Meet Amanda, our T.M makeup teacher, who never knew what the future had in store. 

Amanda’s career in the makeup industry was inevitable. Her love for making people look and feel good led to this line of work, but she never knew what surprises awaited her ahead!

Her career took her to America where she was lucky enough to work on a range of different projects. It was only natural that this experience would inspire something bigger, her very own makeup company, On Set Cosmetics. 

We are so keen to chat with Amanda about how she got to where she is now, advice for future makeup artists and what she has in store for On Set Cosmetics.

Please tell us about your career journey in Makeup!

I have been doing makeup for what it seems like all my life! My mum introduced me to makeup, applying and selling at the age of 13. 

My first big job was my High School Rock Eisteddfod when I was 15. This is when I knew for sure that I wanted to be a Makeup Artist. I put up pictures of America - mainly pictures of my crush of course, Kelly Slater - in my bedroom and started dreaming about working and living in America. Once I left high school I pursued a career in hospitality management and freelanced at the same time. 

After seven years of juggling both jobs, and really wanting to just do makeup I decided to put myself through a Diploma of Makeup. Two weeks before graduating I gained employment as a Christmas casual position with Napoleon Perdis. Definitely not something I really wanted to do - retail, but Napoleon was just about to open their first concept store in America and was looking for staff and I wanted that job! 

Eight months after starting with Napoleon I was one of four Australian staff selected to move to LA and manage their first concept store for them. Shortly after, I went into a regional manager role for the States as well as being a Core Creative working at LA fashion week, The Emmys, Australia’s Next Top Model and many more amazing opportunities. Whilst juggling all of this I also flew across America for Napoleon teaching Sephora Staff about the product and company. This is where my passion for education began and has flourished since.

What are the biggest challenges you've faced working in the industry, and how did you overcome them?

I see challenges as an opportunity to grow. It’s an opportunity for you to adjust who you are, how you present yourself and the angle in which you have approached a job or person. You will more than likely adopt this new adjustment for yourself, which can make you a better employee or even person. 

Being understanding, patient and calm are all quality traits needed for a makeup artist along with just being yourself. I don’t have any particular challenges to note but I know that this has been my mind set pretty much my entire working life. I’ve always read the room, adjusted myself to suit the settings/environment and gone from there. Which I believe has helped me be successful throughout my career.

What was your first light-bulb moment to create On Set Cosmetics?

I’ve always wanted to be my own boss as many people do! Freelancing allows me to do this but I wanted more and have always been crazy excited about products and love knowing about the benefits and features of every ingredient. I also love teaching people on how to use products and get the most out of them so I married all these loves together and came up with On Set Cosmetics.


How challenging is it to create an ethical and responsible makeup line?

The cosmetics industry has come a long way in being responsible and ethical so it does make it easy for manufacturers to supply the qualities I wanted in my line. My manufacturers are in the USA and Canada where I found the best quality in products and ingredients.

From the idea above to actual creation - how did On Set come into being?

I have been working on the line since 2014 so there have been many ups and downs! The line actually had a different name at the start, I was 2 months in and went into production and in the first week after going ahead I had another business object the use of the name as it was too similar to theirs. I had to stop production, take a loss on the production that had started and had to work out another name. 

It took me 7 years to find On Set and the courage to try again. In my 5 year plan I noted that I wanted the line to be used on a TV show or series and to be in a salon or two . I have already achieved this thanks to some very special people that have shown me great support.

How does your experience in Makeup guide you through it all?

My experience in the industry has helped me tremendously. I have held various positions in the past for various cosmetic houses from regional retail to business development to product development to core creative, the list goes on. Of the many roles I have done and the skills and knowledge I have picked up along the way, if it weren’t for my experiences and my will to try everything I wouldn’t be in the position I am today as makeup artist, educator and brand owner.

What are your favourite items from the collection and why?

That’s a hard question, it’s like picking a favourite child! 

I love and wear all my products everyday! My best sellers are - Boss Bronzer and Love Plump Lip Gloss. They are very easy to use and do what they are meant to do! Love Plump plumps the lips within seconds and brings out the natural colour of your lips. It keeps your lips hydrated during and after wear and can help smooth out fine lines over time. Boss leaves your skin looking naturally sun kissed and can be used not only as a blush but also as an eyeshadow or all over bronze face powder.

What’s next for you and On Set?

Expanding the line to a full collection and getting the line into salons is the key focus for the next few years. I also have my eye on returning to America at some stage to launch the line and set up residency. The dream is to one day be able to live 6 months in Australia and 6 months in LA!

How do you see the future of the Makeup industry as an experienced insider?

The film and TV industry is definitely growing as bigger productions are coming from overseas to film in Australia of late and will continue to do so. Hopefully this will help our industry grow with more opportunities as there are a lot of makeup artists in Australia. On Set Cosmetics actually helps promote qualified makeup artists and I hope that this will lead into a bigger business venture that I have in mind for the future that I will keep to myself for now…!

Lastly, do you have any advice for aspiring creatives who want to go into the Makeup?

If you are thinking of enrolling in the Diploma of Screen & Media (Specialist Makeup Services) do it now, no matter where you are in your life! Don’t hold yourself back from living the life of your dreams. 

I was a mature student and was a little scared to change my whole career/life but when I want something I just go for it! What’s the worst that can happen? You learn a new skill, get yourself out of your comfort zone and make new contacts? That’s not so bad, right! 

Living in LA and doing makeup on celebrities in Hollywood was a dream that I thought I’d never actually do but I did and you can too!