Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Adam Burrell Makeup Artist and Little Mix

Over the coming weeks Nic is recreating looks from the gorgeous British girl band Little Mix. 

 The girls were the winners of the UK X-Factor in 2011 and with the release of their album DNA in 2012 their popularity has grown and grown.
 We have always been a fan of their unique style and obviously being young and gorgeous we were keen to recreate some of their key looks.
 The girls have recently been working alongside makeup brand Collection to release a colour range which Nic has incorporated into the girls looks.
 The main man responsible for the girls beautiful makeup is makeup artist Adam Burrell.

 We were keen to speak with Adam and grill him on his career and inspirations. Check out our interview with him below.

1.     How did you get into the makeup industry?
       I moved from Sunderland to London 8 years ago to go to the London College of Fashion to do a degree in Makeup and Prosthetics for Performance. I knew I had to get myself out there and wanted to get as much experience as I could so I got a job at Bobbi Brown in Selfridges on top of trying to arrange lots of test shoots with young photographers and making up anyone who would let me. I also contacted lots of makeup artist who were doing what I wanted to be doing one day, one of them was Liz Martins who was Girls Aloud’s makeup artist and she gave me a chance by taking me on as her assistant and so for the 3 years of my degree I was learning the ropes of the industry with her. Liz is a really diverse makeup artist working across the board so one day we’d be doing Girls Aloud for a music video or red carpet and the next we’d be doing Eva Herzigova for the cover of Vogue. Adam de Cruz was another makeup artist who helped me out by bringing me onto the X Factor makeup team where I worked for 3 years, another amazing experience that opened lots of doors. I aimed high, met lots of people, worked hard and slowly my contacts and portfolio grew.

2.     What is your favourite part of your job?
I love every single part, just waking up every day to go and do a job that I love, that lots of people dream of and making a living from it. Getting to see the world is a great perk. And nothing beats the feeling of making people look and feel amazing and seeing their confidence skyrocket when they see themselves in the mirror, well that’s always my aim anyway.

3.     What are your key products you always have in your kit?
I’d be lost without my Bobbi Brown palette filled with correctors, concealers and foundation sticks. I have a HD Brows Palette that has all the shades I need to tackle any brow. There’s this one brush that I have that I use for contouring that I got in my kit when I started uni, I have no idea where it’s from but sometimes I worry about what I’d do if I ever lost it. I love Barry M's gel eyeliner. It's jet black and longwearing. I really feel a loss when I run out of the tiny cotton buds from Muji so I buy those in bulk.

4.     Where did you get your inspiration from when creating the looks for the Little Mix girls?
The girls are very into the makeup process so they’re always sending me pictures of makeup that they’ve seen around, on Instagram or in magazines so we start from there. I also have a folder on my iPad filled with thousands of reference images that I’ve saved from all kinds of music videos, films, red carpets and editorials that they love looking through.

5.     Do you have a particular style of makeup that you prefer to create?
I love anything from gorgeous and barely there to bold and luxurious, as long as it’s precise, polished and flawless.

6.     Lots of our readers are budding makeup artists, do you have any tips for them with regards to working in the industry?
It’s so important to get as much experience and practice that you possibly can at the beginning and you can find this absolutely everywhere. Working on a makeup counter is a good place to start. You’ll have to work lots for free in the beginning so this bit of income will help a lot, not to mention the discount and freebies you get which will be great news for your kit. You’ll gain so much experience from the training the brand gives you and all the different ages and races you get to make up all day. Take in as much knowledge as you can, from books, the internet, films, magazines and TV. There are so many amazing artists on YouTube giving tips, advice, and sharing product knowledge so watch those. Have a good understanding of art and know your eras. Research successful creatives in the industry, past and present, and know their work. Practice is key so practice on anyone and everyone. Start by perfecting solid technique like symmetry, precision and blending before you start going crazy and experimenting with all kinds of avant-garde. Work on testing to build your book. Reach out to artists you admire, directly or through their agents, and offer to assist them. Personalise these emails by referencing why you want to assist them rather than sending out an obvious group email. Take any opportunity that comes your way no matter how big or small, you never know who you might meet or what could come of it. Remember that doors open doors so you just have to keep going and with a bit of luck, talent and perseverance that snowball will keep growing. There’ll be lots of knock backs but you can’t let any disappointments, unanswered emails or seeing other people doing a job you wish you’d got hold you back. Run your own race and armour yourself with thick skin, heaps of ambition, a smile and be nice to people.

7.     How do you feel social media has affected the makeup industry (negatively or positively)?
I think it’s hugely positive for everyone these days. I came at the beginning of the social media boom when it was all about MySpace and I have a lot to thank it for. When I first moved to London MySpace was where lots of young, excited creatives would add eachother, share their work and I built professional relationships on there with people that I still work with today. These days there are even more places to network, share things, and get inspired, so make the most of them.

8.     Do you have any exciting projects ahead that you can give us a sneak preview into?
As ambassador for Barry M I get lots of sneak peeks and involved in what’s coming and there are some very exciting products coming out, great quality products that do what they should at affordable prices.

 You can find out more about Adam's work on his website or check him out on Instagram and twitter @adamburrell

Nic's series of Little Mix tutorials will be going live from this Thursday (7th November) so be sure to check them out.

We would also like to say a huge thank you to Adam for taking time out of his mental schedule to answer our questions.



  1. Adam does a wonderful job! I'll be looking out tomorrow for Nic's video! :-) xx

  2. Ooooh interesting interview!
    He gave great tips for budding make-up artists!
    alicekatex ♥

  3. I love this post! Makes it real that dreams do come true! And also think Little Mix always looks stunning and now I know who gets a lot of the credit!

  4. Great blogpost! I've only recently heard of Adam (My bad!) and now I love the looks he creates! :) XX.

  5. This is a great interview, thanks for sharing :)



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