Celebrity Makeup Artist and Skincare Expert, Karin Darnell’s clients read like a Wishlist of every Makeup Artist out there, from the Spice Girls to Rihanna and Victoria Beckham to Kim Kardashian – you’d imagine they are all hard to please, yet they all want to work with Karin again and again….
Hi Karin! You have worked with some of the biggest names in the business (and as mentioned, some are possibly hard to please!) have you ever found yourself in a sticky situation with a high-profile celeb?
To be honest there hasn’t ever really been any awkward situations, I am always sent a make up brief before each client so I know what to expect and should anything need to be adapted on the day I just roll with it! If a particular make up look isn’t working for a client I will be honest and adapt the look, I always like to enhance their best features and bring out their own beauty.
How do you advise such icons like Rihanna and Kim Kardashian, if your idea of the best look for them is different to theirs?
These icons are pros when it comes down to what suits them and what doesn’t, I always say to clients that I want to enhance their already naturally beautiful features.
It must have been incredible to work with the Spice Girls throughout their career! Did you have a favourite (personality-wise and makeup-wise!)?
Personality-wise they are all different…hence why they are The Spice Girls, we always had fun on shoots and on tour – there was never two days the same. Emma would be pinks and softness, freckles and spidery lashes. Quite cliché, but that palette was hers. Make-up wise Geri had great full lips to work with and the red lips became a staple of hers and her iconic arched eye brows.
Will you be working with them on their upcoming tour? Can you share any behind the scenes insights with us?!
It’s too early to say at this stage, it of course would be great fun to work with the girls again!
What else will you be working on this year?
I have been working with Cheryl on The Greatest Dancer and other appearances, Amanda Holden for Britain’s Got Talent, stunning Hollywood actress Gemma Chang, Jessie J and Dido.
Makeup application and style has changed so much over the past 5 years or so, which trends have you loved and which ones not-so-much?!
I love my diffused lip trend. If you like slightly darker and brighter lips, apply lipstick using a brush starting in the middle and smudging to the outside edge to blend the colour and block the colour off in order to create the illusion of bigger lips. This technique makes darker and brighter lipsticks look more contemporary and up to date rather than looking harsh with a lip liner which can age people, and makes lips look much softer and prettier and more wearable. As much as I am a fan of contouring (when applied and blended properly) it is also a trend that can go very wrong, and make a face look ‘baked’ with harsh dark stripy cheeks and white powder around the eyes. I’ve loved the coloured eyeliners trend – gone are the days people opt for plain old black liner, and opting for nude and chocolate shades of eyeliner – less harsh and are more flattering and allow the eyes to stand out. Blue eyeliners are also great for those who want a bit more of an adventurous eye and can add drama to any eye look.
Cosmetic treatments have also changed drastically over the last few years, how do you deal with surprise botox or filler disasters?
With the rise of ‘rich face’ – as a makeup artist you need to be prepared to disguise mishaps at the drop of a hat. As an experienced MUA it comes naturally to me to cover any flaws, whether it be from fillers, botox or even scarring and acne. I actually love this side of make up as it can really test your skills and be challenging at times.
Have you ever felt the need to advise your clients against certain procedures they were having?
No, I tend to keep my opinion on cosmetic surgery to myself as I feel it is something as an individual a client may want to have to help enhance their already naturally beautiful face, to help with confidence and mental health.
What is your top skincare or makeup tip a celeb has shared with you? (and who?!) And what are your top tips that you recommend to your clients?
Hailee Steinfeld introduced me to Make Up For Ever ‘Ultra HD’ Invisible Cover Foundation and it stays in place all day and night – it is not a well known brand but it is amazing for an all-day look and on the red carpet!
I can imagine your kit is huge! What are your absolute favourites though?
A makeup artist fav is absolutely Crème de la Mer, I love the Fenty Beauty Primer at the moment too!
What style of makeup, colours and textures do you predict we will be wearing this Spring/Summer?
I personally have opted for a more natural trend with a pop of colour here and there. I think over contouring is very old hat now and it’s about a more natural and subtle look.
Who do you think always gets it right on the red carpet?
Nobody can get it right all the time because everyone wants to try new things… sometimes the public understand it and sometimes they don’t. Normally artists are forward thinking and make the trends… that’s what I call exciting! It would be boring if everyone did the same thing all the time. If I had to choose someone, Jennifer Lopez gets it pretty much perfect every time.
And last, who is your style icon?
I don’t have a particular style icon or a favourite colour as there is just too much out there!
I do like elegance but I also love British punk! So an elegant look with a twist is EVERYTHING!!