Wednesday, 13 August 2014

• Beauty chat with make up artist; Katie Moore •

I'm very privileged to be friends with a real make-up artist: Katie Moore has studied Make-up Artistry at the University of Salford; she 
was flown out to Tokyo to complete her diploma in 
Japanese make up; and she has lots of product 
recommendations to share with us.

So of course, when I had the idea to interview her, I messaged her right away. I've always been interested in make up artistry and I thought who better to interview than Katie?! She clearly knows her stuff and I mean, just look at her - she's stunning. I hope you enjoy this informative yet laid back chat about all things beauty.

Daniela: Let's start off with what are the most used products in your kit?

Katie: I'm going to give away a secret here, my absolute favourite product that I use on almost all of my clients is a pressed pigment by Illamasqua called 'Slink'. This eyeshadow is around £15 and I use it as a highlighter. I used to swear by cream highlighters to achieve that real dewy glow but this product is by far my favourite alternative. In terms of foundation my most used is probably Face and Body by MAC, which gives a sheer coverage. Generally I love light, flawless bases and prefer to start with just a little product and build it up or mix where necessary.

D: Amazing tip, I love using products for multiple purposes! Do you generally tend to use higher end make up on your clients then?

K: The majority of my kit consists of high end brands, but don't get me wrong I love a bargain! There are several high street brands which are closely comparable to their luxury competitors, such as Sleek, available in Superdrug, which offers lipsticks that are (in my opinion!) almost identical to Illamasqua's in terms of texture, pigment and longevity. However, I see my kit as an investment and know that my clients expect the best, so I'd never compromise on quality purely for a more attractive price tag!
D: I love Sleek, too! I have a lipstick in 'Barely There' which I've been reaching for loads lately. Since we're talking about drugstore, what are your top 5 favourite high street brands, products and shades?

K: They're amazing for the price! Sleek's lipstick in 'Coral Reef' is my personal favourite. I've decanted all of mine into palettes for ease of use when I'm working, and if they weren't labelled I genuinely wouldn't be able to tell Sleek from the luxury brands! Another product I love is Topshop's powder highlighter in Crescent Moon which is very similar to MAC's Soft and Gentle. As you can tell I'm constantly comparing to ensure that all of my products are of the same standard! Barry M lip liners are really great too, of course the colour range isn't as varied as a lot of other brands but for a cheaper alternative I'd definitely recommend them. I'm going to have to say Sleek again! Their powder eyeshadows are incredible value and, again, so pigmented. Palettes are less than a tenner and there are plenty of colour options; the only downside is that you can't choose individual pans so often double up on similar shades. Top of my hughstreet list and a personal love of mine is Maxfactor 2000 Calorie mascara, which I've used myself for around 8 years. I've tried MAC, Illamasqua, Benefit, Bobbi Brown (the list goes on...) and have never found one that works for me quite like Maxfactor does!

D: Have you tried the Maxfactor Masterpiece mascara? I used to use it in my teens and I really recommend it! What are your top 5 favourite high end brands and products?

K: To be honest I never properly explored Maxfactor but now I feel the need! I'll definitely give that a try. Another brand that I love is Lime Crime, which isn't as readily available in the UK as I'd like it to be, but their Velvetines are literally amazing. I love Suedeberry which is a bright, deep orange and it stays put for longer than any lip product I've ever tried. Lots of other brands are now bringing out matte liquid lipsticks after Lime Crime's success and I look forward to testing those out, too. Smashbox Photo Finish primer is a must have for anyone with large pores or those needed to smooth their skin before foundation. It's really long-lasting and one of the best primers I've used. I also love Illamasqua's fine pencil in Peace. In my experience it's difficult to find drugstore brow pencils that don't have that orangey undertone, but this one is a true ashy brown that can be applied lightly or with pressure to match a range of hair colours. A recent find that's become one of my essentials is Inglot HD Illuminizing Loose Powder. It's perfect for those with oily and combination skin who need to set their make up but want to maintain the dewiness, as it works like a normal powder but is ever so slightly shimmery and so never appears too matte or cake. Now for my all time favourite dream of a product: Georgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation. This is actually heaven in a bottle, and for around £40, quite right too! The coverage is medium yet buildable, the finish is on par with airbrush make up and it's just a wonderful product to use. For me this is a prime example of 'you get what you pay for'.

