Ken Boylan Make-Up Q & A

Acclaimed Irish make up artist Ken Boylan recently opened his pop-up boutique, Ken Boylan MakeUp/Play, here in the Village and we had the chance to sit down with the man himself to get his tips on ensuring a flawless look!

KV: Getting your make-up to last all day can be tricky, can you share your top tips for long lasting looks?

KB: Don’t over moisturise in the morning before you put your foundation on, and bring pressed powder with you. We have a fantastic one, our dual powder from my make-up range is really good. A bit of pressed powder will keep your foundation on all day long but the main thing is don’t over moisturise, because you’ll find that your make-up slips off if your skin is too greasy.

KV: What is the one make-up mistake you've seen most over the years?

KB: Really bad choice of foundations, heavy, cakey foundation.

KV: What are your top tips for prepping your skin for make-up? 

KB: My top tip for anybody is yes, it's important to have a good moisturiser and good toner and so on, maybe a serum, but my top tip for anybody is to always have someone who looks after your skin, maybe a really good facialist or beautician once every couple of months, so even twice a year, to have somebody give a good facial or microdermabrasion is worth its weight in gold to keep your skin looking it's best.

KV: What's the next big Autumn Winter beauty trend?

KB: Matte skin is going to be a beauty trend, less foundation please god! That’s becoming a good beauty trend. And then you have your usual autumnal colours coming through in your eyes and cheeks, nice berry shades.

KV: If you could only use one product from your collection for the rest of your life what would it be and why?

KB: Probably, if I was a girl obviously, it would be my HD foundation, a high definition foundation because it's just a really great textured product and it looks good on pretty much everybody!

KV: You have a beautiful collection of make-up brushes here in the Village, what is the best way to clean these?

KB: So, the best way to clean your brushes would be, well I clean my brushes with warm, soapy water – I use washing-up liquid to clean the top of the brushes. Don’t leave your brushes soaking in water because the metal ring around them can expand and the hairs can become loose, so just wash the top of your brushes with washing-up liquid.

But do wash them and wash them maybe once a week, especially your foundation brush!

KV: What would you suggest for a make-up look to take you from office to a night out?

KB: Just a couple of products, bring a couple products out with you. Do your make-up as usual in the morning, when you finish work, touch it up and maybe add a black eye liner to the inside rim of your eye, it brings your day look into a night look. Or change your lipstick colour, go from a light, pale lipstick to maybe something a bit more dramatic and you’ll see a complete difference in your make-up for night time.

KV: Any tips for women might be afraid of experimenting when it comes to dramatic lips/eyes colour?

KB: Come in to me in Kildare Village and I’ll show you!!

Play around, go to a professional, have a look and see what it's like and don’t be frightened, you know? We’ve got some fantastic lipsticks in our range, 'Monroe' being one of them or 'Calm Down', and they are gorgeous reds that are fantastic on Irish skin. So, just don’t be afraid to try on some colour!

ken boylan make up at kildare village

KV: What three must-haves from your range should be in any make-up bag?

KB: Well, one whole product would be a set of brushes because I think it’s really important to have those, they’re so important!

I would say mascara is very important, a good mascara, we’ve got a lovely one in our range it’s a lengthening one, a good foundation and a really nice lipstick.

KV: Who are your make-up inspirations?

KB: My biggest make-up inspiration would be Kevyn Aucoin, who was one of the world's most famous make-up artists. There is a show coming up on Logo TV about him, he died unfortunately, but it was through his books 'Making Faces' and 'Face Forward' that I got the bug for fashion make-up artistry.

In Ireland, I love Zoe Clark's work, I think she's an amazing make-up artist. I think Pat McGrath is an amazing make-up artist, world famous make-up artist.

KV: Any advice on how to perfect a natural looking contour?

KB: We have a fantastic sculpting kit in our range which has three powders and I find that they are much much lighter. I think the very heavy, caked on sculpting is going out, so just light sculpting. Light powders on the face is a much easier and much more realistic way to put your make-up on.

So yes, three colours light, a bronzer and a darker shade in our palette and you just lightly use it.

KV: We get to see some amazing, often over the top make-up looks on the runway, any tips on translating the runway trends to a wearable look?

KB: OK, so yes, it's lovely to see inspirational make-up and I think everybody should experiment but just be aware of who you are and what your circumstances are. You know, a cerise pink eye may look beautiful on a model in fashion week but it might not suit you if you are going off to be an accountant in the morning! So, take whatever is on the catwalk and bring it down to what you do and who you are.

Trends are fantastic but it's always nice to have a capsule collection of make-up that suits you and you can add to it with more vibrant lipsticks, eye shadows etc. Always just check and make sure that it suits you.

KV: We love iconic looks here in the Village, what would you consider a powerful, iconic make-up style?

KB: I'd say the Marilyn Monroe 1940's red lip and liquid eye liner look, it's still around today, it's still as popular as ever. Especially with bridal and winter looks, it's still a huge look. And that will never go out of fashion!

Thanks so much Ken, we absolutely love your pop-up boutique and your message to take a look and Make It Yours! Ken has also launched some super fun one on one make-up lessons here in the Village and will show you the basics of make up application and how to bring your makeup look from day to night. It is also an opportunity to try out the latest trends and discover fresh ways to accentuate your natural beauty.Cost €100 with €50 redeemable against product

Make Up Applications : Get party ready! Ken and his team of Beauty Artists will have you looking party ready. Cost €55 redeemable against product 

To make an appointment please call 045 535061 or email

Follow Ken Boylan on social media:

Instagram @kenboylan
Twitter @kenboylanmakeup

Ken Boylan MakeUp/Play