Welcome to the next instalment of the #beautyinsider Q&As, where you can read first-hand about how beauty experts got into their field of work, what they are working on and how they got there. This month’s guest is Camilla Collins, Self-Image Specialist, Author & Speaker. Camilla is no stranger to the beauty industry: a qualified hair and makeup artist, owner of several beauty and creative agencies, this is where she started her career before becoming a self-image specialist and exploring the decline in our identity. Her book #NoFilterNeeded, is an eye opener for anyone struggling with confidence and shines a light on some of the darker repercussions today’s beauty trends can have on self-esteem. Here Camilla shares the inspiration behind her book and how make up can be a positive tool in building confidence.
1. Hi Camilla, thank you for being my Insider Q&A guest this month. Let’s get started with your multi-faceted career which spans many industries but started in makeup artistry – what’s been your journey?
After qualifying as a hair and makeup artist I began working on photo shoots, filming projects and fashion shows. A year later I began assisting on weddings, I loved it so I built my own bridal business. With more bookings coming in I decided to turn CJC hair and makeup into an agency. As time went on however, I missed the more creative side of things such as body painting and prosthetics, so I went on to build 2 more agencies: CJC Creatives for specialised theatrical makeup artistry and Glitter & Glo for party and events entertainment services.
Around 2017 I was just starting to feel unsettled with life: I loved working with my clients, but things had changed in the industry. With the rise of social media and influencer marketing I felt people were increasingly dependent on beauty treatments and makeup rather than it being a “nice to have”. I felt saddened by the fact that so many were contouring their faces beyond recognition and losing their unique qualities in the process.
I have had my own struggles with not feeling comfortable in my own skin which spanned many years in and out of therapy and rehabilitation centres, so I began sharing parts of my story more openly with people. I learned so many great tools and insights through my own journey and over the years I have made a natural progression into confidence and lifestyle coaching.
2. What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m an early bird and like to get up around 5am or 6am. I love my morning times as I’m clear headed and energised and can really set up my day properly. I work out in some form every morning with my kettlebell and then plan my day ahead. I take my cocker spaniel, Arthur, for a walk mid-morning. I don’t like to rush on our walk so I try to get the bulk of my work done and go out later if needs be.
My work tasks vary each day from team meetings to filming videos, creating content, hosting podcast interviews, speaking with clients on zoom and hosting online makeup masterclasses!
In the evenings I switch off by going for another walk with Arthur and then wind down with a film or book before getting into bed by 9 or 10pm.
3. How did your book #NoFilterNeeded come about?
I hadn’t really planned on writing it, but it just sort of came about! I didn’t feel that the world needed another book on beauty trends or makeup hacks and I wanted to write something honest and from the heart that allowed me to share part of my story too in the hope that it may help others.
I wanted to get people back to their true selves by waking them up to the marketing tactics of the beauty industry and reminding them of how valuable they are as themselves without filters… or fillers! So I just started writing it from bed in the mornings, researching as I went, and reaching out to the amazing people who are in it, and it manifested itself into #NoFilterNeeded and was printed a few months later!
4. What role do you think beauty products can play in building or maintaining self-confidence?
I see using beauty products very much part of self-care. Buying items for yourself, or taking the time to enjoy using products on yourself signals that you’re worth it and that builds your confidence and self-worth. I want people to use them because they make them feel better, not because they feel they’re not good enough without them.
I think makeup is a great tool. A lipstick and mascara can make me feel more put together instantly, just like putting on my gym clothes immediately motivates me better for a workout. It’s all part of dressing for the day ahead, and respecting yourself enough to make the effort.
Makeup is great so long as it’s used as a tool and not a crutch. You have to feel OK without it. I promote having makeup free days to allow yourself to be truly you without the need for cover up, and be OK with it.
If something is constantly covered up then overtime it’s easy to forget what’s underneath. And when it comes to the beauty industry, there are so many products being marketed to us and so many beauty ideals being pushed on us via our social media feeds, I think we just have to be mindful not to lose ourselves while viewing it all.
5. What exciting projects are you working on right now?
I’ve just restarted my podcast back up after a couple of months’ break and I’m currently filming videos for the launch of my YouTube channel which is focused on confidence, mindset and lifestyle… there will likely be some makeup bits in there too.
I’ve also recently partnered with a work place engagement company and I’m supporting them on the employee empowerment side of things in the run up to their launch. I’m creating a 6-month programme for them which should be up and running by the end of this year – all very exciting!
6. What so far has been your proudest career moment?
It’s hard to pick one thing, I’ve had the pleasure or working with some amazing people and have been invited onto some great projects.
The proudest times are reflecting back on how far I’ve come and I think the proudest is right now; the fact that I took the leap of faith to get more out of my career and I’m getting it.
I receive such lovely messages from people each week and it’s these that not only make me unbelievably grateful to everyone who is supporting me but helps me to realise the impact I make.
7. And finally – what do you get up to in your spare time?
I love weight training, so you’ll find me in the gym quite a lot. My dog, Arthur is a huge part of my life so a lot of my spare time revolves around him, we go on many long walks (which look a lot like pub crawls) on Hampstead Heath that feature pit stops along the way and chatting with strangers and meeting new people. We love new adventures and mini breaks to places like the Cotswolds, Norfolk and Bath.
Occasionally I’ll glam up for a bottomless brunch or long lunch with friends at the weekends if I’m not working, but I’m equally happy curled up on the sofa and having a chill day at home.
If you have any burning questions you’d like to ask Camilla why not leave a comment below? Or you can get in touch with her directly on Instagram.