D: I've heard incredible things about the Armani Luminous Silk foundation, the L'Oreal True Match is meant to be a dupe - I've got that and I love it! Have you found any dupes along the way?

K: Oh dupes are the best! Along with the Sleek/Illamasqua lipsticks, Sleek also do a cream pigment called Molten Metals, whereas Illamasqua have their Liquid Metals and the two are almost identical. I'm beginning to think these brands are linked in fact!
D: I love dupes, I'm a bit of a bargain hunter! Ok down to the nitty gritty...your pet peeves when it comes to make up? For me, it's awful brows - it sounds terrible, but it really annoys me!

K: Ah you've taken my main one! I'm awful for scrutinising brows and I LOVE correcting them. Most of us over-plucked in our younger days and some (mind included) never fully recovered! Overly thin or heavily drawn on brows can be detrimental to a make up look so it's important to keep them on point. Also false lashes that are too wide for the eye and hang off the outer corner making eyes appear droopy. It's such a simple mistake that can easily be rectified by measuring the falsies on the lid before application and cutting to size.

D: I'll need you to correct mine, please! I have gaps and scars and all sorts going on. Are there any tips you'd give to people just starting off with make up? And what would you recommend to people product-wise to start off their make up collection?

K: I love your brows, they're so beautifully full! I'd say the most important thing is to know your face. Know your features, know your skin and learn what suits you. Experimentation is key, try all the products you can get your hands on! Skincare and foundation are the basic essentials, as once you've perfected these your base will always look flawless. I think even as a beginner it's important to be adventurous with products like lipstick and eyeshadow, as it's easy to get stuck in your comfort zone, so invest in a few and explore your options.

D: Aw, thank you beaut! And that's such great advice. It's definitely important to know your skin - for years I was using products for oily skin, when actually I have combination skin - not good! What about brushes, which ones would you recommend? The age old debate: do you believe in investing in great tools or is it more about the products?

K: I did exactly the same! Understanding your skin type will allow you to select suitable products a lot more easily and will determine how flawless your finish is too. If you're unsure you can visit any quality counter and they should be able to give you some helpful tips. Ahh, now I am a firm believer of quality tools creating quality results. Substandard brushes are like using a blunt knife to cut your vegetables; you'll get the job done but with a lot more effort and the outcome may not be the greatest! Of course the right products are crucial as well, but decent brushes make my job an awful lot easier! I would recommend MAC very highly, as their range is vast and will last you for years if cared for correctly. Illamasqua's are great, too - they're all synthetic hair which is becoming very popular, however I often find that real hair brushes pick up product easier so it's worth exploring different ranges.

D: I love the comparison with the vegetable knife! I agree with you, I only really use Real Techniques brushes - amazing quality and they don't break the bank. So in your opinion, when it comes to make up trends, do you tend to follow them? I know that orange lips, big brows and hair chalk are in at the moment, so would you use these trends when working on your clients?

K: Real Techniques are great, the only problem for me is that the handles are too thick to fit in my brush belt! I actually tweeted Sam Chapman about it but it didn't seem as if this was likely to change! They're perfect for standing up on your dressing table, though. In the industry I'm in I have to be up to date with the trends. For shoots I usually have a brief to follow and although I often have creative input, the looks are regularly tailored to fit what's popular as that's what gets published. Saying that, I also love to stray away from the norm when possible and just go wild with whatever fits the concept I'm working with. Overall it's important to be 'in the know' but also to break the rules and be adventurous with colours and products.

D: Great advice - I think trends can sometimes be taken too literally, when they should also just be used as inspiration. So what made you want to go into the make up industry?

K: Definitely! It would be boring if everyone stuck with the same look - trying things is how new trends are born. Well from a young age I have worn make up (looking back, perhaps too young!) and it has always fascinated me in its ability to enhance and beautify a face. I did a lot of research into the industry - I used to think it was more of a hobby then a career but I couldn't have been more wrong! As soon as I realised the opportunities that exist for MUA's I knew it was for me. That cliche saying 'find a job and you'll never work a day in your life' has become so relevant, and I feel blessed to have found a profession that is so rewarding.

