I was going to title this “Makeup with Melissa Marshall,” (which is still appropriate) but every time I read over this interview that I have the privilege of posting I draw out a new piece of motivation from it. I’m so excited to share more about this inspiring lady with you guys!!!
I met Melissa the same way that I met a lot of my friends, at a concert. I remember thinking that her makeup and outfit were on point (she’s stunning!) and before we actually talked she looked familiar due to how many of the same concerts we had been to. So she clearly had good taste in music. <3 I still remember the night we clicked as friends. What started off as compliments on our makeup skills later became cheers-ing our lip-glosses and dancing to “Fat Bottom Girls” with drinks in hand. Melissa is a kind soul with a drive that is instantaneously visible. She is the kind of woman that lifts others up with her and is just so full of encouragement. Before I even started this blog up again she was one of the first people I had messaged for advice and questions. She quickly obliged and, in normal fashion, went above and beyond. She is living what I consider to be an exceptional life and this is what brought me to want to interview her.
Melissa is a wife, a mom, and total boss lady goals. She is a makeup artist who has done beautiful work and has also started her own Younique makeup business. In fact, she’s the only person that I’ve ever felt comfortable enough with personally to do my makeup for a photoshoot recently. And she did a wonderful job! I could go on about all of the great things she does, but you’ll see it within this chat below 🙂
1. For those that don’t know: Tell us a little about yourself.
It’s always hard to sum that up into a few sentences. I’m Midwest born and raised, about an hour outside of Chicago. I’ve worked in the makeup/cosmetics industry since 2001 and my career has taken quite a few twists and turns over the years. Three years ago I became a mom, which is probably the biggest life change I’ve ever experienced. I just feel really blessed to have the life I have, doing exactly what I’ve always wanted, and I’m always a work in progress to live a better life.
2. What led you to your current job and made you want to get into makeup and work for yourself?
I have been into makeup as far back as I can remember. I think my first pretend makeup set even made it into my baby book as something I was very into playing with. I grew up in ballet and dance and stage makeup was really where I first started playing with makeup as a medium of artistic expression. In 2001 I started working in a makeup boutique where I helped women choose skincare and beauty products and that started my 9 year career in retail sales. I love the transformative power that makeup has. Not just physically, but the power to boost someone’s confidence with something as simple as a bold shade of lipstick.
In 2015 I started a new chapter of my career when I started my Younique makeup business. This has opened my eyes to a whole new set of opportunities I never knew were available. Not only do I still help women choose beauty products, but I also have the privilege of helping women start online businesses of their own, and that’s truly the most rewarding experience for me. I love helping women find their own self worth and discover confidence they never knew existed inside of them.
3. What does a typical day look like for you?
I don’t think there’s anything “typical” in my life because first, and foremost, I’m a toddler mom and that’s always an adventure. But on the average day I wake up around 5:30am and go to the gym. I get my workout in so my mind is clear and I feel energized to tackle a new day. My “workday” is usually broken up into 30-60 minute increments around “mom life”. I love that about my job. I can talk to my team and customers, and post on social media, from home, while I’m slumming in sweatpants and living that not-so-glamorous mom life. I have a makeup studio near my home and I work there on Wednesdays doing makeup trials for my bridal clients, teaching makeup lessons, and filming online makeup tutorials. On the weekends, I’m usually working on location for a wedding or Photoshoot. When I’m not “working” (I use this term loosely because nothing I do ever feels like work). I like to bargain shop, hit up a local coffee shop, and travel as frequently as humanly possible.
4. What the best thing(s) about working for yourself?
The best thing about working for myself is that I love being my own boss. I’ve never been much of a rule follower, and the corporate world never felt like a good fit for me. I hate answering to other people if I’m being fully honest. I like to work how I want, when I want, and I love that I am so generously rewarded for doing what I truly love. I set my own schedule and when I feel burned out, I take breaks. Most people in traditional work environments don’t have the luxury of working on their own terms, and that’s something I’m really grateful for.
5. What would you say would be the hardest thing that people might not see about being a boss lady?
The hardest part about about being your own boss is self motivation. If you are not a naturally self motivated person (and I am not) you’ve really got to dig deep and find a reason to show up every day. I have to remind myself that I’m making more than a full-time income working part-time from my phone. Sometimes building a business can feel defeating, especially when other parts of your life are weighing you down, but you’ve got to just go back to why you started. I knew I didn’t want to put my daughter in full time child care. I knew I wanted to be hands on raising her during these early years, and this was the solution. Remembering why I started is what fuels me to keep going every day.
6. Where do you get all of your energy? No, seriously, you do a million different things and have many hobbies, how do you fit it all in?
I drink a lot of coffee. 😂 But seriously all of the “things” I do are things I truly love and am passionate about. I try my best to prioritize my calendar so that I’m spending time where it matters most. I sometimes miss the mark on this, but it’s always my goal. I also know that I need time for myself too, so doing things that are just for me (a trip with my girlfriends, a concert, a hair appointment or nail appointment) are not just another filler on the calendar, these things genuinely fill my cup and bring me so much joy. It’s really easy to “do it all” when you love all the things you do.
7. What’s a good piece of advice you’d give others looking to build a business or a brand?
Be authentic. I think one of things that has really helped me grow both in my freelance business and my online business is sheer authenticity. I fail. Over and over and over again. I disappoint people. Sometimes I’m not the best wife, or mom, or friend, but I own those mistakes and do my best to grow from them. I think once you realize there’s beauty in imperfection, it becomes a lot easier to accept your flaws. I’ve just always been a dreamer, and it’s really hard for me to settle for less than whatever I’ve set my mind to. I think if you approach each task and challenge with this mindset, you can accomplish just about anything you decide to do.
8. What’s your motto or your driving force? You always seem like you want to help people connect and it’s an awesome thing. What drives that?
Am I allowed to use a lyric?! Like many of my friends, I have the lyric “crazy life fueled by crazy dreams” tattooed on me. My life is certainly not typical, but I’m really not anyone special. I’m just really passionate about following my dreams and helping others do the same. I truly believe if I can do what I do, that anyone else can too. I think my driving force is proving people wrong. I love to show people what they are capable of and believe in them more than they believe in themselves. When someone says they “can’t” it becomes my mission to prove them wrong and show them just what they can do… it’s a fun challenge for me and I never step down from a challenge.
9. Anything else you would like to add?
The last thing I’d like to add is that sometimes what you see of someone on social media can be misleading. Remember that I control what I’m putting out there. I am showing you a highlight reel. I feel that sometimes people meet me through a social media outlet and think I’m some mythical creature who really has it all together. At the end of the day I’m just as behind on laundry as the next struggling mom, and my hair is 99% dry shampoo. Social media sometimes trains us to compare our lives to one another instead of appreciating what we have. While I have built my business using social media, and I’m grateful for it, remember to take it at face(book) value and know that there’s so much more to someone than what you can learn about them from an online profile. All of that being said, I guess I would wrap this up by posing a question that was once asked of me. “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” I answered this question in 2013 by saying “I would quit my full time job and pursue my makeup business with my whole heart”… and six years later here we are <3
Ahh!! I just loved what she had to say so much <3 Anyone loving what they read and looking for some inspiration and makeup looks? Follow Melissa here: