Rae Morris' career didn’t begin by attending ‘makeup
started as a hairdresser.
One day backstage at a fashion show, Rae was
styling models hair, when one of the models, ‘Naomi
Campbell’, asked her to apply lipstick on her lips.
Rae was quite stunned; here is this most sought
after model, with two cell phones and a cigarette,
asking me to apply on lipstick.
She grabs a clear gloss and applies it on Naomi’s
the rest is history.
Rae’s career immediately took off.
Every designer wanted to work with her, not
knowing that she wasn’t a makeup artist.
With all of the hype that was surrounding Rae,
she went back to her small town in Brixton and just
thought that everything would go back to normal.
“You know I would never, in my mind,
never have thought that I would make it as a makeup artist.
There was a lot of hype about me in Brixton, and
I was getting jobs that were a little bit bigger than I
thought I could handle and I did lose my way through most of them and
then I thought, ‘I got to get some training’ because I
had no makeup artist training at all.” In the early 80’s
Rae was a model.
She knew how makeup should be applied from
watching her own face being done.
She thought that she had the basic tricks, she
said to me.
Rae had received training by a known
“I was very fortunate to train under Richard
Sharah, which I think was the greatest makeup artist
that ever lived (Australia makeup artist). Richard
was David Bowie’s makeup artist. Richard was also
color-blind, which made it a bit more interesting.
He also worked for Madonna.”
With only 24 hours of training, Richard thought
that Rae was ready to become a ‘makeup artist’.
“He said to me that I needed to move away to
Sydney and I just thought ‘no’, I’m not that good,
because Sydney was a big thing for me, then I decided to
What was fortunate was that the jobs I got were always a
step above the rest.”
In the fashion world you start going up the
fashion magazines like, Girlfriend, Dolly, Marie Claire,
then you move to Vogue and Harpers Bazaar.
Rae went straight from Dolly, then the next week
to Harpers Bazaar.
That’s when her career really took off.
A few months back I interviewed British Makeup
Artist, Kristin Piggott who is a spokesman for Rimmel
says working with them was a great move for her and a
great brand for her to work for.
Rae feels the same way about L’Oreal Paris.
“Absolutely” she says, “I feel it
strongly because in the beginning, I must admit, I was a
little bit ‘do I, don’t I.
L’Oreal Paris is also a consumer brand, so there
were nerves in the beginning, how would this work?
would I go from using luxury brands to L’Oreal Paris
brand? so then I realized, I also went to L’Oreal Paris
in Paris, which is the biggest cosmetic company in the
world, and then I just got excited because the makeup
itself is so amazing and I think that’s what makes my
job so much easier; plus I love the responsibility, it’s
not just you know, you work for L’Oreal, here's the
“off you go”, you get
a lot of control and input, and what I love is
that I don't have to make women want to buy products.
It’s so much to it from the business side, she
giggles and says, “I love the power” but also you know
my makeup has got to be something right, up-to-date
fashion forward, something that women can look at and be
inspired from, you get that from the fashion magazines
for sure, but for a cosmetic brand there are millions of
women who buy this brand.
I absolutely love it and my career opportunity
built from there, going to Paris and yes, it’s
something that I’m very proud of and there’s never been
a L’Oreal spokes person, never before in Australia and
there are no contracts that produce that in any other
brands in Australia, agent specific.”
“To be that person is a bit nerve racking at times
because of the pressure, but it’s a good pressure.
I don’t know what I would do without it.
It’s my life and I love it and it opens me up
about makeup and how it’s made and so I think that my
knowledge of makeup has really grown.
You get the inside information that you really
wouldn’t get if you were a general makeup artist; on how
it’s tested.” Rae tells me that L’Oreal
received a Nobel prize in
Science about 10 years ago, it’s called the ‘Enviro’
(short for environmental). “What that means is that
when they stopped testing on animals and then on humans
skin, that had to stop.
So what they did, they would take a tiny piece of
skin from behind humans ear and grow sheets of it.
They actually put sheets of makeup on people’s
Rae says because of the testing that L'Oreal created, it
opened the door for the development of ‘skin grafts’.
Rae launches all the new products
for the magazines and for the beauty editors.
She says that is exciting.
She also direct shows in Australia.
“We have a show event hear called LMFF (L’Oreal
Melbourne Festival Fashion) and it’s the biggest fashion
event in the world, it has 220, 000 people that comes
to the shows, so that’s massive.
I direct all the shows.
Plus, I do a lot of shoots here, taking the
products from Paris, getting inspired by the ranges, and
then I go to different projects like ‘Project Runway’,
and give the guys inspiration.”
She says that it doesn’t take up all of her time;
it takes about two months out of a year.
She also goes to fashion shows overseas.
Rae says, that it is important for
her to keep that level of training and keep her finger
on the trends and just not look at ‘style.com’;
so when she goes
back to Australia she has a lot to talk about.
Rae states that she is highly trained with new
With her title L’Oreal Paris Makeup
Director, Rae promotes new colors, products and creates
amazing looks. I wanted to know how she obtained
“You know what; it was kind of crazy”, Rae says
“ About 5 years ago they were
looking for a makeup artist and my career was just
starting to take off and to be honest, I was a bit
nervous, because I was a lot newer to the high end of
the editorial side, so they were looking at other people. What I
found out later on is, they were bringing on other
makeup artists on the shoot and they were testing them,
but not letting them know that there was a contract.
There wasn’t really a contract; they just wanted
someone to do media.
Then I came in and said, ‘I know that you are
here to sell a brand and you’ve got to make people
believe in a product’. Whether you love it or not, that’s what you just
have to do.
And also, I am good at speaking and I’m not shy,
so I got to the point where I was directing shows and I
got to the point where I think that I understood how a
cosmetic company works and the difference in how it’s not just doing makeup.
