In conversation with: Noleen Sliney
Happy New Year! Welcome to the first post of 2019. In this instalment of the ‘In conversation with’ series I’m excited to introduce you to Noleen Sliney from Noleen Sliney Makeup.
Noleen is a makeup artist and a green beauty blogger. She takes away all the overwhelm of choosing and applying beauty products. She also teaches you how to enhance your natural beauty in a simple and beautiful way whilst easily making the switch to natural and organic beauty products.
What motivated you to start your own business?
I’ve always wanted to work for myself. For me, it’s about having the freedom to choose. Freedom to work on my terms and to build my own dream instead of someone else’s.
When I was a kid I’d see my Dad come home from work exhausted and frustrated. I remember thinking that someone else always had control. Control over what he did, what holidays he took, if he got holidays, how much he earned. And even if he had a job at all! I remember thinking to myself that I didn’t want that, to have someone else control everything I did. I wanted to be the one in control.
So I guess that’s when I decided I wanted to be my own boss and have my own business someday. Although I had no idea what I would do or how I would do it. And it took me another 20 years to finally do it! 🙂
I ended up working in the finance industry for over a decade. But I always hated it and never felt fulfilled in any job I did. I still had that dream to have my own business from when I was a kid. But I started to think I was too old to change my career.
Then I had an epiphany moment about 4 years ago! I was in a job I truly hated, was burned out and pretty miserable to be quite honest. I’d work long hours every day but never felt I ever achieved anything at the end of the day. I suddenly realised that I still had another 30 years of my working life left! And that was way too long to be stuck doing work I hated and that didn’t fulfil me. I knew I was meant to do more with my life, that I had a greater purpose and I was meant to do something worthwhile in this world.
And that was when I started my business. And I’m so happy to say it was the best decision I ever made.
What products every woman should have in her make-up bag?
Mascara is an absolute must! Because it can literally give you a wide-awake look in an instant. Concealer is another great product to have in your makeup bag. If you’re really short on time, the 3 products I highly recommend are mascara, concealer and blusher. They’ll instantly make you look and feel more awake, refreshed and radiant.
And if you really want to take it one step further, I highly recommend a gorgeous lipstick shade too. However, please, please skip the nude shades! They do nothing to enhance your complexion whatsoever and can actually make you look more tired and pale.
What is your favourite beauty hack?
I’m not a fan of having a lot of products. I know that sounds odd coming from a makeup artist! But my philosophy is that it’s so much better to have just a few products in your makeup bag that you actually use rather than to have a ton of products sitting there that you never use.
I see this all the time at client makeup lessons. They so often have large makeup palettes with 10, 20 shades in them. Yet they only end up using 2, possibly 2 of them! Nobody needs 20 eyeshadow shades!
So I guess my favourite beauty hack is to keep things simple! You can still do a gorgeous, glamorous look using just a few products. And all in just a few minutes too!
Learn what products are right for you first so you don’t have to waste any more money one ones that aren’t right for your complexion. And then learn how to use them by learning the right techniques that will enhance your naturally beautiful features even further.
How would you describe your personal style? Has it changed over the years?
I’d describe my personal style as classic and feminine. I’m not a fan of trends and the latest ‘cool thing’. I prefer to stick to classic pieces that I know suit me and that never go out of style.
My style probably has changed over the years. When I was in my early 20’s, I used to wear a lot of black. But now it’s rare you’ll see me in black as I just love wearing some colour. It always makes me feel better. I apply this same philosophy to makeup, too.
Adding even a touch of colour to your wardrobe or beauty routine is such a quick, fun and easy way to make you look and feel fabulous and full of self-confidence. Especially when it comes to makeup, as adding colour back into your complexion gives a more youthful, uplifted look to it.
What is your handbag?
This one could take a while! LOL! I’m definitely one of those people that has a bit of everything in there for every eventuality!
Firstly, I have my makeup bag in there. But I only really bring a few products for a quick touch up. For example, mascara, lipstick and a finishing powder in case I need to apply a little on my t-zone throughout the day. Nothing else.
I always carry little handy extras such as a mini sewing kit, plasters, tissues, a mini mirror and some mints. I also love to have a deodorant on hand too.
It’s funny because people always laugh at how much I carry in my handbag. Yet they’re always the first ones to come to me when they’re in need of something! And I always have it for them!
So now you know why I carry so many little extras around with me. 😉
What is the best business advice you received to date?
