Changing Your Career With no Experience: From Makeup Artist to Psychology Student


Hello readers of!

Let me introduce myself… My name is Kayla from and I am very excited to be writing to you all today! I am the ‘crazy’ girl who at 26 made one of the most important decisions she could ever make, to completely transform and re-start her life!

I am here today, to empower and inspire you to make those changes that you are too scared to do. The ones you think are too ‘crazy’ and never going to work because you’re not smart enough, not funny enough, or not confident enough.

This is my story of how I went from being a professional make-up artist to a psychology student (with a blog), with absolutely no prior experience. Believe me when I say that if I can do it, there’s no doubt in my mind that you can too!

I was a girl, who from a young age was riddled with self-doubt, anxiety, and insecurities.

I grew up in a traditional Italian family with my hardworking, successful, provider-for-the-family father and my beautiful mum who gave up her career and life to have and care for my older sister and I.

To give you a bit of back story, my sister and I are just under 2 years apart in age. My sister was the golden child. She was a good student with a good group of friends that my parents approved of and she never acted out. She met her now-husband at seventeen. Went to university, actually finished her first degree, and got a great job in her desired field.

Then there was me. The rebel.

I hated school. I was creative and didn’t really apply myself to anything other than art. Just decided I was never going to be as smart as my sister so I stuck to what I was good at, which was drawing. Started working at fourteen, had my first boyfriend at fifteen, would come home covered in hickeys, would party with my friends, and always lied to my parents.

I just wanted to draw. But my dad (the practical one) told me I’d never make any money that way and I should go get a “proper” job.

School finished but I wasn’t allowed to take a gap year. So I started a degree in fashion design to make my parents happy. I hated it, and dropped out after the first year. Then I started an illustration degree, I could draw and get my parents off my back! Great!

After three years I finally graduated with no plan (and a whole lotta debt). Illustration is such a niche area, the only available work was in digital design to which I felt unqualified.

I hate to admit it but my dad was right. So I kept working as a waitress/bartender thinking “it’ll sort itself out eventually”.

Cue the existential crisis…

What was I going to do with the rest of my life? There had to be more to life than waiting tables and mixing drinks. What was my purpose?

What could actually make me enough money going forward?

During my quarter life crisis at 23, it took my beautiful mum shaking me silly telling me “Kayla you are good at makeup, try get a job on a makeup counter”. Light bulb! Of course!

I always got compliments from strangers on my own makeup and I would always do my friends and family’s makeup for special events. It was perfect, I’d get to do makeup all day, be creative, I’d get paid for it! Woohoo!

Initially I struggled to get a job with no previous experience. This was when Instagram had just exploded. Every 12 year old with a phone wanted to be an influencer.

So what did I do?

I used my savings and went and got trained (despite dear ol’ dad telling me I was wasting my time). At the same time, I started posting more creative makeup on Instagram. I build a following. I invested in a good camera and lighting equipment and within just 6 months I had my Diploma in Specialist Makeup Services. Also, managed to get myself a job with MECCA brands (Australian Owned Retailer), halfway through my course.

MECCA was a good starting point. It was very skin orientated, so I learned a lot about skincare and ingredients. It was a nice entry-level position, emphasizing natural, minimalistic makeup. I didn’t really fit in there, I was all about the creative artistry of makeup. I loved special effects, colorful, dramatic side of makeup expression, and felt like I was being held back because that didn’t match the ‘image’ of the company.

At the time, MAC Cosmetics was the biggest makeup brand around, the aim for all makeup artists! They were at the forefront in representing diversity and individuality. I was lucky enough to be offered a job there and instantly felt like finally, I had found my place in the world.

At MAC I was able to refine my skills. I made a little name for myself. Build a little client base and loved talking to my customers, I loved helping them solve their problems. There was no better feeling than helping someone realize how beautiful they truly are. It felt like I was more than just a makeup artist, MAC gave me purpose and value that I had not experienced before!

I was good at my job and I knew it.

Thinking that would never change.

I guess you could say my priorities shifted, MAC slowly became less popular with Sephora stores being opened left, right and centre. Most people were purchasing online now anyway. This meant my shifts were reduced, I had to pick up a second job at a café and I started to feel like I didn’t matter so much anymore.

So I went searching for validation in other places.

Boys and parties.

By this point, MAC had become money hungry and so toxic that I was forced to leave. Leaving me kind of resentful towards the retail industry.

At the same time, my boyfriend that I was so in love with, cheated on me and shattered my heart into a million pieces.

I didn’t have my relationship or my supposed dream job anymore. The things that gave me value in life were gone.

That’s how I ended up in therapy.

The next six months are a little blurry. I continued to work my little café job while still doing makeup on a freelance basis, I had enough clients to collect a bit of extra cash, while still partying most, if not, every weekend.

I admired all the knowledge my psychologist had to give.

So outside of our sessions, I read every psychological article I could find that could explain what I was feeling and why? So that maybe I could fix it. I’ve always had this genuine interest in people, why do we do the things that we do, why do we hurt people, unintentionally or not.

In my next session, I said to him…

“I think I want to study psychology”.

I told him about my idea of starting a blog as a way of helping people who were struggling like I was, to help them feel less alone. To write those posts that I would look for in my darkest moments.

My psychologist practically forced me to do research on courses and made me apply to the best psychology program in Melbourne. Which I thought for sure I wouldn’t get in.

But I did!

My mum and my dad thought it was just a phase. I’d had so many jobs in the past and tried so many different things that they were like, “ah! Here she goes again, wasting time and money”.

I will say that going back to university as a mature age student, is hard! You’re clumped together with all these younger kids who are fresh out of high school. I kept thinking everyone was looking at me wondering ‘what’s grandma doing in my class’, even though I was only 26.

I spent some time putting all my efforts into my university work. Having never studied science before, not even in high school.

I didn’t realize there was so much reading.

I didn’t even know what a lab report was and had to write 3 of them in my first year. And just the overall routine of having lectures and classes was so foreign to me. I had a mental breakdown and wanted to quit every few days, but I still pushed through.

My biggest breakthrough was at the end of that first semester, I finally quit the partying.

My mind became clearer, my priorities fell into place and I had a clearer vision for my future.

Now I’m completing the last of my level 3 subjects, with the intention of pursuing honors and potentially a master’s in clinical psychology. And yes I’m still doing freelance makeup!

Looking back…

I am thankful for everything I’ve been through because it is what has lead me to where I am now, it led me to finally creating my blog, it led me to find genuine happiness and this is what my blog is ALL ABOUT!

For the women who are always trying to improve themselves. For the women who need help sorting their lives out. is your ultimate guide to feeling beautiful on the inside and outside because we all deserve to feel that.

At the end of the day, no one really cares about what you’re doing, most people are too busy trying to sort out their own lives to care about yours and that is okay. It just means that you are the only thing stopping you from achieving your dreams.

Stay humble and if people underestimate you, let them. Because when you succeed (and you will), you will then be too busy loving your life to think about them. No matter what hardships you’ve been through, getting through them is what makes you strong!

You can do it!

Myself and Lisa will be right there with you!

If you made it to the end of this emotional rollercoaster, I commend you!

I would like to say a huge thank you for taking the time to read about my little journey.

And an even bigger thank you to Lisa for giving me this opportunity.

I’ll leave you with this…

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”

John Lennon

So enjoy the process!

Love Kayla


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