#EscentualMeets: Claire Mulleady, Givenchy National Make Up Artist

#EscentualMeets: Claire Mulleady, Givenchy National Make Up Artist

Are you career-focused, driven and looking to be inspired? #EscentualMeets is your source of motivation. Every month, we reveal the grit, success and stories of a selection of the world’s leading beauty founders…

Claire Mulleady is the National Makeup Artist for one of the world’s biggest fashion and beauty brands, Givenchy. A role “she could never dream of having when she was young”, the photographer-turned-makeup artist worked for MAC Cosmetics before embarking on a new position with the French luxury fashion and beauty house. Here’s Claire’s story…


1. Before Beauty

Claire grew up in the small town of Hampshire, “…it was quite quiet, quite small, not a lot was going on there. But school was great for me; I loved art, and that makes complete sense now”. Becoming a makeup artist was never on the cards for Claire, “…originally, I wanted to go into space stuff; I wanted to be an astrophysicist. That didn’t quite pan out in the end”.

Claire’s journey took a different path. “I went to college. I studied photography, then from there, I went on to do a degree in Fashion Photography at the London College of Fashion”. Like many of us, Claire had a ‘what next’ moment when she finished university. “My sister worked for MAC Cosmetics in their head office and mentioned they have had a cashier’s job going”. Claire loved MAC products but had never considered working for the brand, let alone becoming a makeup artist, “…I had no ambition in what I was doing there. And then I just completely fell in love with makeup. I guess the artistry side had always been in me”.


2. From Cashier to National Makeup Artist

Claire spent 16 years at MAC honing her craft. “I did several different roles to discover what I wanted to do. Obviously, I started as a cashier, but I went on to do management roles and training roles. Then I did a job very similar to what I’m doing now, a National/Global role in artistry which I absolutely loved. I also did freelance on the side doing the kind of makeup I love the most, fashion makeup”.

After over a decade and a half, Claire embarked on a new challenge at Givenchy. ” I saw the role and thought that’s going to be perfect. It really resonated with me because I love fashion makeup. My aesthetic and style lend themselves quite well, too, to the brand. So when I saw the Givenchy National Make Artist job role, I was desperate for the job”.

Claire got the job and has never looked back. “My role is different every day. That’s why I love it so much. You never know what’s going to come up from week to week. There’s always a new challenge. I work with PR, giving quotes for magazines, doing beauty shoots for magazines introducing new products to journalists, influencers, VIP appointments, and red carpets. Then there’s a lot of the retail side, so I work a lot with the teams in-store with their makeup training. I’ve worked a lot with the education team as well”.


3. Staying Inspired & Best Advice

“I find inspiration everywhere. I like to keep my eyes open, and I love to go to exhibitions. And mainly because of my photography background – I was very interested in fashion but also like portraiture; it was always people”. Claire’s biggest inspiration, however, comes from colour, and she always finds a way to incorporate it, “It’s not always a lip. But you can definitely see how I’m inspired by colour in my work. And I like simplicity in makeup; I don’t want it to look laboured. I want it to feel a little bit spontaneous. Like it’s just gone on in a few moments of creative chaos but still looks absolutely beautiful”.

Claire’s humble beginnings on the shop floor prove that passion and dedication are the backbones of success, but what words of wisdom does she have for someone looking to follow in her footsteps? Claire says, “…the landscape of makeup artistry has changed a lot since I started. Get out there and do makeup on as many different people as possible. I never did a makeup course. And I always felt like I was missing something. But, when I spoke to my colleagues working on the shop floor and makeup counter, you learn on the job more than anything. Start assisting other makeup artists, freelance; that’s another great way to learn”.


4. Product Recommendations & Top Tips

When in the company of an incredible makeup artist, it’s a must to pick their brains on their go-to products and tips, and I didn’t shy away! Claire’s #1 recommendation is the Givenchy Primse Libre Foundation. “The foundation before I worked for the brand. A makeup artist friend, she does a lot of red-carpet celebrity makeup, and it’s the only foundation she has in her kit. And I’m just obsessed with it; it’s so perfect. It doesn’t look like you’ve got anything on your skin. It just melts in incredibly on everybody. And I find it still works even for people who want more coverage. I go under with a bit of concealer”.

As for tips, Claire says the key to good makeup is your base. “If you can keep your skin well hydrated, that will make all the difference. Look after yourself. Get lots of sleep. Then when it comes to makeup, less is more sometimes, especially with the complexion; you don’t need to put coverage everywhere. Spot concealing and correcting is key. It takes a bit of time and is a harder skill to do. But when you do it, it looks incredible”.


Discover More:

The History of GIVENCHY

Shop this post