Olivia Newman-Young: Make-Up Artist
One time reality star turned make-up artist, Olivia Newman-Young, is a millennial on a mission.
Dressed in an off white halter neck playsuit (from ASOS, to my delight), leopard print shoes and a rough bomber jacket from Whistles, Olivia is the epitome of quirky class. As she sits opposite me sipping a glass of white wine on the rooftop of the Boundary Rooms, high above the busy streets of Shoreditch, she babbles away freely as if she were a lifelong friend. From boy troubles to beauty blunders, life lessons to kitchen disasters, Olivia is one of those people whose company you could spend hours in and yet feel like it’s only been five minutes.
Olivia first came to our attention when she joined the fifth series of Made in Chelsea due, she says, to her “curiosity”. Series five, you may remember, revolved around the love triangle between Phoebe-Lettice Thompson (Olivia’s best friend), Jamie Laing and Lucy Watson. When Olivia found herself surrounded by controversy and kissing rumours on a group holiday in Verbier, she decided enough was enough, leaving the show at the end of the season.
“It is based on our lives, it’s not acting. It’s tough and there’s a lot of pressure. We were shown the episodes just before they aired so we could brace ourselves for possible ‘hatred’ on social media.”
Being in such a bubble of tension, and having risked real-life relationships for the sake of the show, Olivia knew she had to move on and return to her main love, make-up, a passion she had harboured since an early age (and which she had worked in for four years before appearing on MIC): “My two older sisters and I all look alike, so they would practice different make-up and hair styles on me to decide what looked best. They basically treated me like a doll, but I loved it!”
When I met Olivia, she had just returned home after three weeks in LA, admitting she had gone out there in an attempt to find herself and decide where in the world she belongs. Happily, Olivia decided that the city of angels, though amazing, isn’t for her, and this self confessed family girl is back in London, focusing on her career.
Asking about the looks Olivia has created, she revealed that her favourite so far is Millie Mackintosh for this year’s BAFTAs. In the past, Millie’s make-up has always been ‘sweet and pretty’, so the girls decided to opt for a completely different approach. As Millie is now married (to rapper Professor Green, swoon) and isn’t on TV or in the public eye much at the moment, the idea was to give people something to talk about. Flicking through Olivia’s lookbook, we can confirm she definitely did.
“After doing Millie’s make up, I want to start including more and more famous faces in my YouTube videos. Out of everyone I would love to do Kate Moss’ make-up; she’s such an icon.”
Olivia clearly knows how to make others look and feel amazing, but she also practices what she preaches, her glowing skin testimony to her own daily beauty routine. Thankfully, she confirms “there’s no magic involved”, just cleansing, toning and moisturising with her current favourite, Liz Earle. She also admits to using make-up wipes to remove heavy make-up before cleansing properly (absolute relief that we’re not the only ones!). Often varying her cleansers, Olivia prefers creamy based products and swears by coconut oil.
“At night you can afford to put creams on a little thicker, sometimes your skin needs it.”
With experience in a variety of make-up backgrounds, it’s safe to say Olivia knows her stuff. After working as a Christmas temp at MAC a few years ago, Olivia found herself putting her make-up on a lot thicker. However, when she started working with Thomas De Kluyver, her make-up style changed dramatically, and she was on De Kluyver’s team for shoots with Harpers Bazaar and Vogue Italia: “I was taught to strip everything back to the basics. Natural glowing skin is something I aim to achieve. It looks a lot healthier, is easy to top up and maintain throughout the day and can last if you apply it right. I have experience in what works and what doesn’t.”
Olivia’s idea of the perfect make up is enhancing what you already have.
“I love a good lip and natural, healthy looking, glowing skin.”
We couldn’t resist asking what the common beauty mistakes women make are (we need a heads up in case we’re making them, right?). The main beauty blunder for Olivia is over doing it: layering make-up on too thick to cover blemishes etc, in turn making the situation worse. Painted on eyebrows are also a no-go for Olivia as she believes eyebrows are a huge deal and can alter your entire face shape (luckily she loved my brows!). By contrast, a good tan and lip liner are vital for Olivia, as she apparently has ‘uneven lips’ (they looked perfect to me, FYI).
“I love fake tan. I use a gradual tan every night. I like to have that summer glow without damaging my skin.”
There is no such thing as a ‘typical’ day in the world of Olivia Newman-Young: some days are spent filming YouTube tutorials (‘Make-Up Mondays’ and ‘Foodie Fridays’ – she is a qualified chef!), others involve being on set for shoots at 4am (rather her than us), and others involve attending parties and press events. Her most recent red carpet appearance was for the Walking on Sunshine Premiere. Style wise, Olivia is loving all white this year, especially for summer. To our joy, her style is a mix of high street and designer (on the afternoon we met, she was clutching a gorgeous Mulberry number, much to my envy).
“I just can’t get enough of all white. Jumpsuits, playsuits, you name it.”
Safe to say Olivia has a lot going on, but with her determination and headstrong attitude, she is one millennial we wouldn’t stand in the way of.
Curious what beauty products you should be using this summer? Olivia has put together the following lists just for My Little Black Book readers. Disclaimer: We won’t be held responsible for any purchases made!
Olivia’s Make-Up Bag Must Haves:
Olivia’s ‘Try at Home’ Beauty Tips:
– Coconut oil in your hair over night – works wonders and is natural.
– Don’t overdo it or layer make-up on too thick; less is more.
– If you’re a faker (tan we mean) use facial bleach to get the tan off your hands. It’s soft enough for skin but tough enough to remove those dreaded tell tale marks.
Subscribe to Olivia’s YouTube channel here, or follow her on Twitter at @Olivia_NY_.
Image Credit: Hanna Hillier