Makeup artist interview – Tracey Katherine MUA

Recently we sat down with Brisbane based artist, Tracey Katherine MUA to talk about her inspiring makeup journey! Read more about her personal story as an artist, her inspirations and advice for other professionals looking to get into the industry.

Could you tell us a little about your journey into becoming a make up artist?

Make Up artistry was never a career that I began seeking out. It was through a turn of events that I made the bold decision to pursue make up as my main career path. An event that rocked my world was when I was diagnosed at the age of 16, with a rare blood disorder called Aplastic Anaemia. Worldwide there is only 0.7-4.1 cases per million people (Leukaemia.Org, 2019). So clearly, I was one of the lucky ones!

I didn’t have the privilege of finishing my schooling life and everything in between revolved around my health. I had to go through the highest dosage of chemotherapy, had to undergo a bone marrow transplant and spend 3 months in isolation from the outside world. Basically, this whole period of my life was put on hold..to put it bluntly. But there were two amazing things that happened that I will always be grateful for. One, my social worker, Kate who did everything in her power to support my family and I. And, the Look Good Feel Better program. A program designed for people who are dealing with the physical effects of chemotherapy.

When I was I remission these were 2 aspects that I sought out. Firstly, I started out studying social work in University before finally coming to the realisation that make up artistry was my passion that fuelled both my creative and humanitarian side.

I specialise mainly in editorial makeup.


What inspired you to get into hair and makeup? What do you enjoy about it?
My two biggest inspirations for pursuing make up artistry come from my sister, Soheima and also, being a part of the Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) program. Soheima is hands down the most advantageous and eclectic person I know when it comes to fashion and self-expression. It was through her that I saw the power that lime green eye shadow paired with a beautiful Tom Ford lipstick had. Make up is her super power and I have always admired the physical and emotional transformative aspect of it. Which is why LGBF inspired me as well.

Dealing with the physical side of chemotherapy and the effect that it had on my appearance was really tough. It’s not a nice feeling to not recognise the person in the mirror and dislike how you look. So when I was taught very basic make up to combat self-hate, it was the most empowering and liberating experience of my life. Make up became my super power and it still is. Which is why I love doing what I do! I get to pass on that experience to my clients.

There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing them feel so beautiful and amazing. Its great!


What have been some highlights/low lights of your makeup journey?

Well, a definite low light of my journey was being disappointed by my dream job as it wasn’t what I was expecting it to be so I had to move on. But it all played out in the end because I was hired by an amazing Australian company called Issada Cosmetics. It is an absolute privilege to be apart of their artistry team doing backstage shows. I got to work on the likes of this year’s, Ekka’s Natural Fibres Parade and be apart of Sonia Stradiotto Couture Summer Launch.


Where can we find Tracey on any given day during the week?

Besides doing backstage shows with Issada. I am also employed as a retail assistant for their store in Bulimba, QLD. And that covers everything from event make up, sales and visual merchandising. Unfortunately, my freelancing work has had a bit of a break due to other work commitments. But when I was freelancing full time, I spent my days working on my portfolio doing TFP work or building my social media accounts. OR, if I was feeling under the weather I would be going on makeup shopping sprees!!


What advice do you have for other aspiring HMUAs?

My biggest advice for aspiring HMUAs is to NETWORK! Getting involved with other creatives in your area is a must. You need to be building your portfolio to a high quality to show of your skillset. This can be done by organising TFP shoots with models, photographers, designers etc. To get more work and clients, join makeup/photography/model pages on Facebook.

Some good Facebook groups online to join are:

You’d be surprised by how easy it is to network and the amount of people who post for paid jobs. The amount of times that I have gotten work through people who I’ve done TFP work with is quite high! Because they have already experienced your level of professionalism and quality work so it’s easy for them to trust your expertise and pass on your details.


In what ways has One Tribe been involved in your professional journey?
OneTribe is amazing! And they could not have helped me at a better time. I’d finally gotten back into freelancing and was experiencing a major work drought (which I’m sure we all go through sometimes) and really doubting myself. Until, they booked me for one of my biggest jobs which was promotional work for a national SpecSavers campaign was exactly the push I needed to continue my journey and I will always be grateful for One Tribe for all of their support!

They also helped to sponsor a local networking meetup I ran and hosted for other aspiring artists! It was great to have the backing of a national makeup agency believe in the vision of what I was hoping to achieve.



You can see more of Tracey’s work here:

For direct contact or enquiries you can reach her at [email protected]


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  • Tommy
    December 17, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    What an amazing story! So many great tips and ideas on where/how to network and find clients. Very inspirational and talented MUA to keep your eye on, I’m certain she has many many great things to come 🙂

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