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Kelly Mitchell


Kelly Mitchell is a renowned makeup designer celebrated for her exceptional work.

Kelly recently graced the TVNZ awards, not just as a nominee but as the winner of Best Makeup Design for the notable project "The Gone". It was an emotional victory, especially as she shared this remarkable moment with her supportive mother. Kelly's journey to the top was fuelled by a passion that began at the age of 16, initially aiming to be a fashion designer before setting her sights on a hairdressing apprenticeship and then exploring the infinite creativity of makeup artistry.


From Fashion Dreams to Makeup Realms

Kelly Mitchell's career pivot from fashion design to the intricacies of hair and makeup is a testament to her adaptability and drive. Moving to Auckland at the tender age of 16 to commence her hairdressing apprenticeship, she embraced the comprehensive, hands-on learning—spanning three to four years—rather than traditional schooling. This early experience laid the foundation for her to understand the synergy between hair and makeup design, preparing her to become a freelance artist.


Overcoming Stigma and Embracing Mental Health

Navigating through her career, Kelly candidly shares the mental health challenges she faced, including a breakdown in 2000. Addressing the stigma in the industry, she emphasises the importance of personal well-being amidst the demanding hours and stress. As of 2023, she proudly celebrates a decade of a healthy body, mind, and soul. Her experiences highlight the significance of balance, not only for mental health but also as an avenue for creative inspiration.


Navigating the Industry Amid Financial Realities

Kelly also discussed the stark contrast between the rising costs of products and stagnant pay rates—a common plight for many in the female-centric roles of the New Zealand makeup industry. She notes the necessity of strategic budgeting, paying particular attention to including kit hire in client negotiations. These conversations underline the current financial climate’s impact on the industry and the imperative for change come 2024.


Innovating and Looking to the Future

With a keen eye on evolution, Kelly has trained internationally, broadening her expertise in styling textured hair—a skill in high demand due to New Zealand’s diverse population. As she considers the future, she's exploring avenues like passive income while maintaining her devotion to the makeup industry. Kelly envisions more travel and further consolidation of her skills, indicating a desire for both personal and professional growth.


Join us on this inspiring journey with Kelly Mitchell, as we glean insights from her story of perseverance, adaptability, and passion for the makeup industry in New Zealand.


Contact Kelly


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