In Conversation with: Make-up Artist, Hairstylist & Educator – Mia Connor

She’s been in the industry for over a decade, has taken her business global with her make-up masterclasses and has amassed over 100K followers on her inspiring Instagram page!

Mia Connor is a Gold Coast based artist who is now sharing her amazing expertise, knowledge, tips and tricks with other artists around the globe. 

You can follow her amazing work at @miaconnor on the ‘gram and check out her Masterclass schedule + make bookings for yourself at:

We were so excited to chat with her and get some insights into business, life and of course some make-up tips. Read on for her pearls of wisdom!

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with us, Mia! Tell us firstly, what inspired you initially to pursue a career in make-up and hair?

I always loved art and beauty when I was in school – I wanted to leave school to do beauty and hairdressing but my mum wouldn’t let me! I later did a makeup course to learn how to do my own makeup and here I am – with no intentions of ever doing this as a job! 

How did you start your career and break into the industry? Tell us about your journey and how you got to where you are today. 

Back in the days of MySpace (ha ha) I was using that social media site as a marketing tool to display my work and attract clientele.  I teamed up with a couple of photographers to offer model portfolios and networked constantly. My background is actually legal, at the time I was freelancing with makeup but working full time in law firms as a paralegal.  

Eventually I became busy enough to leave my job and open my salon – that was over ten years ago now and I haven’t looked back!

You are doing so much make-up education now, in Australia and across the world – congratulations! Is this something you always wanted to get into? How do you manage to fit it all in? 

Thank you! Again, I had no intentions of doing education but I absolutely love it and it allows me to travel regularly and to amazing locations. 

I guess I just fell into this also, which is bizarre as I have quite a fear of public speaking.  I set my schedule quite far in advance and adopt an attitude of ‘I will just deal with it when it comes around’ – ha ha! Sometimes I will look at my diary and be a little overwhelmed, but I know it will always work out – so far so good! 

Given you have so much going on, do you have any tips for managing and maintaining a work / life balance? 

I am a huge advocate of reaping the rewards of working hard and therefore playing hard. I love having my own business and the flexibility it brings, and I will always make time to do me time, otherwise what’s the point! Luckily, I absolutely love my job so I enjoy it thoroughly when I’m doing it.

What is the best part about your job? 

Probably passing my knowledge on to other artists, watching them implement what they’ve learnt into their own work and putting their own spin on it.  Also, making people feel good about themselves and how they look, by enhancing what they have. And lastly, the travel and flexibility.

What has been your career highlight so far?

There are a few! Winning the ABIA Makeup Artist of the year a few years ago.  This year’s Sydney Fashion Week with LANCÔME, doing the opening show for Camilla & Marc. 

Taking my Masterclasses international this August in Croatia and London! 

What parts of your job do you find the hardest / most challenging? 

The early starts on cold winter mornings! Also, keeping up with the behind the scenes, admin work.  

Sometimes I feel like I’m on my laptop more than the brushes! 

What is the best piece of advice you have received during your business journey?

That you can be the ripest, most juiciest peach, but there will still be someone who doesn’t like peaches!

What’s the greatest thing you’ve learned during your career so far?

To focus on your own work and not worry about what everyone else is doing – the minute you lose focus of what you should be doing you drop the ball.

How do you think you’ve evolved in your career over the years? What would you tell your younger self now if you had the chance?

Looking back, I feel less is more in everything – makeup, design, etc. 

I would tell my younger self just that – to be more minimalistic – my style now is much more minimal than when I started out. 

How do you feel social media has changed the game for hair and make-up artists, and do you feel its helped your business to grow? 

Its honestly the best tool ever invented for marketing for creative artists, as our work is purely aesthetic and visual and Instagram is just that – a whole bunch of pretty pictures that people are drawn to.

It’s been an invaluable way to showcase talent and the reach you have is unlimited. No one or nothing is unreachable. 

What are your top tips for making the most out of Insta as a business owner? What advice would you give to others who want to share their work and use the platform to grow their business?

To create the most aesthetically pleasing visual possible by carefully selecting your subject, capturing it in the most flattering angle and lighting is paramount. 

Quality over quantity and don’t spam people with irrelevant and unrelated posts to your genre and niche target market. 

Be subtle with your captions – no one likes a sales pitch. 

You are always painting the faces of girls for weddings, events and photoshoots, what are your top tips for girls preparing their skin for an upcoming event? 

Hydration and exfoliation – regular Microdermabrasion goes a long way! 

What are the most requested hair & make-up looks you’re getting at the moment when you’re shooting on location? 

Definitely glowing skin, highlights, more of a natural smoky eye and beachy, textured, undone hair.

What is your number 1 beauty hack?

Although I don’t do this in my own makeup applications – eyes first if you are doing a dark eye, then apply your base last. 

What are your fave products right now that we all need to add to our beauty cupboards?

Stila – Stay All Day Liquid Foundation for oily skin types

Poni Cosmetics – Brow Magic

LANCÔME – Grandiose Mascara 

Hourglass – Illusion Foundation for dry skin types

MAC – Groundwork Paintpot 

Which beauty trends are you loving right now? 

Soap Brows – big fluffy but glossy wet looking, brushed up brows set with – soap! It’s a thing!

Which beauty trends are you hoping disappear, never to return?!

The over highlighted and contoured look.  

What would we find you doing in your spare time, when you’re not working? 

Drinking copious amounts of caffeine with friends, the beach, yoga, walking my Great Dane Miley, Pilates at The Pilates Pad! 

What’s next for Mia Connor & your business for the rest of 2018 and beyond?

I am heading to Europe in August for a masterclass in Croatia and London. 

I will continue with my masterclasses nationally but would love more international work – USA is on my radar that’s for sure!  

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