WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH MAKE-UP?
When I was young I did ballet pretty seriously and for a lot of festivals and competitions I had to use stage make-up. I had my own little kit of really bad make-up with awful blue eye shadow! But before that I always remember my grandmother and the smell of her lipstick being so distinctive. I used to watch her putting on this coral pink lip, so I think my interest was always there subconsciously.
HOW DID MAKE-UP BECOME YOUR CAREER?
Ballet was my original plan but after an injury I had to rethink everything. I realised I’d always been interested in make-up and had piles of fashion magazines at home. On a whim I applied for a make-up course and took a gamble. I think the determination and dedication instilled in me from dancing put me in good stead and I didn’t let anything stop me.
WHAT'S THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR JOB?
The travelling. I travel to such exotic places for shoots and see places that I wouldn’t really see as a tourist. I also love collaboration and the process of creating a picture. It’s not about technical make-up but about an image that’s going to last.
WHAT TIPS WOULD YOU GIVE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WANTING TO WORK ON MAKE-UP?
It’s very different from when I started doing this about 12 years ago. I used to cold call masthead contacts for magazines and found a young photographer to work with and build up my portfolio. Nowadays it’s really important to get on assisting teams – that’s the way big agents discover you.
HOW DID YOU START WORKING WITH TOPSHOP?
I had a longstanding relationship with Kate Phelan and British Vogue and once when on a shoot I overheard someone on set say that Topshop was doing its own make-up line. I immediately rang my agent and was like, “this is my dream job!” It went from there.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR MAKE-UP INSPIRATION?
I get great inspiration from kids on the street, I live in New York now and there’s great little characters you find here and there. But in London, it’s just full of cool kids. Whether it’s people on the shop floor in Topshop or in East London,
WHAT BEAUTY TRENDS ARE BIG THIS SUMMER?
Everything is a bit imperfect and a little rock ‘n’ roll. There is a lot of amazing graphic eyeliner done in a tough, punky way and everyone continues to love that no make-up make-up look with polished luminous skin.
WHAT NEW TOPSHOP MAKE-UP PIECES ARE YOU LOVING?
We’ve just launched the lip ombre which I’m super excited about. I was just experimenting with how colours can change other colours with the team and they came back with something even better. I love that part of Topshop, we can be really playful and creative but everything is totally wearable and very easy to do.
WHICH OF THE 5 YEARS OF TOPSHOP BEAUTY PRODUCTS DO YOU LOVE?
I love the cheek jellies we created! I use them on every shoot I do now. You get the most healthy, gorgeous flush on the cheeks that doesn’t look cosmetic at all. The freckle pencil is also a favourite and I couldn’t live without the black kohl.
WHAT ABOUT YOU PERSONALLY? WHAT'S YOUR DAILY BEAUTY ROUTINE?
It’s funny really, I talk about all these things and I should be doing something different every day but I have one look I do all the time. I put a bit of brightener under my eyes, curl my lashes and use a few coats of waterproof mascara. Sometimes I’ll use Topshop black eye-liner along the top lashes and add a smudge of kohl on the waterline.
BEST BEAUTY ADVICE YOU'VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
Have fun with it and don’t take it too seriously! I love the idea that the Topshop girls can be punky one day and hippy the next. Don’t over work it and don’t over think it!
A Life In Make-Up
Hannah Murray is Topshop’s beauty consultant who, in between working for the likes of Vogue, i-D and
Jil Sander, finds time to bring her expertise to Topshop make-up and create our seasonal Unique catwalk beauty look.
We speak to the New York-based make-up artist to talk ballet school, finding inspiration and not over thinking it.
1 Hannah Murray at Ballet School
2-5 Photos by Jason Lloyd-Evans