James Molloy is a name synonymous with makeup. With over a quarter of a million followers on Instagram, founder of my kit co and now the global make-up ambassador for Rimmel London, James originally studied art and worked in visual merchandising before launching into a make-up career. His make-ups have graced the pages of publications including Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, and his celebrity clients include Dita Von Teese, Emma Watson and Kanye West. He is warm, friendly and everything you expect from a world class make up guru. I caught up with him on Zoom for a fifteen-minute chat about make up and some of his favourite things.
Who is your ideal dinner party guest? I know this totally sounds cliched but Marilyn Monroe. She was misunderstood and yet so glamourous. I have just watched Gentlemen prefer blondes and she was incredible in it. I am into different icons for different eras but Marilyn for me is universal.
Who is your hero? I think Alexander McQueen did so much for fashion. He embraced the darker side and made high fashion accessible. His designs were equally elegant and edgy. He was a true fashion icon. He revolutionised the industry.
What is the secret to ageless make up?
Glow and radiance, by that I do not mean frost or glitter I mean adding light and youth to the face. There is a difference between a dull matte skin and something bright and radiant. Ageless make up for me is not overdone. It is simple, glamourous, and light reflecting. I love a simple segmented look. By that I mean a great brow with a dramatic lash or a statement lip. Some of my favourite clients to make up are in their 60s. Somebody that embodies this look is Jane Fonda. Makeup can absolutely be ageless.
Which make up product tells most about a person?
The Brows, whether they are big and fluffy, dark, and defined or natural the brow personality tells you a lot about a persons make up style. How they choose to sculpt or not is very telling. They frame the face.
If you were a make up product what would you be?
Black Liner, it is the equivalent of an LBD for a woman or a black suit for a guy. Versatile and suits any occasion. What you do with it is key, sweep a wing or a sexy kohl look.
What are the four-desert island make up products?
Brow Gel, essential for taming and definition. You will always feel better with a brow. You can opt for a clear or coloured product.
Black Kohl, this can be for just a little definition or a full-on smoky eye. It is the most versatile thing in your bag. A sweep along the top lash adds definition
Glow Sticks – A creamy multi-tasking stick for the eye’s cheeks and skin. They are mistake proof and add such a pearly finish. If you are only allowed four then one multitasker is essential.
Stay Matte Lipstick in 500- The not too orange, not too cool perfect red for everyone. A red lip is instant glamour and finesse.
How important is blush?
So much of my kit is blush, cream, or powder. It is youthful and adds colour and definition to the face.
Who do you admire in the industry?
In the states people like Patrick Ta and Mario are absolutely killing it. Here in the UK I love the style of Terry Barbour. Charlotte Tilbury was a mentor when I started out. She taught me a sexy smoky eye.
What is your favourite campaign that you have worked with Rimmel on? The Wonder Swipe eyeliner was one, the model was standing there and her make up was done, then we released a plethora of glitter from above. It was surreal.
“I love working with Rimmel as their Global Makeup Ambassador – bringing the London look to life. It’s a brand most of us have grown up with and so many of their products are truly iconic.” Molloy continued, “The new products are perfect for the world we are living in right now, the Lasting Matte Foundation is a base that won’t transfer, is light, gives you that coverage you want and will stay on. The Scandal’Eyes range of mascaras has the mascara you need for every occasion but what girl does not want more volume?! Scandal’Eyes Volume on Demand can help you play up big eyes – another great look for the moment as we stay safe and wear a mask.”