Emmy Award-winning makeup artist Melanie Mills knows the art of the hustle in the beauty industry. Skilled in with a shadow brush and having worked on many a set, Melanie launched a unique body makeup and lip gloss line GLEAM. After 12 years of using her product to enhance the already-beautiful features of the ABC’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’ professional dancers and celebrities alike, Melanie launched GLEAM Body Radiance in April 2011.
Artist, creator and entrepreneur rolled into one, Melanie gives us a look into her life as she lives the dream…
1. What has been your most memorable moment working in the beauty industry?
My most memorable moment was winning an Emmy in 2008 for my work on “Dancing With the Stars” – what an amazing feeling!
2. What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty means so many things to me at different times. Nature to me is beauty, the relationship between my daughter and I is beauty, family is beauty, a glass of wine is beauty, a walk is beauty, love is beauty.
In regards to makeup, when someone takes time to go the extra mile and take care of themselves; I find that beautiful. Of course, the perfect red pout is pure beauty too.
3. What helped you prepare to launch your own line of products?
I had developed the body makeup for “Dancing With the Stars” and realized when celebrities were driving out to my house for an ounce that I should try to take it to market. I was referred to a great lab; Luci with my lab was amazing in helping me fine-tune the ingredients and colors. Then, an amazing PR team helped immensely in introducing the product to the market.
4. Who were your mentors and how did they assist you as you built your career?
There are tons of mentors. Rea Ann Silva the mastermind behind “The Beauty Blender” was definitely a mentor. Seeing her move forward with an idea and making it happen was truly inspirational. Rea always provided great advice too! Galit from “Girlatic Beauty” was another huge inspiration. Galit also introduced me to Luci in the lab, and provided a plethora of other advice. Witnessing strong women, with great ideas, making things happen in this world is a constant inspiration.
Also, I admired Kevin Aucoins beauty’s books and always dreamt of putting one together. I bonded with the celebrities and dancers on “Dancing With the Stars” and shared my dream and passion. In turn, they started volunteering to do photo shoots with me and I took that ball and ran with it! I’m proud to say I put together a proposal that caught Penguins attention and now that dream will happen and will be a reality on the shelves September 2013.
5. If you were stranded on an island what top beauty products would you not be able to live without?
I wouldn’t survive without my sunscreen, lip balm, moisturizers, and soap and a razor.
6. Finish this sentence: A woman is most beautiful when….
she feels the best about herself.
7. What is your advice for anyone looking to break into this industry?
Just start cracking, assist, assist, assist! Start with school and/or a good internship. Make sure to connect with the makeup counters as well. Find photographers to exchange. It’s a hustle and a great network is very important. Make sure to take any opportunity to get to MAC classes or other makeup events where you will meet people in the industry!