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Welcome to our Working Girls series, where we interview women who love their jobs to get you inspired (and give you the insider secrets)

Meet Rachel Chivers, the first in our series.Read on for the Toronto-based 27-year-old’s thoughts on beauty standards, the perfect lipstick and the best cocktail in the city.

What’s your title? Cosmetic Manager at Shoppers Drug Mart/ Freelance Makeup Artist

Your signature look in one word: Retro

Makeup artist and Beyonce fan Rachel Chivers

Makeup artist and Beyoncé fan Rachel Chivers

“Makeup is often associated with superficiality and vanity, but it’s truly a form of self expression.”

What made you want to become a makeup artist? I grew up watching my mom put on her makeup everyday and begged her to let me do makeovers on my little sister. So I’ve always been really into beauty and makeup, but didn’t realize I was talented at it until about six or seven years ago.

What kind of training did you go through? I actually trained as a journalist but grew into makeup artistry through my job as a cosmetician at Shoppers. By doing makeup on a whim for strangers everyday, I’ve done it all. From covering bruises and tattoos to doing prom and wedding makeup, I learned on the front lines.

What do you love most about your job? I absolutely love bringing out the beautiful features I notice in people right off the bat. It’s so gratifying to see your client pick up the mirror when you’re done and hear them say ‘wow.’

What do you like the least? It requires a lot of entrepreneurship to be successful, which can be tough at times. What I dislike the most, though, is the stigma that it’s superficial work or narcissistic. I meet all kinds of women everyday. Some who are very insecure and some who amaze me at how comfortable they are in their own skin. I think beauty is truly loving yourself and doing whatever you need to, to feel your personal best.

How does makeup factor into your perception of beauty? Makeup is often associated with superficiality and vanity, but I think it’s truly a form of self expression and an outlet. I don’t like to think of makeup as a means to cover up or alter our appearance, but to highlight the beautiful features that deserve attention.

What’s been your most memorable moment so far? One moment I’ll never forget was meeting a bride after she’d had her upper lip waxed on the day of her bridal shower. The esthetician had burned her with hot wax and the skin was red and raw. She was devastated and hopeless. I helped her soothe and conceal the burn with a makeup designed for burn victims that was safe to use. I’ll never forget that!

Best beauty tip? Get to know your skin type and use appropriate skincare and makeup products for you.

What do you rock out to when you’re getting ready? Forever and always, Beyoncé.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years? I would love to be working as a prestige cosmetics buyer at Shoppers head office and be doing TV and editorial makeup work.

Rachel’s Beauty Must-Haves

Mascara: Clarins Be Long

Lipstick: Velvetines by Lime Crime Cosmetics. They’re super long-wearing and matte. I usually rock Suedeberry.

Rachel loves a bold, matter lip colour.

Rachel loves a bold, matte lip colour.

Lipgloss: Lise Watier Haute Couleur High Coverage Lip Laquer in Rose Vintage. It’s the perfect nude and great to pair with a dramatic eye look.

Moisturizer: La Roche Posay Hydraphase UV Lotion SPF 30

Foundation: Vasanti foundation.

You can’t do without: Dipbrow Pomade by Anastasia Beverly Hillsand well groomed, filled in eyebrows!!

Rachel’s Favourite…

Cocktail: Rum and coke with lime.

Watering Hole: Baby Huey on Ossington [in Toronto] has been a really fun, sweaty dance party the last few times I’ve gone!

Book: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Movie: Across the Universe

Quote: If you do what you love, success will follow.

Follow Rachel for more beauty secrets at, on Facebook and on Instagram.