trained as a graphic designer before a course in theatrical makeup convinced her to pursue makeup artistry as a career. Having won a scholarship to London College of Fashion to study Fashion Styling for Hair and Makeup, Donnelly landed her first makeup job for a BBC children’s show. She quickly rose up the ranks, working as a freelance makeup artist for music and television before finding a home with M·A·C.
“I will be forever grateful to M·A·C for believing in me,” she says. Career highlights include working on “spine-tingling” shows for Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Kenzo and Gareth Pugh. Now a Senior Artist, Donnelly recently relocated to Los Angeles, a milestone that she describes as a “dream come true.”
“My love of makeup started early. I used to sit on the bed in my mum’s bedroom and watch her get ready. In particular I loved to watch her choose the colours and use her brushes to create beautifully sculpted eyes. This was during the 1970s and 80s when I was also into Toyah and Siouxsie Sioux. I was always fascinated by the way these women looked and how they applied their makeup. I would sit with records and stare at pictures of these idols and try to recreate the makeup on my own face. I recently saw the same type of Mary Quant crayon eye makeup on display in The V&A Museum in London!”
The Great Outdoors
“I am going camping in Yosemite soon. It’s one of my 'places to visit before I die'. You still need to look good in the wild though! I’ll be taking Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50, to protect my skin , Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm SPF 35 in a slightly darker colour to wear as a bronzer as my body tans really easily, but I never let my face tan, and False Lashes Waterproof as my eye lashes are quite light in colour naturally.”
“My most memorable shoot was with the amazing Erin O'Connor overnight in the V&A Museum in London. We had to go in around 6pm to start the styling, hair and makeup to be ready for shooting after the museum closed and all the visitors had left. This museum, if you haven't been, is spectacular and houses some of the most impressive wall art, sculpture and ancient artifacts in the world. Once most of the lights go down, it becomes one of the spookiest places I have ever been. When you walk around dimly lit rooms and corridors alone with looming shadows from sculptures, the shapes become very eerie and play tricks with your mind!”