Woman Power Wednesday: Aisling Kelly

Woman Power Wednesday: Aisling Kelly
This week for Woman Power Wednesday, we chatted to the amazingly talented Aisling Kelly. Aisling is a Dublin based make up artist with a seriously impressive portfolio. She has been named as 'one of the most exciting make up artists in Ireland' by the Irish Times, has had her work published in numerous print publications and featured on both the big and small screen. We grabbed Aisling for a chat about her incredible career journey and her advice for any aspiring make up artists. 

Photo courtesy of Aisling. 

-What's your favourite thing about your job?

There's nothing better than making people feel more confident in themselves. Make up is such a powerful tool and the transformation in attitude that takes place during a makeover is so special to witness. When someone sits in my make up chair, I always want them to leave feeling like a bad bitch - super confident, cool and distinguished. Seeing that happen is the best. 

Photo courtesy of Aisling. 

-Was your plan always to be a make up artist or was it something you fell in to?

I realised recently that even as a child I had been subconsciously leading myself into this career path through my hobbies and natural interests, like painting my Barbie's faces and trying to make myself look like my favourite singers with bits of cheap make up that came with the Sabrina the Teenage Witch magazine that I begged my parents to buy me once a month! The first moment that I remember thinking 'this is what I want to do' was seeing Pat McGrath's make up for John Galliano SS10 ready-to-wear show. I was 15 at the time and it jumped off the pages at me. I'd never seen anything like it and I remember gasping out loud at how beautiful, meaningful and moving it was. I started my art portfolio that year and went from there. I was lucky that when I started social media was only in the beginning of becoming what it is so I wasn't under any pressure in terms of getting a certain amount of likes or followers. I just posted what I was creating for my portfolio and the following and clientele came naturally from there which allowed me to work for myself part-time during art college and full-time since graduating in 2016. I work hard on my craft continuously and the career path has come as a result of that.   

Photo courtesy of Aisling. 

-What would you say say has been your proudest career achievement to date? 

I've been lucky to have loads of great moments in the short time that I've been working as a make up artist and it's impossible to pick just one moment that stands out. Getting a first class honours degree in design for stage and screen was a huge achievement for me after four years of consistently hard work. Being signed on the creative board of Not Another Agency while I was still a student was also a big deal that meant a lot to me. Pat McGrath is my all-time make up hero and she commented on a photo of my make up that I posted on Instagram and that was a big deal for me! Most recently, Italian Vogue published a photo from a shoot I put together and to see my make up with the Vogue stamp on it felt amazing. 

Photo courtesy of Aisling. 
-What advice would you give to young women looking to get into the make up industry? 

It's really great that so many more young women are pursuing creative careers but with social media, make up artistry can sometimes be portrayed as an easy job where you get sent free products all the time, when in reality it's often 18 hour days, early call times, doing make up outdoors in all weathers at all hours or giving up your weekends to work while your friends are out drinking! My advice would be, if you're passionate about make up and willing to work really hard, it's the best job in the world. Think long-term, keep practicing and try not to worry about how your work is perceived online or by others - as long as you're improving your skills every day and are creating work that makes you feel happy, that will come through in your work eventually and the work will come back tenfold. 

-What women inspire you? 

To me, an inspiring woman is someone who identifies her goals and chases them with perseverance, fearlessness and with respect to others - even if she doesn't receive the same respect back. I also admire any women who work selflessly to help others, particularly those involved in the Repeal the Eighth movement and those helping to combat homelessness in Ireland. In particular, my mom inspires me everyday. She suffers with a chronic illness called M.E. that has changed her life drastically over the last decade but she still somehow manages to be the most supportive, encouraging, kind and loving mother and friend to me and everyone else in her life. 

Follow Aisling on Instagram here 
Check out her website here 

Ciara x 

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