost unreal) women! A true inspiration.
My other big inspiration is Pat McGrath. She is the fashion world’s most influential makeup artist and I was lucky enough to work with her a few times.
What your fav Edge production that you’ve worked on?
Hmmm, that’s a pretty difficult question… But if I had to choose one I would say the ENA – Overhead Power Lines film. It was definitely a tricky one as it required more than just special effects make-up! But I do love a challenge 🙂 I had to create an electrical burn on our main actor’s hand which is very different to a normal burn.
If you could describe makeup in one word, what would that word be?
How would you describe your signature look and what is it about your style that sets you apart from other makeup artists?
My style is simple, classic, sophisticated, chic and definitely flawless.
If you could give any advice to people wanting to get into makeup, what would it be?
Get a formal education, do your homework and find out which is best for you.
Practice. Practice. And then practice some more.
As you work your way up, take any job you can get to build experience, even if it doesn’t pay. Nothing is ever beneath you – no job is ever too small. You never know who you’re going to meet, and where that person will end up next.
See if you can connect with a makeup artist who will let you tag along to their jobs or if you can work as their assistant.
Love your job!