Hi Guys, welcome to another make-up artist feature. Join me in welcoming UK based celebrity make-up artist Giselle Ali. So grab a cuppa tea/coffee, glass of wine or whatever you drink, sit back relax and I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed putting it together….. See you in my next post
Love Dee xoxo
Q & A With Giselle Ali
- Before makeup, what were you doing? I was an office girl. When I was 17, my mom literally marched me to an agency after getting me some work experience so I started off as a receptionist and worked my way up to a PA.
- You did well for yourself, so what made you go into the makeup industry? I’d say makeup artistry found me. I used to try out makeup on myself and post to Facebook so one day a photographer noticed my work and asked me to come to his studio, that was 6 years ago and the rest was history 🙂
- With that passion for makeup, did you go to a specialist school? No. I’m self taught, I really wanted to do make-up but I couldn’t afford a course. However, three years ago I went to New York and took a day class with Celebrity Make-up Artist Merrell Hollis (MUA for Wendy Williams and Jennifer Hudson) and it was AMAZING.
- Wow sounds fun. If you had the opportunity to, which celebrity will you like to work with? Oooh so many, currently I love Laura Mvula, Fifth Harmony and Solange but ultimately I would love to do makeup for a music legend like Mary J Blige or Missy Elliot.
- Do you have own academy or are you looking to start one? The dream is to own a make-up academy but in the interim, I teach one on one classes in Shea’d Nail shop in Stratford and I love it. Classes are intimate just me and my student, we have a laugh, we share moments and they get my undivided attention. (please see price list below)
Make-up History and Area of Speciality
- How long have you been doing make up? I’ve been doing make-up on and off since I was 19 so I’d say around 7 year. Professionally I’d say 4 years.
- What type of makeup do you specialise in? I specialise in black and ethnic skin tones, most of my clients are from the African/Caribbean diaspora and I also have a lot of Asian clients.
- What are your favourite products? Where to start! Well M.A.C is nostalgic for me. I used to work there and although some will say there are better products out there, for me there are some products they offer that cannot be replaced. Second to that is Illamasqua, I’ve been following the brand since it launched and I’m in love with their quality, ethos and packaging. Their brushes are cruelty free which means shedding is next to none and intense pigments that are long wearing and long lasting!
Client Experience and Highlights
- As a make-up artist, have you had a nightmare client? What was your experience(s)? I’ve been really lucky actually, I’ve only ever had one bridal trial that was so uncomfortable. I refused to do her makeup and gave a full refund! (lol) but that’s very rare for me. I think like attracts like, all my clients have been so sweet and encouraging and love the work I do.
- What is/are your highlight(s) in the beauty industry? Working with Craig David on his music video for ‘Aint Giving Up’. He had cool vibes on set and he spoke to everyone from the director to the runners, everyone was on the same level. Another highlight was meeting Cara Delevingne at a Rimmel Event, she’s such a sweet heart and is just as wacky in real life. Last but not least will be meeting and working with my client Lady Leshurr. That’s definitely been a highlight, I think she’s the most hard working person I’ve ever met and an entrepreneur. I’ve also never seen anyone so laid back, she gives me a lot of creative freedom.
- Can you foretell this year’s trend? I think that skin is becoming more of a focus than ever before, its less about extreme coverage and contour and more about using makeup to mimic a natural looking radiance. I think 2016 was the breaking point for beauty, everything was excess so I think people are hungry for a stripped back glam, saying that I don’t think highlighter will ever die lol. Bring out the eyelash curlers and 8 hour cream.
- Do you have a favourite make-up look? Oh yes I have very deep feelings about 70’s makeup, I love how experimental they were with eyeliner! The only thing better than eyeliner is double eyeliner, I love a good pair of bottom lashes also. I live for a young Dianna Ross, Nichelle Nichols and Pam Grier. They are my ultimate beauty Icons.
- What is in your makeup bag? Eyelash curlers… always, lip balm in the form of shea butter lol MAC prolongwear concealer for my under eyes, liquid eyeliner…. I love illamasqua’s precision liner its so bomb. A good mascara, I love my illamasqua ‘masquara’ in jet black and a good lip-gloss. MAC’s lip-glass in ‘delight’ and lip liner in ‘chesnut’ to overdraw my already large lips… love it!
- If you were to chose two makeup products, what will they be? Omg stop, only two! erm… under eye concealer it instantly brightens up the eye I enjoy that part of makeup the most, and a good eyeliner to make my tiny eyes visible!
- What are your future goals? My future goals, wow there are so many. Ultimately to live on my own land and grow my own food…not sure where yet , but career wise I just want to continue to inspire. I want to teach black women how to use makeup as a tool not to conceal who they are or morph into another person but as a method of expression and enhancing natural beauty.
- What advice will you give to aspiring makeup artists? Well first of all I would say work behind a makeup counter and practice, its all very well and good learning how to do your own makeup well but you have to be able to please any woman who sits in your chair and that’s the hardest part of what we do! Also you have to be a people person, you will find a lot of really successful makeup artists are doing well just as much for their calm personality and warm spirit as they are for their makeup skills.
There you have it guys. You can find Giselle on Instagram @giselle_makeup and via her website http://www.gisellemakeup.co.uk/