There have been so many great tips. But some of the ones that have helped me the most are:
#1: To focus on just 1 thing at a time! Which is the exact opposite of the mentality I was used to in the corporate world! But I’ve since realised that doing more than one thing at once means you don’t actually do anything well at all! I’m always so much more productive when I do just 1 thing at a time.
#2: To niche down as much as possible. Because if you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no one!
#3: To work on your business and not just in your business. Otherwise, it’s so much harder to grow your business.
#4: That nothing is a mistake. Everything is an opportunity to learn and grow. This applies not just in business, but in life as well.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
I’m still working on that one! LOL 🙂 When you’re self-employed, you’re never really ‘off the clock’, so to speak. So I’m always thinking about my business in some way. But I actually love that. As I absolutely love what I do.
That’s not to say I don’t need a break every now and then. And it’s very important to do that. Exercise and keeping fit is such an important element of a work-life balance for me. It’s not just about the physical element of it. It’s the mental element too. As it helps me to switch off but also helps with my creativity and productivity so much.
So I make time to work out for at least 30 minutes two to three times per week. I actually put this on my daily to-do list which makes me actually do it!
I also think it’s important to set boundaries for yourself. For example, I make sure to only schedule client appointments and meetings on weekdays. And even at that, it’s only on specific weekdays.
What is your favourite self-development book?
Oh gosh, there are so many I love! One book I really love is The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. I’ve read it a couple of times and I’ve got something new from it both times. It’s a great reminder to stop playing small.
I also love Jen Sincero’s You Are a Badass. It’s another great confidence booster.
Probably one of the very first self-development books I ever read was Denise Duffield-Thomas’s Lucky Bitch. Denise introduced me to the importance of being aware of your money mindset and how to begin to clear your money blocks. Up until that point, I didn’t even know what they were or that I even had any!
What is on your podcast list?
I absolutely love podcasts! So I’ve got quite a few on my list. I love a variety of topics. For all things green beauty and wellness related, I love the Clean Chat podcast by Raquel Wing, Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica and The Bliss & Thrive podcast.
For business related podcasts I love the She Means Business podcast with Carrie Green, Rock your fabulous Biz by Ruby McGuire and The Wellpreneur Podcast.
And for personal development, The Confidence Academy by Lilli Badcock is one I’ve come across recently and there are some really great episodes in there for when you’re in need of a confidence boost. I also quite like the Don’t Keep Your Day Job podcast which is a mix of business and mindset.
How do you measure your terms of success?
This has definitely changed for me since I started working for myself. When I worked in the finance industry, and even up until the last couple of years, I thought of success as being about money and titles.
Now don’t get me wrong. It’s absolutely amazing to have plenty of money. But I’ve realised that for me that means it allows me to live the lifestyle I want, to have the experiences I want, to help my loved ones, to donate to charities that I love to support and do so much good in the world.
For example, myself and my partner have a big goal to open an animal sanctuary one day where they can feel safe and run around to their little heart’s content all day long.
Success to me means having freedom. Freedom of time, financial freedom, freedom to choose what I want to work on and who I want to work with.
It also means so much fun and getting fulfilment in my work by adding value to people’s lives and making them feel fabulous and full of self-confidence.
If I can help to educate people and make them think differently about things and realise how beautiful and amazing they already are, I definitely count that as being successful.
I’d also add that trying new things and going out of my comfort zone as a measure of success too.
Lastly, what are your plans for 2019?
I want to create more online courses and workshops, as educating yourself about the products and techniques that are right for you will save you so much time and money in the long run.
This will also include more masterclasses around the the the topic of natural and organic beauty. And how to have a healthy beauty routine.
I want to build my community and create a movement away from the mainstream and create a new way of thinking when it comes to beauty, and life in general really.
It’s so important that we educate ourselves and ask questions. We’ve gotten better in some areas of our lives. For example, being more aware of what we eat, what’s in our foods, how much plastics we use on a daily basis.
But I want to encourage people to start doing the same with their cosmetics too. To start being aware of the ingredients that are in their products. To question brands on how they make their products and what’s in them. At the end of the day, you’re spending your hard-earned money on products. And you want them to work for you and help you.
But if they contain ingredients that can harm your skin rather than help it (which unfortunately a lot of the so-called ‘best brand’ products d) there’s no point in buying those products. So my goal is to create a huge movement towards questioning things. And to make natural and organic the new mainstream. You deserve only the best!