Beauty secrets: James Molloy


MAC Cosmetics' director of make-up artistry was in town this week to helm a make-up masterclass for top local make-up artists. The Briton, who has been in the beauty industry for 14 years, has been based in Hong Kong for the last three years.

Mr Molloy has worked backstage at every fashion week in New York, Paris, London and Milan over the past decade.

What is the one product you would not step out of the house without?

Lucas Papaw Ointment. I have sensitive skin and the ingredients are natural. I like to buy the big pot version as I also use it to moisturise the dry parts of my hands.

What is the one grooming service you cannot do without?

I travel nine months in a year, so I cut my hair in whichever city I happen to be in. But my favourites are traditional, no-frills English barbershops in Soho, London.

Once a week, I also steam my face for five minutes to widen the pores, before using MAC's Volcanic Ash Exfoliator to give it a good scrub. This gets rid of the clogged pores.

What, in your opinion, is the best beauty invention?

Every woman needs a black eyeliner because it can give her so many looks; with it, she can look chic, punk or elegant.

A man needs black eyeliner too, sometimes. Especially now that it's so popular with the K-pop stars. Just wear it a bit rough, like you partied till 5am; scribble a line on the top lashline and another on the bottom one, then blink your eyes immediately to smudge it a little.

If you spend too much time on perfecting the liner, it will look too pretty on a man.

What is your favourite perfume?

I like Tom Ford's Neroli Portofino. It is light enough to wear in the daytime and it works for the night as well. It has an ambery undertone when it settles.

What is the most ridiculous thing you have done in the name of beauty?

When I was in my early 20s, I would spend time on a sun bed five times a week. I looked so dark that everyone thought I was Spanish. I did that for three years before I came to my senses.

Give us a beauty tip.

Exfoliate. This might sound basic, but if the skin looks dry and tired before you apply make-up, it will look twice as tired after you put on make-up.

When I work on models' faces backstage at a fashion week, I spend twice the time on skincare compared with applying make-up. Many women do it the other way round.

This article was first published on Oct 17, 2014.
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