Mini Interview with Malvina Barrett the Makeup Artist

1. Tell us a little about yourself

I hate this question! I’m a wife, a mother and a makeup artist. I live in the country side, which I 

love. I have two dogs, Zeus and Socks and hens! I collect weird stuff of sentimental value. I value 

honesty and loyalty. The things that move me the most is when someone does something small 

for me, something I wouldn’t expect like a text to let me know there is something on the TV I might 

like – silly things like that make me feel warm and fuzzy inside! I like to swim, practice Pilates and 

walking but there must be a purpose, like collecting sticks to start the fire! I love my wellies and my 

wheelbarrow for that very reasons.

2. What made you decide that being a makeup artist (MUA) was for you?

I started out as a beauty therapist. I always loved doing makeup for clients and I knew even from 

college that I had a flair for makeup a lot more than my fellow students – I guess I can see people, 

I can see their potential, I sometimes look at people, like in waiting rooms and wish I could get my 

hands on them! I have a good eye and see their hidden beauty. I moved on from beauty therapy 

by studying makeup artistry with Louise Constad who is a celebrity makeup artist in London. That 

course opened my eyes to so much and I realised then that this is what I really wanted to do. I 

then went on to study for the international qualifications (ITEC) and went out on my own 

freelancing. I remember feeling so energised and a little scared at the same time but knew this 

move was so right for me. I felt so happy that I was working everyday doing something I love and I 

still feel like that to this day, I feel lucky.

3. Do you use/have a favourite brand? If so, why?

I use a lot of the top designer brands such as MAC, Laura Mercier, Chanel, Shiseido, Nars, Bobbi 

Brown together with the professional brand Makeup Forever. Out of all of them MAC would be my 

favourite! I have a lot of MAC in my kit and love their brushes too. Brushes are my tools and are 

so important to my job, the MAC brushes are of good quality. I like some of their foundations too 

as they have a massive range of shades, textures and tones. I also use the MAC eyeshadows as I 

find they have a lot of pigment in them as apposed to other brands which have a lot of fillers, you 

can notice this as the eyeshadows become airborne very easily when used if they contain a lot of 


4. What do you find is the most common mistake women make when applying makeup?

They select the wrong foundation. I see this a lot when I am doing a makeup lesson with a client, I 

get them to bring in their makeup bags with them so I can have a route around! Very often their 

foundation is shades darker than it should be or it is the wrong foundation type for their skin and 

they are wondering why it is wearing off by lunchtime.

5. Why is it important for someone to use a MUA instead of doing it themselves or getting a 

friend to do it for them?

If someone wants to look the best they can be then a makeup artist will see and have the technical 

know how to go about achieving this. When someone is presented to me, I see them as a blank 

canvas and can straight away see their potential, I will see things like for example; they have 

hooded eyes, so I need to apply a technique to make their eyes bigger or they have big open 

pores so I will factor this in when selecting a foundation so the texture of their skin will be smooth 

like a baby’s bum!

6. What is your most unusual request?

I did makeup for a wedding a while back and the best man had a black eye which I camouflaged, 

he had a great opening line about getting his makeup done that morning for his speech!

7. What is your favourite or perhaps the most exciting aspect of your job?

My favourite is seeing the end result and the look on my clients faces! On occasion, there have 

been tears when someone has forgotten about themselves, forgotten to take time to be good to 

themselves, perhaps not bothering with makeup anymore and has just gotten used to looking the 

same way, then when their makeup is applied they realise that prettiness is still there, they feel 

good about themselves, it can be a wonderful boost to their confidence. I always get really excited 

just before I work on a magazine photoshoot or TV, the adrenalin starts to pump, when I worked on 

TV3 and TG4, there was the excitement of live TV, because you know there are no second 


8. What gets you up in the morning?

My son! He likes to cannon ball us first thing in the morning like on Garfield; he climbs up on the 

bench at the foot of our bed and jumps!

9. What tips or advice would you give to someone wanting to become a makeup artist?

Watching an experienced makeup artist in action will help you learn so much, try and find someone 
you admire and ask if you can assist them. Hands on experience is key.

Malvina offers a professional Make-up Service in the Galway area.  For more information and to get in touch, check out her profile here;
or Call (086)8668267


Ireland's Mobile Hair, Beauty & Make-up Artist Directory

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