AT JUST 24 years old, this talented, professional, enthusiastic and knowledgeable young lady has created a thriving makeup business in Hawke's Bay.

Micki Michau is the director of Makeup by Micki @ Makeup Etc, a makeup artistry business that is all about making women feel good about themselves.

"The key to that is simple," Micki says. "Learning the tools to apply your makeup is the secret to helping women feel good about themselves."

Micki offers makeup coaching sessions for individual, groups and hen's parties.
"I'm really flexible and will fit in with what suits you."

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Micki, who is originally from London, moved to Wellington at 17 years old to pursue a career in film and theatre.

"I haven't stopped since, leading the makeup and hair department for the Napier opera and last year designing and coaching for the Palmerston North performance of Wicked."
Based in Havelock North, she moved to Hawke's Bay two years ago to be with her partner and "loves the lifestyle here".

She worked for a well-known beauty brand for six months helping train staff members on beauty counters.

"From that experience, I saw a huge need for more education in the makeup world for the everyday woman who spends so much money on products, only to put them in a drawer, never to be used again as they're not sure how to use it or what they should or shouldn't be wearing.

"I ask people to bring along their makeup to my coaching lessons, then they apply it as they usually do. The sessions are not a makeover, they are about learning how to apply your everyday makeup in the best possible way.

"I have all the tips and tools to help you. For instance the way you hold your makeup brush could make a huge difference to the end result.

"Lots of people say their makeup doesn't last all day - again, that comes down to how it's applied.

"Makeup is a very personal thing. I'm not going to send you off to buy a heap of expensive products. Hopefully we can work with what you have but if not I will recommend products."

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The coaching sessions came about after Micki did a survey on Facebook asking women if they wore makeup every day and how it made them feel.

"A total of 73 per cent of those that took part said they wore makeup every day. However, many of them said they still didn't feel they looked their best.

"It made me feel sad and I wanted to help. Makeup is my thing. It's what makes me spark and applied properly, it can make you feel fantastic and confident."

Everyone that attends a makeup coaching session receives a step-by-step instruction sheet to take home along with a product list.

"Product knowledge is power. If you know what to buy you will never waste money on products that end up in the drawer, never to see the light of day again.

"You can ask me anything about makeup. Believe me I have unlimited advice," Micki laughs.

"It's lots of fun in group sessions as people ask questions that you might not have thought of."

Micki says the colours you use should depend on your complexion and eye colour and "who says older woman shouldn't wear shimmer. Of course they can.

"Makeup has changed so much in the past five years. We are drowned in products. "These coaching sessions are the perfect opportunity to update how we use it all."

Micki is also a sought after bridal and wedding makeup artist.

"The Bay is a popular wedding destination with its beautiful weather, scenery and venues. I'm fully booked for this summer wedding season. I love being a part of such a special day and helping bridal parties find their unique style. I like to get to know the bride-to-be as it helps me understand them. I listen - it's my job to make sure they look and feel the best for their special day."

From her work with bridal parties, Micki discovered a gap in the market and has now launched Robes Etc.

"Working so many weddings over the years made me realise the lack of cool, fun, printed robes that are modest and offer more security for bridal parties on wedding mornings.

That, and a degree in Costume Construction from Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School in Wellington, led me to launch Robes Etc. Fun prints and more modest length and secure fit for women of all shapes and sizes in satin and 100 per cent cotton."

*For more information or to contact Micki, email: Micki@makeup-etc.net or visit www.makeup-etc.net or Facebook Makeup by Micki @ Makeup Etc.