From psychology degree to UK Make-Up Artist of the Year, Eliz Moustafa on following her passion

Young people are often encouraged to go down the higher education route; to study for a degree, ideally one that sets you up on a vocational path, in order to achieve a secure and successful career. One young woman from North London decided to turn that approach on its head.

Despite graduating with a psychology degree, Eliz Miustafa opted to deviate from the more established career path, instead choosing to pursue her life’s passion.

Eliz loves make-up and beauty and felt a creative calling would be more fulfilling so, five years ago, the budding young entrepreneur from Palmers Green set up her own beauty business and she’s never looked back.

Her beauty services not only cover every day looks, but are also for those special occasions, such as make-up for weddings and engagements, ensuring the ladies look naturally glamorous.

Being of Turkish Cypriot heritage, Eliz understands the importance of catering for diverse looks, and her portfolio really reflects that. She has applied make-up to Black and Asian women, and those of Mediterranean and North European origin, giving her plenty of experience with a variety of skin tones.

In April, Eliz’s skills were rewarded in an unexpected way, when she beat 12,000 people to win UK Make-Up Artist of the Year at the prestigious UK Hair and Beauty Awards 2023. She was presented with her trophy at a glam awards gala in Birmingham.

T-VINE caught up with Eliz to ask about her incredible success on the national stage and what tips she can offer to budding beauty therapists and make-up artists.


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A post shared by ELIZ | LDN MAKEUP ARTIST (@elizmua_)

Q. When and how did your interest in make-up and beauty first come about? 

I have always been quite creative and enjoyed all things beauty/make-up related, but I first started taking it seriously in 2018.

I have a degree in psychology and was originally going to go down that route. However, I decided to follow my passion of make-up and have built up a business over five years offering make-up, lash lifts and eyebrow services.

Q. Tell us about your business 

I’m a freelance make-up artist, so I tend to travel to clients for make-up bookings and work closely with salons in the North London area.

Q. What made you decide to enter the UK Hair and Beauty Awards (HBA) 2023? 

A friend of mine, also in the industry, suggested it and convinced me to enter. I haven’t ever entered any awards before and I thought it would be a good experience.

Q. What was involved in this competition? 

Alongside your application, you are required to submit a portfolio of your work, including what’s on your social media.

The [shortlist] decision is initially made by several judges. This year, there was a total of 12,000 applicants for the Make-up Category. The final 1,000 finalists were then judged by a previous award-winning celebrity make-up artist.

Q. You first won the London regional heat and then the national finals. What does it mean to you and your business to be a UK HBA national winner?

On the night [of the HBA Ceremony], the regional awards were announced first and I was extremely proud to win first place in London, especially as I am a self-taught make-up artist.

When the National awards were later announced, I was speechless and extremely grateful to win and be titled The Hair and Beauty Award’s UK Make-up Artist of the Year 2023, amongst all of the other very talented candidates in the UK.

This is a great opportunity and achievement for me and my business, and I’m excited for my future plans ahead.

Q. You said there was a lot of competition. What do you think helped you to stand out from the other entries? 

Yes, initially there were 12,000 applicants in the Make-up category, [which were] narrowed down to 1,000 finalists. These were then judged by previous Make-up of the Year awards winner.


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A post shared by ELIZ | LDN MAKEUP ARTIST (@elizmua_)

The judge mentioned that she appreciated my raw, unedited work and inclusivity of all skin tones, which I think helped me stand out. These are both things that I feel very passionate about.

Since starting out in make-up, I promised myself I wouldn’t fall into the pressures of the social media culture, which comes with this industry. Everyone that knows me, knows I always keep it real with my clients and myself: no photoshop and no false expectations of what real skin and real make-up looks like.

I’m also a huge advocate for diversity and for that to finally be recognised is so rewarding.

Q. Do you have any advice for anyone else interested entering your industry? 

I would advise anyone interested in becoming a make-up artist or beautician to follow their dreams, always believe in themselves and don’t compare yourself or be influenced by everything you see on social media, as it’s not always real.

Eliz Moustafa with her UK Make-Up Artist of the Year award, at the UK Hair & Beauty Awards Gala in Birmingham, 21 April 2023


You can follow Eliz and her work on Instagram/ elizmua_.