5 minutes with Bobbi Brown's Pro Artist Hannah Martin

While getting our makeup done by Bobbi Brown's Pro Artist Hannah Martin, we couldn’t help but pick up on her infectious personality and humour.

Known for her beautiful bridal work on Kate Middleton for her Royal Wedding to Prince William, as well as countless displays of artistic talent at numerous Fashion Weeks, we knew Hannah was a girl after our own hearts.

We sat down with Hannah (rocking intense smoky eyes) to ask her about her career with the popular beauty house, her favourite beauty trends for this season and her most pivotal piece of beauty advice…

hannah martin pro artist headshot

What attracted you to the Bobbi Brown brand?

I grew up in Gloucestershire where there weren’t that many makeup brands - there were only your old-school perfume houses. I spent my youth in theatre and loved being in the back with makeup and lights. If I close my eyes, I can still smell the makeup from my ballet school - I just loved it.

Then when I was a young adult and buying more makeup, it dawned on me that I’d like to be a makeup artist and the most fun thing would be to get on the bus from Oxford, where I was as a student, and buy Bobbi Brown. 

Once I got married I moved to London and really made a go out of it career-wise. I spent a couple of months assisting and didn’t earn a penny. My poor husband said: “Han, I love that you’re giving this a go but please get a job.” So it was a no-brainer that if I was going to have to have a job to tide me over for a while that; A, it would be as a makeup artist and; B, it would be with my favourite makeup brand, Bobbi Brown. That was nine and a half years ago and I’m still here. 

How did you work your way up to become a Pro Artist? 

I started as a studio manager at the Bobbi Brown studio in the City and loved it; I had a great team. I was then moved to Fenwick Bond Street, which was fun. I managed the team in here, which I loved, but the beauty was that I was so close to every single head office. I was constantly being sent to editors to work with them or being requested to go and do a few jobs for the press team, which I loved. I suppose that’s where I got some exposure and through a couple of year’s hard slog, I was fortunate enough to get a pro position, which was beyond my wildest dreams.

Image credit: Instagram.com/bbpro_hannahmartin (L-R) Hannah at Kempner S/S16, NYFW; Hannah at the latest Bobbi Brown free-standing store in Spitalfields, London; Hannah and Bobbi Brown ambassador Kate Upton

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

There have been so many career highlights it’s hard to name a favourite. I suppose with the wedding of 2011, I’ll always have to pinch myself to think that I was there but I have to say it’s whenever I’m at New York Fashion Week. 

To think back to 2006, my first year at NYFW, I was this irritating little girl in bright colours while everyone else was cool and trendy in black and edgy. I went out with horrible business cards that were so tacky and gave them to anybody that would give me eye contact backstage. Afterwards, I was so despondent because I would think ‘Oh, I thought I’d get lots of work in’ - and to think, 10 years later.

I think that’s the way to go: hard work and dedication. If you love something, you can achieve whatever you want. I’ve still got a letter my mum sent me when I was interviewing for Bobbi Brown. It was an article about Bobbi with a post-it note saying ‘Darling, this is so up your street - follow your dream!" It’s so corny but I kept that because it was so important to me, because Bobbi Brown was a dream.

What’s your favourite beauty trend for A/W15?

A strong lip. I think Bobbi [Brown] is really winning with gorgeous lipsticks, especially with the new Luxe Lip Collection. We’ve got one which is special to the UK called Your Majesty - it’s a really deep red-plum and it’s just beautiful. I also think that you rock a strong lip better when autumn sets in and you’re wearing it with your camel coat and a big scarf. 

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Which deep shades work best with different skin tones? 

I think if you feel confident in a shade then go for it and wear it and enjoy it and love it – but I’d say there are a couple of rules. An olive skin tone can look incredible in an orange-red, while a slightly fairer skin tone can look good in a pink-red. Really deep skin tones have the joy of being able to wear a pink-red, a brick red, an orange-red, blood red, etc. If your skin tone is slightly warmer you could even wear a deep cerise or a purple plum.

What are you looking forward to most within beauty for S/S16?

I suppose fresh from New York Fashion Week there was definitely a lovely transition into that gorgeous light, dewy skin. S/S16 beauty is all about detoxing for fresh, healthy, glowing skin – that’s what I’m most excited about. 

We’ve got a beautiful product called the Extra Illuminating Moisturising Balm, £42, and whilst it’s great throughout the winter months, use it in early spring with a hint of tinted moisturiser and you get a gorgeous dewy look. 

With eyes, go for less and something that’s lighter and brighter. In the spring apply a bit of Ballet Pink Sparkle Eyeshadow, £23.50, and mascara – you’ll look amazing.

Bobbi Brown is available at Fenwick Bond Street, Canterbury, Kingston, Newcastle and Tunbridge Wells

By Hanna Ibraheem