Justine Collins is a leading make-up artist, manicurist, fashion stylist and session hairstylist.
Based in the idyllic Cotswolds and London she and her team have worked extensively throughout the UK and Europe. Her expertise and talent are sought by some of the most famous faces and brands in the fashion, hair and beauty industry working closely with some of the biggest names among celebrities, editors, photographers, fashion designers and models.
Justine is a creative with a passion for fashion, beauty and the arts from a young age. She has spent the last two decades building her reputation in the industry. It’s a reflection of her commitment to the business, her people and her loyal clientele, that it continues to build from strength to strength…
Being a real team player with a strong belief in the value of collaboration, Justine believes in the positive nurturing of talent within her team whilst always striving to retain a creative edge herself. Her philosophy on training is clearly demonstrated by her own commitment to continuous professional development. By expanding her skill set and continually improving the standard of her work she is now able to share her expertise globally as an international trainer.
Hot off the press: Justine is taking her talent, skill, experience and expertise to another level by going global to Dubai, India, China, Singapore and Latin America.
You studied fashion before makeup, why the change in career?
I adored fashion, in fact my final collection was a gorgeous bridal collection.
However, my parents bought me a book by Kevin Aucoin ‘The Art of Makeup’ and I literally fell in love with the images and I thought this is what I’m going to do.
How did you start your career in makeup?
I decided to pursue leading brands to work for. Estee Lauder, YSL and Sephora, companies that empowered me to develop my artistry skills rising from business manager to makeup artist to trainer. Equally, advancing my appreciation of the value of giving excellent customer service meant I enjoyed a strong and loyal following with my clientele.
You’ve worked with magazines, TV and runway, which do you prefer?
Yes, I have and they are each very different. Editorials and photo shoots are challenging and creative. This is where you can demonstrate your talent and skill by listening to the client, evolving the look, getting really involved in pursuing that final shot that perfectly satisfies the brief and, of course, the client.
TV is exciting, especially when working with well-known celebrities such as Rachel Hunter, Katie Price, Natasha Hamilton and Fearne Cotton. Runway is fuelled with adrenaline, tight deadlines, working at a much quicker pace with several models is always thrilling. I am looking forward to engaging with fashion weeks; it’s so inspiring to see trends twelve months ahead and being surrounded by other creatives just feeds the soul.
How did you get your first break in the industry?
I’ll always be thankful to two main people who believed in me at the start of my career.
Brendan O’Sullivan gave me the opportunity to work as a freelance artist with major companies such as Wella, L’Oreal and Schwarzkopf within the hair industry. For giving me the platform to show off my makeup and styling skills which attracted a lot of new business and clients. He also taught me the value of working as part of a team and how to create some of the most beautiful images.
Royston Blythe. I remember one summer my makeup work being published on the front cover of every hair magazine, it was surreal. I worked with Royston and his partner Nick Malenko with their shoots, shows and competition work. I learnt so much from them as creatives. Royston also introduced me to Gary Cockerill who gave me the opportunity to work the celebrity circuit, it was great fun!
Do you have a favourite product or brand?
I love a variety of brands; my all-time favourite lipstick is Tom Ford. I love working as a freelance artist trying out as many products as possible. I am currently using, amongst others, a British brand called 'Delilah'. The range is beautiful, fabulous for the modern women. I love to mix colour and texture when applying makeup so a wide choice of product is important in my kit.
Are you known for a particular aesthetic?
I believe my work is always fresh, modern and on trend. My main area of expertise is in enhancing the model’s own bone structure and skin. If the base looks great everything else you add will look far superior. Always feminine, I love making up strong women to make them look the best they can be.
Who do you admire in the industry?
This is tough as there are so many talented artists in the industry. Charlotte Tilbury, her aesthetic is probably most similar to how I work. Val Garland is just amazing, she is so on trend yet always way ahead. Alex Box, a marvel with makeup, she feels her way through a look, something I’m going to try and Tom Pecheux, who works with the A list women of the world; red carpet speed dial… I’d love to be him for a while, the faces he has painted, stunning.
