Working her way up from intern to Global Makeup Artist, Chanel Temple talks us through her incredible career and beauty journey as she lands in Dubai.
From working on editorial beauty shoots to creating educational videos on new product launches, Chanel Temple is a busy woman. And as her title gives away, Hourglass’s Global Makeup Artist also spends much of her time travelling the world to further educate both industry insiders and beauty consumers about the brand which launched just over a decade ago.
Teaming this experience with the knowledge gained at other points during her career with the brand – while working as the Assistant Manager at its first flagship store, for example – she knows Hourglass inside out.
From her career to date to when her love of beauty began, Chanel Temple opens up when sitting down with A&E.
Hi Chanel! How are you enjoying your time in Dubai so far?
I love Dubai! I actually visited Dubai almost seven years ago with my parents – a very different experience of course. Now it’s like a whole different city. It’s amazing. But obviously coming with Hourglass and doing all these events is much more luxurious – and such a good way to see the city.
What do you love in particular about beauty in this region?
There’s definitely a playful approach to makeup. Women are very sophisticated when it comes to makeup here, your client and customer really know how to do their own makeup. Eyes are everything – everyone really plays up the eye makeup and brows are a hot topic, so I kind of feel at home here because I always love a smokey eye and dramatic makeup and you definitely proudly see that in this region.
You’ve come so far with Hourglass, but how did you get to where you are now?
My trajectory has kind of been all across the board. So I started with Hourglass in 2013. I’ve always loved makeup and I started with them as an intern, so I was up in the corporate offices putting together all the amazing PR packages for influencers. I was actually the very first intern in the entire company, so I feel like I really do know everything about the brand and climbed my way to where I am now. I tried every position from trainer to working in our flagship store.
Then about two years ago when Instagram stories were really becoming popular we felt like we needed to have a voice on our social media presence – I got to be that voice! I made sure everyone knew who I was, everyone knew what I was doing. And I made sure people knew how passionate I was about the brand. I got to grow as we have grown so it kind of just organically fell into place.
And has there been a particular highlight throughout your time with Hourglass to date?
I feel like every time I get to travel to a new region it really is that kind of moment when I’m like, ‘I’m really here with the best of the best in this area and I’m getting to teach them!’ When you’re in these moments of realising people are paying attention to what you have to say… I worked really hard to get to where I am but it is that moment of ‘wow it’s happening.’
I think the first time I travelled for Hourglass was to Australia. It was the first time I had ever travelled by myself. And I was on this long flight alone and I got to Perth and I was like on the other side of the world and I’m doing it and it definitely was a moment of – ‘aha! Here we are.’ And I’m still not fully used to it two years later but I love it.
How about any struggles you’ve had to overcome to get to where you are now?
I think with any job there are going to be ups and downs and different challenges, and every region can be a different challenge. But to always stay humble is what I’ve learned; you’re never too good to do any job. Sometimes you get to a place where you have to set everything up and you have to do all the leg work to make it happen – it doesn’t matter what position you are, you still have to have that humbleness that you are not too proud. Anything worthwhile comes with a little fight to get there.
So before all this, how did you fall in love with beauty?
My mum was always into makeup so she always let me explore and play with it. She definitely wasn’t someone who was like ‘wash that eyeliner off!’ – she encouraged it. So I always grew up in a space where I could express myself with makeup. In a report from my seventh grade I said wanted to be a makeup artist, but I think I got discouraged as it’s such a saturated industry, so I felt for so long that I would never be successful, I’d never make money doing it and that it would never work out.
I kept trying to do other things but they just weren’t fulfilling me or making me happy. So finally, I just said ‘whatever, even if I’m not successful I’ll be doing what I love and enjoy,’ and having that mentality changed my whole life – my whole career.
Are there any particularly early beauty memories you have?
