As National Education Manager for Revlon & Elizabeth Arden, no two days are the same for Nica Marcello. The qualified makeup artist, national trainer in cosmetics and corporate MC shares with Retail Beauty her secrets to a successful career in beauty.
What was your first job? What lessons did you learn?
My first job was in hospitality as a waitress. I learnt about resilience and the ability to think on my feet. I also learned that most of my skills came from an act of doing and learning from others.
What’s one thing you wish you had known when you began your career?
I wish I knew that there was always someone who had done what you do before you. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect from the start. Part of growing professionally and personally is about being humble and not afraid of asking for help.
If you could turn back the time and talk to your 18-year-old self, what would you tell her?
I would tell her that there is always a reason for moments to happen in your life Although it sounds cliché each event is there to teach you something either about yourself, others and/or the world around you. To always look for the opportunities in what life presents you.
What does a typical weekday look like to you?
I have a ritual of always having a cup of tea first thing in the morning, it sets the tone for the day. It is a time that I cherish and use to reflect. My day can differ from one to the next, I could be conducting virtual trainings, attending a press event or sitting in on meetings. When I get home, I always get out of my work clothes and into comfortable attire, I wash my face chat to girlfriends and my partner and then make time for the lounge and a series on Netflix.
What do you do on the weekends?
When the opportunity arises, I do makeup artist jobs, mainly for weddings. It is my creative outlet and I love it. Spending time in nature, whether that is long walks or just catching up with friends, I love to be outdoors
Tell us about your latest role as National Education Manager, Revlon & Elizabeth Arden?
Being involved with two iconic brands is such an honour. I love empowering our consultants with knowledge not just on products but on delivering exceptional customer experiences. I love that no two days are the same and I get to work with amazingly talented individuals.
Tell us about your career highlights?
When I was working for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics I was invited to attend a Makeup Artist Bootcamp at her studio in New Jersey. I got to meet her and work alongside her where she shared her knowledge and the ethos behind her brand. It was very inspiring.
Tell us about your career challenges?
The quick transition into the virtual learning space. I wouldn’t exactly call it a challenge, but it was a learning curve. Beauty is a soft skill that often lends itself to face to face training with skill sets being taught in the form of demonstrations. Transferring that content to a screen prompts you to be more creative which is great.
What is your biggest ‘failure’, and what did you learn from it?
There was a point in my career that I nearly got to burn out mode. I learnt that I cannot do absolutely everything and that is ok. I learnt to delegate more and focus more on the big picture.
What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career similar to yours?
I would always give the advice in finding passion in whatever career path you choose. Networking is really important in this industry, it may seem large, but it is quite a small world when it comes to beauty. Also not taking yourself too seriously. Yes, beauty is a business but it is meant to be fun and transformative so its important to have a certain lightness about you.
Where do you see the future of the beauty industry headed?
I love how far beauty has come already. It is no longer about the expert as a brand. Customers are savvier when it comes to beauty and are more open to questioning brands and the industry on being positive role models. There is a shift in sustainability in the beauty industry and I see that continuing. With mental health issues becoming more apparent, I believe beauty brands will aim to have a more holistic approach by offering products that support physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
What are the best resources that have helped you along the way?
Social media, peers, mentors and family and friends for support.
What makes you feel inspired?
I always draw my inspiration from those close to me. I admire so different qualities in my friends and family.
Who are the three people who have been the most influential to you?
My mother for her tenacity, unwavering support, and belief in me. My brother, who has always been my rock and my sister who has given me guidance and inspiration.
What is the one common myth about the beauty industry that you want to debunk?
That it is superficial. I have experienced many occasions where I have seen the significant impact that beauty products can have on a person’s life which goes far deeper than the surface. What makes someone feel beautiful is individual and using products that enhance that is positive.
What does your daily skincare routine look like?
Morning a light cleanse followed by a targeted serum. I alternate between vitamin C and glycolic. Then I will wear my SPF 50. At night I will double cleanse. I will follow with a retinol-based serum then a night cream. I also wear a moisturising lip balm.
What’s your hero beauty product?
I honestly have to say Eight Hour Cream! There are seriously so many ways to use 8 Hour. Soothe dry lips, salvage your cuticles, hand cream or even a highlight for the top of cheekbones and of course as a facial moisturiser.
What would you pick for a last meal?
This article was first published in the current issue of Retail Beauty:
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