Q+A with Celebrity Makeup Artist Adam Burrell
Adam Burrell on where he finds inspiration, his favorite looks he's created, and more.
Adam Burrell is a British-born celebrity makeup artist based out of Los Angeles. With an impressive client list including Hailey Bieber, Jennifer Hudson, and Doja Cat, among others, Adam has established himself as a highly sought after artist for brand campaigns, music videos, awards shows, and more. We sat down with him to learn more about his journey in the industry, what his essential products are in his own kit, and more.
Q: How did you get into makeup?
I started a degree in Makeup and Prosthetics for Performance at the London College of Fashion in 2005, with a plan on being a special effects makeup artist. While doing that degree, I got a part-time job working on a Bobbi Brown counter in a department store. I was also assisting makeup artists who did makeup for fashion and music, and I realized I preferred the more regular makeup, which I hadn’t thought of until I was exposed to it. I started doing small jobs, collaborating with other young creatives, and doing everything I could from weddings to strippers. And it snowballed from there.
Q: How would you describe your style as a makeup artist?
I love to do it all, from the softest looks to the boldest of the bold, and all that’s in between. So I think my style would be versatile, but always polished.
Q: What’s your beauty philosophy?
Just have fun with it.
Q: What do you love most about your work?
Empowering women every day, doing what I do best. And I love my eclectic pool of clients, from Ava DuVernay to Doja Cat, Hailey Bieber to Oprah Winfrey.
Q: Where do you find inspiration?
In anything and everything. I have a huge collection of coffee table books from beauty, to fashion, to architecture. I see something new every time I look through them. I love pop culture, old and new, the beautiful women from yesteryear, music videos, drag queens, old movies, the checkout girl at Walmart, inspiration is everywhere.
Q: When you think of all of the looks you’ve created, is there a favorite that comes to mind? What is it?
There have been so many. Some highlights though would be transforming Winnie Harlow into RuPaul in the MAC Viva Glam Campaign, Tinashe for the cover of Gay Times magazine, Doja Cat for the 2020 Billboard Awards, and countless music videos with Little Mix. I had a great time with all of the looks I did on Jennifer Hudson too across 4 seasons of The Voice.
Q: What are some essential products in your kit?
I’d be lost without my NARS Multiples, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pomades, and a Beauty Blender.
Q: What are some of your personal favorite products you can’t live without?
I’m pretty lax when it comes to my own beauty routine, but in my bathroom cabinet you’ll always find Byredo Rose of No Mans Land Shower Gel, Malin and Goetz Moisturizing Shampoo, Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancer, Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement, La Mer Moisturizing Cream, and Kiehl’s Nourishing Beard Grooming Oil.
Rapid Fire Round
Q: Product you can't leave home without:
These days it’s Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Hand Sanitizer.
Q: Drugstore favorite:
Ardell Wispies lashes.
Q: Worth the splurge:
I'm a sucker for La Mer. All of it.
Q: Recent discovery:
Kevyn Aucoin Glass Glow Face Liquid Highlighter.
Q: Brand you wish more people knew about:
Q: Favorite lipstick:
Favorite red is Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lip in Outlaw and favorite nude is Tom Ford Sable Smoke.
Q: Favorite scent:
Tom Ford Santal Blush.
Q: Your last beauty empty:
Always a NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer.
For more of Adam's favorite products, check out his shop below.