By day, Charli Avery is a blender brush wielding makeup artist. By night, she’s a resident DJ at the Queen of Hoxton.
Wearing a statement burnt-orange, fluffy coat, Charli Avery meticulously takes an Instagram snap of her Starbucks coffee cup. “People rarely spell my name properly,” she says, proudly. Her dramatic tangerine hair is cut into a sharp bob – it’s enough to make anyone want to book an appointment with their hair stylist.
The extra espresso shot in her large cappuccino is much needed, she says, as just two nights ago she was DJing at a bejeweled Swarovski event. Along with DJing, she teaches at the Bobbi Brown academy in London and freelances as a makeup artist.
Having recently been signed to Sauce DJs, the 20-something go-getter has a much busier schedule than ever.
“As of last night it was official. Stuart Bevan, who runs the agency, is trying to get into fashion parties, which will be great for me. So I can DJ along with freelancing as a makeup artist- that would be fantastic,” says Avery.
Charli has a residency at Shoreditch’s Queen of Hoxton, where she plays sets ranging from pop to R&B. The traditionally male-dominated DJing industry hasn’t stopped this go-getter in her tracks. But it wasn’t always a breeze to navigate an often heavily sexist scene.
“When I DJ’d for Fashion Night Out on Regent Street I was in the corner and so many people were looking at me and seemed confused. They were checking to make sure I wasn’t just pretending. Because they assume that a girl dolled up in a corner is just pretending and can’t actually do it,” she says.
Breaking into DJing has done wonders for her confidence, she says. It’s hard to believe: nobody would never assume she was anything but confident- she oozes aplomb and charisma.
“One does feed the other, they’re both very creative. It (DJing) is amazing for getting yourself out there.
“It definitely has helped with confidence because I’m not the most confident person ever. You just have to act a certain way, you kind of have to fake it but then it becomes natural and then you change, I think,” she says.
And while confidence may not have always come naturally, her flare for makeup artistry has been present since she was four-years-old. Her passion comes from her mother, Diane, who used to work for makeup company Avon.
“Her passion for makeup then developed after receiving a present from a visit to Father Christmas at a Garden Centre which happened to be a makeup kit, which she absolutely loved.
“She was always determined to create her own unique style in fashion and makeup, which is evident in the way she looks today and in her career as a successful a makeup artist,” says Charli’s mum Diane.
Flash forward to now and Charli is still sporting her signature bold lip and has turned her dream of being a makeup artist into a reality. After gaining a degree in fine art from Portsmouth University, she has since gone on to work at high profile events like London Fashion Week.
She revels in the unpredictable nature of the industry. But – as she tells her students at the Bobbi Brown Academy – it’s not an easy industry to crack and she has experienced this firsthand.
“You have to be part of someone’s team or assist someone, it’s hard to get your foot in the door. To go one hundred percent freelance – which is the dream – is absolutely terrifying,” she says.
Her own inspiration for staying motivated in a fast paced and unpredictable industry comes from her grandmother.
“She would say ‘don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today,’ and she’s so right because in this industry, if something needs doing, just do it now,” she says.
Charli is already gearing up for a busy year and is only only wishing for one thing – more work! She says, “I’m hoping for some new residencies and meeting the whole Sauce agency family, because it’s quite a lonely industry really- you kind of work alone. Being part of something will be really nice. And makeup wise, I want to keep freelancing like a maniac!”
Follow Charli on Twitter:@CharliAmakeup
Keep up to date with her latest work:www.charliaverymakeup.com