Interview: Eiléen Lee
Keeping track of the eternally evolving make-up and beauty industry can be a full-time job in itself. New products and techniques are constantly being released, updated and re-invented. Qualifications and standards in the industry vary greatly in their relevance, especially in the UAE, leading to some make-up artists not being as experienced as they should be.
With a combination of extensive ‘street’ practice before getting official qualifications in the UK, beautician Eiléen Lee uses colour and a passionate search for new products to give every face she works with the perfect makeover.
Born in New York and raised internationally, she believes everyone can even out the playing field with a bit of concealer and teaches colour in terms of light and shadow, which highlights the face in incredible ways allowing for accessible glamour for everyone.
The pretty beautician prides herself in keeping herself on top of what the latest trends are in fashion, lifestyle and beauty which is a never-ending quest she believes many women can relate to.
She said, “Beauty or make-up isn’t an exact science and is in fact extremely subjective. Even when you think you know something, new technology or applications still pop up since much of what make-up artists do is simply problem-solve skin or image challenges.”
For Eiléen, one of the frustrations of the job is the lack of a recognized code of conduct, particularly in this region.
She said, “Although each make-up artist’s story can make for an interesting read and creativity is hard to regulate, not all make-up artists are qualified to work with the public so you can encounter all kinds of bad practices.”
This is one of the main reasons Eiléen sought out accredited training in the UK after working for years in New York as a freelance make-up artist. She wanted to compare what she had learned on the ‘street’ to how a certified artist would do things. The combination has left Eiléen an extremely talented and professional artist, with an obsession with keeping her kit sanitary. Explaining her pet peeve, she said, “Keep your brushes clean regularly and never blow on your brushes if you are using them on a client!”
Eiléen became obsessed with the transformational powers of make-up at a young age and believes it can alter how others perceive you as well as how people perceive themselves. She said, “It’s a great boost to the ego when someone compliments you on how beautiful you look. You might be having a bad day with a vendor or perhaps rushing to an errand but if you take an extra moment to look after your skin and accentuate your features before you go out, you are more likely to garner a compliment that will lift your spirits. So beauty is more than just skin deep, it can literally make you sparkle which only leads to more positive feedback in life!”
Eiléen offers many services from photo shoots to private make-up lessons, and her celebrity clients have included Agyness Deyn, Albert Hammond Jr., Gerard Butler, and Jemma Kidd. Find out more at www.eileenleebeauty.com.
Eileen's top 5 places
1. The Pavilion next to the Burj Khalifa - I love how this is a beautifully tranquil yet active community art space in Dubai which is free to the public.
2. The Jetty Lounge in the One&Only Resort - This gorgeous space makes me feel like I am on vacation in the South of France or Ibiza, with it’s oversized seating, chillout music, and soft colourful lighting on the edge of the beach.
3. DUCTAC - I surprised my boyfriend with sculpture classes here one day that is only one of the many kinds of courses they offer in this community centre above the Mall of the Emirates.
4. The Empty Quarter Gallery in the DIFC - I am impressed with the quality of art that is increasingly passing through our little city and the stories that come with them.
5. Frankie’s restaurant on JBR Walk - I’ve been going to this little smoky piano bar since I arrived here nearly 4 years ago and it never gets boring.