Montreal Makeup Artist Vendor Interview: Mika Holborow

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Do you know the makeup artist who has given Kate Middleton makeup advice and Prince William’s personal shopper before she moved to Montreal? I do! The first time I met Mika was around 3 years ago through a friend of ours. The first thing that came across my mind was “oh my, those gorgeous eyes!” I then had the opportunity to see Mika in action at a ladies’ event where she was demonstrating and giving tips on everyday makeup. With Mika’s down-to-earth personality paired with a great sense of humour, the demonstration was so much fun!

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What led you to become a makeup artist?

I became obsessed with my mothers makeup bag when I was 8. She only ever had used Clinique and I distinctly remember feeling excitement over the colours! In those days there were very limited colours available for dark skin tones and Clinique was one of the only brands that offered colours suitable for black skins. The pigments were strong and the colours were vibrant and that really sparked my fascination.

After working as a personal shopper/stylist for 5 years I knew that I had to make the transition into cosmetics. I would spend hours shopping for clients, and yet always find myself lurking around the makeup counters of a department store.

I took a course in Professional Makeup in London and was very blessed to land a job straight after for MAC where I worked for 7 years and eventually became Manager of the London Chelsea Store.

In 2011 I met my husband who already resided in Montreal and I had to follow my heart which has led me here, to Montreal.

What is currently your favourite makeup trends?

I adore being inspired by fashion makeup trends, from catwalks to editorial campaigns. At the moment I’m in ‘lurrve’ with glossy skin, an intense satin berry Autumn lip and fresh eyes. Although, as I begin to imagine that, I also start thinking of really classic beauty inspirations that will timelessly feature as a trend we can all find inspiring.


You did Kate Middleton’s makeup on two occasions, tell us about that experience!

Well firstly I must say that she is so charming and very modest! The MAC store I managed in London was familiar to quite a few celebrity personalities (and obviously Royalty in this case)! Kate Middleton came into store for some advice on lip products and I was demonstrating a product on her. The next time she came into store she wanted some advice on eyeliner. The experience made me realise that even public figures need guidance on makeup and her concerns were ones I’ve heard nearly every customer shares about their makeup routine. On both occasions she was very down to earth, and I had even joked with her about taking the bus home!


Which other big names have you done work for?

It also happens that I used to shop for Prince William while I was a Personal Shopper. He would come into Selfridges (an International department store) every Christmas and buy gifts for family. I was responsible for helping him choose Christmas presents, wrap and even delivered them to him at Buckingham Palace. It was always a wonderful experience.

As a makeup artist I have worked with Jude Law and Annie Lennox, and I am so blessed to have been involved with projects that have connected me with such inspirational personalities.


Do you recommend doing a trial with you pre-wedding day?

Absolutely! I super strongly recommend a trial for wedding makeup! A bride should always approach her wedding day with confidence and feeling very prepared for her day. After all, it only happens once!

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What do you tell brides who aren’t sure what they want for their makeup?

Just be you! I think there is so much pressure on brides-to-be to look perfect and totally made-up on their wedding day. Although I am a social media fan (Pinterest for wedding inspirations is addictive)! I do believe that many brides focus on a vision for their makeup based on an image they may have seen a model wearing. The best way to wear your makeup on your wedding day is take a look at what YOU currently do and enhance it – make it the absolute best most flawless version of what you would do yourself. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t try new techniques. For example, if you haven’t tried airbrushing but are intrigued to know whether it would suit you then experiment at a trial. A wedding trial is the perfect opportunity to try something fresh.


How should a bride prepare her skin for her big day?

I usually advise that if you want to start doing facials avoid doing any extraction procedures immediately before a wedding day. Facials can be done but I recommend starting them at least a month ahead of any major occasion in case of any adverse reactions. I know it sounds ‘cheesy’ but sleep, water and good clean food really make a difference to our skins appearance. I know there are lots of people who swear by practising some sort of skin ritual they have read about somewhere but try not to change your daily routine too much. Wedding planning brings about enough challenges that effect our skins without the need for adding any more stresses!


Get in touch with Mika

Visit Mika’s website for more bridal tips & advice.


Hope you enjoyed this interview! Is there another vendor you’d like to see interviewed on our blog? Let us know in the comment box below!