Who is your favourite model you have worked with so far?
Luma Grothe is beautiful. I worked with her a few years ago when she was just starting out and now she is the face of L’Oreal. The Olympia model has walked for many designers including Dsquared, Blumarine and Victoria Secret. It would be great to work with her again in the future.
What is your ultimate dream job?
Probably the same for many artists out there, to shoot the cover of Vogue!! I’d love to have this happen in my career, watch this space...
Who is your dream face to make up?
Angelina Jolie is my idea of a perfection, her bone structure is stunning, her skin so translucent and those lips, beestung. Angelina shooting for the front cover of vogue, well that’s a goal to aim for!
And where do you see your future?
I’m currently working hard on Mastered: Makeup with Val Garland, Nick Knight etc: having been selected from 5497 applicants for 200 places I am so looking forward to my first collaboration early in April in Dubrovnik.
I’ve always thought that nails were an extension of makeup, the look was never finished for me without the polish. I love trying out new mediums on the nails, metallic foils, chrome, glitter, transfers, there are so many creative options now it’s a very exciting industry to be a part of.
Who have you worked with?
Heaps of models over the years and celebrities for shoots and TV; Emma Willis, Sophie Dahl, Linzi Stoppard, Natasha Hamilton, Rachel Hunter to name a few, I love to finish with the nails. It is much easier now to prepare for a shoot as the nails can be prepped in advance. Jewelled and Metallic French tipped tend to be favourites, depending on the fashion trends of course, colours are seasonal so you can have a lot of fun with clients who are in the public eye!
Whose work excites you at the moment?
Adam Slee works with some beautiful people, backstage at Victoria Secret, editorials and fashion campaigns, he creates some classic nail looks. Marian Newman is extremely talented, her vision for nails can be really futuristic and she comes up with awe inspiring colourful creations.
What inspires your designs for nails?
Anything that is happening at the time ie: fashion, the environment, wildlife and nature. I can be inspired by most things in the world, I’m quite the visionary so I am always discovering new materials and designs. I love how quickly the trends change; it’s an industry that never stays still and and you most definitely will never get bored.. It’s good to try different techniques, sometimes, if you make a mistake it can turn out better than planned.
Where do you see your future with nails?
I have recently been appointed as an international Top Artist for OPI and will be working at shows & events and delivering education across Asia / Latin America / Middle East & Africa, it's a fabulous opportunity to experience new cultures whilst helping the brand grow the nail industry in this diverse and developing region, I'm so excited to be joining the team and look forward to a colorful future.
Who would your dream client be?
It would have to be someone creative and fashion aware, maybe Alexa Chung. She is such a classic beauty, naturally on trend and loves to have fun with her nails.
You studied fashion from a young age, who were you inspired by?
In the early days my biggest influence was Gianni Versace and the parade of supermodels, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford and Karen Mulder. I loved everything about this era, glitz, glam, opulence, it was a time of more is more. I collected books and copies of Vogue magazine and used a lot of his images when creating mood boards for projects.
Who else played a part in your fashion world?
Alexander McQueen was probably the next huge influence. His creativity was extraordinary, always pushing boundaries and creating such breath taking collections. My favourite of all time is his Plato Atlantis 2010 collection, the shapes, structure and prints in this collection for me are superb. I have several of his books and will always treasure them. His ‘Savage Beauty’ exhibition just showed the scale of his talent and he is sorely missed in the fashion world.
You make pieces for shoots and shows, talk us through the process?
I do, and have for many years now. When I was tasked to style a shoot years ago I felt that I wasn’t giving the client something different. So I decided I would go back to my roots to design and manufacture individual and unique pieces. I love the whole process, from an initial ideas discussion with the client, brief to mood boards, colours to fabric textures; the look just evolves. I have a favourite London fabric store where I have been buying my fabric from for many years. The different fabrics on offer are fabulous, the owner knows me well and she always asks what I’m making and for what event. Sequins, metallic, tulle, divine quality. I never use a pattern, I create the design free hand over my mannequin to create a total look. One by one the outfits for the collections emerge. It’s exciting to know you are capturing your work in the image so you always have a record of what you have made over the years.
