Makeup artist Kelsey Deenihan is a hit with celebrities (her clients include Lucy Hale and Laura Dern)—and with us! Kelsey, who has been working with the mark. brand for a few years, has now signed on to represent Avon, as well. So, what does that mean for you? Now, you can expect even more of her expert advice, insider tips, and gorgeous makeup tutorials. We sat down with the Los Angeles native to talk favorite products, pro tricks, and the must-have makeup look for spring.
Congrats! You’ve been affiliated with mark. for some time, but you’re now working with Avon, too. How does it feel to be working with both brands?
“Exciting! Avon is such a huge, great brand, so it’s such an honor that they want my tips and tricks! I’m super excited.”
When did you first decide you wanted to be a makeup artist?
“When I was a freshman in high school, I was doing a friend’s makeup for homecoming. Her dad, who happened to be a writer on Seinfeld, saw this and said, ‘You know, Kelsey, that’s like a real job, you can do makeup for film or TV or celebrities.’ I said, ‘Ohhh—okay, I’ll do that!’ And I never thought about doing anything else.”
How did you actually break into the business?
“Well, I still wanted to go to college, so I went to school in Boulder, Colorado, and studied things that were geared towards helping me down the line in makeup. I majored in photography, to learn about lighting and how it affected skin tone, and I also majored in digital arts. And then I minored in classical arts and art history. Now, if an art director is ever like, ‘I want it to feel very baroque.’ I can say, ‘Cool! I know what you’re talking about.’ After I moved back to L.A., I started reaching out to anyone and everyone, and it spiraled out from there. You do one person’s makeup,and then they have a manager, a publicist, and an agent who all have 20 other clients of their own.”
Is there a makeup look you’d say you’re really known for?
“I focus a lot on skin—really glowing, healthy skin. One of my favorite looks is a clean face with a bold lip, so that everything is really focused on that beautiful skin and then that pop of color. But don’t get me wrong. I can get down with a smoky eye, too!”
What’s your favorite Avon or mark. product?
“mark. Touch & Glow Shimmer Cream Cubes. I use that product religiously. Instead of a bold shimmer-highlight, it gives just a natural, radiant, lit-from-within glow. And it doesn’t look like you’re putting product on to achieve that look. It looks like it’s just natural!”
What’s your best trick for getting lashes that are long and thick?
“I like to use both a volumizing mascara and a lengthening mascara. And then I really take the wand, put it close to the root, and wiggle it back and forth before pulling it through the lashes. That way, it deposits a ton of product right at the root, which is going to make the base of your lashes look darker and thicker—like eyeliner. Pulling the product out adds length.”
Any tips for getting makeup to last longer?
“I’m a big fan of a translucent powder. There’s a bunch of setting sprays out there now, but I don’t want to be sealing anything. I want people to feel like they can still move their face! A translucent powder is all you need. It’s also important to wait a little bit after putting on your moisturizer, so that it sinks into your skin. Otherwise you’re mixing your foundation with the moisturizer, and that’s just going to make it thinner and cause the product to lose longevity.”
What look are you really excited about for spring?
“I’m all about a good bright, bold lip. Spring and summer is always my favorite because you can have golden, effortless skin, but then that pop of color instantly amps up the whole look. Right now, I’m really into corals and oranges.”
Do you have a go-to makeup look that you personally wear?
“I keep it pretty natural. I wear tinted moisturizer, blush, lip balm, and mascara. But you know why? If I have a client whose aesthetic is very natural, and I have on blue eyeliner, a bold lip, and crazy brows, the only reference they have at that moment is me. Also, in my daily life, I don’t want to be doing moremakeup!”