This week we sat down with Serena Petriella, the striking face behind ‘Faces By Glow’. Petriella is a creative gun, a rock star of the make up industry, a whizz with a camera and the chick we can thank for the epic photos of our favourite muso, Krystie Steve.
Check out what Serena had to say…
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do…
I was born a creative at heart, always wanting to dance and day dream as a kid. My mum was a philosopher and creative artist so the home was always full of books, ideas and creative projects like oil paintings, photos and ceramics. These days I move between two worlds. During the week I work as a Deputy Principal in one of Sydney’s biggest primary schools. I’ve worked in education for almost 20 years. I love my job: it challenges me and gives me a strong sense of purpose. I am committed to creative education and giving students experiences beyond the norm. My love for creating all things beautiful and intriguing to the eye began to compete for my attention in recent years and my hobby in the visual art forms of makeup and photography came into play. And that’s what I’m having fun doing – playing! Playing with ideas, playing with dreams, playing with reality and the imagined.
Do you have a morning routine – any skincare, breakfast, exercise rituals you follow?
My ideal morning begins with a walk near the beaches and watching the sunrise. I’ve captured countless images of this precious moment and it never gets old. Then I’m all about a good breakfast. I love to cook… and eat. It’s the Italian in me. I’m often cooking in the morning while I get ready like I have all the time in the world until I actually look at the time and realise – I’m going to be late!
What steps do you take to get to know your clients before you work your magic on their faces?
I like to get to know what they love about themselves and their look. Everyone has their own style and knows what looks good or not so good for them. It’s important that I listen. I don’t force the connection between myself and my client, rather just let it flow and evolve naturally.
As a creative, what rituals do you take to get in the zone before a job?
It’s always important to be prepared. I make sure I’ve got all of my equipment - cameras are charged, extra batteries, flash, tripod, and more makeup than is ever required. I always visualise the experience beforehand and play with ideas. This always evolves into something new once we begin. Somewhere between the vision and the unknown, the magic happens and a creative idea is born. I love that.
During a shoot, are there any rituals you swear by to keep the mood buzzing?
This is a tricky question to answer because every occasion is so different: the location; the people; the vibe. The most important ritual is a commitment to staying open to possibilities; thinking outside the box and making it fit inside the box. Connecting to who’s around me and what’s around me; letting my intuition lead me. The photographs reflect the connection between me and the subject more than anything else. Of course, some music and snacks help the process.
How do you celebrate after you finish up a successful job?
More than anything I love to look over my work. It doesn’t matter how late it is or tired I might be, I can’t help myself but look over the final product. The beauty of capturing moments and images on the camera is then having the means to experience it over and over. While this might not seem like much of a celebration, it’s this process that gives immediate feedback we as humans crave the most after we’ve worked hard to achieve something.
Do you follow a night time routine?
As soon as I get home, I’m back in the kitchen cooking. It’s how I unwind from my day and relax into the evening. It’s not unusual for me to have pots on the stove, the laptop running and my phone buzzing while I skip around the kitchen between all three: creating new flavours, editing photos, doing school work and uploading content.
I love to finish the night with a herbal tea, a clean face and comfortable pyjamas.
What’s your go-to T & D product?
Logic Toner is part of my everyday skin routine and I use it on my clients to refresh the skin and give a gentle cleanse if needed. As soon as I wipe it on my client’s skin they say “That smells beautiful.” I love the smell of witch hazel, it reminds me of my mum and makes my skin feel restored and hydrated.
If you were a T & D product, what would you be?
I would be the Rock & Roll Volcanic and Green Clay Face Scrub. I love it. It makes my skin feel rejuvenated and improves my complexion immediately. My many-sided interests and skills are comparable to its versatility, being both a face scrub and masque. And it’s a great detox for the skin. Anyone who knows me knows I love a good detox!
As a makeup artist, what do you look for in skincare prep products?
I’m a big believer in using products that are as natural as they possibly can be. The less chemicals in them, the better. If my skin likes a product, it will show me and I’m always listening.
Tell us your top 3 tips on how you can embrace your skin?
The skin tells a very honest story about the human being it’s holding together so look after yourself. I am a firm believer that we are what we eat. Fall in love with real food! Have healthy relationships. Accept that you will grow and change, and so too will your reflection. Be true to yourself. Love yourself and don’t let fear hold you back. (Sorry, that was more than 3)