Rhenny Cunningham always loved being creative. She found make-up was the perfect medium to work with in order to get the creative juices flowing.

For Rhenny Cunningham, making the leap from an IT and finance background to the make-up industry was massive, but she had to follow her heart.

“I have a creative nature; I always have,” she says. “I wanted to change my career and make people feel good about themselves.”

Rhenny knew Chisholm was a trusted brand and liked the fact that it was close to home and offered subsidised learning for single mums.

She enrolled in Chisholm’s Certificate III in Make-up and never looked back.

The Certificate III equips students with all the skills needed to get started in a freelance or retail make-up career.

Participants learn all the latest trends and techniques for doing bridal and fashion make-up, airbrushing, special occasion make-up, camouflage, eyelash extensions and fantasy make-up.

“My favourite part was the practical assessments,” says Rhenny. “Watching the teacher’s lesson and then attempting to recreate on your model was really fun. I’m a very visual learner, so I enjoyed that aspect.”

Rhenny says she was impressed with the learning experience at Chisholm and level of commitment from the teaching staff.

“The teachers are so incredibly skilled,” she says. “They work so hard in the situation they’re given, especially through COVID and working from home. They are so supportive, will always give you time after school if you’re struggling, and always welcome questions. They were fantastic – 12/10.”

Rhenny says one of the highlights of her time with Chisholm was winning an 80s dress-up competition during the lockdowns.

“I went all out with purple and blue eye shadow, leg warmers, arm bands and a head band,” she says. “I did a stupid pose on my stairs and sent it to everyone. It was a lot of fun in a really low time.”

Rhenny did extremely well at Chisholm. She made lasting friendships and was nominated as Vocational Student of the Year at the 2022 Chisholm Education Awards.

After graduating, she got a job working for MECCA full-time. At the time of writing this article, she was doing artistry training to do in-store applications.

Rhenny also launched her own make-up business, Make-up by Rhenny, and is loving her new career.

“I really enjoy meeting new people,” she says. “With MECCA, it’s such an icon that people are so trusting. I really enjoy problem-solving with customers and seeing them leave feeling like they have the right product and know how to use it.”


Rhenny’s goal is to do a Diploma of Screen and Media and continue learning further into the make-up industry.

Her advice to aspiring make-up artists is to do research online and have a dabble before getting a qualification.

“As a starting point, there are so many amazing online tutorials,” she says. “If you’re great with people and want to make them feel good, definitely enrol in the course, as it was so beneficial.”