August 15, 2011

VA Investigates: MUA Nadia El Ferdaoussi

Nadia El Ferdaoussi is one of Ireland's top make-up artists and is more commonly know in the beauty blogosphere as Make Up By Nadia. She balances her work as a Retail Artist for MAC Cosmetics with freelancing and has previously worked with INGLOT. 

Nadia's extensive career covers everything including work on magazines like OK!, Kiss, Stellar and TV Now, shows like the Walkers TVNow Awards, Xpose and Xpose Xmas Xperience and the Dundrum Town Centre Wedding Show. Nadia also writes an "Ask the Expert" column in both Kiss and TV Now magazine and films make-up tutorials for RTÉ's Red Radar.

Nadia chatted to us recently about how she forged such an impressive path in the notoriously difficult make-up industry, what we can expect to be wearing for the coming season and what product is a must for everyone's make-up bags!

What's your earliest make-up memory? 

I have the worst memory every, so can't really remember childhood memories about make-up...but as a teen I remember being obsessed with mascara and lipgloss and taking hand me downs from my sister and godmother.  I remember in particular this eye shadow palette that came in a black and white tin that formed the basis of my make-up bags for years, I loved it!

How did you get into make-up artistry?

I originally did an evening course with Make Up For Ever which opened me up to a whole new world of actually applying make-up on others, not just myself.  After realising that it was what I actually wanted to do as a career, I quit my job and went back to college full time studying Fashion, Theatre and Media Make-Up Artistry for a year.

Is it all as glamorous as it sounds and looks?

Absolutely....not! It's a lot about early mornings, late nights, travelling, carrying a heavy kit, washing mountains of make-up brushes, helping out on shoots in the cold and rain and being on your feet all day (sometimes in towering heels!).  So for anyone thinking that it's all glitz and glamour then I'd say it probably isn't the job for you.  Of course there are the perks too though, like meeting celebrities, seeing what goes on behind the scenes, having fun at a shoot, getting all the backstage trends and secrets from fashion weeks...but that's how I look at them, as a bonus!

What's the best experience you've had as a result of your job?

The company I work for allows us to learn from some of the leading professionals in this industry, attending those kind of workshops is priceless!

What's your biggest make-up tip and/or trick? 

Any pet peeves when it comes to other people's make-up? Panda eyes, mismatched foundation? A full face of make up with neglected eyebrows! I find it mind boggling how someone can go to so much effort with the rest of their face and leave the brows out (unless it's actually supposed to be part of the look, but that's a rare occasion).

For AW 11/12, what do you see as being a huge trend make-up wise?

Lashes were a huge trend on the AW11 catwalks, with models at the Vivienne Westwood shows wearing layers and layers for a doe-eyed doll look...a modern twist on a 60s trend.  It's something that everyone can do because we all have mascara in our make-up bag and it doesn't require a lot of skill.

Do you wear some form of make-up on a daily basis?

Sometimes I give my skin a rest, but even on days off I'll have a bit of foundation, my eyebrows done, mascara and lip balm.

Is there any one product you would recommend for every make-up conscious person to have on hand? 

A good quality eye shadow blending brush. You can have the best, most expensive and on-trend eye shadows on the market but without the proper tools, they'll be useless. 

Holy Grail Products

Foundation: Revlon Combination/Oily Colorstay Foundation
Powder:  Make Up For Ever Super Matte Loose Powder
Eyeshadow (brand or shade): MAC Paint Pot Painterly
Lipstick (brand or shade): Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick Nude Delight
Lipgloss (brand or shade): Bare Escentuals Buxom Lips Bunny
Mascara: Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash Mascara
Eyeliner (liquid/gel/pencil): Inglot Waterproof Matte Gel Eyeliner #77 Black
Blush:  Topshop Blush in Head Over Heels
Bronzer: Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzer #52
Tools: A selection of Sephora, Crown, MAC, Face 2, Inglot, MUFE, ELF and Sonia Kashuk.
Brand (overall): I couldn't choose just one!

Thanks Nadia!


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