Woman Power Wednesday: Ciara Allen

Woman Power Wednesday: Ciara Allen
For this weeks' Woman Power Wednesday, we're chatting to the insanely talented Ciara Allen. Ciara is a freelance make up artist based in Dublin who has worked with the likes of Alexa Chung, Def Leppard, AC/DC, BBC and Primark, earning her a reputation as one of Ireland's top make up artists. Her book 'How to Succeed in the Beauty Business' is available from today. We caught up with Ciara to chat memorable career highlights, her new book and inspiring women. 

Photo from ciaraallen.net 

-How did the idea of a book come about?
Beauty is such a huge industry and is still consistently growing yearly. With the influence of social media, makeup artists are now "seen and heard" instead of being hidden in the background like it was in the past. With so many makeup schools popping up and so many people signing up for courses, I've always been concerned that while they may teach them the art of makeup, few will teach you how to survive as a freelance artist. So many things can only be learnt on the job, so after my experience in the industry, I wanted to try and make it easier for others who wanted to make an impact on the industry. I sent off a book proposal to a number of different Irish publishers but got no response so I decided to setup my own company, Orange Publishing, and go it alone. While it hasn't been an easy task, I just kept moving forward and learning as I went.

Photo from ciaraallen.net
-You’ve worked on some incredible shoots, campaigns and faces during your career so far. Do you have a favourite or most memorable?
Hmm that's a tough one. I'd have to say that one particular job stands out in my mind and that was a TV show for Sky Arts with Joe Elliott, the singer of Def Leppard, and Brian Johnson, the singer from AC/DC. They were talking about the "good old days" from the 1980's and all of the shenanigans that went on both on and off stage. I have a real weakness for 1980's rock so I was truly in my element. 

Photo from https://www.instagram.com/ciaraallenmakeupartist/
-Do you see the beauty industry as an empowering one for women?
Yes I totally do. Women are habitually very hard on themselves and tend to pick holes instead of appreciating all of the good they have going on. In my job I focus on the person not just the face. If someone is quite anxious I want to try and help them with that as well as showing them some makeup tricks along the way. We have the ability to empower each other instead of trying to tear each other down. Makeup can help to bring confidence and confidence helps us to get great things done so what could possibly be wrong about that?

Photo from ciaraallen.net 
-What would be your top tips for someone looking to break into the beauty industry?
So much can be said for not giving up as perseverance will alway pay off. When I hit a few bumps along the way in my career, I was ready to throw in the towel, not because I wanted to, but because I didn't ever think that things would get better. But they did and now I'm using those experiences to help others succeed in the beauty business too.

Photo from irishtimes.com

-What women inspire you?
I'm inspired by anyone who can just be totally themselves regardless of what other people think. This could be a 90 year old woman with pink hair, big earrings and red lipstick or a teenager wearing a Metallica shirt and old blue jeans. There is something about people that are just that little bit different that always makes me smile as they represent a type of freedom that feels like it might be disappearing.

Visit Ciaras' website here
Follow Ciara on Instagram here

Ciara x 

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