14th Feb 2020
Andrew Fitzsimons is the man behind the head-turning looks of Karlie Kloss, Ashley Graham, and a handful of Kardashians, Jenners and Hadids. The Ballinteer-born hairstylist shares his beauty musts, pro tips and obsessions with Holly O’Neill.
I didn’t have one big break. I feel like I’ve had several moments in my career that I could tell would take me to the next level. Working with Adele and Mariah shortly after moving to New York definitely kicked off my celebrity hair career.
The secret to working with big names, in my opinion, is focusing on the job. I do it to the very best of my ability. I’m not there to make friends with celebrities or go to premieres or live someone else’s lifestyle. I have my own private life, and work is work. I think that energy puts people at ease in my field.
I’ve recently gotten into creative direction, which has given me a whole other artistic expression to explore. I’ve created the past couple of campaigns for Kylie Cosmetics. Collaborating with Kylie [Jenner] is so easy – we both love beauty, make-up and taking creative risks.
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When it comes to my hair, I’ve done it all. I’ve had it long, a shaved head, blue, pink, silver hair, a mullet – thanks, 2004. I’ve found my look and I’m sticking to it now!
The last beauty-related thing I do before bed is take off any make-up (usually a build-up of too much bronzer) and cleanse my face before putting on a night cream.
The last beauty item I bought was Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, €42. I’m addicted.
The best hair advice I received was to be gentle with it. Hair is fragile, so don’t force combs through it and don’t attack it with a towel after the shower.
A product that’s always on my nightstand is Vitamin C serum.
My signature scent is Tom Ford Patchouli Absolu, €188 for 50ml.
The first beauty product I ever bought was probably concealer. And I actually stole it from Tesco. I had really bad skin in my early teens and was too embarrassed to buy make-up for myself, so I shoplifted it. I do not condone stealing, but I was desperate. God, I’m never going to be allowed back in Tesco again.
The worst beauty mistake I ever made was, again in my teens, I plucked my eyebrows thin. It. Was. Not. Good.
I never miss my weekly visit to my LA facialist, Celeste Rodrigues.
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The first perfume I loved was musk, and I still do.
When I’m lazy, I remove my make-up with Simple wipes, €4.79. When I’m not, coconut oil.
If I wasn’t a hairstylist, I’d 100% be a quantum physicist. Not even kidding.
When my hair feels a little fried I use a conditioning treatment instead of a hair gel.
I don’t wear foundation, but if I’m filming and want my skin to look flawless, I use Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Oil-Free Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen, €48 – it doesn’t look heavy and gives a healthy glow.
To me, being healthy means listening to your body and eating as clean as possible.
If I could style anyone’s hair, it would be Lana Del Rey.
My three current obsessions include Japanese skincare – I was just in Tokyo filming Keeping Up with the Kardashians and bought so much skincare over there; I had to buy an extra bag to bring it all home. The movie I’m obsessed with is Mommie Dearest starring Faye Dunaway about the relationship between movie star Joan Crawford and her daughter Christina. It’s a gay cult classic, and I quote the movie all day, every day. You could also use the word “obsessed” for how I feel about Judge Judy. I think I’ve seen almost every episode. She is the ultimate badass.
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I set up the Trans Cosmetic Donations Program because I get sent so many beauty and self-care products daily, as do my colleagues and clients, that we end up not using. For a lot of the trans community, especially here in the States, they do not have proper access to the resources they need… to healthcare, self-care products, not to mention the little things we take for granted in life that make us feel more confident. So I partnered with TEEP [Transgender Economic Empowerment Project] at the LA LGBT Center to help pool the resources of the beauty industry to help our trans siblings in need with cosmetics and self-care products and distribute them to community centres, shelters and prisons around California.
My Met Gala kit is about four times the size of my regular kit. It’s the most important red carpet for fashion, so you do not want to be missing anything.
Adele has the thickest hair of anyone I have ever come across in the 17 years I’ve been working in hairdressing.
My advice to hairstylists starting out is to share everything. If I was starting out now, I’d be experimenting and posting my creations; making videos, tutorials, everything. It’s a really exciting time in the industry, so don’t be afraid to share your work and point of view.
Photography by @andrewfitzsimons.
This article originally appeared in the July/August issue of IMAGE Magazine.
Read more: Andrew Fitzsimons has a full hair range with Primark and you need it all
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