I want your job: Linda O'Connell
We chat to Linda O'Connell about her busy job as a make-up artist.
Name: Linda O Connell
Job: Make-up artist
Tell us about your job, what does it entail?
I do make-up for fashion and beauty shoots for magazines as well as doing ad campaigns, fashion editorials and fashion shows. It is always varied and means you have to always be on top of every new trend that is surfacing. I am also Brand ambassador for Maybelline NY, SA so this means I also do TV interviews on latest make-up launches, write articles on make-up and am privy to all the extremely exciting latest make-up launches in the pipeline.
How did you get here?
I first did a four-year art degree before I studied make-up. But all those years of figure drawing helped me tremendously with make-up.
What made you want to be make-up artists? Was it always the dream?
Not originally, I wanted to be a graphic designer first, then discovered make-up artistry after working in design for a few years. Once I did, I knew I was born to do this (to quote my first agent) and there was no going back!
What is the best part of your job?
Being exposed to the latest trends and developments in make-up and design, shooting on amazing locations and going to New York Fashion Week is an absolute thrill.
Every day is different from models, locations, photographers and the clothing. So the vast variation makes my stay on my toes and I'm certainly never bored for a minute.
What is the hardest part of your job?
Probably the lack of definite hours, and juggling early call times with kids, school , homework , writing articles and extra-mural activities.
What has been your career highlight so far?
Definitely being invited to work on New York Fashion Week by Maybelline, who is the main make-up sponsor for NYFW. To work on those shows was jaw-dropping, like nothing we have ever seen in South Africa. Having the world's top designers, models and hairstylists makes for goose-bump moments. And sitting across the runway from Anna Wintour at NYFW was surreal!
What is the most common mistake women make when it comes to make-up?
I would have to say using too much make-up. It is the fastest way to age your face. Knowing how to use make-up to hide concerns without it looking heavy is the real secret. Oh, and dark lip liner, is my absolute worst mistake it always looks like the Dame in the Christmas pantomime.
What do you think every woman should have in their make-up bag?
Mascara, a water spritzer bottle for face, lipstick, good foundation, sunblock, a cream blusher... I could go on and on but those are some of my essentials.
Tell us about your one make-up rule that should never be broken?
Never buy foundation if it seems to be the wrong shade, too many woman think they will be able to correct foundation shades using powder after foundation application.
What is the best career advice you have ever received?
I was once told to choose a career that you would do even if you made no money doing it, this way you will never hate getting out of bed to go to work. Still true today! (Thanks Mom!)
What characteristics would you say a person needs to do your job?
A creative instinct, love for fashion and patience.
If you were not on a make-up artist, what would you do?
I think I would have loved to have been an art museum guide for The Louvre for six months then The Met in New York for six months.