Monday, 24 February 2014

My Chat With Adam Burrell | Exclusive Interview

In today's post I am going to share with you an interview I conducted with the ever so talented Adam Burrell.

If you don't know Adam, then trust me you will most certainly have seen his beauty creations. He is a British born make-up artist that has worked with everyone from Sarah Harding and Katie Price to JLS and One Direction. But who he is most famous for making up is the gorgeous girls from Little Mix. As not only does he work with the group on music videos, but also for their red carpet events and personal appearances.

I have to admit, I admire a lot of make-up artists, as beauty is one of my biggest loves in life. However, Adam is definitely at the top of my list! Mainly because his effortless make-up magic is not only beautiful, but also unique. He has the natural gift and talent to turn a normal pretty girl into a Hollywood starlet, by the way he plays and accentuates a face.

Keep reading to find out Adams top tips, must-have products and best beauty secrets...

At what age did your fascination with beauty begin?
Thanks to films like Mrs Doubtfire and The Witches and TV shows like Stars in Their Eyes I developed quite an obsession with masks and make-up from a very young age. I had an impressive collection of face paints and wigs and I'd want to transform anyone who'd let me.

How did you get your first big break?

I think with make-up it's more about lots of little breaks and keeping those little breaks coming and gradually those little breaks then get bigger. You don't just do one great job and become some big shot and never have to hustle again. When I first moved to London I assisted Liz Martins, who was Girls Aloud's make-up artist, for the whole duration of my degree. Working with Liz and Girls Aloud was the first time I'd been around anything like that before and it was all very exciting and eye opening and it really set me off in the right direction. I'll always be grateful to Liz for giving me that chance.

Which elements of your job do you enjoy the most (shows, shoots, music videos or daily work with clients)?
I've always found watching music videos really exciting and inspiring, so I look forward to those most of all now. They are probably the hardest and most gruelling of make-up jobs, because the hours are super long, they can be in the most uncomfortable of locations and there's a lot of pressure, but the day a video comes out that I've worked on makes it all worth while.

Describe your day-to-day life in three words?
Exciting, diverse and fulfilling.

Can you give any advice to aspiring make-up artists wanting to emulate a career like yours?
First I'd say run your own race. By all means be inspired by others, but don't try to emulate, measure your successes or compare yourself to other creatives out there, just try to outdo yourself. With that approach you'll feel a lot happier and find your journey more fulfilling, because it is quite a journey. Aside from that you've got to just live and breathe it. Competition is tough, so you need to be the best you can possibly be and that means getting as much practice as you can. Take in all things make-up related like a sponge from books, magazines, the Internet and anywhere else. Be nice to people and work hard!

Who or what inspires you?
Everything. Most of the time I find it hard to turn the make-up part of my brain off. I love looking at what's been considered beautiful throughout history in fashion, music and film from all eras. You can learn so much by looking at how the old Hollywood actresses and icons wore their make-up, they knew exactly what worked and many of their looks have become timeless, go-to make-up looks for all of the starlets that followed. But in the moment it's the women in my chair that inspires me.

Can you list the key products you always have in your kit?
Lots of products come and go, but the ones that have been trusty kit companions are Barry M's Gel Liners, Cover FX Camouflage Concealer, Muji Fine Stem Cotton Buds, Barry M Lash Vegas Mascara and Liz Martins Select Individual Lashes.

What is the one piece of beauty advice you swear by and suggest all women follow?
Always use a good under eye concealer! A lot of people use one shade of foundation all over their face so they're all one colour and it looks flat, but adding an under eye concealer one or two shades lighter adds another dimension and makes you look so much more awake, polished and flawless. I love the correctors and concealers from Bobbi Bown.

Airbrushing in magazines is a highly controversial topic, what are your thoughts and opinions on it?
Everyone knows about it, so there's no reason for anyone to look at the overly enhanced models and celebrities on billboards and in magazines and think things like "Why isn't my skin as flawless?" or "Why isn't my body as long and lean?" Just enjoy the beautiful images. As a make-up artist it makes me work extra hard, because I want my work to look beautiful, seamless and precise in real life and not just after the retoucher has been at it.

You often work with the pop group Little Mix, how would you describe their go-to looks?
We change up their go-to looks daily, so they never get too complacent because they love trying out new things and playing around with make-up. But as long as Perrie has her strong brows, Jade has her winged eyeliner, Leigh-Anne has a flawless, sculpted base and Jesy has her eyes lined and defined then they're happy.

What are the girls favourite beauty products?
If I had to make a Little Mix make-up survival kit, it'd have to include LancĂ´me Gelateis Douceur, NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, Tom Ford Illuminating Highlight Pen, HD Brows Palette, Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow, IMAN Bronzing Powder, Velour Lashes, NARS Body Glow and MAC Face and Body Foundation.

Is there a celebrity you would still like to work with?

At the top of my list would be Christina Aguilera, because she's always been my favourite superstar or Katy Perry because she looks like she loves make-up and playing around with different looks.

What are your top tips and must-have products for achieving flawless skin?
Aside from plenty of sleep, lots of water and a good diet, it's all about working with and enhancing all of the different tones and textures of the face. Even out your skin using your favourite foundation, Armani Luminous Silk and Barry M's Flawless Matte Foundation are some of my current faves, as they both have buildable coverage and give a natural satin sheen. Also hide any darkness under the eyes using a good concealer like MAC's Prep + Prime Highlighter. For foundation and concealer I always like to buff using fluffy synthetic brushes, I really love the ones by Samantha Chapman for Real Techniques.

Contouring and highlighting is a huge make-up trend this year, can you give any advice on achieving it at home?

Once you've set your base and concealer with a little powder, you can go in and enhance the contours of the face. Use a bronzer like Barry M's Natural Dazzle Bronzer to add definition and a sun kissed glow. Always applying to the areas where the sun would naturally hit your face, like your forehead, nose, cheeks and chin. For contouring cheekbones I like to use a product that is matte and not too red, so that you can convincingly create the illusion of a natural contour. Kevyn Aucoin's Medium Sculpting Powder is a great contour for light to medium skin tones or MAC's Blush in Shadowy for darker skin. Just remember to buff and blend so that it's all seamless. When it comes to sheen and highlight, I like to let the skin glow naturally in those areas by just avoiding powder there, it looks cleaner and fresher than adding a shimmery product.

Lastly, whats next for Adam Burrell?

Who knows? That's the excitement of this job! There are so many twists, turns and surprises in the road that it's impossible to say, but as long as I'm waking up every day to make a living by putting make-up on people then I'll be happy, because frankly I can't do anything else.

Finally, I would just like to say a huge thank you to Adam! Not only is he a fantastic make-up artist (and his work speaks for itself), but he is a genuinely lovely person. I found it fascinating finding out his top tips and favourite products and I will most certainly be picking up some new beauty buys (if I'm honest, I'm going to work my way through the long list haha) thanks to his superb recommendations.

If you don't already, be sure to follow Adam on both Twitter and Instagram @AdamBurrell and also check out his website to see his full portfolio

Also let me know which Little Mix members make-up you like the most? Mine has to be Jesy, as her eyes always look gorgeous (thanks to Mr Burrell of course). They have the right contrast of sultry and smokey, yet lined and defined - which to me is perfect!

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