Hands up, who’s done it. Bought into the latest make-up with the intention of it changing our lives (face), got it home, no idea how to use it properly, sits in drawer. Expensive product is never used and has made a hole in our bank account and our expectations. Great.
But after a catch up with Burnley’s “Makeup Doctor”, we’re feeling a lot more clued up about the whole makeup thing and inspired by her story of returning to her hometown roots to launch a business that is attracting people from all over the country, to the town.
Meet Rita Parmar; makeup coach, people person and Burnley-based entrepreneur…
Rita was inspired by The Body Shop founder, Anita Roddick, from a young age after a chance meeting set up by her Colne Primary School teacher.
“I had the opportunity to interview Anita aged 9 and I think looking back, this has stuck with me throughout my career. She was really inspiring and her whole ethos struck a chord with me.”
After school and university, Rita then went on to apply for a graduate scheme with Arcadia (the group behind Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins) and was selected as one of 9 out of 14,000 applicants that year.
“I even had the chance to work directly for Sir Philip Green for a year on an all-expenses paid placement – it was a bit like being on The Apprentice!”
She then went on to work for global companies including Zara, Kurt Geiger before heading into the beauty world with a role at Benefit Cosmetics (not sure about you but their iconic Hoola bronzer is a constant fixture in our makeup bag!)
Despite rubbing shoulders with the elite of the fashion and beauty world in London, Rita decided to make Burnley her next move…
“There’s more to Burnley than what meets the eye. It’s full of hidden treasures, great people and businesses that some don’t even realise are here. It has a great community spirit; everyone knows everyone, so it’s a really supportive place to both live and work.”
Whilst on maternity leave back in 2014, Rita worked on a business plan for her own company.
“I started from literally nothing, ploughed my own savings into my ideas and just went for it.”
Makeup Doctor was the outcome – one-on-one coaching from Rita to help women see a difference with their makeup, get the best out of the products they’ve invested in and generally feel great about themselves. She even teaches brides to do their own make up for their big day.
Three years down the line, Rita has customers travelling to her studio in Burnley from the Midlands, Manchester, Yorkshire and beyond to experience the Makeup Doctor service.
So what exactly is a makeup coach?
Rita’s approach to makeup is a little bit different to the MUA Instagram accounts that we’re so used to scrolling through.
“There’s definitely a place for that look, but what I teach is different. My clients are the regular, everyday women who are looking to get out of a makeup rut and have some coaching to try something new.”
“If you’re looking for a makeup artist, sales person or beauty magician, that’s not me!But if you want a to learn how to have your makeup work for you, which of your products work and which don’t, how to refresh your makeup habits and enhance your natural features, then I can help.”
Rita also uses her social media and her blog to share tips and tricks that she’s picked up along the way – including an impressive tutorial on how to contour your face in 4 minutes!
“I’ve taught MUA’s about tools and they were shocked that I knew more than them about which brushes to use for each technique, given that I’m not technically a makeup artist myself.”
This has only inspired Rita to pursue her next venture… her own line of make-up brushes – “Makeup Musthaves” which she has designed to simplify makeup.
“Makeup and beauty is a powerful thing. It can take away your insecurities and replace them with pure confidence.”
A great ethos from a great Burnley character who is championing her hometown, we’d say…
You can find out more about Makeup Doctor here