This Makeup Artist Just Answered Every Beauty Question We’ve Ever Had

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james molloy makeup artist interview
Photo: Courtesy of James Molloy

Not only has British makeup artist James Molloy worked with some of the world’s biggest celebrities (Emma Watson and Rita Ora to name a few), but he’s also the new Global Makeup Ambassador for Rimmel London. “I am truly honored to partner with Rimmel as its new Global Makeup Ambassador,” says Molloy. “I am so proud to be working with such a strong British brand and am very excited to start working with it on its new image and bringing the ‘London Look’ to life.”

Speaking exclusively to Savoir Flair, the makeup artist revealed some of his top beauty tips and tricks. From how to make your eyes look bigger to what shades suit you best, read on to find out more.

James Molloy Rita Ora
Photo: Courtesy of @JamesMolloyMakeupArtist

Who is your ultimate beauty icon and why?
It has to be Brigitte Bardot. She has that effortlessly cool look that still resonates with fashion and beauty today – no one wears eyeliner like Bardot!

What are your tips for adding structure and definition using makeup?
The most dramatic way to add structure and definition would be adding light and shadow to the face. This can be as subtle as a dewy glow on the top of the cheekbones or going for full contour and highlight together. My best tip would be to have a range of products that can take you from a natural day look to something more amped up for the evening.

What about making small eyes look bigger and thin lips look fuller?
To open the eyes, I like to use a flesh-toned eyeliner on the inner rim. I find white too stark, so keep the color towards the creamy hues. A great natural lip liner can trick your lip shape and help you enhance your pout while still looking natural.

Brigitte Bardot has that effortlessly cool look that still resonates with fashion and beauty today – no one wears eyeliner like Bardot!

What’s your favorite beauty trend at the moment?

I’m really enjoying the creative direction for eyes; it’s great to see people experimenting with color, texture, and shape instead of the regular natural tones.

What’s the biggest makeup faux pas you see women make?
One of the areas I think women struggle with the most is keeping their foundation looking fresh and smooth throughout the day. I always recommend carrying a blotting paper and translucent powder to first take away the excess oil, and then smooth over with powder.

What’s one makeup trend you wish would be banished from the beauty world?
I appreciate all trends as they represent a moment in beauty. However, the 100-layers-of-makeup look isn’t a good one!

What’s the best way to cover up blemishes without the need for caking on makeup?
It’s all about clever concealing with a good coverage base and soft, fluffy brush. I recommend covering each blemish individually instead of wearing a full-coverage base all over your face. This will help your clear skin shine and cover the areas that need a little more help.

Bright colors on the eyes is the big thing right now. How can we emulate this look?
When it comes to brights on the eye, it’s more about the application and the confidence, rather than the skin tone of the person. It’s all about trying on the shade, blending it out if it’s too bold, or teaming it with a great eyeliner to make it more wearable.

What shadow colors go best with what eye colors?
There are some shades of eyeshadow that really enhance the eye color. Purples and burgundy look great on brown and hazel eyes, and warm tones such as gold and orange work well for blue eyes as they really help them sparkle.

James Molloy Makeup
Photo: Courtesy of @JamesMolloyMakeupArtist

What are three makeup products we’ll always find in your kit?
My three must-haves are a black liquid eyeliner as it’s so versatile, a pillar box-red lipstick, and a creamy highlighter.

The cat-eye flick is still the bane of many women’s lives. What’s a simple way to get it right every time?
One great tip is to rest your arm on a flat surface when drawing your flick as this gives you stability and helps you draw a smooth line.

What’s one beauty rule made to be broken?
“You can’t wear that shade.” I’ve never really believed in this rule as there’s always a way to wear makeup, and this rule limits creativity.

Big brows are clearly here to stay. What are your top tips and product picks for getting bold, beautiful brows?
I prefer to start soft using an eyeshadow and angled brush. Once I have the shape sorted, I like to go back in with a pencil or brow pomade to add depth and definition.

Why is prepping the skin before makeup so important? What products should we use?
Prepping the skin properly beforehand prepares it by taking away any dryness whilst creating a smooth surface to help hold makeup throughout the day. I like to use a gentle exfoliator or toner to smooth the skin, followed by a light moisturizer, lip balm, and eye cream. I avoid anything too heavy as this can sometimes affect the wear of foundation throughout the day.

Makeup James Molloy
Photo: Courtesy of @JamesMolloyMakeupArtist

If you could invent one new makeup product, what would it be and why?
I’d invent a glossy eyeshadow that didn’t crease. I love the way shine looks on the eyes, but the creasing makes it impractical to wear!

What’s your favorite beauty look to create?
I love the beauty classics: a naturally contoured eye and the perfect black liner teamed with feathery lashes and set against creamy skin. I always find this kind of look universally flattering.

What’s your top tip for women in the Middle East who have to deal with heat and humidity?
It’s about light layers of makeup instead of applying one heavy one. Thicker makeup tends to crease and slide more than something sheer. Blotting the skin is also a great way to remove excess shine without disturbing your makeup too much.

Finding the right foundation is a daunting task. What’s your advice for picking the perfect one?
It’s all about experimenting and trying a few formulas. Taking a tester home with you to try is always a smart move as you can see how it looks in natural light and put its wearability to the test.

Beauty is finding the confidence to own your look.

Gorgeous, glowing skin is still so in. What are your top tips for getting a flawless face?
Glowing skin is a timeless trend. My top tip would be to keep the shine in the right areas by highlighting specific parts such as the cheeks, nose, and brow bone – and not going overboard with the shine. Start the glow by using an illuminating cream before your foundation as this will give your skin a natural radiance.

What’s your ultimate makeup trick?
Mastering individual lashes changed the way I do makeup. Just a few lashes can transform the eyes, yet still look natural.

Complete the sentence: To me, beauty is…
Finding the confidence to own your look.

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