With 25 years of experience in the hair and make up industry BOSS Creative Michaela Taylor has worked on everything from magazine covers to huge campaigns to fashion shows. We asked her how she got to where she is today and the miracle products she has used along the way.
How I got where I am…I was working at Vidal Sassoon as a hair stylist but I’d always loved make up. At the salons I’d worked at before that, they’d do shows and I’d do the make-up for them. It was something that I’d always been interested in even when I was really young. When I left Sassoon I knew that I wanted to be a hair and make up artist but I just didn’t know how I would do it. I basically spent two years doing test shoots: I worked in bar and I just kept testing until I felt confident about what I could do.
I’m self-taught with make up and I was just completely obsessed with it. Because I was testing all the time I just really built up the skills that I wanted. You just read as much as you can and I was driven by the fact that it was something that I loved doing.
Where I get my inspiration…I still get most of my inspiration from fashion. I’m still completely obsessed. I think when I first went into hair and make up, it was all about fashion but now you get inspiration from everywhere: from films and TV or I look at Instagram. I follow a lot of magazines, make up artists, hair stylists and they are constantly updating and I’m always finding new people to follow.
Because of Instagram now there’s so much out there and you take in what you see. But when I do a test shoot I would still work closely with the stylist and the clothes and like I’ve always done we’d probably put a moodboard together. At the same time it can still just be an organic process and someone’s face or hair can inspire me.
How has the internet changed the way we learn about make up…My niece is 11 and her make up is PERFECT. They’re all just obsessed with YouTube now! Even the language they use when they’re talking about hair and make up is really professional. I don’t really watch YouTube myself though – I might watch a bad one for a laugh!
Even before the internet when I was 15, I would still spend hours and hours putting make up on and taking it off. I grew up during the punk and new romantic era when it was all about the make up and it was very strong.
My miracle products
I do have a few products that I live by. One is Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish. It’s a cleanser and it comes with muslin cloths so I literally take all my make up off with it. It seems to work really well with my skin and it doesn’t hurt my eyes so I take off all my mascara and everything with it. It lifts everything into the cleanser and then I use wet cotton wool to sweep it off. The muslin cloth goes over and cleans the skin. I’ve been using that for 15 years! I’ve tried other things but because I can take everything off with it, it’s all I use. And I love that it’s natural and cruelty free.
One of my favourites is Clarins Blue Orchid Oil which is a night oil. I only put it on once or twice a week and it just gives your skin a little bit of a boost.
I’m using Aveda Thickening Lotion on my own hair, which is a spray. A lot of thickening treatments can make hair look dull but Aveda’s is great and it’s got a protection property.
Products I couldn’t live without on set
I love Bronze Universel de Chanel Sun Illuminator! It just makes people glow, it’s wonderful, so that’s a definite must-have. You just put it where the sun would catch you and girls look amazing wearing it on photo shoots.
For eyebrows, I’m using Kiko Brow Expert in 01. It has some great, flat colours that aren’t too warm.
I’m looking more into organic and vegan products because a lot of models prefer them now. I would like to go down more of a natural route.
My beauty routine
My routine so simple but I am mixing it up a little bit at the moment. I like a serum but there are a lot of oils out there now that are very nice and light too. So at the moment I’m just cleansing, moisturising and using eye cream. I really like Caudalie Resveratrol Lift and I tend to mix and match eye creams. I use a serum called Sothys Hydra Hydraulic Hydrating Cream and my absolute favourite mask is a night mask called Splash by Algenist.
I try and get a facial once every season – I’ve been going to the same woman since I was 15 years old for them. You get an hour and a half and you just come out feeling like you’re glowing.
I think microdermabrasion is also realty effective. I think that when the season changes, your skin gets really tired so you just need to up your game a little bit. My skin feels it the most when we move into winter and it gets very dry with central heating. Something you can try is an exfoliation treatment or a good mask at home to get similar results to microdermabrasion.
The make up mistake I wish I could fix
I stare at people on the tram and I have to ask them questions if they’ve done their make up really well. If I see someone that’s done a great job on their make up I can’t help myself and I have to ask them what they’ve used!
But contouring is just a disaster! It’s fine for the Kardashians because they’re being filmed and they’ve got lights on them all the time but in real life it just doesn’t work. I read an article where Kate Moss said the same thing! I just want to say to people that they look nicer with a glow instead. Contouring is not a new concept either. I remember in the 70s you’d get a contour kit. So it’s fine for the red carpet, but not for real life and I think it makes people look older and it changes the whole structure of the face. Young girls lose that lovely fresh youthful look.
Also, eyebrows that are done with stencils! I was working with some girls on a shoot recently and they arrived with stenciled eyebrows and they were MASSIVE and it just looked so wrong on them. But to be fair when I was 15 I probably would have done it all as well!