Highland News Leader

Highland makeup artist successfully navigating contours of industry

Amanda Miller, owner of Amanda Miller Makeup Artistry, stands outside her business located at 818 Main Street in Highland. She has worked with celebrities’ makeup artsists including Fergie, Pamela Anderson, and Heidi Klum’s yoga line.
Amanda Miller, owner of Amanda Miller Makeup Artistry, stands outside her business located at 818 Main Street in Highland. She has worked with celebrities’ makeup artsists including Fergie, Pamela Anderson, and Heidi Klum’s yoga line. amcdonald@bnd.com

Amanda Miller started with a solid foundation and has had a highlight career since.

Eight years ago, the Highland resident launched her own makeup company — Amanda Miller Makeup Artistry — and without advertising, she’s been booked solid since 2009.

“I’ve been doing this for 11 years, but I’ve owned my own business for eight. For the first three years, I worked as a licensed aesthetician as a skin care therapist. I was working for spas doing facials and body waxing,” said Miller, who has made regular expert appearances on Show Me St. Louis on KSDK Channel 5.

“I was doing that until the economy crashed in 2006. I was getting married, so I got a part-time job at MAC, a brand-name cosmetic line.”

Makeup wasn’t always on her radar. She was going to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to get a degree in psychology, but with only a semester and a half left from graduation, she traded her books for a brush after a day in a spa in Florida.

“I was completely obsessed with the entire experience. Once I returned home, I did a ton of research and started looking into schools to become a licensed aesthetician. My plan was to just take one year off and then return to finish my degree. However, right out of aesthetics school, I worked for a well known spa, and made very good money for only being 20 years old,” she said.

At the time, her parents weren’t happy with her decision to not return to SIUE, especially her mother. But it was one afternoon of pampering that completely changed her mother’s mind.

“Once I started at aesthetics school, she (my mother) came to be my model and get a practice facial. I’ll never forget this. About half way through the facial, she looked me straight in the eyes and told me I was ‘made to do this,’ ” Miller said. “I never saw this as a career. I didn’t know it wasn’t even an option.”

She never looked back.

“I think a lot that has to do with it is I have a genuine passion for my job. I like to listen to my clients. A lot of makeup artists tend to not listen to the client and do what they feel looks good on that person. My goal is to help them look natural and feel natural,” Miller said.

Not only did she learn her professional skills in school, but she was taught by a celebrity makeup artists as well.

“I worked with Pamela Anderson’s makeup artist and Fergie’s makeup artist. They came in and taught us tips and tricks (while at MAC),” Miller said. But things changed when she had her daughter. “When I had my first daughter in 2009, that’s when I quit and started my own business.”

Since then, her popularity and career have soared. She’s been featured on “Show Me St. Louis” and “Great Day St. Louis,” both of which reached out to her on social media. She’s done makeup for the Rams cheerleaders, worked with New Balance Shoes, and has been booked solid every weekend since 2009. All without advertising.

“I have been insanely fortunate. I started my own business just doing weddings on the side since I stayed home during the week to take care of my daughter,” she said. “Somehow people just found out my name. It’s turned into a full-blown career that I never anticipated.”

She attributes her success to timing — perfect timing.

“I mostly do weddings. When I quit my job at 24, a lot of my peers were getting married. When I started my own business, I had a lot of clients to lean on,” Miller said. “This is something that came natural to me, but more so about making people feel good and pretty. I’m a firm believer that if you feel good about the way you look, you can conquer the world. I think women feel smarter and stronger if they feel good about the way they look.”

Her husband, Ty, and two daughters, Brea, 7, and Kinely, 4, have been nothing but supportive.

“Both daughters have been on professional sets with me, and I always got comments on how well they behave. This is normal for them. Mom would have random jobs at random places, but they are very self-sufficient,” Miller said. “I chose this career because I wanted to balance being a mom and having a career I was passionate about. My husband has been the backbone for my career. Without him, I couldn’t start my own career at all.”

With an extremely supportive family and a solid clientele list, Miller’s career is still soaring. So what’s next? She wants her own makeup line and she filled another guest spot on “Show Me St. Louis” in November.

“I’d like to have my own makeup line. I feel like there is another big step for me, but I’m not sure what that is,” she said. “I have so many goals and so many ideas it’s hard for me to even say. I’m a really small town girl. It’s been pretty crazy.”

For more information, you can check out her website amandamillermakeup.com or email her at amiller@amandamillermakeup.com.

Amanda Miller’s Makeup Tips

▪ Always highlight the inner corner or your eyes. You will appear more awake. Simply add a light colored eyeshadow to the tear duct areas.

▪ Fill in your brows. Use an eyebrow powder one shade lighter, or the exact tone of your natural brow color, along with a small angeled brush. Just take the angeled brush with brow powder and apply to your brows, using short hair-like strokes. This will open up and lift your eyes. Full eyebrows are the key to looking younger.

▪ When you apply mascara, look down into a mirror instead of looking straight into a mirror. Take your mascara wand, and while looking down, start at the base of your lashes and wiggle all the way to the tips of your lashes. This will ensure that you coat every little lash hair and will help add volume.