MAKEUP ARTIST/HAIR STYLIST
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
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
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
Reading your bio, you worked with Fashion Designer
Donatella Versace; can you tell me how the opportunity
came to be?
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
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
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?
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
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
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
Can you tell me some of the fashion shows that you have
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
You worked with the best in the fashion industry.
Can you tell me your best memory?
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!'
You work long hours. What keeps you up beat?
Good food, great music, laughing.
making jokes and in desperate cases good old Red Bull.
Can you name some of the famous Italian actresses that
you have worked with or your regular Italian celebrity
I work often with Lory Del Santo,
Beatrice Trussardi, Carmen Consoli, Magarita Buy.
What makeup tips can you give when applying makeup?
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.
What makeup products do you use?
I use lots of different things
from different product ranges. I love Mac, Nars,
YSL, Shu Uemura, Giorgio Armani and Laura Mercier.
There are many aspiring makeup artists who would like to
reach your level. What advice would you give to
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!
Interview by Rochell “E” James