Meet Azzi

At what age did you know the hair and beauty industry was what you wanted to get into? 

I fell in love with cosmetics when I was only 16, working for The Body Shop and Red Earth while still at school. Then throughout my six-year degree studying Arts/Law at the University of Sydney, I worked for various department store brands at David Jones, before training with MAC.

After I graduated and despite having high-level qualifications, doing the degree of High Court Judges and Prime Ministers and even becoming an admitted solicitor, I knew I was in love with two things – makeup artistry and writing.

So much so, that I decided to abandon all my legal training in pursuit of my passions. So I worked as a freelance journalist for Reuters and The Times, amongst other newspapers and magazines.

At the same time, I was working as an agency-represented commercial/TV/fashion makeup artist on ad campaigns for the likes of Burberry, Sunsilk, Diesel and Eurostar.

This all led to some exciting times! Before long, I was working in a fast-paced environment in competitive London, meeting incredible celebrities like Pete Doherty, Janice Dickinson, Lindsay Lohan and Boy George and working with the likes of Angela Bishop, Richard Pyros and Ben Miller.

I was travelling all the time, working on incredible shoots and TV commercials but also working very, very long hours, often on freezing cold sets.

After five years in London, I moved back to Australia where I decided it was time to leverage all my skills and launch my own brand Williamspro Makeup & Hair, while at the same time teaching makeup at QC Makeup Academy.

How did the name Williamspro Makeup & Hair come about? 

That’s a very good question! Williams is my last name, so that is the easy part to explain, and ‘pro’ encompasses the fact that our cosmetics are makeup artistry, professional-grade.

Our products are all designed for professional, high-definition use in film, television, under hot studio lights, video productions and on the red carpet.

Our Zeropowder setting powder formulas are designed to minimise shine and pores, deflect light and create a flawless, camera ready finish with zero flashback. It contains zero parabens, silica, talc or any animal derivatives. So our range is perfect for any makeup artist’s kit or anyone wanting a true celebrity-style, professional makeup finish that lasts all day and night.

What services do you offer? 

In terms of products, we currently have a range of HD setting powders, a contouring bronzer, our #selfieglo universal shimmering highlighter as well as a range of vegan-friendly brushes.

In terms of services, we offer professional mobile hair and makeup services for fashion shoots and shows, editorial campaigns, bridal occasions, red carpet and special events. We also offer professional workshops, classes and collaborate widely with other industry creatives.

What would be the benefits of using Zeropowder? 

There are so many benefits! The silky, lightweight formula glides on super-sheer to help eliminate shine, while giving long-lasting results to help makeup stay put all day and night. Australian clays and certified organic Arrowroot set your makeup to last in the sun, studio heat, while you party or walk down that red carpet. The zero silica formula means absolutely zero camera flashback so you can be photographed and filmed with confidence. Our high-concentrate blend of Australian clays contain powerful anti-blemish and soothing properties. They calm the skin and absorb excess oils, help restore the skin’s natural moisture levels and leave skin looking smoother and clearer. Zeropowder is 100% natural, gluten free with zero talc, parabens, petrolatum, mineral oil, bismuth oxychloride or alcohol. Zeropowder has zero animal derivatives and is 100% vegan and cruelty free.

For those who have never used a setting powder what is the best way to apply it? 

Simply buff gently over any makeup with a brush like our Williamspro luxury kabuki brush, or roll onto skin with a beauty blender or pat gently onto skin with a puff. Some of my clients use it before makeup as a smoothing priming base, while others love using it simply over tinted sunscreen or a BB cream for a healthy shine-free everyday face.

What would be your career highlight to date? 

Well when I met Janice Dickinson and Lindsay Lohan at the Brit Awards after party in London I was pretty thrilled. I think meeting and working with celebrities has definitely given me some great memorable experiences. Launching my own range that I developed and formulated exclusively and having customers purchase it from all over the world is also a particular joyous milestone. I’m simply buzzing.

What advice would you give to those wanting to get into the beauty industry? It seems so competitive! 

The industry has changed a LOT from when I first started in 1995 – there wasn’t even any internet! Now, bloggers, vloggers, YouTube makeup artists – and fakeup artists, are taking the makeup industry by storm. But the reality is, being a pro beauty blogger or YouTube makeup artist, is very different to being an industry artist. As an international MUA you’re not just applying makeup on yourself, but on hundreds of different faces – and dealing with a lot of different pressures and attitudes!

Plus the more high-end, the higher the stakes and the greater the pressure. High-end celebrity clients and elite high society clientele demand a certain level of service, and you’re there to do just that – to be a service provider.

A lot of young makeup artists think they’re there to ‘express their art’ and their clients will automatically swoon over their talent. Then they are crushed when they’re criticised. But it is important to remember you’re there as hired help, to provide a service. You’re not the star of the show, your client is – and a lot of newbie makeup artists forget that.

So if you want to survive; leave any ego at home, be thick-skinned, work hard, work long hours, be prepared for cold, rain, wet, early starts, and late nights. Treat your clients like kings and queens and market yourself like crazy – because no matter how talented you are, if you’re invisible online or on social media, you won’t get noticed and you won’t get hired.

If you could give one celebrity a makeover who would it be and why? 

I’ve been lucky to work with some fantastic talent and celebrities over the years as already mentioned. But I would definitely love to work with more musical talent like Lady Gaga, Madonna and Kylie Minogue – all gorgeous, hard-working women blessed with incredible bone structure.

Make sure to check out Williamspro Makeup & Hair here.