Inspirational Women Series: Melissa Carter

Melissa Carter is the founder and creator of Melli Cosmetics and an esteemed celebrity make-up artist with decades of experience in enhancing her clients’ natural beauty. 


Proudly cruelty-free, Melli Cosmetics is the go-to brand for those wanting to look like their naturally best-selves rather than a contoured version of someone they've seen on Insta.


Having struggled to find products that offered all that she was after as a make-up artist, she decided to create her own range and worked tirelessly to find the best producers in Australia, Italy and the U.S. to achieve her goals. 


Never resting until the product is perfect, Melissa has grown Melli Cosmetics exponentially over the years and now even offers her clients the opportunity to create personalised foundation both online and through stockists around Australia. 

Not only has Melissa worked on some of the most well-known faces in the world (think Hugh Jackman, Nigella Lawson and the myriad personalities that come through the Channel 9 studios on a daily basis), but Melli Cosmetics is also the make-up used on the most popular long-running television soap, Days of Our Lives! 


Melissa and I first met through MySpace (remember that ol' gem of a social media network?!) well over a decade ago when I was actively running my skincare and tanning business, Pink Hibiscus. She reached out because she saw that I too was showcasing my brand at the first ever “Style Villa” prior to the FilmInk Awards in Sydney. It was the first gifting suite that Australia had ever seen and, as two self-starters in complementary fields, it was a journey we would embark on together. 


This event was the first of many that we have collaborated on over the years and it is always such an honour and pleasure to partner with a woman who is so driven, dedicated, passionate and wise. 


Melissa tirelessly juggles growing her business with working as a make-up artist, raising a family and, this year, launching a weekly online show, Live with Melli, where she steps out from behind the camera and speaks to women she finds inspiring as well as sharing some of her best tips and tricks to achieving a professional make-up look. 


She is a true powerhouse and certainly someone to watch as both Melissa and her brand grow from strength to strength.

Biz Gals: What is your greatest achievement? 

Melissa: Apart from my children, who are amazing human beings, I actually feel like I’ve achieved something when I've been in bathrooms at restaurants or bars and I've seen girls whip out a Melli lipstick or gloss.I never say anything, but just enjoy that moment silently. 


I still have motherhood guilt for working on my brand or being out on shoots and missing out on things like first soccer games though. In hindsight I would have done things differently…like learnt to say "no" earlier in life! 


Biz Gals: What is the greatest lesson you have learnt? 

Melissa: How to say no. When you’re a “pleaser” it's hard. You don’t want to disappoint anyone, but all you do is end up turning yourself into a frazzled overworked mess.


I've been there.  Burnt out from doing too much and when you're like this you're doing no-one a favour. I also now look at if something expands me or shrinks me. If it shrinks me it’s a no go. 


Biz Gals: What is the best bit of advice you have been given? 

Melissa: The 5 second rule.It's a tool to stop you from procrastinating over things that stress you.It’s a form of metacognition. It tricks your brain in order to achieve your greater goal by counting backwards from 5 4 3 2 1 and go.


The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal you must physically move on the go or your brain will stop you.


It works and has helped me achieve so much more in my business and life.


Biz Gals: What or who inspires you? 

Melissa: Mel Robbins. I did an online course with over 2000 people from around the world called Power of You after I had read her book the 5 Second Rule. She inspired me so much that I booked a last-minute flight to Vegas to attend an event she was speaking at and meet up with some of my Power of You “tribe”!


Biz Gals: What is your biggest hope for women in the future? 

Melissa: That they stop comparing themselves to others. I blame the 'Kardashian factor' and social media. Years ago, we may have compared the small things, but now it's become a monster. It’s affecting not only us but our daughters and it will continue to have a major impact on women’s lives. Something has to change. 

Biz Gals: What would you tell your younger self if given the chance?

Melissa: To not care so much about what other people think or say about you. That it really doesn't matter. It’s none of your business and it's a total reflection of themselves not you.

Words: Natalie Kessell 

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