Beauty Spotlight: Karla Powell

This week in the Beauty Spotlight we’re talking to a make-up artist and blogger extraordinaire, Karla Powell. Karla has had a varied make-up career to say the least! Her previous clients include Pixie Lott and The Saturdays and her blog currently reaches over 300,000 followers. Formerly a head make-up artist at MUA Cosmetics, Karla has just started a new role with Crown Brushes as a Brand Ambassador and will be developing her own beauty brand this year.

Today, she talks face paints, networking and the importance of social media…

When did you realise that you wanted to be a make-up artist? I got into make-up at a very young age of 6 as my dad was a face painter – I was fascinated that a brush and a pot of face paint can transform a person immediately! The fascination in all areas of make-up went from there, which lead me to train as a beautician at 18. I studied beauty, fashion, media and theatre make-up straight after school which eventually lead to teaching make-up & hair at a local college for three years. I love to inspire aspiring make-up artists and now I am planning to bring out my own make-up brand by next year!

Social Media is key to you. What impact do you think this has on your work? I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for pushing myself and getting my name out there via social media. This industry is all about investing in you, so showing your fans/clients that what you are about and what you do is very beneficial. With a lot of motivation, passion and love for the area you want to go into you can achieve whatever you want. Social media has changed us industry professionals to get our name out there and has made it easier for us in that sense. It’s a great networking tool and I am addicted to it!

How has combining blogging and make-up artistry affected your career? Like with any form of art, it takes quite a bit of studying and practice to master the craft. Blogs are therefore created for other aspiring make-up artists in order to provide an abundance of information for those looking to enter the profession or just a cultivate challenging hobby and for anyone to have instant access to this information can be addictive and inspiring for someone they look up to and can relate too. Blogging is now proved to be so effective with big beauty brands they are now endorsing top beauty bloggers to review their products as it’s proven to drive sales.

If you could create an Illamasqua product that doesn’t exist, what would it be and why? Aqua paints (face paints)! You can paint a fantastic design from the first time you pick up a face painting brush. With only a few colours and simple strokes, it really is easy to create simple designs that anyone will love. Then, with practice, you can learn to create incredibly detailed works of art. I take my aqua paints on every make-up job with me – I have even been known to use them to create unusual lip art! 

Which make-up artists inspire you? I’ve been a big fan of Kevyn Aucoin, the make-up artist and the man, for a long time. He was a real style leader and truly innovative. He developed a make-up line called The New Nakeds (later renamed The Nakeds), which broke all of the trends for cosmetic brands at the time as it incorporated make-up for women of all skin tones. Kevin led the way for brands like Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier, which were also built on this aesthetic. I look up to him and think I can achieve these dreams one day too.

Do you have any advice for budding MUAs? Assist make-up artists and get as much work experience as you can! You see the good, bad and everything. The beauty of working with make-up is that it’s constantly changing with trends, products, seasons. If you have skills like myself within teaching, fashion, photography, media & theatre you can choose any career path at any time. Keep your options open and learn about every aspect of make-up that you can.  Simply…


You’ve just had a career change and moved to Crown Brushes! What will you be doing with them?  It’s now come to that time in my make-up career where I felt a change was needed. They do say in order to grow we must change. My new role with Crownbrush will involve me still being a freelance make-up artist and brand ambassador for Crownbrush which allows me to inspire individuals and pass on my knowledge; teaching aspiring make-up artists and members of the public how to express their individuality through Crown’s blog and social platforms and big make-up event like IMATS.  I want to lead the next generation of make-up artists whose creative work brings fantasy and creativity to life through the power of social media!

Tell us a bit about how your brand will be developing this year. This year is so exciting for me. I am currently developing a series of products such as my Karla charts that are designed to help out working make-up artists when sketching make-up looks. I will also be working alongside a number of make-up companies to bring out a ‘Best Of’ collection which will include some of your favourite make-up items which I love to use as a makeup artist; everything will have make-up artist needs in mind. My heart and soul will be clearly shown throughout this brand.

To keep up with Karla, be sure to follow her on her Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook pages.


Govinder Rayt

Govinder Rayt

Writer and expert