MumBoss: Meet Erika Swinn - Celebrity Makeup Artist and SuperMum
Erika Swinn is an expert at spinning plates. Having trained at the prestigious Cassie Lomas Makeup Academy, Erika now enjoys a successful career in Makeup. Her portfolio is extensive with experience in celebrity, editorial, bridal and private clients. Erika has painted the faces of the likes of Anthony Joshua and Jessica Ennis to name but a few. She juggles her career alongside her most important job: Mum. With two little ones only 19 months apart and another baby on the way, you would have thought that she had her hands full but this super mum has other plans in mind. I chatted to Erika about motherhood and why she's just launched her sell-out makeup masterclasses that are all about accentuating your natural beauty.......
You originally trained in International Fashion Marketing. What made you take a leap of faith and change career path?
While I was doing my A levels I was unsure about the career path I wanted to take. I enjoyed so many different things and knew I wasn’t quite ready to start the world of full time work, but there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to go to university. I decided to study Fashion Marketing as I knew I would find it interesting and that it would open many doors that I could turn into a business.
I actually really enjoyed my degree and was determined that if I was going to spend a whole four years doing it, I wasn’t leaving without a first.
Once I graduated I relocated to Sheffield, and found out Mamas & Papas were taking on graduates in their marketing department. I was determined to get the job on maternity wear. My favourite part of the job was the photo shoots. The creative team, photographers and especially the make up artist I worked closely with, really inspired me to just go for it.
I was lucky my now husband had every faith in me, and with us moving around a lot we both decided that this line of work would suit our lifestyle and work around a family that we knew we always wanted. I knew it was a lot of money to spend and such a big risk to take. I did lots of research and work experience, literally worked my socks off. It was so worth it though as I now get to do my dream job, and work it around my family life.
You’re a Mummy to two amazing little ones and have another one on the way. How do you manage childcare when you’re self-employed and have no regular work schedule?
People are often shocked to find out I actually don’t have childcare for my two children. My daughter, and soon my little boy have and will start preschool at the age of three. Before then it’s just been my husband and I and our parents that have helped us out with childcare. My little ones are only 19 months apart. With that in mind and a relocation to Stafford while I was pregnant for the second time, I mainly kept my work to weekends, and enjoyed all those firsts at home with them.
Now I live back in Lancashire. My in laws are retired and my daughter has started school, so it’s much easier to arrange last minute jobs. As I work weekends as well, there’s always family wanting to spend time with them. I manage my own diary, sometimes I do get stressed out with last minute arrangements, and asking my parents to be at my house for half 5 in the morning when my husband is away for work, which is quite often. Luckily, so far I’m managing both the work and the time with my family. I do miss out on jobs sometimes, but on the whole, my support network makes all the difference.
Motherhood is a life changing experience and I know that before I became a mother, I had so many preconceptions of what I thought motherhood would be and how I would parent my child that completely went out the window when I had her. Is it what you expected? Do you parent your kids in the way you thought you would or have you found that your attitude has changed as the number of kids and time has gone on?
I always said I wanted to be hands on Mum, just like my own. I think you know you’ll love your children that you imagine having one day, but I don’t think you can truly imagine being so in love and obsessed with them. I remember asking my mum when I was pregnant with my first if she could look after my two week old baby so I could travel down the country to work for a full day. She just laughed and said you will feel differently, don’t take the job. She was so right. I didn’t let my newborn daughter out of my site. I’m pretty sure I spent my first six months as a new mummy in a daze. I think naturally you become more relaxed the more children you have and feel more confident in your approach at dealing with all the things motherhood throws at you.
Your expertise in makeup is comprehensive with experience in celebrity, editorial, advertising, wedding makeup and private clients. Most recently, you’ve held your own master class. Tell me about your thoughts behind taking this next step and adding another string to your bow?
I always imagined doing classes for women; I get so much satisfaction from working with bridal parties alongside my career as a makeup artist. Models and celebrities are so used to being made up. I’ve had brides tear up seeing themselves and feeling so confident just from me applying make up to them and styling their hair. It really is such a feel good job to have. These classes are all about normal women learning how to make the most of their natural beauty. A review I received last weekend, one of the women said I taught her things she hadn’t known about her own face for the last 60 years!!
I’m so excited about where this will take me as I’m so passionate about it and there’s lots of different avenues I can go down from here. Most nights I’m chatting away to my husband before bed about all these ideas I have and then I struggle to sleep. It’s a really exciting time for me at the moment. I just feel so lucky to look forward to my work the way I do.
You make people look and feel good about themselves on a daily basis. What would be your 3 top tips for making yourself feel good?
That’s a hard one since sometimes I struggle myself!
It sounds vein but honestly even a five minute pamper can make all the difference to how I feel about myself. A bit of tan before bed, quick make up routine before facing my day – most days I have 10 minutes to be dressed and ready to go.
Having a good moisturiser! I get little sleep and have a busy life – I want to keep my face Botox free as long as I can. Plenty of eye cream before bed!
I’m by no means a fitness freak but I do feel good about myself when I manage to fit the gym in. It is something I struggle with currently, then I reassure myself that when my children are older and all at school I will have that regular time again to workout. Before then I just squeeze in bits when I can.
So a #mumhack is something that makes your life a million times easier as a busy Mum. Now you’re going to be a Mummy to 3 little ones, what #Mumhacks have you used or do you still use that make life so much easier?
Wow another hard one, still trying to invent some major mum hacks to make life easier!
As far as running my business, I try to keep paperwork and emails to the evenings as I don’t have time at home without any children in the house, ever!
I don’t need it anymore, well until the new baby comes, but always having the baby bag replenished and ready to go the night before for a quick get away in the mornings.
When they were babies, I had them both in nappies for 9 months, out and about I always got them changed together – even now if one needs the toilet – everyone goes!!
I have always had them in bed for 7pm – this is my time, work and time with my husband.
Having a television in my bedroom for those 5am baby wake up calls, when 30 mins dosing makes all the difference to my general sanity.
If I ever had a big job that I will be filmed for or have an event myself I style my hair before I go to bed, hair spray it, quick brush in the morning and it will last me all day.
We have a second set of toothbrushes downstairs for a speedy get away for the school run after breakfast. Pretty sure that journey up and down stairs added 30 mins on my mornings.
I always wash my hair at night, no way do I have time for that in the mornings!
Like what Erika has to say or fancy booking yourself on to one of her makeup masterclasses? Check her out!