Q+A with Celebrity Makeup Artist Kate Synnott

Kate Synnott on her longstanding obsession with makeup, her biggest tip for good makeup application, and more.

Kate Synnott is an internationally renowned makeup artist whose expertise is in modern Hollywood glamour with glowing skin. Trusted by some of the biggest names in the industry, her impressive client list includes Nicole Kidman, Emma Stone, and Cara Delevigne, among several others. Her work can also be seen in top publications like Vogue, Marie Claire, Allure, and more. Read on to hear more about how Kate got started in beauty, what she loves most about her job, and her go-to products!

Q: How did you get into makeup?

I was always obsessed with makeup from a young age. I started my career working at MAC in Dublin where I’m from. I wanted to get into more fashion & editorial makeup so I moved to London. That’s where I met Charlotte Tilbury and started to work for her backstage on shoots and shows. After 4 years of working with Charlotte, I came to LA as a global artist for her brand. Now I’m with The Wall Group.

Q: How would you describe your style as a makeup artist? What is your beauty philosophy?

My style is to enhance your natural beauty. Personally, I’d prefer someone to compliment my skin or say I’m looking well rather than compliment my makeup. Makeup has the power to transform you, but I’d prefer it not to be so obvious. Yes, I have foundation, concealer, and bronzer on — or maybe it’s just my skin! Your skin should always look like skin, no matter how much makeup you have on!

Q: What do you love most about your work?

I’m grateful that I get to do what I love every day. It doesn’t ever feel like work. I love making women feel empowered and beautiful. I’m so lucky to work with some incredible women who really are stunning inside and out.

Q: Can share with us one of your favorite looks you’ve created, and tell us a bit about why you love it?

It’s so hard to choose one. I do miss awards shows and red carpets. I really loved the look for Nicole Kidman for the 2020 Golden Globes. She wore an incredible red dress by Versace (her stylist is Julia Von Boehm). We did a beautiful red lip and kept her skin natural and glowy. I love feature-focused makeup — it’s simple and chic!

Q: Your expertise is in modern Hollywood glamour with glowing skin. What are some tips and tricks, and your go-to products, for achieving that perfect Hollywood glow?

The best tip for good makeup is good skincare. I love using these products before I start any makeup: DNA Skin Institute Mediclear Exfoliating Pads, Luzern Rehydrate Serum, Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream Light, Victoria Beckham Cell Rejuvenating Primer in Golden.

DNA SKIN INSTITUTE | Mediclear Natural Cleansing Pads
DNA SKIN INSTITUTE | Mediclear Natural Cleansing Pads
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LUZERN LABORATORIES | Serum Absolut Rehydrate Moisture Enhancing Serum
LUZERN LABORATORIES | Serum Absolut Rehydrate Moisture Enhancing Serum
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CHARLOTTE TILBURY | Magic Cream Light
CHARLOTTE TILBURY | Magic Cream Light
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VICTORIA BECKHAM BEAUTY | Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturizer - Golden
VICTORIA BECKHAM BEAUTY | Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturizer - Golden
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Q: From where, and from whom, do you find inspiration?

From lots of places. I love seeing what’s happening makeup-wise for shows over fashion weeks. Sometimes you’ll get a vibe from clothes that can inspire the makeup. Mostly, it’s just about what works for each person. I love bringing out your best self with makeup!

Q: What are some essential products you always keep in your kit?

Clé De Peau concealers and foundations, Hourglass powders, all Charlotte Tilbury products, and Róen Beauty liquid lip balms (they’re amazing for the red carpet).

CLÉ DE PEAU | Concealer Stick
CLÉ DE PEAU | Concealer Stick
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CLÉ DE PEAU | Radiant Cream Foundation
CLÉ DE PEAU | Radiant Cream Foundation
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HOURGLASS | Veil Translucent Setting Powder
HOURGLASS | Veil Translucent Setting Powder
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CHARLOTTE TILBURY | Beauty Light Wand
CHARLOTTE TILBURY | Beauty Light Wand
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ROEN | Kiss My Liquid Lip Balm
ROEN | Kiss My Liquid Lip Balm
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Q: What are some beauty trends you’re particularly excited about in spring/summer 2021?

I think fresh, glowy skin will be a huge trend, as everyone is looking after their skin and health a bit more during COVID. I also think a pop of color is just needed right now to lift the mood, so bold eyes and lips are happening for me anyway!

Rapid Fire Round

Q: Hairstylist partner in crime:

Couldn’t choose just one!

Q: Product you can’t leave home without:

Clé De Peau concealers.

Q: Favorite drugstore or budget find:

Revlon lip gloss.

REVLON | Super Lustrous Lip Gloss
REVLON | Super Lustrous Lip Gloss
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Q: Worth the splurge:

Victoria Beckham Cell Rejuvenating Serum.

Q: Recent discovery:

macabalm.

MACABALM | Organic Macadamia Moisturising Balm
MACABALM | Organic Macadamia Moisturising Balm
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Q: Favorite lipstick:

Róen Beauty — it’s a liquid lip balm but it’s clean, non-sticky, and non-toxic. I’m obsessed!

Q: Your last beauty empty:

I have my hero products I stick to and I stock up on them so I never run out!

For more of Kate's favorite products, check out her shop below:

Kate Synnott
Kate Synnott
Originally from Ireland, Kate Synnott is an internationally renowned makeup artist. Kate’s expertise is modern Hollywood glamour with glowing skin that accentuates each client’s natural beauty. Currently based in Los Angeles, she works with Hollywood A-listers including Nicole Kidman, Emma Stone, Cara Delevingne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Ashley Graham, Dakota and Elle Fanning, and Jessica Biel. Kate’s work has been featured in Vogue, In Style Magazine, Love Magazine, Allure, Marie Claire, Numéro, and many others.
The products featured here may contain affiliate links, meaning Shop My Shelf, Inc or the artists may earn a commission on products purchased through links to retailer sites.