You often hear makeup artists speak of a passion for their craft from childhood. Not so Amelia Webb, who, while she had always loved makeup, had never even considered making it a career until a friend suggested it to her one night, while she was commiserating about how unhappy she was living a 9-5, office worker bee life. Happily, that spark was all she needed to tirelessly carve out a niche as an in-demand bridal makeup artist, that now sees her being flown all over the country to help brides look their most beautiful. Yet behind the glamour, real life happens, in which there is both pain and lots of love. Amelia speaks with honesty about the recent loss of her son Tommy and the community of women who have helped her by sharing their own experiences of baby loss, as she now hopes to do for others.

“Makeup wasn’t in my plan at all. Actually, when I was at school, I had an obsession with hair!

I never really enjoyed studying and had no idea what I wanted to do when I finished year 12, but I secured a government traineeship and that’s how my admin career started. I didn’t really like that either, so at 21, I packed up and moved from Adelaide to Melbourne with my boyfriend, who has heading there for work. Although I made the move largely because of him, Melbourne was a place I had wanted to live in since I was little. My mum had friends there, so we would do girl’s trips to go and see them a couple of times a year and I just loved it; it was beautiful and exciting, and everything seemed so busy and fun. It wasn’t until I moved there as an adult that I realised I could do so much more with my life than I had been doing up until then.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @makeupbyameliawebb

I have such a passion for makeup, I adore my clients, and I love getting to combine the two by creating a makeup look for a bride. It’s an absolute honour to be asked to do the makeup for a woman on her wedding day, which is one of the most important days of her life.

It really is a wonderful job; I even have the opportunity to travel to lots of beautiful locations all around the country to get to be part of these special days. The downside of my work is missing out on my own events! Because the majority of my work is on weekends, or consists of early mornings and late nights, it definitely impacts what I can say yes to in my personal life.

Losing my second son, Tommy, at 17 weeks’ gestation, has been one of the most difficult periods of my life. We were so excited to welcome another little boy into our family and unfortunately, he was too special for this world.

Managing this grief and sense of loss has been extremely hard, but I have experienced such wonderful support from so many people, most of all Aston, my 2-year-old son. He puts a smile on my face every single day, even when things are awful, and I am so incredibly grateful for his love.

I have worked through this time by talking about Tommy and sharing his story. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t speak of him, and about how I am feeling. I recognise how lucky I am to have the love around me that lets me do this. I have also found educating myself on miscarriage extremely helpful, and speaking to other women who have suffered through the same experience even more so. As much as we might know miscarriage is common, I’ve found that it wasn’t until I started speaking to others who have been through it that I really understood that there is this amazing community of women out there who have learned to put one foot in front of the other again, which in turn has helped me feel stronger.

Amelia with her son Aston
IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @makeupbyameliawebb

I am extremely lucky to have had a very loving childhood. Although my parents separated when I was 11, and eventually divorced, I was still given an incredible upbringing.

During such a challenging time for our family, both my mum and dad did everything they could to make my brother and I happy.  My dad eventually married again, to my beautiful step mother Sonya, and she has brought so much love to us all. Dad and Sonya even ended up buying a house one street away from my mum so we could all be close by, and so my brother and I didn’t have to travel too far between households. I was (and still am) very lucky to have the support of Sonya and my parents. They are my number one cheerleaders, and I know that I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for them.

When I first moved to Melbourne, I absolutely hated it. I was so unhappy, and found myself in a job I really didn’t like but needed to pay the bills.

After about two years, and still in a job I didn’t love, one night while I was having a drink and a vent with a girlfriend, she suggested I do a makeup course. She knew I loved all things makeup and that I was good at doing it, and thought a course could be a good place to start. Initially I didn’t think it could work because I presumed I would have had to quit my job, but I ended up finding a course (at QC Makeup Academy) that I could do while still working my full-time job, which allowed me to study at night. So I applied, and I absolutely loved it. I even loved the studying aspect, which isn’t like me at all! Straight after I finished my course I started my Instagram account, and started to get paid work.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @makeupbyameliawebb

Don’t get me wrong, I did a lot of unpaid jobs at the start, and had lots of friends who thankfully were willing to be my guinea pigs for different looks that I wanted to try out, to share on my page.

Once I started to post more frequently, more paid work would eventuate, and then the wedding bookings started to come through. And once that started, I did. Not. Stop. Friday, Saturday and Sunday were my wedding days and then Monday to Friday was my full-time admin job; it was crazy. After about two years of working like that and establishing my business, I decided to say goodbye to my office job and focus just on my makeup. It was the scariest moment of my life but it was the best decision I ever made!

Narrowing down my favourite makeup products is very tough because I have so many!

