A MAKE-UP artist from Pontypool who set up her own salon at 18 and has worked closely with The National Bullying Helpline picked up a prize at the national Make Up Awards.

Twenty-one-year-old Molly Hull’s business was named Wales’ Make Up Salon of the Year, despite her being the only member of staff at the salon.

“It’s not the career I set out for but more like a career that found me,” she said.

“I always knew I wanted a career doing something artistic but wasn’t sure what.

“I had always loved make-up – creating looks from natural to full on glam and from the downright weird to the crazy wonderful.

“I was bullied for looking different, but now it is looking different that has turned into a massive positive for me.

“They told me that I would never achieve anything, and made me feel as if I never would.

“It gave me that fire in my belly to do well. It made me stronger and made me go on to do what I have achieved.

“It’s amazing to be able to give that confidence to people in school that I didn’t have.

South Wales Argus:

(Molly Hull’s business was named Wales' Make Up Salon of the Year at the National Make Up Awards 2019. Picture: Molly Hull)

“I’ve had so much positive feedback on it and had so many people get in touch saying that they can relate to it.

“I spent hours and hours trying out and perfecting looks on myself.

“I started posting some of my looks online and was overwhelmed by the response and feedback. I studied the art of make-up in college and was hooked. I imagined working for a production company, a theatre or TV company in the future but even before finishing my studies I was being approached to do makeup for clients.

“I started working freelance as well as continuing my studies.

“I took some bookings and set up at the dining table in my parents’ conservatory. It was crazy.

“Demand grew and I decided to convert a small unused building we had into a studio.


“I was only 18. I was very excited to set up my own studio but extremely nervous. Working for yourself, you are betting on people coming to you.

“There weren’t any salons dedicated solely to make-up in my area at that time. People would go to general beauty salons.

“We didn’t know if it would take off. But people love that it’s so personal and intimate.”

Miss Hull has been a make-up artist for three years, doing all make-up looks as well as semi-permanent lashes.

She has built up a strong social media presence, with nearly 100,000 Instagram followers.

“My Instagram started off with just me posting pictures of my whacky make-up and hair,” she said. “It just sort of grew from there.

“I was lucky enough to meet one of my makeup idols when I was invited to meet Vanessa Davies in London. She has more than a million followers.

“I got to spend time with her and see her work. It was crazy.

South Wales Argus:

(Molly Hull designing her clothing brand. Picture: Molly Hull)

“Pretty soon, I started getting sent things from companies to promote. From this I had the idea to produce and promote my own merchandise so that I could give something back to a charity close to my own heart.

“I thought why just promote things for other people to make a profit when I could be doing some good and getting an extremely important message across along with showing people worldwide it’s ok to be different? The brand is about embracing your uniqueness. It really seemed to strike a chord with people.

“The clothes have messages on them like ‘I’m not like them and that’s ok’. A lot of the proceeds from the clothing line go to The National Bullying Helpline.”

“I have felt like this my whole life and so have billions of others.

After being nominated for last year’s Make Up awards, Miss Hull was thrilled to go one step further this year.

“It was crazy to win,” she said. “I didn’t expect it at all.

“I couldn’t actually attend the ceremony. I found out when I was at home. I checked the Facebook page. I had to text my mum to see if it was real. I couldn’t quite believe it. Considering I don’t have a huge team, it’s literally just me and my little business starting from my outbuilding.”

When looking to the future, Miss Hull said that she was hoping to grow her studio and her range of products and establish herself as a brand.

“I have recently extended the studio to include a lash room, dedicated to semi-permanent eyelash extensions,” she said. “As well as growing the studio, I would like to go down the route of creating a brand and creating my own range of products.”