Q&A with Annalee Kemsley

Annalee Kemsley is a professional, self-taught makeup artist and Youtuber based right here in New Plymouth, Taranaki. We caught up with her about her lifestyle as a creative individual living by the coast and what inspires her to practice her art.
Why do you choose to live and practice your makeup artistry from New Plymouth?
“Because I love this place, it’s where I grew up, it’s where I was raised- it’s home. My family’s here and I just love the lifestyle, I wouldn’t choose to live anywhere else because we are so fortunate to have what we have here. I think especially with the way technology is these days,  I can do anything online and it gets out globally no matter where I am, so I’m really fortunate that I can live where I want to live and still hit places (with content) internationally.”  
What do you love about living by the coast?
“Well it’s just so cruisy, you could be doing your 9-5 or for me I’m quite erratic with my work, its just a different lifestyle where I can switch off and go to the beach, go catch up with friends for a walk or go and eat some amazing food from down the road and its all done in a nice amount of time because you’re not travelling across town for an hour and a half to get through traffic. We are just so spoilt with an easy lifestyle here which you’ve got to take advantage of.”
When did you first start practicing makeup artistry?
“It would be just about 6 and a half years ago now when I was 22 - I was working on the Clinique counter at Life Pharmacy- that’s where I started and I didn’t get taught, I taught myself. I’ve always just loved makeup and the beauty industry and didn’t pursue it for a long time because when I was at school I didn’t know what I was doing and I also learnt later down the track that I’m a practical learner; I didn’t process knowledge like a lot of other kids did, I had to see something being done in order to learn, so it made a lot of sense when I started doing makeup and teaching myself. It was a passion that kind of moulded together with how I was stimulating myself to learn. Before that, I’ve always been really into social media. When I was in high school, Myspace and Bebo were huge; I was obsessed with them and I was obsessed with the Sims- so I took my love of makeup online and it somehow just worked really well.
What are some daily essentials that you can’t go without?
“Coffee, my phone, probably my skincare routine and my dogs- I love my dogs.”
What about home/New Plymouth inspires your art? 
“We have so much talent and so many creative people here and that gets me really excited. I’ve always been wowed by what we have to offer in our small surf city, we just have so many people here who are going above and beyond and who are just killing it in the world. We’ve got this amazing energy of creative people here who are consistently making these valuable relationships because we are a smaller city. People here are always so amazing to collaborate with and we have a great support system. I come to places like this (Bleached), and it makes me so excited and inspired, I think it’s awesome. You don’t have to be in a big city like Auckland to be able to do this. I love New Plymouth because we don’t settle for the norm, we’ve got people who are wanting to constantly grow this place, make it cool and attractive and who really want to celebrate what we have here.”
Check out Annalees’ work over on her website: https://www.makeupbyannalee.com/ and her Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/annaleekemsley/
Interview by Jasmine Mallinger