Christina Sikalias, is a Melbourne based Australian makeup artist, making headlines all over the world. She has spent a lot of time in the States working as the makeup artist for several high profile names, including Eva Longoria, Paris Hilton and Yris Palmer.
With an audience of over 650k across Youtube and Instagram, Christina showcases her skills and helps others use makeup to enhance their natural beauty.
Sponsored by some of the biggest names in the beauty industry including, Too faced, Morphe Brushes and Benefit Cosmetics to name a few, Christina also brought her community together with successful makeup masterclasses. These classes allow aspiring makeup artists and people inspired by Christina’s work to attend, gaining insight into her success and learning the tricks of the trade from Christina herself.
This week, we chat to Christina about all things makeup, the international beauty industry and business, as we learn what it takes to make it in the makeup industry.
- Have you always been interested in makeup and the beauty industry? What inspired you to get into it?
As far back as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by all things beauty; from the makeup looks I saw on tv and film, to the glamour in fashion magazines. From a young age I began trying to recreate some of these looks and found myself particularly drawn to classic ideals of beauty, like the 90s supermodels, and movie stars like Sophia Loren. It happened almost organically that my years of looking up to these icons and practicing makeup techniques on myself led me into a career as a professional makeup artist.
- What do you love most about makeup? Are there any artists that inspire you or your work?
For me, makeup has always been a way to express myself – both personally through the way I do my own makeup and as an artist in the looks I create for my clients. What I love most about makeup is its power to really draw out and highlight someone’s true beauty. Through my application techniques and choice of products, I can focus on the key features of the face and really make those stand out, or create a balance and harmony in the face – depending on the desired outcome and occasion! The reaction I get from my clients is something that never gets old. It’s truly rewarding.
When it comes to inspiration, I can’t pinpoint one specific artist who inspires me; more so a plethora of both artists and stand out beauties. Increasingly, I’m finding myself inspired by the younger generation as I see them dare to take risks and write their own rules, which reminds of why I first began my journey in the beauty world.
- What is it like working with high profile clients like Eva Longoria and Paris Hilton? Is there one particular job that stands out to you as the pinnacle of your career so far?
In a celebrity-obsessed world, particularly for those starting out in their careers, it can be easy to see A-listers as an elite group of people who are far from reach. We look up to them – and for good reason too as often they’re incredibly accomplished and talented. Being Australian, the Hollywood lifestyle, at times, seems so removed from what we’re doing here and it can be trickier to elicit attention from that world. So, it was such an honour for women like Eva and Paris to recognise my work and provide me the opportunity to work with them.
All of my jobs are important to me, whether it be working with celebrities, runway shows like the coveted New York Fashion Week or my beloved everyday clients, although being nominated for this year’s Beauty Influencer of the Year was truly one of those ‘wow’ moments that really stands out. For me it represented an accumulation of all of my work combined. Being recognised as one of the best amongst so many who I look up to and respect was truly the pinnacle of my career so far.
- Do you have any advice for aspiring makeup artists? How did you start out in the industry? What is your advice to people that want to leverage their social media to build a brand or aid their business?
I feel so passionate about the next generation of makeup artists – through them I can already see a shift as they take more risks, really focus on making their own mark on the industry and bring such a freshness and energy to everything they do.
My journey as a makeup artist was mostly through self-teaching and trying to emulate some of the looks I saw in print and film. Today, there are so many resources available to start learning skills and techniques; from beauty bloggers, to Youtube tutorials, to Instagram tips and tricks. There’s such a wealth of material out there to get you started!
My key message for anyone wanting to pursue a career as a makeup artist is to keep your authenticity in check at all times. Being true to yourself, real, authentic, and pursuing what you truly love will shine through in all that you do and will make your work so much more fulfilling. It’s always going to be tempting to want to follow trends and try to emulate the success of others, but the true way to find success and fulfilment is through creating something unique to you.
- What is next for you and your business? Can you tell us a bit about your new brand that you are coming out with? How has this been impacted by COVID-19? What inspired you to create your own brand etc?
It’s been a long-standing dream of mine to create my own cosmetics line. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with so many great brands and products throughout my career, but it’s never dimmed my desire to create my own! While I’m keeping the finer details about my collection hush for now, I can say that it’s inspired by summers spent on the Italian coastline, and you can expect a new level of beauty and quality with each piece.
- If you could tell your 16/18 year old self anything, what advice would you give her?
Stay focussed, positive and believe in yourself and your craft. It’s part of the human experience for us to feel vulnerable at times and have some doubt, but if you truly believe in your talent and are willing to work hard you’ll reach your goal. It’s also important to learn from each and every experience. Even the bad ones. It’s these experiences that will shape you into the person you will become.
- How are you staying sane during COVID-19? What are some of your go-to self-care activities?
The pandemic has undoubtedly been a challenge for everybody, but I’ve personally found the best way to get through it is to have a routine and concentrate on work that you may have been putting off. For me, it’s given me invaluable time to really focus on finessing my brand, from updating my website to working on the development of my cosmetics line. This focussed time at home without distractions, has meant even more time to perfect the finer details ahead of my 2021 launch!
When it comes to self-care, my go-tos have been:
- Treating myself to at-home enzyme peels. I do them once a week to really give my skin a deep exfoliation. They also remove dead skin cells and toxins, and restore the skin. My skin feels so smooth after!
- Meditating, which allows me to tune out and wind down from all the craziness, as well as bringing an incredible clarity of mind!
- Getting in a good work out! Keeping active really helps me focus mentally and is great for boosting endorphins.
8. What is your go-to makeup look? And, what is one product you can’t live without?
I really can’t go past a classic wing liner and nude lip. Apart from being truly timeless, it’s fitting for any occasion and brings an understated sophistication that’s hard to surpass! I also can’t live without my beauty oil, which I use as a primer to help my makeup apply more smoothly, as well as keeping my skin hydrated and plump.