Starting a business at 20, dealing with online trolls and being judged 24/7, Chloe Blackburn of C&C Beauty talks to Fashion North on living through the ups and downs of the makeup industry.
“Completely throw yourself into it. If it doesn’t work out, there will always be something to learn and something will work for you eventually; it won’t always fail.” That’s the advice Chloe would give to any young person who desire to start their own business.
With over 35,000 followers on Instagram and a growing beauty business under her belt at just 21-years-old, it may be a good idea to listen to her.
Hating her job as a hairdresser, she started doing make-up on the side to take her mind off her current situation. It helped that and at the time, there were only a few make-up artists big on social media from the North East and before long she started to receive requests from people to help with their make-up. Chloe said it was the fact that people were coming to her gave her confidence that she could turn this into something substantial.
It was totally unexpected and never an industry she saw herself working in: “I’ve never been girly, I’m usually in a tracksuit and no makeup – a bit of a scruff really.” But she loved studying art in school at Ponteland High and believes the artistic side of the job is what caught her attention.
Chloe of Throckley, Newcastle said: “I used to save up my dinner money for months just so I could afford to go on makeup courses every Sunday. ” She decided to take the plunge into starting her own business after losing a close friend in December 2016. Struggling with severe anxiety, she eventually came to realise that she should just: “Do it” , “I’ve never looked back,” she says.
The MUA she works alongside in her business is co-owner and best friend Chloe Wilson. She has a staggering 234,000 followers on Instagram. It’s no surprise that their business named C&C Beauty has become an industry hit in just a few short months.
Chloe describes them as ‘sisters’ and speaks fondly of her business partner: “She’s only four and a half subways long!” she laughs.
She describes herself as being the brains behind the business and while Chloe Wilson is recognised more due to her huge online following, they have built the business together as a team using both of their best qualities. Her business brain and Wilson’s social media reputation.
The C&C Beauty Instagram is packed with photos showing off the girls’ work from sculpted faces, contoured cheekbones and highlighter everywhere, it’s easy to see why the company has done so well in such a short time. Chloe tells us that winter season is all about GLITTER. Christmas parties are coming up and sparkles will be everywhere in the salon. But it isn’t as easy as people think, behind every finished make-up look there is an in-depth consultation with the client. Chloe says these can sometimes be difficult: “People who don’t wear a lot of make-up can be put off by bright colours, but I know that orange goes great with blue eyes for example and we always check what the client is wearing, who wants to wear a black dress with black smokey eyes? It’s just boring.”
Our little pride & joy 🙊 if any girlies ever wanna pop in and have a play around with makeup let us know we would love to have your company in our studio.. beneficial for up and coming makeup artists who just want to have a play around in their own space not a busy atmosphere..as we are based in the beaut countryside it’s private and so cosy 🙊🌸 @ccmakeupartists #makeupartist #makeupstudio #newcastle
She describes her experience with one client: “She turned up to get her prom make-up done and made it very clear that blue was her favourite colour. She had a blue dress, blue shoes, blue hair and wanted us to do blue eyes and blue lipstick for her look. I’m known for being quite brutally honest so I had to tell her absolutely not, you’ll look like a Smurf!”
While that may have been a bit much, even for Chloe, she has never been one to back away from a bold look. ‘Glitter Tits’ were all over social media during festival season and C&C Beauty were one of the first to jump in on the trend. Their video of the ‘look’ has been viewed more than 17,000 times. It unsurprisingly gathered some negative comments, one person accused them of showing pornographic material online and Chloe is fully aware that it isn’t for everyone: “This day and age is mental, imagine your mam going out with glitter on her boobs.”
Trolling can be seen all over social media and the girls at C&C Beauty are no different. Chloe describes how she has previously paid for two braces, veneers and was even addicted to whitening her teeth so much that she burnt all her gums away. All from one person making a comment to her about her teeth. And while now she says she has learnt to ignore the trolls and their comments it still affects her co-partner. At a tiny dress size 4 she was accused of being pregnant when she uploaded some selfies and while doing an online make-up video livestream has even been told to kill herself. Previous comments have left her to resort to plastic surgery, injecting her face with cheek fillers after people commented on her appearance. Chloe said: “You just have to learn to ignore them, delete one million and there will still be one person trying to drag you down.”
It is something Chloe sees every day in her industry. She has worked with the Geordie Shore cast, including Chloe Ferry, who has had several procedures: breast uplift, two nose jobs and most recently all the fat sucked from her stomach and inserted into her bum. Chloe is a friend of the reality star and says: “She now hates her nose, hates her boobs and wants more fat taken from her, there’s nothing left.”
Chloe doesn’t see make-up as a way to cover up what you don’t like about yourself and her dream client would be natural beauty Michelle Keegan: “I have posters of her in my room, alerts on my phone for if she tweets or posts a photo, I am obsessed. I class myself as a Sainsbury’s version!” she smiled
Chloe has big future plans for her business starting with a new shop which they are currently saving for. C&C Beauty will also be releasing their own brand and travelling around teaching makeup master classes with their target to become international: “The world is going crazy and make-up can only get bigger and bigger.”