Mini Series: Ask a Make Up Artist

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Hello Pretty Peeps! Happy Sunday!

Today, as it is the start of November leading up to my favourite festive season I thought I would start a mini series with a few make up artist (MUA) friends and family to set us up for the forthcoming parties and maybe with some ideas about future careers.

So first up is one of my favourite make up gurus - I may be a tad bias as she is my sister BUT when it comes to the truth about make up and beauty she seriously is my go to MUA....

Catherine Bailey : Fashion and Bridal Make Up Artist 

What makes a good make-up artist?

Apart from excellent artistic skills with your hands, you also need to be very good with people, by which I mean genuinely warm, caring and sensitive to their insecurities. On photo shoots, you need to be creative and very adaptable, and able to work collaboratively with a wide range of people. 

What is the most exciting part of being a MUA?

The ability to be artistic and creative on a daily basis is brilliant, and it is great fun if you enjoy meeting lots of new people and working in a variety of locations. A routine 9-5 job it is not! 

What are the challenges and pitfalls of being a MUA?

The work is unpredictable and unstable, so you often never know what you're doing from one day to the next - unpredictability can be both a blessing and a curse! It is just as competitive as people warn you - the issue is not necessarily the quality of the competition, but the sheer quantity of people who want to be make-up artists. As a result, you have to work mainly unpaid for the first 6-9 months, which can be very tough, and marketing yourself properly is expensive too. 

What are your top 3 items in your make up kit?

The three that I constantly use are my Stila 'Convertible Color' palettes (£23 from Beauty Bay) as I love cream blushers, my Dior eyeshadow palette in 'Incognito' (£45 from department stores) which is a perfect set of five shimmering neutrals, and my professional Bobbi Brown 'BBU Palette' of stick foundations and creamy concealers in all skin tones (£185 from 

What is the most underrated make up product?

I'm in love with Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in 'Moonstone' (£33 from Space NK), which I use as a primer, mixed with foundation, or as a highlighter. It just gives the most lovely pearly (notfrosty) glow to the skin. 

What are your go to brands?

I'm a huge fan of Bobbi Brown, Chanel and Illamasqua, but I also love Maybelline, Bourjois and Revlon for quality drugstore products - I'm not too much of a make-up snob I hope!! 

What products do you feel are over hyped?

No offence to Dior, as I love most of their products, but I really didn't like their very expensive and much-hyped 'Diorshow' mascara - the brush was just too big and clunky, and it dried out within a couple of weeks. I'm sticking to my all-time favourite mascara from now on - Max Factor '2000 Calorie' mascara, £7.99. 

What would be your top tips for an aspiring MUA?

Watch lots of online tutorials from genuinely successful and established fashion make-up artists such as Lisa Eldridge and Charlotte Tilbury. Go on a training course with a respected beauty school such as Glauca Rossi, The London School of Beauty and Makeup, the London College of Fashion or AOFM, if you can afford it. Practice, practice, practice on as many friends and family of all ages as possible until you're super confident. Research products thoroughly and create a small but very comprehensive kit - palettes are your best friend so invest wisely. Buy a small selection of high quality brushes from brands such as Bobbi Brown and Charlotte Tilbury, rather than buying lots of cheap brushes which won't last. Join sites such as Testing Contacts to set up lots of test shoots, or pay Shooting Beauty who'll guarantee that you get really professional images. Be very careful who you work with, and get a testing agreement signed by the photographer beforehand, to ensure that you get at least six retouched close-ups for your portfolio. 

If you would like to get in touch with Catherine or see more of her fab work please go to Catherine Bailey Make Artist you can also follow her on Twitter @catherinebmua

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