Young Make Up Queen, Lilli Kelly

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Flames. Soot. Ash. A condemning scene at the home of a young make-up artist. But this would inspire her to create a scene that would awe her many adoring followers.

Lilli Kelly is her own boss at the age of 17. Renting a chair at The Glamour Pit in Liverpool, she is a self-taught make-up artist that encompasses the ever evolving generation of the day. Boasting near 10,000 followers on Instagram, the MUA is known through word of mouth in the city and beyond those borders.

Everyday practise honed Ms Kelly’s creative talents: watching tutorials, reading books and whole lot of blogs was her remedy for success. But to make that jump from hobby to career, she paid to do a short course, solely for the qualification. With each MUA travelling their own journey, Lilli believes courses can limit the creativity of aspiring artists:

“I think there’s nothing you can’t teach yourself. Of course you can learn from other make-up artists, but I think relying completely on a college to learn isn’t the best. You have no room for your own creativity to grow, as most students are molded to believe in only one way to do things. Everyone is different and has different styles – a college suppresses that. Also you learn something new all the time with make-up, there’s always new trends, techniques, products. You can never stop improving and growing that’s why I love it.”

Before 2014, make-up was just a hobby for Lilli. Now, she’s hoping to travel the world for photo shoots, bag a place at fashion week and working her way up in the industry. With inspiration coming from all angles: art, nature and life – it’s a wonder the young MUA has time in her day. After a house fire in January, she created a look that reflected her current situation:

“Depending on how I’m feeling depends on the look I’ll do. I can just sit down and see where it takes me.”

Social media can create a following never imagined a few years ago. With so many popular make-up artists posting images on Instagram and blogging their tutorials; people are motivated in make-up.

“I wouldn’t have had the opportunities I have without social media. It gives you connections, and allows people to see your work. I’ve met photographers, models, other make-up artists through it. I get a lot of clients from it, it’s amazing what can come from it.

Seeing clients really happy and praise my work made me realise I could make it as a career, now I couldn’t imagine doing anything else, and only wish to get better at what I do.”

We leave the soon to be 18 year old with well wishes and high hopes for the future. A story for any MUA reader to be inspired by. But before she flitted off we asked her for some last minute advice and tips…

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the bare minimum, fresh skin, glowing, youthful.


First of all, your kit should have the basics, and then build on that, I’d advise beginners too buy good palettes, because you’ll save some money, e.g. warm and cool eyeshadow palettes from MAC, £65 for 15 eyeshadows, usually £150 if you buy each eyeshadow separate. Bobbi Brown universal palette, around £180 but contains a wide variety of concealer and foundation, and all in one place. Anastasia Beverly Hills contour kit is amazing, only £40 and again it’s compact and all colours in one place. Also, get too know your kit and products, be comfortable and confident in what you’re using on your clients and know it’ll do the job you want it too!


My advice would be too first question why you want to make it into a profession, if it’s because you are genuinely passionate about it, and have the drive and motivation to put in the hours and hard work before you’re the best, then definitely go for it. Practice practice practice! Never ever be put off if something doesn’t go right – you’re not perfect, however learn how to fix those mistakes. Have confidence, having confidence in your work will push you too try new things and take new opportunities. Don’t doubt yourself, however don’t think you’ll be a professional in a few weeks – it takes years! And a lot of hard work, but is definitely achievable if you have the right motives!

ALL IMAGES PROVIDED BY LILLI KELLY – You can find her on Instagram @lillikellymakeup

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