Melissa Gigliotti is a freelance makeup artist and has worked for Channel 7, the Logies, in fashion and more

FREELANCE: Melissa Gigliotti may do the makeup of some big names in Sydney but she will always have time for clients in the Illawarra - 'it’s very fulfilling because thats where it all started'. Picture: Sylvia Liber
FREELANCE: Melissa Gigliotti may do the makeup of some big names in Sydney but she will always have time for clients in the Illawarra - 'it’s very fulfilling because thats where it all started'. Picture: Sylvia Liber

There is more to a good show than just a good singer or actor. Numerous people in the entertainment industry are often overlooked, but the Mercury is out to celebrate them.

When I sit down for coffee with Shellharbour make-up artist to the stars, Melissa Gigliotti, I can see instantly how she got a job in television.

The former real estate agent is bubbly and warm, admitting she didn’t want to “sit in a beige office for the rest of my life and yelled at by clients and under pressure every single day”.

Originally the real estate industry appealed to the now mum-of-two because she liked the idea of suits and stilettos. She still forged a successful career but it was incredibly stressful, so she sought to find an outlet for relaxation – makeup.

Fifteen years ago Gigliotti did her first makeup course, working part-time on weekends beautifying brides and doing photography makeovers.

“I really got addicted to making people feel good,” she said.

At the time there was no social media so the makeup artist literally went door-knocking to attract new clients.

I didn't want to sit in a beige office for the rest of my life and yelled at by clients and under pressure every single day.

Melissa Gigliotti

It wasn’t until a few years later she woke up and decided to quit her job, absolutely shocking her husband.

FREELANCE: Melissa Gigliotti with her model Tiarna Shears. Picture: Sylvia Liber

FREELANCE: Melissa Gigliotti with her model Tiarna Shears. Picture: Sylvia Liber

“He thought I was having a nervous breakdown,” she said. “I wasn’t, I just needed to follow my heart. What I was doing wasn’t right anymore it was expiring.”

Her vision board was full of aspirations for where she wanted to take her career such as the Logies, live television, and working with leading couture milliner Viktoria Novak.

All of those visions have now been realised.

“[The Logies] was the highlight for the moment ... because I never thought I’d get there,” Gigliotti said.

One of the trickiest makeup looks from her career has been block coloured paint with thick glitter stuck with latex glue onto dancers’ faces for the X Factor.

“It was heaps of fun but that glitter was stressing me out – glitter is messy and the safety, not to get it in the eye,” she said. “It’s the most strategic thing I’ve ever had to do.”

Every celebrity Gigliotti has worked with has been lovely (some more than others). While those you might expect to be bitchy (because of what the tabloids say) have been surprisingly charming and funny.

Overall the makeup artist won’t allow her clients to behave like divas – even stressed out brides. Her years in real estate dealing with disgruntled people has given her the skills to stay calm but also manage people if they’re nervous.

“It’s my responsibility … to have their inspiration come to life,” she said. “I believe if I achieve that there is no reason for someone to have a behavioural issue.”

Behind The Curtains continues next Wednesday.