Interview with Catherine Bailey

Another article from my magazine, AURAthat I created as my final design piece for university, is an interview with fashion and bridal makeup artist Catherine Bailey. She gives her tips and advice for breaking into the industry, what inspires her, favourite brands…etc. I love interviewing people and finding out more about them and their stories. Hope you find this interesting and enjoyable to read!

How long have you been a makeup artist?

Just over two years, I used to work in book publishing but gave it all up for a totally different career!

How did you get into the industry, and what was it like when you first started out?

I started by doing test shoots with a company called Shooting Beauty to kick-start my Portfolio. I then approached lots of fashion and bridal photographers, and did more test shoots with them over a period of a year.

How did you get yourself known and promote yourself?

I’m active on Twitter and Facebook, I write beauty features for blogs, and I advertise online.

Do you have a certain style that sets you apart from others?

I don’t know whether it sets me apart as such, but my style is very ‘clean’, crisp and natural.

Who or what inspires you?

I’m inspired by the colours of nature, by art and paintings, and by the work of very creative make-up artists.

What is your favourite makeup brand?

It’s tough to pick one brand, but I think Bobbi Brown’s products are generally completely fool proof.

Which essential products are always in your makeup kit?

Bioderma micellar water to cleanse, a range of different moisturisers to hydrate different skin types, Korres lip balm to soften the lips, and lash curlers to open up the eyes – these are the basics.

What is your favourite makeup look?

I like a very clean look with glowing skin and defined lips.

What is your most requested bridal look?

90% of brides say that they just want to look like a more polished and radiant version of themselves.

Which brush do you use the most?

I love the Real Techniques Bold Metals Domed Powder Brush 100 and use it to apply powder, bronzer and blusher.

What do you love most about being a makeup artist?

The variety, the freedom of being freelance, meeting new people all the time.

What do you find most challenging about the job?

The unpredictability of the work can be hard to take on a psychological basis, by which I mean having no job security. You can not work for days, and then be triple-booked on one day. Carrying heavy cases of kit around London can be very tiring too – you have to be physically strong and healthy.

What have you learnt throughout your career?

I’ve learned the hard way to value my skills and my time, and to be very careful what jobs I say “yes” to. The more skilled you get, the more confidence you’ll have to say “no” to opportunities that may not benefit you at all. Most importantly I always look to work with nice and genuine people.

What advice would you give to anyone for getting into the beauty/fashion industry?

Try and get as much valuable experience as you possibly can – be like a sponge, be humble, kind and friendly and learn as much as you can from others. Test shoots where no-one is getting paid, and you’re all working together as a team to get great images are essential, but beware of the many unscrupulous people out there who will try and trick you into working for free on commercial projects, with the promise of contacts, pictures etc. It may be a con, and you’ll learn the hard way not to do it – I know I did!


Some examples of her fashion/ editorial work. If you want to see more, check out her Instagram 🙂 xx

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