Munich Expats - Interview

Getting married? Appearing on TV? Or maybe you just need some tips on how to enhance your own natural beauty? Noleen Sliney, professional makeup artist & hairstylist, will have you looking your finest.

What started out as an interview, turned into an engaging exchange with what seemed like old friends. When meeting Noleen, you immediately feel at ease with her. No wonder she is attracting so many customers and booking years in advance. Her approachability and good humour have us going off on tangents as we chat about everything, including making plans for future collaborations (fingers crossed). For now, a little intro.

Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m from Dublin, Ireland. Living in Munich is actually my second stint at living abroad, as I also lived in Australia for 1.5 years. I’m a self-employed makeup artist & hairstylist. When I’m not working with my lovely clients, I love to spend time with my boyfriend as well as meeting up with friends. Other things I love are traveling, being outdoors, dogs (actually all animals). And I’m pretty sure I have a bit of an addiction to tea (especially earl grey and green tea)!

How long have you lived in Munich? And why Munich?

I’ve lived here for 7 years. My partner was offered a job here and hence the reason why we moved to Munich.

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?

I settled in very quickly. It was Summertime when we arrived, so the weather was fabulous (especially in comparison to rainy Ireland). I loved the vibe and lifestyle of Munich straight away. I came here with a very open mind and was very excited to move to a new city and country. And I was also very excited about learning a new language. Although there were, of course, some things that took a bit of getting used to, the transition was still a very happy and enjoyable one for me.

Do you speak German? Describe your process for learning the language. 

Yes, I do. However, when we moved here, I couldn’t speak any German at all. I learned French in school and I’d always enjoyed learning languages. So I was very eager to learn German whilst in that country. This meant I could practice it every day which would only help me improve. I enrolled in a language school and I attended classes 3 hours per day, 4 days per week. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. I really enjoyed learning German (even though the grammar can be difficult at times!). I always did the homework and made myself speak German with the locals, even when I was scared of making mistakes. This gave me confidence and made me realise that it doesn’t matter if I’m speaking ‘perfectly’ or not. People understood me and that’s okay. This allowed me to focus on improving my vocabulary.

What would you have liked to know about Munich before moving here?

I didn’t realise how beautiful Munich is until I arrived here. So that was quite a nice surprise for me. When I first arrived, I spent my first month doing all of the touristy things and exploring the city. I also didn’t know how much fun Oktoberfest is and how crazy the city gets during this time! But all in a good way. 🙂

Do you miss home and family sometimes? What do you miss most about your home country that you can not find here in Munich?

I don’t miss Dublin, but I do miss people. However, technology has made it so much easier to stay in touch. Plus, it’s only a 2.5 hour plane ride to Dublin. So it’s easy to pop back for a weekend at any time. And many of our friends have visited us here which is always so much fun. One thing I do miss though is going to see live rugby games. My boyfriend and I are big rugby fans and used to regularly go see our favourite team playing, which was always fun.

What is your favorite (restaurant, museum, shop, cafe, Make-Up Shops or online shops)?

Museum:​  Münchner Stadt Museum – I’ve been about 10 times and I always enjoy it every  time I go.
Restaurant:​  ​Nam Giao (Vitetnamese) – I love Asian food. This place has the best of it in Munich. Great service too.
Cafe:​  Coffee Fellows on Leopoldstraße & Black Bean at Münchner Freiheit (Great places to work from. Super friendly staff.)
Online Stores:​  Content Beauty. I also love Glow Organic (both are great places to buy organic beauty products.)

What are your tips for newly arrived expats?

I would suggest learning at least a few basic German skills. It can be tempting to just speak English, as many people do have quite good English skills in Munich. The locals will really appreciate you taking the time to learn their language. Just as you would if they were in your country. Not only the locals, but also other students who you will meet at your German course. And learning and speaking in another language will give you so much confidence. I’d also suggest joining some of the smaller groups on Internations or Meetup and attending their events. They are much more intimate than the larger events and much easier to chat with and meet people.

What are your current passions or organizations that you are involved in?

I’m very passionate about using only cruelty-free beauty products. In fact it’s the number one thing I look for when I buy a product. Another thing I’m passionate about is natural & organic cosmetics. Sure, it’s important to eat foods that contain healthy and good-for-you ingredients. But what you put ON your skin is absorbed INTO your body. So it’s just as important to be mindful of what you’re applying on to your skin. Another thing I’m passionate about is forming great relationships with other entrepreneurs so that we can all help and support each other. That’s why I got involved with an organisation called Rising Tide Society. Their philosophy is community over competition and that together we’re better and stronger.

Tell us about your latest business and how you got started.

I’m a makeup artist & hairstylist. But my background is actually in corporate finance, where I worked for almost 15 years. I never enjoyed the work and I always knew I wanted to do something else with my life, as well as start my own business. So 3 years ago I decided I wasn’t going to waste another day of my life doing something I hated and that didn’t fulfill me. I trained to become a makeup artist and as soon as I graduated, I started my own business. From day one I knew I had made the right decision. I’m so passionate about showing women how to enhance their natural beauty and feel full of self-confidence every single day. The only thing that makeup dramatically changes is your self-confidence. And I love to show my clients that makeup will not make them look like a totally different person but rather will enhance their natural beauty. I do this by hosting regular makeup workshops as well as through my private 1 to 1 makeup coaching sessions. I also love working with my beautiful bridal clients and making them look and feel fabulous as they walk down the aisle to marry their best friend.

Makeup Artist & Hairstylist

Noleen Sliney is a Makeup Artist & Hairstylist.

If you´re interested in booking a session, check out her portfolio here.​