There’s a lot of things involved. You
basically have to be L’Oreal head to toe, and I loved
after 2 years they designed a contract for me and I was
like ‘OK’, I told them wow, call my agent”, she laughs.
“I thought, does that mean that I get 10 million
dollars and work 5 days a week?
Oh, but not quite like that.
But I got more responsibilities and it’s great.
With higher position comes great
With Rae’s success with L’Oreal Paris selling
over 20,000 lipsticks worldwide, she is now focusing on
her 3rd book.
‘My forty-plus book’, she states, “I’m not
calling it that.” It
will speak about how to apply on the right makeup that
is best for all different types and ethnic skin, which,
she started working on the book the same day of our
Rae’s life is very interesting and very busy. While
conducting the interview she was also working on a
photo-shoot (staff being very patient).
One of our concepts here at EFM is
about educating the ones who inspire us to be in the
industry and the importance of having an agent. Rae says,
that it is important to explain to up and coming makeup
artists that it is very important to keep business and
“It is very critical that you have an agent.
Makeup artists are very sensitive and very
emotional people, so we can easily get manipulated.
I’m sure you know that.
On a job we get, “Oh I’m sorry we can’t pay you,
but with an agent, ‘all that stress is gone’.
It’s like wanting to be a vegetarian.
Plus, they can help you make the right decisions.
Most creative people are not really great with
the business side. You need someone to help you with
So it’s really important.
I hate when people say, you asked for 20%, they
deserve it. (She gets interrupted by someone on the set)
I know if I negotiate its $1,000; because I’m a bit
nervous to say $3,000, but you're worth 10 x’s more
speaks to over 2,000 makeup artists each year.
There is no doubt that training and teaching is
I asked her if she could tell me why it is important for
her to teach others, how to become a makeup artist,
and advising women on applying makeup the right way.
She tells me in details; “That’s a great
question. There are so many reasons why.
While I can’t teach full time, it would exhaust
me, but I tell you what, not in all cases, but a lot of
schools have makeup artists that aren’t in the industry.
They’ve taught for so long and it’s really
important to tape your secrets and your tricks because
once you’ve taught it, once you’ve given that
information out, it pushes you to learn something new.
I hate it; people who will hold things back.
I think that a lot of people in the fashion
industry don’t cater to that.
I’m finding that most kids want to do fashion.
When these kids get out of school, they don’t
know how to get an agent, they don’t know that this is
their one chance and I know if I don’t get them now, I’m
going to see them in about 10 years.
I want to teach kids that have done at least 27
do guest speaking and I ask them how are they going to
get an agent?
They have no idea.
They are so lost.
I think that it’s only one way that they can
succeed. ‘If you can get 5 minutes with someone, it
could change their life’.”
Rae continues; “Not that I am saying, if I don’t
tell them, no one else will.
A lot of makeup artists aren’t really big in
sharing their knowledge as I am; I’m very big on that.
I wish someone would have done that for me,
because it would have cut out some of the pain, stress
and unnecessary money. I
did 20 hours of training with Richard Sharah.
That was it.
So you see these poor kids, the cost is up and
up, you see people ripping them off, and I hate that.
I hate injustice.”
Rae explains more about why she is
very passionate about teaching, and to giving her
knowledge to the aspiring and think that this industry
is so amazing and just don’t want people to think that
it’s so hard. “I mean you have to eat and drink makeup.
I love the feedback I get from students.
I’m always getting the most amazing responses and
that’s what I love.”
Rae takes students on a job.
She feels that they learn more on the job, than
in a classroom.
She also states that her teaching philosophy is;
‘come on the job, turn up, you’re going to be working as
hard as you've ever worked, you’re going to clean, you’re
not going to sit down, you’re going to work hard’.”
And she feels
that this way they’ll know in one day, whether
they want to become a makeup artist or not.
Telling me briefly some of the
designers she has worked with during L’Oreal Paris
Melbourne Fashion Festival.
“Every Australian designer who has a show, I’ve
There isn’t one I haven’t worked for, to be honest.”
She mentioned a few, one of them being, designer
Having great connections in the industry, she has worked
with everyone in Australia, at least once.
Everyone knows Rae is ‘the go to
makeup artist in Australia’, so she tells me quite a few
things that no one knows about her.
“I’m a big lover of cars.”
What kind of cars? “My dream car is an Audi R8.
Wow that’s a really good question,” she says.
I’m very Australian, as in, I did spend part of
my life in a caravan growing up, my mom was a body builder,
my dad is an ex Vietnam Vet, I’m dyslexic, and
happy that I am, because there are more pluses than
hair is lighter – I’m a dark blond.
I was a gymnast growing up.
I love gadgets, as well.
I can’t cook.” We both laughed.
She also adds, “People assume that makeup artists
know how to draw, I can’t draw.”
gives tips on holding that beaming glow throughout the
“With a beaming glow just add a
drop of luminizer with your foundation.
Using cream blushes instead of powder.
And cream blush is a bit more water
be careful, glow on oily skin can make you look like
you’re working at a fish-n-chip shop so carry blot
Another thing, if you want that glow, don’t ever use
powder to reduce shine.
When you use powder, you change your look.
Spray tan is also good for a glow.
With black skin it’s really great to use mahogany
luminizer, ‘being a true makeup artist means that you
can work on any skin tone’.
With my third book, I’m making sure that 50% of
the models will be minorities.”
Wrapping up our 40 minute interview,
Rae tells me what she would like to be known for.
“A makeup artist that takes risks.
I want to be known for the kid from the caravan
who made it creatively to the top.
Someone that’s very nice and always pleasant.
I don’t want to be known as that person who has
made it to the top and become arrogant.”