D: I also wore make up from a young age, too; I've always loved it! What sort of opportunities have you been involved in?

K: Girls seem to be growing up a lot faster these days, I've been getting booked for secondary school proms! I've been able to work alongside some very influential industry professionals which has been so inspiring for me. An amazing team creates the best results so I'm really thankful for those opportunities. I was also lucky enough to receive a funded trip to Tokyo in order to complete a diploma in Japanese make up which was such an incredible experience. The course itself was extremely eye opening and I learnt many valuable skills.
Left - model: Nicky Dixon, make up: Katie Moore, hair: Kevin Luchman & Jessica Doolin, stylist: Steve Doan, photographer: Danny Baldwin
Right - model: Nic Richardson, make up: Katie Moore, photographer: Lauren Danks

D: Wow that sounds incredible, what a wonderful opportunity! So did you study make up artistry straight after you did your A levels? Can you tell me a bit about your journey, as such, and any advice you'd give to people wanting to enter the MUA career path?

K: Indeed, I'm so thankful! Well to be honest initially I wasn't aware you could study make up (I still get funny looks when I tell people I have a degree in it!). Originally I applied to do criminology but as soon as I found out you could study to be an MUA I rejected my offers, took a gap year and reapplied to study my real passion - best decision ever! In those three years of study I have learnt a ridiculous amount not only about make up application, but also the industry itself and becoming self-employed. That knowledge has been invaluable. My advice to aspiring make up artists would be to gain the knowledge necessary and throw yourself straight in. Accept all shoots your offered and never decline a job because of nerves or lack of confidence. In my experience this was the only way to truly overcome any apprehensions and reach the level you need to be at. Once you're more established you can be selective with work and really start to be build an impressive portfolio.

D: That's excellent advice. I think it's important to have a great work ethic, and it's clear that you really do! What would you consider the best and worst bit about your job?

K: Thank you so much, I strongly believe that you get out what you put in - you're the only one who can make yourself a success. Oh wow thats the hardest question, I love so many elements it's almost impossible to choose! I suppose the worst part is having to chase up invoices, I work with different clients all the time and so it's difficult to keep on top of those who aren't as organised! One of my best parts is having my work published, I think that will always be one of the most rewarding feelings. I haven't quite made it to Vogue yet but who knows, maybe one day! The moment when a model steps out on stage after a mad rush behind the scenes - that's another favourite. A mixture of pride, excitement... relief! I love that, too.

D: Lastly (and just so I can basically copy you...), which make up look would you be seen wearing on a night out? Would this differ from your every day make up?

K: On an evening out I tend to choose my make up colours and then my outfit, which is why I usually end up wearing black! The rule about opting for either eyes or lips to focus on goes out of the window for me, as it's my platform to be much more daring with colour than I would be in the day. My daytime look usually consists of a soft brown smokey eye as it complements most lip colours which I vary from day to day. I love to let my skin breath on my days off but only because it means I don't have to spend so much time cleansing, toning and moisturising!

I really hope you enjoyed this interview. It's probably the most excited I've ever been about a blog post - I absolutely love writing reviews, sharing my tips and showing you my hauls, but to have a real make-up artist here on my blog means so much to me. If you'd like to follow Katie on Twitter, you can do so here, and the link to her website is (I really recommend heading over to her 'Portfolio' page - that girl is talented!)

Let me know what you think of this post & if you'd like to
 see Katie back here for another interview! I, for one,
am so intrigued about make-up artistry and 
I could spend hours chatting about it!
Daniela xo
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  1. The interview was so interesting to read, I'd definitely be interested in more posts like this! I really want to try more from Illamasqua and Sleek now haha xx

    1. Ahh thank you so much for the feedback, lovely! Haha lots of product recommendations, I have a shopping list as long as my arm! Daniela xo

  2. WOW. Well done Daniella, what a fabulous interview full of knowledge and culture. I've loved reading this.

    Crissy @ My Cup Of Tea

    1. Aw thank you lovely :) Katie was a pleasure to interview! Daniela xo

  3. Great post :) It's made me want so many of the products Katie mentioned!

    Faye x

    1. Thanks chick! Haha I also have a shopping list as long as my arm now! Daniela xo