International make-up artist Attracta Courtney on life, makeup careers and her signature style
Attracta Courtney is an international make-up artist whose signature style is fresh, dewy skin. She is one of the most respected names in the business having worked for top publications around the world, with high profile celebrity clients including members of the royal family.
Aside from make-up artistry, her skills also span beauty journalism, creative direction, hosting workshops and trend forecasting.
In 2015, she launched the Attracta Beauty Skincare & Makeup Awards — a first for an international make-up artist. On top of this, she has also worked as a creative beauty director for a number of magazines, and is the founder of renowned art publication, ‘8A’.
Meet Attracta Courtney, make-up artist to the stars
Attracta is a world-renowned make-up artist who has worked with some of the world’s top celebrities, models and photographers.
While she is best known for her ‘no makeup’ makeup look, she has also created more avant-garde aspirational directions and trends. Her work always seeks to reflect the beauty of the woman with an elegant modernity.
A pioneer when it comes to the maintenance of healthy, dewy skin, Attracta firmly believes that the foundation to beautiful makeup always starts with beautiful skin.
Attracta’s passion for beauty and expertise in the sector led her to contribute to a variety of luxury travel and fashion magazines. Combining journalism and her passion for beauty, she was inspired to develop the book ‘8A’ with the fashion stylist Ann Shore, which is described as ‘an honest celebration of beauty in all its forms’.
Attracta is frequently quoted on her key makeup tips and beauty trend predictions in leading glossy publications and international press. She also regularly gives workshops and talks on the history of makeup and what beauty means today.
Attracta’s celebrity clients
Attracta’s hard work and determination led to her success and the opportunity to work with many high profile individuals including Karlie Kloss, Natalia Vodianova, Heidi Klum, Cara Delevingne, Eva Longoria, Felicity Jones, Sienna Miller, Elle Macpherson, Daisy Lowe, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, John Legend, Oasis and Charli XCX.
The foundations of Attracta’s makeup career
How did she get started in makeup?
When Attracta was a child, she loved beauty in all its forms, including nature. She also enjoyed watching her mother put on makeup, finding its transformative power inspiring. She particularly liked watching her mother artfully apply red lipstick, a memory which remains clear in her mind today.
She realised very early on that she loved how makeup could make people look and – more importantly – feel beautiful.
Career advice for budding makeup artists
Starting a career as a makeup artist
Attracta recommends attending makeup school, to learn the core skills of the trade and gain experience. She studied at the Glauca Rossi School of Makeup in London and highlights it as one of the best decisions of her career.
She also notes that it’s important to develop a ‘signature style’ of makeup, to have something that makes you stand out from the competition.
Attracta advises aspiring make-up artists to knock on doors and ask agents for the opportunity to go and assist the best names in the business, particularly at fashion shows.
Not only does this offer the opportunity to learn from established make-up artists, but it also helps to build up a reputation with important people in the industry.
The make-up guru adds that it’s important for aspiring make-up artists to persevere, really believe in themselves, and to put themselves out there. She also says it’s important to develop an Instagram account to showcase work and ask aspiring photographers to shoot pictures for your portfolio.
She says that rejections are part and parcel of any career, but it is important not to let them get to you and affect your motivation to succeed.
Her celebrity clients
Attracta’s biggest break came 18 months into her career, when she got to fly to the Caribbean with British Vogue to work with supermodel Bridget Hall.
She worked hard to learn from the best and brightest in the industry from a young age and credits much of her success to that.
As well as working with some of the most exciting celebrities in the world and editorial shoots, she has also had the opportunity to work on international advertising campaigns for big brands such as Aveda, McQ and H&M.
Attracta Courtney’s signature style
Attracta believes that makeup has a transformational “feel-good” factor particularly when combined with healthy skin. She says that when you adhere to a good skincare routine, you immediately feel wonderful and this gives you enhanced confidence to be more experimental with colour and makeup styles. So creating healthy, dewy skin is crucial to her signature style as it provides a wonderful base to boost makeup and help people look and feel amazing.
After skin has been cleansed, Attracta always preps with a spritz of rose water which is cooling and refreshing on the skin, followed by a rich nourishing moisturiser or all-in-one serum that gives the skin an instant surge of dewiness — essential for catwalk shows.
Attracta advises that when choosing foundation, makeup artists should test out various colours on the face in natural light. Once you’re happy with the shade, she advises choosing one that goes on easily, blends well and dries to a natural looking finish. She likes to finish off her signature style with an accent of makeup colour either on lips, cheeks or eyelids.
Following in Attracta’s footsteps
- Train at a good beauty school to learn the key skills
- Create your own signature style which makes you unique from other make-up artists
- Go and work with high profile beauty professionals, particularly at fashion shows
- Don’t worry about rejections — they are part of the process
The start of a beautiful career?
Are you looking to follow in Attracta’s footsteps and succeed in the make-up business?
Whether you’re just starting out, running your own business or still exploring your options, we’ve got a wealth of information for hair and beauty professionals. Click here to take a look and start styling your very own pathway to success.