As you have previously read, its December 1998 and I am in Sydney, Australia. I love feeling the sunshine on my skin and how much happier people seem to be. I remember being a little freaked out seeing the window displays full of fake snow and Santa’s as the sun is hitting the windows.

Christmas day was spent in swimwear, with Geraldine on Bondi beach eating turkey sandwiches!

I took 2 jobs, a live in nanny (as i needed somewhere to live) and part time in a beauty salon, doing intimate waxing for men and women! Not really what I had in mind, so decided it was time to make some changes. What did I want to do? What were my passions? MAKEUP.

I enrolled on a 2 day makeup course to learn the fashion and trends, then blagged my way into an interview for the Versace makeup team. 1999 was a very exciting time to be in the beauty industry. MAC cosmetics had changed the game by using the Drag Queen Ru Paul as there face. Versace was bringing the glam to the everyday person, I felt alive and creative and knew I had made the right choice.

I managed to work with some established photographers, for test shoots, so I could build my portfolio. I remember feeling large and insecure around the very gorgeous and thin models. I felt out of my depth, thankfully my passion to learn, grow and work in the industry pushed me through. I have always been coachable and able to follow advice which is why I think i was asked to be a part of the makeup team to launch Clarins in Sydney and Melbourne. I got to work with some amazing makeup artists who took me under there wing and taught me so much, that I am forever grateful for their time and energy.

November 1999 I had to make the decision, of using my return ticket to come home back to the UK, or pursue the visa that was being offered for me to stay 5 years in Australia. This was a hard choice, but I decided it was time to be a little closer to home, and applied for a global makeup artist position with Clarins in Paris. With a heavy heart I started saying goodbye and of course going to the many leaving drinks.

My last day was a tough one, as a few hours before heading off to the airport, my makeup portfolio and purse was stolen! This was the era where not everyone had a mobile phone and I had just got an email address and had no idea how to use the internet, or collect email addresses from those I worked with. I just let it all go, as a friend took me to the airport, to start my long journey back to the cold, but at least the UK would look pretty with Christmas lights and the excitement for the turn of the millennium.

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