As a female founded brand, BELLA's mission is to celebrate our female trailblazers to empower and inspire you along your journey. That’s why we’ve started our Monday Muse series. Each Monday, to start your week on a high, we will highlight one woman who’s paving the way in their own field and in life. Here, they’ll answer questions on everything, from how they started out to challenges and highlights, plus beauty advice they think everyone should know, along with their favourite top trick. What's better is that you can ask them anything via the comment section below!
This week: Brooke Simons, cruelty free celebrity, red carpet and editorial MUA
Who are you, what do you do?
I’m Brooke Simons and I am a red carpet, fashion & editorial cruelty free, filter free makeup artist.
What is your best beauty advice?
Never go to sleep with your makeup on - no matter how tempting it is or how tired you are! Double cleanse if you can and always (come rain or shine) wear SPF.
What is your go to makeup look?
Beautiful fresh skin without question - skin is definitely my thing and the skin prep is as important if not more important than the makeup application itself. I would go for something very clean - glowy skin, a soft smoky wing, natural curled lashes with a good amount of mascara and a soft nude lip.
What has been your biggest challenge in your career?
The biggest challenge in my career would probably be the size of my kit! It weighs around 30kg and I don’t like going in lifts which creates a real problem for me (and my back). I am constantly battling between trying to reduce the products in my kit and adding amazing new ones!
What has been the highlight of your journey?
There have been so many highlights but I would probably say most recently was going to Paris for fashion week. I was back to back with red carpet clients. I was running from client to client and I just love the buzz of that!
Whose face would you like to paint next?
Sarah Jessica Parker is top of my list but also would love to work with Ricky Gervais - my list is very varied!
What made you decide to only use Cruelty Free makeup?
I realised I was still able to do the same work to the same standard without using cosmetic brands that test on animals. I also really enjoyed the challenge of showing that it’s possible. It took a long time to find cruelty free alternates to some of my staples but I have now been cruelty free for about four years and it hasn’t impacted my work in the slightest.
What is your daily motto?
Energy flows where attention goes - this helps me stay positive even in tough situations.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
My mum is my biggest inspiration. She was one of the strongest women I’ve ever met. She managed to keep positive through a big struggle and I always reference how she was when facing any adversity and it inspires me to power through.
What is beauty to you?
Beauty to me isn’t just something nice to look at. It’s also very much a feeling. I find beauty in smells, places, tastes. And beauty isn’t a perfectly symmetrical face - although I can also appreciate that. It’s the little things that make someone unique like freckles or a chin dimple (which my daughter has and I’m obsessed with it). It’s the features you use to differentiate someone that make them special. That to me is true beauty.
What insecurities have you overcome and how?
I think when you are in a creative industry it’s so easy to pick up insecurities- about your work, your age, your capabilities. You can be put up for a job you really want against other incredible talents and you’re not always going to win the jobs and the way I deal with that is to remind myself what is meant for me will not pass me by and you can’t win them all. Sometimes you are a perfect fit and other times you’re not.
What advice would you give to yourself if you were starting all over again?
Take it in your stride, you are going to get rejections - it’s part of the job, don’t let your kit get to 30kg and have fun.
What’s something that people would be surprised to know about you?
Aside from my diary and work, I’m a total mess. It’s organised chaos. I know where everything is but everything is everywhere! At anyone time you will find at least 3 pairs of my shoes in 3 separate locations around the house.
You can invite any 3 people to dinner, who has made the guest list and why?
My mum, Ricky Gervais for the banter and Pat McGrath for obvious reasons!
What is on the horizon for 2023?
It’s just going to get bigger and better!!