Aoife Hipkin, Her Journey to Becoming a MUA.
Meet Aoife Hipkin, an Essex- based Makeup Artist, although she works exclusively in London as that is where her jobs are at. She started her education at Arts University Bournemouth, but found it wasn't right for herself, so enrolled in a short course at Glaucia Rossi School of Makeup. She has been freelancing since she graduated from there in May 2019. In her own words 'my focus as a professional artist is in fashion and editorial makeup, although I do have love for all things glam!'
TELL THE READERS ABOUT THE BACKGROUND OF YOUR PASSION OF MAKEUP? WHERE DID YOU START? WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GO INTO MAKUEP?
‘I had an interest in makeup from quite an early age, I used to watch my aunt doing her makeup when she used to stay over, I used to have those little makeup kits for kids. For ages I didn’t consider it as an option for something I could actually do as it wasn’t well known for being a career option and had quite a bad reputation, in a way. I eventually realised that it was something I really wanted to do, and something that I felt like I was good at.
I did the research into how I could make into a career. I didn’t really have the best support from careers advice and teachers at school, because again what they knew of doing makeup was prom makeup or bridal makeup. There is a bit of a stigma to being a makeup artist. I had to find out for myself how I could make it work. I went to university, for a year and a half, studying Special Effects Makeup, I realised that this wasn’t for me. So I retrained to do Fashion and Editorial Makeup, because I wanted to do interesting makeup but still make people look pretty. There is something very rewarding, knowing you made someone feel good about themselves, from something as simple as putting makeup on their face. It is creative and rewarding, in that sense and that can be inspiring in itself.’
WHAT WOULD BE A TYPICAL DAY IN THE LIFE OF A MUA?
'This is quite hard to answer as I am very new to the industry, so for me there is no typical day in the life. If I’m on a shoot and I’m the only MUA, I am doing everything. You are given about an hour to do a face, and then depending on how models, that model will be shooting whilst you do the makeup of the next model. There might be a break, however, I have shot before for 6 hours and not had a break.
There is no like set way that things happen. That is mostly for smaller shoots, as they want to get things done as time is money. If I am assisting someone, then I’ve worked on larger shoots where there is a production team where things to tend to run by the times they give, like breakfast and lunch. On those shoot, I am only assisting, the bulk of the makeup will be done with the person I am assisting. I will be doing the skin prep, if we have male models I’ll be doing their makeup, which is very basic foundation and concealer where they need it, whereas the MUA I’m assisting will be doing the female models, the eyeshadows, and full on faces. Once everyone is ready to shoot, you’d take a smaller set bag and take that on set, and you’ll be there behind the scenes all the time, for any touch-ups or top ups.’
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE MAKEUP PRODUCTS CURRENTLY? ANY RECOMMENDATIONS?
‘I have a couple of favourites of mine, that have been for a while. The first one is Becca Shimmer Skin Protector Liquid, which is a liquid highlighter. I think gives a really nice glow, that is not too natural but not too glittery or too shimmery. You can’t see the particles, it is almost like a wet look, as it liquid product. I also love the Glossier Cloud Paints, I have the one in Beam, which is like a peach colour. They are just a really nice cream blush, which is really natural that you can build up, you can keep it super sheer. You can use it on your lips, eyelids. I love a cream product, I just think they look natural, and is easy to build up and blend. A tip is you shouldn’t apply a cream over a powder, as it will cake. So creams over creams, and then your powder product. My third recommendation would be the lipglosses from Holly Boon’s brand HNB Cosmetics, it is a really good lip-gloss range. They are not sticky, they sit really comfortably on the lips and they look nice.’
WHAT ARE YOUR MAKEUP TIPS AND TRICKS YOU WOULD RECOMMEND TO THE READERS?
‘Aside from the little tip I gave previously. I would say Soap Brows, it went viral a while ago. But it is the trick to make your brows, really big and fluffy. You get a clear glisterine based soap, wet a spooly brush, and rub in the soap to make a foam. Then brush through your brows, and it gives them an amazing hold, like a brow gel but 10x better, then you can apply your brow products, before or after, whatever works best for you. It gives them a bushy model brow. My second tip; you know when you are doing mascara and you get spots underneath the eye or your hand jogs. Instead of trying to get rid of it whilst it is wet, wait for it to dry completely, do the rest of your makeup. Then get a clean brush or clean mascara spool, and just gently brush over it, and it should come off. It doesn’t leave any marks. Also if you have any fall out, or a mistake with your eyeliner. Instead of using Micellar Water to clean up your mistakes, I prefer using a little bit of face cream on a small brush or a cotton brush. I find with the Micellar Water it takes off everything including the base, so when it dries it is harder to blend in. Whereas the cream blends in the area around the mistake, it is a lot less harsh on the skin as it has a creamy texture, it's moisturising, and easy to blend without being a stark contrast.'
WHAT ARE YOU HOPING TO ACHIEVE IN THE FUTURE AS A MAKEUP ARTIST?
‘So, everything is on pause currently. In the future, I want to collaborate with more creative people and create quality content and I definitely want to assist more makeup artists who have been in the game longer, and have achieved more than I have. That is how you learn, how opportunities arise, and how you meet new people.
It is very fulfilling to be on set and working with a lot of creative people, learning from others, and seeing how the process works. Even though they are long days, it is so inspiring. Also I want to be the key makeup artist on my shoots. I would love to do more editorial shoots for magazines, that would be amazing. I would love to take celebrity clients, I mean who wouldn’t? To be able to work in part of a team would be amazing. I would love to see this happen in the next few years definitely. To be able to build up a clientele base for myself, of celebrity clients, and more editorial fashion based network as well.’
If you want to be further inspired by Aoife follow her instagram @aoifehannah_artist.