Former ballet dancer Hannah Murray is one of London’s most prolific make up artists. With shoots in British, Italian and French Vogue every season, plus other magazines such as Dazed & Confused, i-D and Another Man, and her work backstage at London Fashion Week and on the Topshop Unique and Kate Moss for Topshop shows, she is fast becoming one of the most respected make-up artists out there.
“I got into make-up in a bit of a weird way”, says Murray. “I was trained as a professional ballet dancer but, after a serious ankle injury, had to re-think my career aspirations somewhat.” But did she have a natural flare for make-up or was it something she learnt? “(Laughs) Before performances when
I was younger I used to find myself doing everyone else’s make up backstage. And, after my accident, thought to myself ‘I could actually do something with this’. It was frightening, but I quite liked that.” Considering the different areas Murray is required to work her cosmetic magic in – magazine editorials, backstage at fashion week, etc – does she approach each job in a different way? “Working on a photo shoot for a magazine is completely different to doing models backstage before a show”, she says. “Shoots can be the longest days- starting really early in the morning and not finishing, sometimes, until a few hours before the time you started. It can be tough. Luckily, after all the shows and when the season is over, I get about a month off to recuperate.” Presumably, though, there are perks to doing what Hannah Murray does? “Oh yes”, she smiles. “I get to travel the world and have worked with some amazing photographers such as Mario Testino, David Sims and Solve Sundsbo.” Drawing inspiration from her close surroundings – “I look at all the old photography and art books I have stacked up at home when I’m planning a shoot” – Hannah Murray, it seems, has that ‘natural flare’ for make-up in abundance. But what really excites her? “I get most animated when I spot a kid with a crazy lip colour on in the street”, she enthuses. “I always have to stop them and ask where they got it”.