THREE months ago, Terrie Hastings was diagnosed with autism.

At the age of the 35, the diagnosis answered questions and helped the talented makeup artist make sense of things that had happened in her life.

Having struggled to hold down a job due to crippling anxiety and suffering from over stimulating salons and beauty places, Terrie renamed her business and made changes to her appointments, embracing her differences and vowing to raise awareness of adults finding out they’re autistic.

Here, in our Meet The Salon Owner feature, Terrie, who is 35, tells us what she found difficult at work over the past ten years and what her hopes are for the future.

If you would like to appear in one of our Meet The Salon Owner, Meet The Makeup Artist or Meet The Beauty Therapist features email

What’s your full name?

Terrie Hastings

How old are you?


What’s the name of the salon/business?

The Autistic MUA, previously known as Makeup by Terrie.

Terrie specialises in wedding makeup

Terrie specialises in wedding makeup

What’s the address?

Wilkinson Avenue,


Are you the owner/manager?

I’m the owner.

How many employees do you have?

It’s just me.

When did you open the salon?

I opened ten years ago.

The Autistic MUA is based on Wilkinson Avenue in Woolston

The Autistic MUA is based on Wilkinson Avenue in Woolston

Has it always been in the same location?

Yes, but I do travel for bridal work to various locations across the country.

Are your local to the area? Did you grow up here?

I am yes - I grew up in Latchford.

Tell me a bit about your salon/business

I run my business from an isolated part of my house - I call it my beauty room. It’s cosy and welcoming for everyone, which is perfect.

What do you do? What services do you provide?

I offer a range of makeup services from bridal work to Halloween makeup. I do it all. Whatever makeup style is needed, I can provide it and I can cater to people’s personal preference when it comes to how they want their makeup to look.

Why did you decide to open your own salon?

I gained quite a large following on my Facebook business page due to me doing makeup as a hobby - I like to call it therapy - on my own face and posting the results. I was inundated with enquiries and my business kind of bloomed from there on its own.
I want to give hope and confidence to other autistic individuals that you can find your own path. You can find a job or business that suits you and your needs. Before I started doing makeup, I was in and out of jobs at call centres, unable to manage due to my social understanding and over stimulation. My previous job crippled me mentally as it was so over stimulating. It was a face-to-face job full of unpredictable social encounters and I was off sick for nearly 18 months due to an autistic burnout. When I left, I started my page and look at me now! I may not function as a business like others do in this field due to being autistic, but something has worked for me. My clients are as loyal as they come. I would be lost without each of them and their ongoing support.

Terrie has spent the past ten years perfecting her makeup skills

Terrie has spent the past ten years perfecting her makeup skills


Meet the beauty technician with an eye for creating the perfect glow up

What’s your hair and beauty background?

I worked at MAC cosmetics at Selfridges in The Trafford Centre for around four years. I had no interest in makeup when I started - my friend did my makeup for me because I had no clue how to apply makeup at the time! It was just supposed to be a temporary job for over the Christmas period. This bloomed all by itself and I found my passion and creative side. I fell madly in love with everything makeup related and it became an avenue of therapy and regulation for me as an autistic individual. I left MAC after suffering what I now know to be an autistic burnout that lasted 18 months and started a makeup page that quickly gained attention and my confidence and passions grew from there. My business hasn't come without its bumps in the road, due to me being autistic, but I never believed I could achieve this in ten years. I never expected to find a job I would love and be passionate about that's on my terms.

Why this type of business?

I struggle to answer this as I feel makeup and my business found me. It wasn't part of my planned path as I was so far from a makeup girl when I started my previous job. Makeup found me for a reason and it's become a very successful business for me. Makeup is more than a job for me - it is my therapy and it’s creative, and it helps to regulate me as an autistic adult. As soon as I pick up a brush, my mind is so free and everything else in the world is shut out. Every makeup application is different and I love everything about how creative and versatile makeup can be. I love how much it can change someone’s face and watching that unfold from my own hands is beyond satisfying.

How did the Covid-19 pandemic affect your business?

I closed my business due to my business being run from home. I couldn't risk my family’s health.

What makes your business different to others in the same area/field? What sets your business apart from your competitors?

This is another tricky one as I feel every makeup artist has their own unique and creativity. I feel my honesty with my clients has gone along way. For a very long time, I suffered horrendous social anxiety and work would come and go for me. I would have periods where I couldn't work due to my anxiety. I've always been honest with my followers on social media regarding my mental health and how it affects me and so many people can relate. There have been periods where I have only been able to take appointments if they had been to me before for their makeup done as this would keep my anxiety at bay.
Three months ago, I was diagnosed with autism and everything just made sense - how I run my business, my social anxiety, why I love makeup so much and also why the social side of doing makeup impacts me so deeply at times and how I have to stop or limit my work. Due to my honesty, I have a very long list of regular clients going back ten years. Many of these I now speak to beyond makeup appointments and it’s personal relationships that have been formed. I am passionate about my ladies and support them in all avenues like they do me. I do not run my business as a businesswoman - I like to relate to people and know about their journey in life. If they come to me for an appointment, they are treated like a friend not a client. I don't like the word client and refer to my clients as my ladies. The word client doesn't fit how I run my business as it takes away how personalised my business is and how I want people to feel. I also apply makeup how people want it applied and I offer advice and recommendations. Ultimately, it’s their face and whatever makeup preference they have I follow their lead. Makeup is so versatile and creative for a reason - anyone can wear it and feel confident. I would never apply makeup without a deep investigation into their makeup preference and thoughts first.

Terrie can give you the perfect glow-up for your big day

Terrie can give you the perfect glow-up for your big day


Meet the salon owners providing a ray of light to customers after dark times

Why do loyal clients return to your business?

This is hard again for me to answer as I am not somebody who thinks naturally that my work is amazing. I am very self-critical and my work and I'm a perfectionist. I think many ladies return because I personalise every appointment. My main compliment over the years has been how long my makeup lasts. I have ladies who get makeup done by me for day one of Creamfields and it’s still fresh for day two when they wake up.

What’s next? What do the next few months hold for you and your salon?

I am at a stage where I am only doing ladies I have seen before and bridal work due to my family situation. I am hopeful that by summer, I will be back with a diary full of beautiful faces to paint.
My passion in life now is to raise awareness and I want to open my door to women with disabilities. Eventually, I want to offer lessons for individuals with additional needs and I want people with additional needs or anxieties, who fear going to a salon or someone new, to know they’re safe with me.
Autistic people can thrive in this industry and I want to raise awareness. As an autistic adult, I don't set foot in salons as the environment is too over stimulating. It’s time to allow autistic people can flourish and access beauty services more easily.