Andrea born and raised in London.  Her talent relocated her to Italy.  Andrea's career captivated important fashion brands and magazines such as; Versace Eyewear, Missoni, ELLE Italy, Grazia Italy and UK, Vanity Fair US and UK.  Andrea has worked with important individuals in the fashion industry such as; Donatella Versace, Naomi Campbell, Anna Wintour, Elle McPherson, and Glenda Bailey, to mention a few.

Exclusively Fashion Magazine: Can you tell me how your career started as a hair stylist?

Andrea Sheehan: I initially started at a very young age as a 'Saturday girl' in a hairdresser salon to save up some money, mainly shampooing and cleaning up in the salon.  As the years went by I learned to trim and blow dry.  I always liked to be involved in beauty and fashion.  The local hairdressers' salon was the easiest way in for me at the time.

EFM: How long have you been a makeup artist?

AS: I graduated from Hair and Makeup course when I was 18 and moved to London and wrote to anyone and everyone in the business.  Through the responses I got into doing makeup for short films.  I found it very difficult to be taken seriously, understandably so, considering my college portfolio and lack of experience.  I then worked in a photographic studio doing before and after shoots.  Doing hair and makeup for at least 13 ladies a day!!!!  I soon summoned up the courage to follow my dream and moved to Milan.  So in total I've been working as a Makeup Artist for 17 years.

EFM: Reading your bio, you worked with Fashion Designer Donatella Versace; can you tell me how the opportunity came to be?

AS: My first agent in Milan was and still is Donatella's personal Makeup Artist, Creator of the Versace Makeup Line and a great inspiration to me.  He gave me the opportunity (Renato Bernardi) to work with her, and through Donatella I worked with a lot of other international celebrities; Sharon Stone, Catherine Zeta Jones, Naomi Campbell and Anna Wintour, to name a few.

EFM: You were born and raised in London and relocated to Milan to pursue your career as a makeup artist.  Did you find the transition easy to make?

AS: Moving to a foreign country was a great challenge for me.  I love any challenge, so the transition as difficult as it may have been, mainly for the language, I took on with good spirits.  I loved learning a new language even though it seemed to take forever to get the grip of it.  I also loved learning a new way of life and then Italian culture.

EFM: Did you find it hard to become a successful makeup artist in Milan?

AS: Talent and creativity are obviously essential in this industry, but 'having connections and knowing the right people' are almost as important.  I think the hardest challenge I've faced in Milan is breaking into making the right connections, finding people who are willing to risk or even just try someone new instead of their regular team.

EFM: You also have a degree as a hairstylist; are you ever requested to do both makeup and hair?

AS: Yes, I am often to do hair as well.  Due to the economic crisis many clients are being forced to reduce their budgets.  Therefore, Makeup Artists or Hairdressers are being asked to fill both roles to save on expenses, having to pay for just one flight and one hotel room instead of two.  Definantely changes things.

EFM: What important lessons have you learned?

AS: Everyday I learn new lessons, in this work you have to deal with many things from dealing with new people daily, travelling and being often on your own, very early starts, late finishes and always having to be in good spirits and have a smile on your face and being a general physiologist, having to interpret everybody's wants and needs in a split second.  From the client, photographer, stylist, and the models.  I think my most important lessons have been knowing when to speak, when to be silent and when to be funny and nice.

EFM: Can you tell me some of the fashion shows that you have worked on?

AS: I mainly assist Pat McGarth on all the major Italian brands; Prada, Miu Miu, Roberto Cavalli, Gucci, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and D&G.

Pat is an amazing artist and a great teacher.  She really wants her team to be the ten best in the business.  Every show with her is an inspiration and I'm always very grateful to work with her.

EFM: You worked with the best in the fashion industry.  Can you tell me your best memory?

AS: Wow, that's a difficult one.  I've got so many great memories, great trips abroad, amazing times of people.  But, to be honest the things that stick in my mind the most is when someone says, 'wow, that's great makeup Andrea!'

EFM: You work long hours.  What keeps you up beat?

AS: Good food, great music, laughing. making jokes and in desperate cases good old Red Bull.

EFM: Can you name some of the famous Italian actresses that you have worked with or your regular Italian celebrity clients?

AS: I work often with Lory Del Santo, Beatrice Trussardi, Carmen Consoli, Magarita Buy.

EFM: What makeup tips can you give when applying makeup?

AS: A great tip to beginners is 'less is more'.  Experimenting is fun, but applying smaller amounts makes things a lot easier.  More can always be added.  Great brushes helps a lot too.  Well cleansed and moisturized skin and lips also improves the end result.

EFM: What makeup products do you use?

AS: I use lots of different things from different product ranges.  I love Mac, Nars, YSL, Shu Uemura, Giorgio Armani and Laura Mercier.

EFM: There are many aspiring makeup artists who would like to reach your level.  What advice would you give to them?

AS: My advice would be only to follow this career if it is really your passion.  If you really love this work I think you can put up with some of the harder aspects of the job, if not you'll give up at the first few hurdles.  Of course if you love it, you'll see a lot of the negatives in a positive light and take them on as necessity in being paid to do what you love.  A rarity!

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Interview by Rochell “E” James



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