Cherie Ayrton - From Makeup Artist to Cosmetic Tattoo Training Academy.

Updated: May 20

Cherie started her Beauty Journey 15 years ago when she decided to sign up to become a television & film makeup artist, after completing an apprenticeship with cloud 9 Cherie decided to work from home. This only lasted a few months as it didn't take long for Cherie’s clientele to grow & she decided to dive into opening her own salon.

At this time Cherie was not Feathertouch by Cherie, she actually wasn't doing cosmetic tattooing at all. Cherie opened a hair and beauty salon though later decided to rebrand and become Feathertouch by Cherie after training with one of the best in the biz: Val glover.

I found my dream job when I became a Cosmetic tattooist, said Cherie. I wake up everyday excited for work excited to see who's going to come in, I love that no one has the same eyebrows, their skin is different, their faces are different & you can never get bored. Even though you're doing eyebrows it’s always different for each and every client.

Cherie admits that she has made a lot of mistakes & also fixed a lot of mistakes on her Cosmetic tattoo journey to where she is today, including taking on clients that she shouldn't have! We have all been there right?

Clients can be savage if they want to be said Cherie but I can be savage to & these days I wont do anything that I'm not comfortable with doing anymore. It's not worth the money, It's not worth the headache, I'd rather tell them sorry i'm not the right artist for you.

This can be really difficult for artists just starting out. You can really get bossed around, though through making these mistakes and doing those clients you probably shouldn't have in the beginning you will gain more experience overtime to confidently say no. You really have to have a tough back bone in this industry.

I once booked myself out for an entire year! I don't know wtf I was thinking. Not only is this not a good idea for any business owner to do, it was even worse for me because I have an autoimmune disease called Crones. This means I have a compromised immune system so when I get sick I get really sick! It was honestly the worst thing I'd ever done to myself, I don't know why I did it. I had no life, it was so stressful, it was crazy! I missed out on so many friends' weddings & all sorts these are all lessons you learn along the way.

I 100 million percent still have shit days, Somedays I think wtf is wrong with me i just can't get it today, Even though i know it's impossible to get brows symmetrical & its nothing my clients would notice, I notice & as an artist you want to get them as close as possible. I still have self doubt, I still criticize the shit out of my work, if i don't do this then I wont see the mistakes I make or something I could have done better.

Cherie says, apps like instagram can be very deceiving for everyone, you're getting the highlight real, the best snippets of everyone's life and work, it's the same for every artist in every field we are all posting our best not our mistakes.

My whole entire career is about taking risks, sometimes they work out really well & sometimes they don't. It's just part of doing business, you learn as you go. One lesson I learnt the hard way was putting all my eggs in one basket with an Ex employee that I was training up whilst I was pregnant

I literally put everything into training her up to have her run the show for 3 months whilst I took some time off to spend with my family & my newborn & grieve for my son (I lived right next door so she was never really alone).

Back story: I was pregnant with twins, I found out 2 days after christmas that I had lost one of my boys. I was absolutely devastated but I didn't have time to grieve because I had to work the next day. I had clients booked in that had travelled a long way and I was going on maternity leave soon so I really couldn't cancel. I also needed as much money as possible to hold the salon over whilst I had this time off after having my boys, I really just wanted to get my son out but I couldn't do that because I would have lost my other son, It was one of the hardest times of my entire life, I felt like a walking coffin.

My ex employee knew all of this and 2 days prior to me giving birth she handed in her resignation, I had no choice but to return to work 2 weeks after giving birth. If I didn’t I would have lost everything I worked so hard for! It was fucking stressful to say the least.

On top of this I had to post it online & tell everyone, I had clients coming in one after the other asking me how I was going & how the boys were doing whilst I was pregnant. Business owners have to make so many sacrifices including airing out their personal lives even if we don't want to, There's just so many things you take for granted as an employee.

Sometimes I say to myself wtf am I doing? I'm just going to work for someone else. I will rent a chair somewhere I will have none of this stress on my shoulders, than I'm like no Cherie pull your head in you have worked hard for this! (We all have shit days)

A bit of advice for other artists and business owners: Look at yourself not other people, compare your own success to your own success.

Although there have been many up’s & downs in the last 7 years Cherie has still manage to build an empire opening the First Cosmetic Tattoo Training Academy in Wellington NZ & a Cosmetic Tattoo Studio. it hasnt been easy, business can be tough says Cherie though I wouldn't have it any other way.

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Cherie on the Gram: Feathertouch by Cherie

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If you would like to listen to the full podcast interview click this link: Listen to thepodcast