Belfast Telegraph

'Make-up is about empowering you to feel confident every day'

Make-up artist and Belfast Telegraph columnist Paddy McGurgan is set to take his vibrant beauty show to theatres around NI. Stephanie Bell discovers the inspirations behind the production and talks to two women who are supporting the campaign

Stunning style: Paddy McGurgan with Love Island star Jessica Shears
Stunning style: Paddy McGurgan with Love Island star Jessica Shears
Beauty matters: Paddy McGurgan is taking his new show around the country
Dream role: Leigha Coade

Following on from the success of his mental health campaign Real People Real Beauty, make-up artist Paddy McGurgan is set to travel the country with a brand new event - Pro Show: Live.

Billed as being "unlike any make-up event you have seen before", Paddy and his team are travelling to various locations across Northern Ireland to bring an unforgettable evening of beauty, entertainment and empowering speakers.

It is all part of the top make-up artist's mission to debunk the notion that beauty is only skin deep. Paddy and his Make-Up Pro Store team are on an ongoing mission to create a more positive and realistic mindset around the subjective perception of what is beautiful.

He hopes his campaign will get people thinking more positively about what 'beauty' really means to them. Paddy says: "The aim is to show that make-up is not just about the way you look, it is as much about empowering you to feel confident every day, whether that is finding your ideal look for a day at the office or a glam night out with friends.

"We want those everyday women and men from all ages and backgrounds to take part in this unique opportunity and embrace their individuality."

ProShow: Live takes place at the Mac Theatre, Belfast, tomorrow at 7pm; Waterside Theatre, Londonderry, October 17 and Marketplace Theatre, Armagh, on October 24. To buy tickets (£32.50) go to https://makeupprostore.co.uk/collections/belfast/products/pro-show-live-various-dates?variant-30256382836834. Belfast Telegraph readers can get 10% off the price of tickets: enter PROSHOW10 at the checkout. All ticket holders will receive a free goodie bag worth £75 on the night

Leigha Coade (24) from Armagh is looking forward to modelling in the ProShow:Live event when it comes to her home city this month.

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leigha_coade.jpg
Dream role: Leigha Coade

She had considered applying to take part in the Real People Real Beauty campaign but felt that others were more deserving.

Leigha has battled cystic fibrosis from birth and as her condition has gradually deteriorated she has spent most of the last three years in hospital.

She trained in make-up at Paddy’s Newry school but because of her illness she only practises on family and friends.

However, witnessing firsthand the pressure which hospital staff are under, since July she has been offering free makeovers to NHS staff.

She says: “I have never taken my make-up training to the next level because of my cystic fibrosis as I am in and out of hospital a lot.

“I was in the hospital in July and I watched one nurse really struggling to deal with about 14 patients. That gave me the idea to do make-up free for NHS doctors and nurses and I do it on the last Saturday in the month and have had about 15 people come along.

“Being in the hospital so much, I can see the way the staff struggle every day and I was delighted to be able to do something for them.”

Leigha remains positive and upbeat despite the severe restrictions her condition puts on her life.

Her lung function started to deteriorate from around the age of 10 and ever since she has had to be admitted to hospital every year.

For the past three years the deterioration has been even more rapid and life now is dominated by hospital visits.

She explains: “I would be in hospital every couple of weeks now. I’ve a chest infection which is colonised which means it is always there and my lung function just continues to decline.

“It is about 40% now and eventually I will probably have to go on the transplant list.

“You have to stay upbeat, you can’t dwell on it. I have never known anything different and it is not something I hide or shy away from.”

Unable to fulfil her dream of becoming a make-up artist full-time, she is delighted to have been chosen to take part in Paddy’s Pro Show roadshow.

She adds: “It just means so much to be part of it. I thought the Real People Real Beauty campaign was amazing and I would love to have taken part in that but I didn’t enter because I think there are other people more deserving than me so I am thrilled they have taken me on for this event.”

Apart-time carer, Lisa McClintock is training to be a make-up artist and put herself forward for a chance to take part in the Real People Real Beauty campaign which she heard about while taking part in a course at Paddy McGurgan’s Pro Make-up shop.

Lisa (32) is married to Robert (35), a self-employed electrical test engineer, and they have one son Blake who is 10.

Her life has been overshadowed by anxiety and depression since a double tragedy hit her family in 2016.

Her brother Simon (Domer), who was 30 and a full-time carer for their mum Claire, who is in a wheelchair, suffered an epilepsy attack which proved fatal in January 2016.

His younger brother Curtis (Breadon), who was a hard working farmer, couldn’t cope with his grief at the loss of his brother and started to drink heavily. He was found dead at the age of just 19 in August 2016 in a flat where he had been drinking with friends. His death was put down to intoxication.

Lisa, who has one other brother and a sister, says: “Every day for me is a battle to get up since Simon and Curtis passed.

“Simon was very close to me, growing up we were inseparable. He was always there for me and he was also a very funny person. He was always positive and didn’t take life too seriously.

“I still haven’t come to terms with his loss. It is like trying to rebuild your life all over again.

“Curtis was very like Simon, always laughing and he was a very hard worker.

“When Simon died he took it really badly and got in with the wrong crowd and started drinking heavily.

“Since they both died, the only way I can describe life for me is that it has been hell. I have suffered from anxiety, depression and insomnia and I would get very panicky in crowds so it has stopped me going out to places.

“I have had 29 weeks of grief counselling but my doctor believes I need more.

“I only get through because of my son and my husband and my wee mum who has suffered so much and you can see she is crumbling but she always puts on a brave face for her family.”

Lisa was thrilled to be one of the six women chosen to take part in the Real People Real Beauty Fashion shoot held in Belfast.

She says: “The campaign really stood out to me as I believe that beauty is what the eye doesn’t see, it is what is inside and so I thought Paddy’s idea was fantastic.

“On the day I got to meet other people going through a tough time and I was able to tell my story and talk about my grief.

“I really felt that my voice was being heard and that I was being accepted.

“I think people do suffer in silence and I think Paddy McGurgan is wonderful and what he is doing with the campaign is brilliant.”

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