A Bit About Me

Hi! I'm Ellie Balfe and I have been a professional makeup artist for 17 years. I trained intensively for two years in the Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design and thankfully was in immediate demand upon graduating.

I started my career in the film and television industry before moving into fashion. In 1995, I became Bobbi Brown’s first head makeup artist for Ireland and in this role I worked both on fashion shoots and shows representing the brand, but also with real women educating them in new makeup techniques on the counter.

This sparked a huge interest in me for merging the two skills; I believe that the fantasy of the fashion world can translate to real women’s beauty regimes as long as they are shown how to use products correctly.

In 1997, I moved to London to work for Space NK. At that time, the brand had only 6 stores and I become a makeup artist and then a store manager, eventually responsible for the set up and management of the St Johns Wood store. This period was full of inspiration for me as I was trained in over 30 different brands and took on a true mix and match approach to beauty; a theme I keep to this day. Whilst in London, I worked on celebrities such as Courteney Cox and Louise Redknapp.

After four years in London, I moved back to Ireland to help in the set up and staff training of the original Blue Eriu store on Dublin’s South William St. This project was exciting as it was the launch of many of the niche brands to Ireland.

After my stint in Blue Eriu came to an end, I worked freelance for a number of years and built up a great clientele of Irish celebrities such as Grainne Seoige and Pamela Flood, as well as those not in the public eye who wanted a personal makeup artist to get them ready for big events and weddings.
I began to build my reputation as a non-biased makeup artist as a time when so many good artists worked for a particular brand so couldn’t truly recommend all the products that they really used in their kit.

After a couple of years as a freelance artist, I was approached by Stila Cosmetics to become their business manager and head makeup artist in Ireland. I was based between Brown Thomas in Dublin and London in this role for two years.

In 2005, I set up a company called Boylan & Balfe – The Makeup People, with fellow makeup artist, Ken Boylan. Together we taught courses to aspiring makeup artists as well as to women who were looking to update their makeup skills and get some non-biased advice as to what products to buy to get the best results. Boylan & Balfe were responsible for the looks for many fashion shows and events such as Marks & Spencer, Divine Boutique, The Aghadoe Heights Ladies Lunches, The L’Oreal Colour Trophy show and they looked after the makeup for the wives of the golfers throughout the Ryder Cup.

Throughout this time, I continued to work with many brides and personal clients who seem to like a flawless and natural makeup style.

Since Boylan & Balfe closed in 2010, I have launched my own range of recession friendly makeup courses and taken up beauty writing for various magazines and websites as well as this blog. The end of 2010 sees me going into partnership with Harvey Nichols as their preferred makeup artist and personal beauty shopper where I will be available in a private suite instore for one-on-one sessions to teach people the best makeup looks to suit them using the entire mix of brands from their niche beauty department. I hope that my unbiased approach will be enlightening for women as I can design a personal product prescription and show how to use them to their greatest effect.  
My beauty philosophy is a simple one but I believe in taking it back to basics; really looking at your skin, your lifestyle and your personal tastes and designing a look for each individual that looks natural and polished.

. ‘Your face, but slightly better!’

You are welcome to contact me on ellie(at)elliebalfe(dot)com....I'd love to hear from you!
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