May 24th, 2016
‘Make-up for humans’ is the tagline we were greeted with when investigating Sara Hill‘s eponymous line of make-up. A full spectrum of colours and products, Sara’s work in fashion and editorial make-up was clear from her products. She’s worked as both a magazine Editor and a celebrity make-up artist, started a make-up school and worked at international fashion weeks. Intrigued, we reached out to Sara to talk about her line of products, as well as what sets her style and vision apart from others.
WP: What is it about the medium of make-up which sparked your passion?
SH: It was the transformative and story-telling qualities that I was drawn to the most. I love my job. I’ve done it for almost 20 years and I love that every day is different.
WP: Did you do any formal training? If so, where?
SH: I trained for three years in Scotland, then went to the London College of Fashion for a short course in media make-up.
WP: Whose work inspired you originally, and who inspires you now?
SH: Rick Baker, the king of special effects, originally sparked my passion for make-up. Now, as I work in fashion, Alex Box, Kristen Piggott, Pat McGrath, Isamaya Ffrench and Val Garland are my idols.
WP: How did your own range of make-up come about?
SH: I wanted to create products that I could use on my celebrity clients and on photoshoots which worked just the way I wanted them to. My dream was a brand that my fellow make-up artist friends could use and enjoy. It’s an independent, cruelty-free brand that took me ﬁve years to create.
WP: What are your top three products from your range?
SH: I can’t possibly pick, I love all of them! At the moment the most popular products are the Velvet Sheer foundations, the Luxury Face Primer and the Shine and Sculpt Kit.
WP: When you’re not using your own product, what brands/products do you always keep in your kit?
SH: Even though I have my own brand I still carry many other brands in my kit, I’m a make-up addict after all! I love NARS, Tom Ford, Illamasqua and Armani make-up. Although I have my favourites I think every brand has their own particular something that they do really well.
WP: What’s the best piece of advice you received about the make-up industry?
SH: Don’t give up, it’s a long game.
WP: It can be difﬁcult to make the transition from student or assistant to a solo artist – how did you make the jump? Do you have any advice for students on how to establish themselves?
SH: Work really hard and say yes to everything. It’s important to be professional at all times; arrive early, not just on time. Come fully prepared and stay alert throughout the job. I always approach any job as a team effort, so if a cup of tea needed to be made, or a photographer needed help holding a light, I’d be there giving a hand without question.
Eventually there comes a point when you’ve made a lot of good connections and you’ve taken your portfolio to the next level where you suddenly ﬁnd yourself working with great photographers and models, and you know it’s for your own skill.
WP: Your brand is described as being ‘make-up for humans’ – what is it about the industry which you feel doesn’t encapsulate this message already?
SH: The beauty industry and cosmetics are typically aimed at woman. It deﬁnitely has a very select message for each sex and I felt that this separation creates an imbalance. It tell us that woman should look one way and men should look another, and I disagree with that. We’re all human. Make-up, for me, is about self-expression, art, transformation. It should be fun. I would love to live in a world where everyone felt that they had the right to do what they want with their face, without any judgement, and that right should be available to all.
WP: What does the rest of 2016 hold for you?
SH: I have some incredible new products coming out. Little Pop is an amazing concealer that easily glides across and covers any skin surface, and that’s our latest release. It contains coconut oil which is hydrating and gives a smoothing effect. Then there is my Make-up Academy in Scotland, which has been open for five years now. We have just expanded from Glasgow and Aberdeen to include Edinburgh too. It’s very exciting!