Q&A with Billy Orr, celebrity makeup artist
1. What inspired you to become a makeup artist?
I will always remember going to a career day and filling out a questionnaire from which we got a print out explaining what kind of jobs would best suit us. It was interesting that in my top three were make up artist, hairdresser and wardrobe assistant. I started a hairdressing apprenticeship after school, where I assisted on shows and photo shoots. It was during this time that I realised that I wanted to be a make up artist and work in the entertainment industry.
2. What is the most memorable job you've done?
I still pinch my self! I worked with Lady GaGa during a press trip when she promoted her first album, The Fame. One day I was listening to her music in the gym and a few days later I was in her dressing room doing her make up. It was full lashes, feline flick and a nude lip kind of day.
3. What do you love most about your job?
My make up chair is like a sanctuary. Whether I’m with a private client, bride or celebrity I love making people feel special!
4. What is the best beauty advice you can give?
It’s all about the prep. A good skincare routine is key, when the face is hydrated your make up will look fresher and last longer. Invest time working a serum, moisturiser or a primer onto the face to create the perfect base.
5. What is the one product you can't work without?
I would be lost without a powder bronzer in my kit, it’s such a multifunctional product. I always opt for matt when I’m creating a sun kissed make up look. A matt bronzer is also perfect for sculpting areas of the face, I use it on men’s skin too; a bit of bronzer around the jaw line can look amazing in photos.
A pro tip - you can also make your eyes pop using a matt bronzer all over the lid, then apply on your liner and mascara.
6. What is the one thing that you wish every woman knew about makeup?
I am always telling women to customise their foundation. If you choose a matt foundation that is perfect for long days in the office, you might like that JLO glow for a night out, I recommend mixing the foundation with a drop of skincare serum or liquid illuminator to create a dewy finish.
7. What’s your best tip for covering a blemish?
Heavy coverage can make a blemish look more obvious, stay away from a full coverage foundation if possible and try a tinted moisturiser and concealer combo instead. To conceal a blemish I recommend using a concealer with a dry, thick consistency and not a liquid light-weight concealer that you might use under the eye area. Use a small brush applying the product only to the specific area, if you use your finger you might apply to much product. To finish set the concealer by gently tapping the area using a small fluffy brush dipped in a powder that matches your skin tone.
8. What is the biggest mistake you see people make with eyeliner and how can it be avoided?
Using liquid eye liner to create a clean line can be hard to master. My advice for beginners is opt for a soft focus effect and use a pencil to create a winged effect at the outer corner instead. Always clean up the edges with a cotton bud for a precise finish too.
9. What are the key products you think every makeup kit should have?
Every make up kit should have a selection of pressed powders, we all like to glow, but it has to be in the right places! I like to finish my makeup looks by buffing a little powder to mattify the centre of the face and in between the brows for a perfectly polished finish.
10. I have 5 minutes to do my makeup—what can I do that would make the most difference?
To create a quick and easy 5 minute makeup look:
- Even out the skin tone and hydrate the face with a tinted moisturiser
- Give the face some definition and create a gentle contour using a bronzer, apply to the cheek bones, forehead and along the jaw line
- Curl your eye lashes, it’s like a face lift for the eyes, even if you're not wearing mascara
- Brush up your brows, this will instantly change the shape of the face. I like to spritz hair spray on to a disposable mascara wand and brush upwards for a natural groomed look, then fill in any sparse areas with a brow pen
- Apply a coat of mascara and finish with a some lip balm for a fresh and polished make up look
To find out more about Billy and see his amazing portfolio of work, click here or follow Billy on Instagram @billyorr1