Meet Fitflop make-up artist and one of the creative female powerhouses behind our Go The Extra Mile SS19. Robin Nissen gives an insight into career pivoting and getting paid to hang out on a Maldives beach.
On her career…
I’ve been a make-up artist for 31 years, starting here in Cape Town, and then living in France and Germany for nine years. I work mainly in Cape Town again on international productions. I stopped working overseas when I had my daughter 25 years ago.
I’ve worked on many fashion and editorial projects, and I work a lot with Alexa Singer (photographer of this campaign and ex model) – we’ve known each other since we were 16!
On getting into the industry…
I never wanted to be a make up artist. I was supposed to study medicine. In my last year of school I did a little bit of modelling, and that’s how I met Alexa. She became a supermodel, but you probably know that!
I was with the same model agency here, on a very different level. I was offered a job with an Australian magazine, so then I thought, “Okay, put university on hold for a year and do a little travel.” But it never ended
For nine years I was going to Australia, Japan, Europe. When I came back, I’d spent so much time away, I felt I’d missed the university thing. So I thought, “What am I going to do?”
In the ‘80’s, models had to do their own make-up. I learned how to do mine. An industry friend said “Why don’t you do make-up for me for six months until you know what you’re doing,” so I said, “Cool!”, and that’s how it started!
In those first six months I was shooting editorials, with the odd trip to an exotic location. I didn’t think I was going to stay in this industry, but it’s so alluring. You get nice trips to the Maldives – not every day, but sometimes!
On being comfortable…
When I’m working, I definitely dress for comfort. You need lots of layers too because you never know in Cape Town. You go from boiling hot to rain, and it can get cold!
I wore my FitFlop shoes yesterday, and they were incredibly comfortable. I have to say they’re quite amazing-looking too – they’re a really high-fashion flip-flop! I put on my FitFlop shoes this morning and I thought they looked great – but I was worried about drawing attention to my unmanicured feet!
On working with female-led teams…
I have worked on quite a few all-women teams. With this one, it felt creative, there was a nice flow. You can have everything plotted out but it’s nice if there’s a little bit of give, a bit of spontaneity.
On being active in her downtime…
I feel my work is very active. I’m always lugging things in and out of my car. But in between jobs I love walking. I live right under Table Mountain, and I go on these incredible walks. There’s a great lifestyle here – you see people on their bikes, out walking. Look at us yesterday, we were doing that last shot and there were so many people walking their dogs after work! And going for a swim in the sea at the end of the day.