Dani Richardson

…after training at Brushstrokes at Shepperton Studios in 1994, Dani went on to assist various established artists on music videos and TV commercials, building contacts and a showreel along the way. Whilst building her freelance career Dani worked part-time at MAC for about 5 years, where she learned a huge amount about fashion and beauty makeup. Working at MAC spurred her to make a move into doing more photographic work, where Dani ended up working on print ad campaigns, celebrities, editorials, etc. Now her career is a broad mix of all of the above, featuring in campaigns for Stella Artois, Hush Puppies, Kickers and Ben Sherman; music videos and press for Gerri Halliwell, Warpaint, Mumford & Sons, Paul Weller, Miles Kane, Super Furry Animals, and with celebrities such as Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Ray Winstone, Dita Von Teese, and Eddie Izzard, whom Dani tour with as his personal makeup artist for UK & Europe. Dani have recently joined The Milton Agency as part of their team for Red Carpet and Publicity.

Let’s find out more about Dani  and her world.




How did you become a makeup artist?
Growing up living in Kensington High Street as a kid in the 70s and early 80s was probably what ignited my love for makeup. My mum was a model in the 60s and my auntie was an air stewardess, both keen on makeup and each owned huge palettes of Princess Marcella Borghese’s extremely fabulous disco eyeshadows, which I would amuse myself with for hours as a 9 year old girl. Fast forward to the mid 80s, playing with makeup was pretty much an obsession. Inspired by the Blitz Scene (which I was regrettably just a few years too young for!) and the various alternative scenes of my local haunt, Kensington Market, I was always very creative and experimental with makeup and dreamed of making a career out of it. I worked in office jobs when I first left school but one evening, when I was making up a colleague of mine for a 70s themed client party, I made the decision to leave the corporate world and go and train in Film & TV makeup.


Tell us about your favourite daily look.
For myself, I would say fresh but matte skin with a bold coloured lip, black kohl and winged eyeliner with pewter eyeshadow. Quite Debbie Harry inspired, usually. For anyone else, well, that depends very much on the person I’m working with as I like to bring out their individual personality.


What two products you can’t leave the house without?
 I can’t leave the house without lipstick and lip balm. Does it have to be two? I have very oily skin, so I could do with a powder compact on me too!


What part of the makeup process do you enjoy the most?
Seeing the final transformation, whether that means turning someone into a character, creating a beauty look, or transforming someone who struggles with their self-esteem into a someone who feels great when they look in the mirror.  



What two products are essential for the makeup artist to carry in their kit?
 Two?! Oh my, you haven’t seen my kit, have you? I’m not very good at travelling light! An inexhaustible set of clean brushes and some good comprehensive palettes so you can be prepared for unexpected surprises.


Which is your favourite ‘touch up’ makeup product?
This depends so much on the client that I’m working with, but a few of my indispensables always in my set bag are:
Dermalogica AntiOxidant Hydramist
RCMA Foundation Palettes
Chanel Stylo Eclat Lumiere in Beige Rose
MAC Loose Blot Powder in Medium (but I’ve heard it’s about to be discontinued!)
MAC Mattifying Gel


What makeup trends you dislike most?
I think these are pretty unanimous dislikes amongst makeup artists!
“Drag by numbers” on ladies and young girls. The heavily contoured Kim Kardashian look! Done well, for the right purpose – ie. on drag performers or for specific photographic or film effects contouring – or sculpting, as I prefer to call it (the word contouring makes my heart sink nowadays, thanks to Instagram), is an amazing skill to have and works very well. Badly translated by unskilled members of the public, it can range from tediously unimaginative cloning to “Oh Yikes!”. I see girls on the street who have literally followed tutorials to the letter without even considering the shape of their face (or, even worse, the colour of their own skin).
Bad fake tan. Again, I’m all in favour of it done well. I mean, if it means people are no longer cooking themselves on sun beds that’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned. But there are people walking around that could only be colour matched for foundation in Homebase, or perhaps by McVities.
Highlighter all over your face…. come on, that’s nonsense! Especially the tip of the nose thing.
Eyebrows…. too big, too complicated.  The ombre thing as a daily look… Wow!  Why?


Who is your favourite makeup artist?
Ahh, so many amazing artists around to get inspired by! It’s hard to choose.  Alice Gengrih has always been a huge favourite when it comes to Editorial makeup. I think Morag Ross is inspirational too. So versatile. Fantastic character and period work, and she just has a skill of making women look so incredibly beautiful.


What is your favourite type of make up look?
Again, so hard to choose! I’m a 20th Century girl, I love a bit of luxe glamour. Golden Age of Hollywood, Studios 54 disco glam, New Romantic, Raw Rock & Roll style.  I love them all!