Belfast Telegraph

Paddy McGurgan wows judges to scoop cosmetics award

By Anna Maguire

A Northern Ireland man is all made up after scooping a world title in a field more usually thought of as the domain of women.

Paddy McGurgan beat off international competition to be named the world’s top professional make-up artist.

He took the prize in the prestigious Illamasqua awards for his Bauhaus era-inspired look.

The 32-year-old from Middletown in Co Armagh made his break into an industry he never envisaged entering 11 years ago — when he was offered a Christmas stint with renowned cosmetics company, MAC.

He now works in Europe and Belfast — where he is due to open his own make-up store in November.

“The Illamasqua competition is probably the biggest competition in the UK for make-up artists,” Paddy told the Belfast Telegraph.

“Illamasqua is a world brand, so it’s got thousands upon thousands of Twitter followers.

“It’s a great way to get recognition within your own industry, and to get so much coverage and experience.”

Paddy was selected from a raft of entries to compete against the final four at Illamasqua’s flagship London store on October 13.

The former art student’s Bauhaus look — which harked back to Germany’s progressive school of art, architecture and design — drew on the work of late artists Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky, who were Bauhaus instructors during the school’s height.

“There were a lot of primary colours and shapes like triangles, circles and squares which I incorporated into the look,” he said.

“I had one-and-a-half hours to create something as elaborate as that — and you obviously had Illamasqua’s top artists watching you create this. It was hard.”

Paddy recently showcased his work at London’s Royal Albert Hall, in a Vidal Sassoon tribute show.

In November, Paddy will fulfil another dream when he opens his own store on Belfast’s Royal Avenue.

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