INTERVIEW A life in colour


Hayley Coleman
?Hayley Coleman knows how different makeup styles can transform a woman’s face.

A life in colour

Ciara Galvin

ROMAN playwright Plautus once wrote ‘A woman without paint is like food without salt’.
The reference is an indication of just how long ago women started the routine of painting their faces. Over time, that routine has become more and more intricate. To put it simply: makeup is now big business.
Westport native Hayley Coleman is setting herself apart from all the rest as the one to watch in the world of makeup artistry. As testament to this, the Westport native has a cult following on social media, including over 14,000 followers on her Facebook page.
Hayley is fresh from painting a bride-to-be beautiful when she sits down to chat with The Mayo News. Straight away, she lets us know she wasn’t working with your average bride. The mother of one has travelled the length and breadth of the country, but for her latest job, she beautified a bride who was about to marry a stranger.
“It was a bit odd because I’d usually be chatting to the bride about where she met her fiancé and how long they are together, and this girl had never met him. But there was still the usual nerves and rushing to get to the ceremony on time,” she laughs. Hayley’s latest bride was part of iRadio’s ‘Three Strangers and a Wedding’ experiment.

Mad about makeup
Thinking back to where it all started, the 30-year-old from Carrowholly said that ever since she was in school, she was mad about makeup. “Oh I was always in the bathrooms putting makeup on my friends,” she laughs.
After completing her Leaving Cert, Hayley went on to become a qualified beauty therapist. She worked in Westport before travelling to Australia for a time.
Hayley always preferred the makeup side of the beauty industry. “In 2003 nobody was really just doing makeup. When I was in Australia, I remember walking past the MAC [cosmetics] counter and always having an itch to work there,” she explains.
On returning home, she duly took up a role with MAC in Galway and spent five happy years there perfecting her skills, until she left late last year to embark on a career as a self-employed makeup artist.
“I didn’t want to leave, I made such good friends there and I learned so much. I was literally crying the day I left. I could have stayed there and played it safe, but I just pushed myself,” she explains.

Taking the plunge
Asked if it was daunting to take the plunge into solo business territory, which involves doing a lot more in promoting her talent online, the bubbly makeup artist is candid.
“I have a four-year-old son, Ryan, and yes, I was thinking ‘Oh God, can I give this my all?’ but everybody has been so supportive.”
From friends to her sisters, Carrie and Kirsty, and mother, Kate, everyone has been a test dummy for Hayley. “Oh sometimes their faces were raw with how much I practised looks on them!” she recalls.
Speaking about the realities of social media, Hayley said she has been really lucky with positive feedback and only the odd negative comment coming her way.
“You do get the odd nasty comment, but I try and delete it straight away before it gets to me. And for every one of those, there’s 100 likes, which is great,” she enthuses.
Hayley made her first appearance on TV in March – and she hopes it won’t be the last. She refers to her Ireland AM stint, during which she talked through a makeover, as the proudest moment of her career so far.
“I was so nervous, but [afterwards] I had such a feeling like I had conquered the world.”

In the balance
Asked what part of the job she finds the toughest, the makeup artist and micro blogger jokes that it’s spending all her money on makeup. But then she follows up by saying that balancing work and home life can be a struggle.
Although she says she’s lucky because she gets to drop her son to playschool most days, the nature of Hayley’s job can see her fighting to put away her laptop while at home in Castlebar.
“At home, I’m between my phone and laptop … It’s not like I have a shop that’s open a certain amount of hours that I can close. What I do looks glamorous, but it’s hard work. You have to be one step ahead all the time.”
Asked what her next move is, Hayley keeps tight-lipped, but she hints that there are some exciting projects to come. For now, the hardworking mum is concentrating on creating more original makeup looks online, continuing with freelance work, and collaborating with fellow makeup artist Siobhán McDonnell on her ‘Letzmakeup’ makeup masterclasses around the west.

To keep up to date with Hayley’s makeup tips, find her Facebook page, Make up Artist, Hayley Coleman.