There are some stand outs, though. One is the Ere Perez Oat Milk Foundation, which is super lightweight, perfect for everyday wear and has the most amazing, buildable coverage. Lip balms are very important to me because I cannot handle dry, cracked lips. A few of my favourites are Lanolips (in all shades), Mecca Cosmetica Lip de Luscious and the Mecca Max Pout Pop Sheer Lipsticks – they are all super hydrating.

Brows are so important in my makeup routine, so I absolutely love the Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil for everyday. To keep your brows hydrated, fluffy and full, I like Browmade Liquid Gold Brow and Lash Serum by @melbournebrows_. Last but not least are my perfumes: a few of my favourites are Versace Dylan Blue Pour Femme, Dior Diorissima and who is elijah MUSE.

Choosing the right skincare is essential to ensure perfect makeup application, so finding the products that work for your skin type can be just as important as the makeup itself. That’s my ultimate beauty tip, really: to invest in good skincare and then make sure you actually use it, every morning, every night!

I know sometimes all you want to do is jump into bed with a full face of makeup because you’ve had such a big day but don’t! You will pay for it. Make sure you take the time to really cleanse the day away, then apply your serums, moisturisers and masks. Your skin will thank you for it.

I have to admit I have been pretty lucky with my skin and haven’t ever really suffered any huge issues. I just have to be mindful that I do tend towards dryness.

I have always kept up with a good skincare routine, and now ensure I stick to what I know works for me. I’m pretty good at sticking to my tried and tested products, although every now and then I like to give something new a try. The ones I couldn’t live without would be my Botanicals by Luxe Rosehip Cleanser, Skinceuticals C E Ferulic serum, Skinceuticals Glycolic 10 Renew Overnight, Aspect Hydrating Mask, Botanicals by Luxe Hyaluronic Serum and the Botanicals by Luxe Rosewater + Hyaluronic Cream. And I’ve recently have been loving Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil, which is a must-try.

I think when it comes to getting older we should try to just embrace it and stay positive! By all means try the new treatments and spend the money on fancy products, but ultimately just love the skin you’re in. You only live once so do whatever makes you happy.

When we’re not in lockdown, I get my hair done every six to eight weeks. I would say I am QUITE blonde, so it does need to be looked after.

Davines products have been my go-to for the past three years, which is what my hairdresser Tara uses at her salon, Mitch Studio. I wash my hair about twice a week, using their Heart of Glass Silkening Shampoo and Naturaltech Replumping Conditioner, which are both super softening and hydrating, and help to keep my blonde looking fresh and shiny. I have recently come across a couple of new products from Briogeo, the Don’t Despair Repair Deep Conditioning Hair Maskk and their Scalp Revival Mask, which are both incredible.

My hair tends to dry naturally straight with a little wave, so it isn’t really too hard to manage. If I’m using hot tools on it, it’s important for me to use a heat protection spray, and I always reach for the Davines Oi Oil All In One Milk.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @makeupbyameliawebb

I highly recommend taking time out of your day to get outside for some exercise with a friend. It is so great for your mental health.

In the past couple of years, I have made it my priority to run two or three times a week, and then in lockdown last year I decided to start running with a girlfriend who owns The Running Planner (she creates personal running guides tailored to how many kilometres you want to eventually be able to do). I made it my mission to run a half marathon in 2020, and am proud to say that I did it, and it was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had. I had never been fitter, which was an amazing feeling, so I have kept up this running ever since… though just to be clear, not the marathon training, haha!

It’s taken me a very long time to get to a place of feeling comfortable in my own body. In fact, it wasn’t until I reached my thirties and had given birth to Aston that I came to really love and appreciate it.

There are a few products that I use regularly, and one is the MyGlow2 Silk Exfoliating Glove. It’s truly the perfect thing to use before tan application, as it deeply exfoliates and helps to purify and brighten. I apply tan regularly, usually either Elle Effect or La Beach, which both give the most perfect, golden glow. I also love the Hydrating Cream by Summer Skin Australia and Bangn Body Firming Lotion to keep my skin soft and smooth all day long.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @makeupbyameliawebb

Sleep is big for me. I have to ensure I have had a good night’s rest the night before a big day of work.

I always start my work day with coffee and a decent breakfast, because wedding days are long and there’s rarely time to eat once things get going. I am a total introvert, to the extent that I think I can sometimes come across as rude (even though I can assure you I’m not, it’s just that my instinct is to say nothing when I get nervous!). So resting after a big day around a lot of people is something I try to prioritise.

More generally, I like to focus on healthy foods, exercise, drinking water, acupuncture, massages, and of course your occasional glass of wine!  I think the best thing I do to take care of my body now is being kind to it.”

Story by Zoe Briggs. Main image by Nicole Pas. Other images supplied by Amelia Webb, and from Instagram @makeupbyameliawebb.

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