Who do you admire in the fashion industry, which designers or brands?
Many, Alberta Ferretti, Gucci, Tom Ford, Alexander McQueen, Blumarine, Etro, Erdem, John Galliano for Dior, Victoria Beckham, Matthew Williamson plus more…everybody will interpret the new trends differently so I may like a few pieces from one designers’ collection and a few from another, that’s just my style.
Do you follow trends forecasting or not?
Absolutely, one of my all-time favourite things to do is to go to Premiere Vision, Paris and become quite excited browsing through the new trend forecasting books. I collect them each visit, my little keepsakes. The trends and colour palette are shown 18 months ahead, they are just full of new ideas, colours, shapes, textures and fabrics.
You have a huge range of books on your bookcase, why is this?
I know I love books, I have always had books. The ones I like though are very expensive, so I save to buy them throughout the year. The subject matter varies depending on what I’m doing; makeup, home interior, fashion atelier, photography, designers, styling, hair etc…the amount of effort that goes into these books you have to give them the respect they deserve. I don’t have that much free time but when I do I love nothing better than browsing through the pages appreciating the talent.
Hair is the newest area you have trained in, why was that?
Yes, I have worked in the industry for over 20 years with many highly talented creatives, I have watched my clients create beautiful hair for photographic collections and live catwalk. It’s wonderful to be part of a team that wins awards and competitions.
So how is it being a fully qualified hairstylist?
I love it, every day is different in the salon. Clients requests are different, colouring techniques are forever changing. It’s so rewarding when clients tell you it’s the best haircut or colour they have ever had. We are a Kevin Murphy session salon and it fits in well in the Cotswolds. The products are very advanced and the new technology in the colour gives the hair a multi tonal finish. Kevin is an Australian session hairstylist and I have been aware of him for a number of years. His philosophy is quite similar to my own so it’s a great match.
What do you prefer, cut or colour?
My passion is for colour, I do credit my makeup background for this as I seem to see tone and colour differently to other stylists. I consider the clients skin colour, eye colour and lifestyle when helping to evolve a look for them. A small amount of tweaking with colour can make all the difference. I am currently on the advanced colour: me course with Kevin Murphy, when I qualify later this year I will hold a global colour qualification that is recognised around the world. Their session salon hair training course is during the summer months which will further expand my knowledge and build on my techniques for backstage work. It’s a very exciting year for me!
Glamour, Cosmopolitan, OK, Hello, Hair, Hairdressers Journal, Perfect Weddings, Bride, Highlights, You & Your wedding, Your Hair, Creative Head.
John Smedley, One True Saxon, Liv Clothing, Rapture, American Crew, Canon, Clynol, Dolland & Aitchinson, H&M, Hair Express, Hippodrome Theatre, Kenco Coffee, L’Oreal, Leaf Photography, Lindt Chocolate, Paul Mitchell, Regis International (UK & US) Schwarzkopf, Sephora, Shalke Jewellery, T3, Timberland, Trade Secrets, Vital Eyes, Wahl UK, Wella, Supercuts.
Rachel Hunter, Fearne Cotton, Emma Willis, Kate Garraway, Katie Price, Michelle Heaton, Natasha Hamilton, Emma B, Lewis Moody, Joe Pasquale, Linzi Stoppard, James Martin, Mark Lewis-Francis, Lindka Cierach
Hair Salon Clients
Royston Blythe, Abacus Hair Studio, Stuart Holmes, RUSH, Regis Salons, Andrea Beers, Bonce Salons, Martin Crean at Mode, Kenchez, Anthony John Salons, Headmasters, Zaks Hairdressing, HCUK, Francesco Group, Hair XS, Asif Yvette, Harry Bocock, Room:97
Richard Miles, David Goldman, David Devine, Andrew Robert Fox, Jim Crone, Oliver Pearce.
Make me a Supermodel, Retail Therapy.