Martha Butterworth makeup artist interview

Today we are chatting with incredible UK based Fashion and Beauty Makeup Artist, Martha Butterworth. Famous for her extending her canvas beyond the face, using makeup to paint everything from ears to hands, in addition to  creating works of art on faces. Martha’s work is artistic in the truest sense of the meaning, poetic and incredibly original.

From a young age, Martha knew that she wanted to do something creative in her life, and after pursuing a career in Graphic Design, she ultimately knew that wasn’t her purpose. For a few years Martha made her children her number one priority until they were off to school which then allowed her time, and freedom, to follow her passion for creativity. Martha completed a diploma in beauty therapy, theatrical special effects, media hair and makeup, and after winning two awards, she knew this was the career path for her. Since building her portfolio and online presence, Martha is well known for looks influenced by her surroundings and mood. She believes everyone has something about them which is beautiful and fascinating, and, truly feels hounoured to help bring out someone’s individual beauty.

Martha Butterworth makeup artist interview

What was your route into making this a career? Education/training/assisting.

I did 4 years at Art college when I was younger. I specialized in Graphic Design originally. My first job was working as a graphic designer for Osborne and Little in London. I did a couple of graphic design jobs, but it wasn’t really what I’d expected and wasn’t feeding my creative needs. I then took on a creative role managing a store in Cambridge and had complete freedom with the shop/ window displays . I had a lot of fun with this and ended up staying rather longer than planned. My love and interest in Makeup art really started later down the line. I had my family and concentrated largely on that for a few years. When my youngest started secondary school, I took myself back to college. Firstly studying Beauty therapy, then Media Hair and  Makeup. I loved every second of the course and was proud to win The Royal Opera House National Design competition whilst there and student of the year. I finally found something that really captured my passion for all things creative.

Your approach to using the body as a canvas as an extension to the face for makeup
is so inspiring, what led you to this approach?

I just thought extending my canvas, opened up a whole new window of possibility. I’m not scared to try new things, sometimes it works , sometimes not, but it keeps life interesting when there are no conventional rules. The hand art looks are a relatively new avenue, since the Covid outbreak and social distancing, I had to look for new ways to be creative without using models. I also found creating/decorating ears very interesting, they seemed to be popular with my followers, I like to have a bit of fun with it, not take every look too seriously

Martha Butterworth makeup artist interview

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Gosh, anywhere and everywhere , nature, art, fashion, history. I dream up a lot of my ideas in bed at night. I’m not a great sleeper, my minds always buzzing with possibilities. It’s just trying to remember the good ones that’s a challenge.

If you could offer one piece of advice for MUA’s who are feeling a lack of motivation and struggling
to get creative during this time what would it be?

Take time out! It’s impossible to just continually churn things out all the time. Go for a walk, go to a museum, anything really. Relax and enjoy something new . Often times inspiration comes from the simple things we see and do.

Would you describe your kit as a minimalist or maximalist MUA kit?

Well, I have a lot of makeup, I’d say it was pretty maximalist, I can’t resist colour and embellishments. But often I feel I’m short on good quality essential kit. A girl can’t have too many great primers/ foundations and concealers.

Martha Butterworth makeup artist interview

Can you tell me some of your kit essentials, products and tools?

I have to carry great skin products. A successful look always starts with beautiful skin. Some of my favourite skin products are from Charlotte Tilbury, Becca and IT Cosmetics. Good quality brushes are a must. I have brushes from IT Cosmetics, MAC, Smiths, Mykitco (I find the small on point buds extremely useful, especially when doing liner work) and liner brushes from Suvabeauty. You really can’t have too many. I like to try New products all the time, but some of my regular staples are from Pat McGrath, IT Cosmetics, Viseart and Danessa Myricks.

Did you have a signature look, or a look that’s your favourite to create?

I don’t think I have a signature look really. I love colour and texture, but I’m always wanting to try new things and learn new techniques. I do love a glossy eye or lip look and I enjoy doing fun looks with decals or miniature figures.

What’s the best advice you would give to makeup artists starting out?

There are no short cuts, you have to love what you do with a passion. Be consistent and don’t give up. Try not to compare yourself to others, you are unique, that is your power.

Martha Butterworth makeup artist interview

Is there anything you wish you would have known when you were first starting out that would have helped you?

Oh I don’t know? I think you have to just be yourself, believe in yourself and hope! Network and learn to say no. Work with integrity and try not to let the negative comments take center stage.

How has your relationship to makeup changed if at all during covid? Has it made you feel more creative or less so?

I have found it challenging not seeing my regular models, I miss the interaction and company. I don’t do make up on myself, but feel the need to create. It keeps me happy and I find it’s my therapy. I have found it more difficult getting inspired too during these crazy few months, So much time alone and a lot to worry about, isn’t particularly conducive to feeling inspired.

What are you working on currently and where can people find you and your brilliant work?

Like a lot of people, due to covid,  I’m not doing paid work right now. Makeup is the last thing to come back once restrictions are lifted. But I’m doing my best to keep my Instagram page fresh, doing whatever I can to keep myself busy, happy and hopefully keep other people interested in what i‘m doing until we can go back to some sense of normal.

Follow Martha on Instagram here: @marthamakeupartist