Beauty & Fashion

Creating a fantasy world of her own

Creating a fantasy world of her own

Talented, creative, spirited, passionate and enthusiastic are just a few words that spring to mind when you meet make-up artist Charelle Cassie McAllister who shares the joys of her remarkable craft with Tanya Taylor.

Born in Sabie Mpumalanga, Charelle grew up in a loving family environment in Nelspruit with her brother Slade, Even back then she developed a love for anything related to art, in particular sketching and painting. Extending that love to make-up wasn’t a stretch for Charelle who says she has always been fascinated by make-up and recalls with fondness watching her mother diligently put on a full face of make up every single day. In fact when Charelle was around 6 or 7 she remembers giving her mom a red lipstick for Christmas.

With her passion for art and her love of make-up she found herself studying Makeup/SFX/Body-Painting at the Makeup Issue in the Gardens in Cape Town.  .

Charelle’s late Ouma had a big influence in her life. Growing up, Ouma would tell them stories full of fantasy and magic – “she was an amazing soul and an incredible woman, with so much love for her family. She had so many strengths, I could only wish to be half the woman she was!”

The early days of her career were difficult, but without those early challenges she says she would not be where she is today. “It always involved testing my own boundaries, being brave and telling myself I was worthy. Collaborating with other artists really helped me get more work bookings and forced me to step out of my comfort zone”.  To date, Charelles biggest challenge has been finding a “base” that she can work from and getting her name there.

She has worked in the industry for the last 14 years, five of which she has worked on her own and established her own brand, something she has found incredibly rewarding.

No day in the life of a make-up artist is ever the same and it’s definitely not boring. Routine does not exist in this industry which, although unpredictable, makes for exciting times. Charelle in not only a make-up artist but a hairstylist and co-owner of a spray tan company. In-between, she still finds time to help her wife, Candi, with her business.

Instagram is Charelle’s go to for inspiration. “I follow hundreds of self-taught and professorial make- up, hair and body-painters, as well as, painters, sculptors and photographers. It’s a great portal to follow people and pages that inspire you, the hashtags make life easier too!” In her line of work it is also extremely important to collaborate with other artists, luckily in Durban Charelle is spoilt for choice when it comes to creative. “I love collaborating with artist’s, photographers and models who give me a little creative freedom to create looks. It’s the best!”

There have been many highlights for Charelle through the years and she finds it difficult to choose one from the many epic projects and shoots she has done to date. However, Project Scouted, personal styled shoots, collaborations and Halloween are always projects that provide loads of fun and more recently Graftobian Makeup Company, South Africa has sponsored her as their “fantasy” brand ambassdor, something that is right up her alley. “It’s a style of make-up I absolutely adore, and the company is forcing me to push my boundaries which is always a good thing for a creative spirit!

Charelle has a loyal and growing client base and thrives on meeting new people and having the opportunity to transform them, helping them bring their vision to life and making them feel fabulous.  She is not a devout follower of trends, but makes sure she keeps abreast of what is trending in the industry so that she can advise her clients accordingly. She is known to add her own unique touch to certain trends which has boosted her reputation as a make-up artist.

She loves creating both really out-there looks as well as the more classically beautiful ones – and believes there is a place and an art to both of them – but her dream is to work abroad on major sets, creating realistic SFX, life casts and prosthetics alongside the best artists in the business. “I would absolutely freak out if I could meet and “beautify” Lady Gaga! She is so unique and out of the box. It would be a ‘terrifying’ honour to put a brush to her face!”

Her advice for young make-up artists who are just starting out and who want to be where she is today is to never stop believing that you are worth every opportunity that comes your way! “Always learn along the way. Stay positive, preserved, and keep your passion alive. Learn from others around you and always be kind, but don’t be a pushover!”


What are some comfort-zone friendly ways to rock the latests trends? Individuality, stick to what you are comfortable with and accentuate what works for you ie. lips, skin,eyes,lashes. Make that your focus feature with a pop of colour or a deeper tone, with every other feature downplayed.

Today’s woman is busier than ever. What is the easiest/quickest way to turn a day/work look into something that works for a night out?  Keep these three products in your handbag; • A soft liner pencil in either black, brown, dark blue or a fun colour (if that is your thing) •Mascara to amp the intensity of your lashes from day to evening. •A deeper/ bolder toned lip colour that you can also double up as a quick rouge, blusher – obviously not your crazy colours, more your warm or cool pinks, burgundy’s, browns or red’s (depending on your skin tone and shade).

What three make-up items should no woman leave home without? A concealer brush (smooths any product settling in smile lines and under the eyes). Lipstick or lip balm and a blotting powder – I always have different lipstick textures and colours in my handbag in case I want to amp or change up my lips. I’m spontaneous!

What looks would you recommend for the festive season: For Durban I would go for a fresh clean opaque summer skin with a natural glow, a pop of colour on the lip and eyes, bright and deep purples, blues, berry reds and soft corals in dewy or matt textures and wispy soft brows. This just screams holiday to me! Of course some sparkle never hurt anyone – for special occasions, or well, even just lunch!


Photographer: Jethro Snyders Photography

Model: Monique (Meek) Nel


Photographer: Jethro Snyders Photography

Model: Monique (Meek) Nel


Photographer: Cara-Lee Gevers

Model: Angela Hsu



Model: Demicca Bako of Ice Model Management

Concept: Genna-Wae West


Photographer: Lee Folkard Photography

Model: Catherine Bosse


Photographer: Lee Folkard Photography

Model: Geela de gouveia


Photographer: Alexis Diack Photography

Dedigner: Casey Jeanne- Jeannelle La Amour Collection

Model: Simone (Simmy) Welff


Photographer: Christy-Lee Hosking Photography

Clothing Line: Cinnamon Clothing

Model: Sasha-Lee Boshoff



Photographer: Teagan Cunniffe

Designer: Xaviar Storm Collections

Model: Cyan Bindoff


Photographer: Randhir Badal

Model: Robyn (Ruby) Scott


Main Photo Credit:

Model: Charelle McAllister

Hair and Make-up: Charelle McAllister

Dressed by: Kathryn Kidger

Photographer: Tanya Taylor





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