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Make-Up Artist Ken Boylan Talks Red Carpet Beauty

Make-up artist Ken Boylan talks red carpet beauty.


WHO DOES GOOD RED CARPET GLAMOUR?

Lily Collins probably had the nicest look this year. Her appearance at the Golden Globes (above) – the pink dress and pink eye shadow – was really lovely, and she looked her age. Emma Stone would be another one I admire. In Ireland, Claire Byrne, as she favours a more natural look and has an amazing complexion. My top picks of all time would have to be Cate Blanchett or Kate Winslet, and for an avant-garde approach, Tilda Swinton. For a more mature lady, definitely Helen Mirren – she just looks fab.

WHAT MAKE-UP ARTISTS DO YOU ADMIRE?

I’ve always admired Irish make-up artist Zoë Clark. I think she has such a beautiful, natural touch, and she does amazing things with colour. Abroad, it would have to be Pat McGrath – her work is incredible. She’s really pushing the boundaries of make-up application.

DISCUSS THE STRONG EYE / STRONG LIP RELATIONSHIP. ONE OR THE OTHER, OR BOTH?

I love it. It depends on what you’re going to. If you’re wearing a full-length ballgown, then by all means go for a red lip and a strong, black smoky eye – it will look amazing. Tailor your make-up to what you’re wearing. Try not to overload if you’re just going to the pub.

IS THERE AN EVENING LOOK FOR A MORE MATURE FACE VS A YOUTHFUL ONE?

With a mature skin, lighten up the foundation, don’t darken it. If you look at Helen Mirren or Judy Dench, they go for a pale base and then build the colour. Avoid sky blues and excessive shimmers, and don’t overdo it.

WHAT RED CARPET TRICKS/LOOKS ARE EASY TO REPLICATE?

Smoking up the eye is the easiest thing in the world. Dot a soft colour, like a dove grey, onto your lid and crease and blend well. Just be careful not to bring it too close to the eyebrow. Tonnes of mascara and a swipe of black liner on the waterline will finish the look.

ANY TIPS FOR THE PERFECT EYE LINER?

Number one, practise, because it’s not easy to do. Liquid liner, in particular. One trick is to put a piece of Sellotape at the corner of each eye, and then draw your liner over it, so you will have an even line when it’s removed.

HOW CAN WE MAKE MAKE-UP LAST?

A pressed powder always helps. In general, the less you have on, the less you have to worry about. Lighten up the colours used around the eyes to avoid dark over spill, and make sure to bring your products with you. If you want to look fresh, you need regular touch ups.

WHAT ARE YOUR HERO PRODUCTS?

My HD Foundation, and I adore MAC Face & Body, €32, as well as Chanel’s Vitalumière, €46. For a highlight, MAC’s Strobe Cream helps the skin to pop. I also love Charlotte Tilbury’s Filmstar Bronze & Glow, €65, and any eye shadows from Stila. For skin prep, I always use my Primer, €25, but even before that, one drop of Pestle & Mortar’s Pure Hyaluronic Serum, €43, is ideal. If you have the time, REN’s Bio Retinoid Oil, €50, is a fantastic product to apply the night before.

WHAT RED CARPET ESSENTIALS SHOULD WE FIT INTO OUR EVENING BAG?

Any Tom Ford lipstick – the texture is gorgeous. Lancôme does a really nice liquid liner – the nib on it is great. And my Ember Eyeshadow, €12.50.

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Ken Boylan is available for make-up appointments at Zeba Hairdressing, 60 South William Street, Dublin 2, and Mimi’s Beauty Room, 6 Seafort Avenue, Sandymount, Dublin 4, kenboylan.com.

This article originally appeared in the March issue of IMAGE magazine, on shelves nationwide now.

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