Making up is not so hard to do


A chance to meet with one of the worlds top make up artists is not one I'm going to turn down, but as I near the door, a very unfamiliar feeling comes over me – nerves. Will I cut the make up mustard or will she spend the meeting mentally redoing my face?

Kay Montano doesn't know it, but I've been a fervent fan of her work over her 20 year career. Where to start? Iconic covers of The Face magazine that both shocked an intrigued? Check. That infamous Calvin Klein Obsession campaign featuring a teenage Kate Moss? Double check.

Photographers she has worked with include Steven Meisel, Patrick Demarchelier and Mario Testino and when it comes to celebrities, it more like who hasn't she made up – Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lawrence are just two who'll be camera ready at Cannes this year courtesy of Kay.

But this is no high flying diva, she's relaxed and down to earth and in no time we're chatting away like bosom buddies (to my mind). She tells me of her difficult decision to move back to London after a ten year stint in New York. 'my agent thought I was crazy and said no, no you just can't leave all this, but I knew deep down it was right and I've never regretted it'.

She's here to talk about her collaboration with none other than Marks and Spencer, who've pull off a bit of a coup in bagging her as spokesperson for their latest venture Your Beauty. She considers herself 'very much an M&S person – middle aged but contemporary' and confesses she's wearing one of their bras. Kay loves that the beauty side of the business is now getting its own department 'make up can evolve as you do and everyone has something worth accentuating'. Of course I her to pick out some favorites from the collection and she's off on a roll.

Loose powder is a must in Kay's book, the Autograph Invisible Finish Loose Powder €16 is perfect used along the T zone only – she never uses powder on cheeks.

'Smoky eyes are not just for the young a long as you keep the colour transparent – my favorite is Autograph Eyeshadow in gun metal €8 which is great used just under the socket line where older skin can look puffy, it recedes the problem beautifully.'

'Eyeliner is so important to define the eyes as we age and everyone can wear a loft brown pencil such as Limited Collection Kohl Eyeliner Pencil €4'

Kay also rates the Autograph High Definition Lip liner in Latte €8 – 'a really natural lip shade that helps to define the mouth and keeps lipstick from bleeding'

'Bright lips are not just for the young, you can carry off a pop of bright colour such as Diego della Palma no 181 €20 as long as you keep the rest of the face neutral.'

Your Beauty is at Marks & Spencer Mary St with more to follow this summer at Grafton street, Dundrum and Liffey Valley. also online at