Abbeylara native, Natalie Devine, will be mixing with the greats in makeup next weekend.
Becoming an 'Influencer' in this world of social media is no easy feat, but Longford lady Natalie Devine is well on her way to getting recognition for her work after learning she's a finalist in the Irish Makeup Awards.
The former Cnoc Mhuire student is originally from Abbeylara where her parents, Anne and Damien, and her grandparents, Gerry and Cepta, are still living.
Natalie originally qualified as a Music and Geography teacher, following four years of study in NUI Maynooth.
However, a lifelong grá for makeup led her in an entirely different direction.
“My change of career to beauty and make-up came as an accident if I’m being honest,” she told the Longford Leader.
“From a little girl I was obsessed with all things beauty: make-up, nails, tan, you name it. The exact same in my teens.
“I returned to college part time in 2014 after my boyfriend Paddy Byrne, rang and booked me into a beauty therapy course after listening to me talk about it for so long.”
From there, Natalie was in her element, getting top marks week after week, doing something she loved, and eventually graduating with distinction.
“Now I rent and run the beauty bar in the shop, Love Culture in Longford town. The idea behind it is a one-stop shop for ladies: beauty and fashion combined,” she explained.
Natalie is qualified in a variety of beauty techniques from facials to tanning, but says that she quickly realised that “you can't be the best at everything”, and started to specialist in brows, tanning and makeup - with makeup being the element she loves the most.
“But all jobs have their challenges,” Natalie confided.
“Especially anything that’s as heavily involved with social media as makeup is.
“I honestly have to say that most people are lovely. However, there are what are referred to as 'keyboard warriors' in today’s society. From time to time, I may get a vicious comment. I remove it, block the person and get on with what I love: make-up.
“The best part of my job, without a doubt, is the smile on a client's face when they see their reflection in the mirror.
“Life has its stresses and when a Mammy of three, comes in after two hours sleep, feeling wrecked, then leaves one hour later, feeling fantastic, that’s all I need. I know I’ve done my job and they feel beautiful.”
Being a finalist in the Irish Makup Awards 2018 is a big deal for Natalie who is honoured to be listed among the greats like Suzanne Jackson of So Sue Me fame.
“I am ecstatic to be a finalist in this category. I genuinely never expected to get into any category, never mind ‘Makeup Influencer of the Year’,” she said.
“It’s surreal to see my name listed with ladies I have admired for years. SoSue Me (Suzanne Jackson) and Jeanette Cronin are massive influencers in Ireland and further a field.
“Suzanne Jackson has 300,000 plus followers on Facebook, compared to my 9,000, whom I have to thank for this as they are the reason I’m nominated. They voted for little me.
“I am the underdog of course. But, I’m overwhelmed and honoured to be in this category.”
The awards take place on Sunday, July 15, at the Crowne Plaza, Dublin.
For updates, follow @NatalieDevineBeauty on Facebook.