Interview With Kate Hughes: Make Up Artist To The Stars

For over two decades Kate Hughes has been one of the UK’s leading celebrity hair and make up artists. Kate now hosts the Lord and Berry make up masterclass with Salon Services. We spoke to her to find out what it’s like being one of the industry’s leading make up artists and how you can achieve some of her favourite beauty looks.

How did you get into the make up industry? What was your big break?

I actually started out as a hairdresser but after a while I wanted to take my career further. Friends in the music industry suggested I’d make a great make up artist, given my love for make up, fashion and travel, so it seemed the natural progression for me – I then studied at Greasepaint Make-up School in London. My first big break was an album cover for Elton John shot by the late Herb Ritts.

What’s your day job like? And what are the highlights of being a make up artist?

No two days in the industry are the same. One day I might be teaching, the next writing an article for a magazine, working on a beauty shoot or doing hair and make up for a private client. I’m lucky enough to feel challenged and excited by my job: although it isn’t glamorous all the time as the hours can be long and irregular and you’re away from home a lot. You also have to be able to get on with lots of different people and build relationships in a short space of time, which can be hard. And, remember, you’re only as good as your last job, so it’s not that secure!

The best thing about my job is being able to create a totally original look, and I have been lucky enough to work with many amazing photographers and artists, who then make it look perfect. I also get to travel and meet lots of different people, earn good money for doing something I love and I feel fulfilled. I love that make up is a fleeting luxury, a snapshot in time. And that ‘Ta-da!’ moment, when someone sees their finished look – whether it’s a private client’s wedding make up or a top model – is great. Knowing they look and feel fantastic, and watching that feeling elevate their mood, is the best! I also love teaching and inspiring would-be artists.

What make up products could you not live without?

Bronzer– Nars Bronzer in Casino, a fantastic natural bronzer that's the perfect colour.

BlusherLord & Berry’s Blush in Camelia. This colour suits absolutely everyone.

Eyelash curlers– I wouldn’t ever be without my Shu Uemura eyelash curlers: they totally deliver the perfect curl.

Concealer– Lord & Berry’s “Conceal-it” blends so easily and stays put, providing great coverage.

Mascara– Benefit’s “They’re real!” Mascara gives maximum length and volume.

Which beauty trends are you loving right now?

Bronze eyes- The metallic smoky eye... pair your smoky eye with a metallic copper coloured eyeshadow for a new take on molten metal. Lord & Berry’s Stardust in Dark Bronze works really well for this look.

Neon Orange Lips– Orange lips are universally flattering as the hint of the hue livens up every skin tone. Lord & Berry Lipstick – especially the Vogue Matte in Mandarino - is fantastic!

What advice would you give to aspiring make up artists?

Working with such high-profile clients requires a professional attitude at all times, which is how you should always approach work and that is what I advise others to do. The best advice I can give is to be totally passionate as it is a very competitive industry.

What is your favourite make up look to do and why?

Aubergine and gold soft smoky eyes with a pale matt lip, as this look really makes the eyes pop and suits almost everyone.

What quick tip could you give us for when we quickly want turn a daytime look into a night-time one?

Just touch up your mascara and introduce a bold lipstick into the mix, and you are ready for the night. I’m a huge fan of bright lipsticks, and it’s my favourite way to transition from day to night.

Can you tell us how to master the smoky eye?

The secret for the perfect smoky eye is blend, blend and blend some more. Make sure you build up the colour gradually. Also make sure you define your eyebrows with a pencil to balance the smoky eye. Add black eyeliner generously and blend liner up from lash line to leave intensity of colour at root of lashes for maximum impact. Lord & Berry’s Polish in Black has a great shine to it and blends easily. Layer eyeshadow over the liner for the perfect smoky look. Highlight the brow bone with a soft cream shadow - Benefit’s Creaseless Cream Eye shadow in Bikini Tini is the perfect shade - then blend down towards darker colours to soften the look. Don’t forget to curl lashes and add a couple of coats of black mascara, letting it dry between coats. Lord & Berry’s Mascara will give great definition to your lashes. A top tip when creating a smoky eye is to do your eye make up before your base, so it's easier to clean up any overspill. And don’t forget, if you're putting strong colours on the eyes go neutral with the lips.

We have five minutes before we need to leave the house, what tips do you have for doing our make-up in a hurry?

I don’t believe in a full face of make up in five minutes. Either wear very little and wear it well or don’t bother putting make up on in a hurry and look cheap and messy. So pick your battle in your time crunch. Start with concealer then add a sheer bronzer all over the face, apply sheer lip and cheek colour and also cream eyeshadow, as it can quickly be used with fingers. Finish with mascara. Another option is use concealer to perfect flaws, bronzer and do a super dark or bright lipstick. Mascara!