It always goes back to my mum. She used to model – a beautiful woman – and when we were younger if she couldn’t get a babysitter, she would bring us with her. I remember she put me at the makeup counter and the artist would babysit me as she modelled – and I loved just watching them do the makeup and I would play with it, three years old playing with the lipstick and eyeliner.
You mention how much you travel within your line of work – are there any travel beauty secrets you have to share?
I’ve learned no skincare on flights – it’s pretty much like a bacteria trap on planes. If it’s a really long flight, you can freshen up and add more moisture, but don’t do your sheet masks, no sprays – just do as much before you get on the flight. Pack on all your oils, all your moisturisers before just before as it’s a bacteria pit. Don’t wear makeup, and don’t eat the food – I bring all my own snacks, tons of fruit, as the in-flight food is so high in sodium that I bloat like a balloon.
How do you react to criticism that people who work in the beauty industry sometimes face?
I think you have to realise that it’s transformative, it is not meant to hide your face. Even with fashion people will say that it’s shallow or materialistic but it’s a way to express who you are and it’s a way to feel confident. I’m not out here saving lives, but I am changing them. I’m helping people feel beautiful and confident with the face they have, providing tools to help elevate people. But I laugh at it and I think it’s ridiculous. We’re not shallow, we want to feel the best version of ourselves and sometimes a lipstick will do that for you! And it’s absolutely an art in life.
What’s new and exciting about working with Hourglass right now?
We did recently launch our brow sculpting pencils, so in term of new products, I think it’s absolutely amazing. I mean the brow look is already very well established in the beauty world, so when I saw the products I was like ‘okay, cool another brow product’, but it truly transformed how I style my brows.
The messaging that we created with these products is having an unrestricted brow – so whether you have unruly brows or thin brows it’s about embracing the arch we all were given and not feeling like you have to follow the trend. Work with what you’ve got – embrace it, love it. I love the message to empower women and not make them feel like they need to follow a trend.
And of course being a cruelty-free brand we’ve gone a bit further by going fully vegan in 2020, so the fact that we have integrity behind who we are – and this mission. We just did a campaign called eye to eye, so we had people come in with their pets to shoot eye to eye with them to get the message across that we care about that.
And what is the last hurdle to going completely vegan after being cruelty-free from the beginning?
Our CEO and Founder [Carisa Janes] wanted to change what the term cruelty-free means in the beauty industry – she feels that it should mean no animal by-products should be used in the ingredients. We’ve always been conscious of that so our products are already about 80 per cent vegan, but it’s things like beeswax. Carminic is another one that’s been hard [to phase out]. It’s crushed beetle wings that you’ll find in almost anything purple or pink – lipsticks and blushes, almost every single one you would imagine.
With us, formulations are the most important thing and we don’t want to just go out and find the first alternative. We didn’t find something that was meeting our expectation so Carisa said ‘I’ll make it. I’m going to make my own.’ So we’ve developed an alternative that is meeting the standard of Hourglass formulations. For us, it is super important that our customer isn’t going to see a transition – we don’t even want them to notice.
You don’t have to compromise luxury for cruelty-free and we’re trying to show that. You can still have exquisite products that perform really well and have a conscience to it.
Do you have a motto in life and in beauty?
In life, it’s an Oscar Wilde quote: “Everything in moderation, including moderating.” That’s always been my favourite since I was a kid. Because sometimes you need excess in your life as well!
And in beauty, it’s that there are no rules to makeup. Maybe there are guidelines or things that work best for us, but I hate when people say ‘you should, you need to, or you need this.’ No – throw that out of the window. If you want to wear something that’s bold and weird, do it.
What do you still want to achieve within your career?
I’ve already been so fortunate with the opportunities I’ve been given, so I’m excited about what comes with every new day. But I would love to be able to do more celebrity clients or work on movies or on set – something like that. I’m lucky I get to do so many campaigns with Hourglass and I travel and meet so many people and artists all over, but I just think it would be cool to be on a movie set, to have the power or control to dictate the art of a movie. Maybe someday!