Paddy McGurgan's big date rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous in Cannes
As make-up expert and Belfast Telegraph beauty columnist Paddy McGurgan prepares to jet off to the world-famous film festival, he tells Judith Cole about the job of a lifetime
Award-winning make-up artist Paddy McGurgan is heading to the Cannes Film Festival after winning the opportunity to work among a top team of stylists there.
Paddy, who fought off competition from candidates around the world, was judged on his portfolio of previous work, impressing the panellists who he will now have the opportunity to collaborate with.
Rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous, Paddy will work alongside a team of stylists, designers and Luxembourg-based photographer Patrick Moja with an all-expenses paid trip to Cannes. The opportunity to showcase his work on the red carpet will be a first-ever experience for him.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph as he prepared to make the trip to the south of France, Paddy, owner of the Make-Up Pro Store, says: "Cannes is one of most famous social hubs in Europe, especially this month! As a make-up artist, I am challenged daily to be inspired, inventive and creative so this opportunity is incredible. I've been to Nice before but not Cannes, and I'm very excited to be going and getting involved in the festival.
"I will be working with some of the best in the business to create a pretty spectacular star-studded look for one model, which I can't say too much about just yet!
"I'm involved in a project as part of the festival, which takes a look at fashion within cinema. There will be four international photographers and designers and we will shoot four different set-ups - we will collaborate together on the looks.
"Our final work will be presented as part of the main show. Cannes Film Festival is one of the most celebrated film festivals in the world and it will be a privilege to be there with so many other creatives."
The festival showcases 21 competition titles, as well as out-of-competition, midnight and special screenings at the Palais des Festival.
In its 72-year history it has played host to legendary figures of the silver screen, including Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Kirk Douglas, Brigitte Bardot and Sophia Loren.
This year, the festival has already been graced by the presence of Selena Gomez for the premiere of her new film, The Dead Don't Die. In a chic navy and gold suit, she took part in a photocall with co-stars Chloe Sevigny, Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton.
Other celebrities attending are Oscar winner Julianne Moore, Eva Longoria and Elle Fanning.
And director Quentin Tarantino will also make an appearance - his highly anticipated film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, will premiere. Starring in the film and attending the event will be Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie. Models Gigi and Bella Hadid are expected to grace the red carpet.
Not only will Paddy be working on the idyllic French Rivera's vast array of locations, he will be attending the iconic event on the famous Montee des Marches (the red carpet stairs) amidst more than 2,000 photographers.
Paddy will have the opportunity to attend an exclusive screening session of a film participating in the Palme d'Or competition, together with the most influential figures in the film industry.
He will be in Cannes from Monday until Saturday, while the festival is attended by more than 30,000 people from the world of cinema.
And should Paddy get the opportunity to work with one of the film stars on their make-up, he recommends a glamorous, sophisticated look.
"A sophisticated look will always be timeless and is one that works for any occasion," he says.
"It is so important to also keep the look which the person usually has.
"Whether it's a wedding or a red carpet event, you have to let that individual's personality shine through and maintain their own, personal look."
Paddy has worked with so many well-known faces over the years, and he cites a local star as one of his particular favourites.
"I loved working with Nadine Coyle - she is just a lovely human and so kind," he says.
"I worked with Yasmin Le Bon when she opened House of Fraser and then she did a fashion show here, which was a great experience."