The Industry Interview: Amanda Grossman, celebrity and ethical make-up artist

Amanda Grossman
Amanda Grossman

Amanda Grossman is a leading celebrity make-up artist with a client list including Emma Watson, Cat Deeley and Arizona Muse to name a few. Inspired by Watson, she has switched her kit to become completely ethical and cruelty-free. She talks to The Industry about the boom in conscious consumerism and the power that celebrities and social media have had in driving the movement.

Please can you tell us a bit about your background, training and how you go into make-up artistry?

I was born and bred in London, I actually started out in wig making as I initially wanted to work in the film industry. I did a two year course in wig making which made me involved in theatre productions. After this I travelled the world – before returning to London and continued my training at Greasepaint makeup school where I studied beauty makeup, film, TV Theatre makeup as well as prosthetics. I then started working at ITV through a friend where I worked in morning television. The days were 3am wake up times with a 4:30am call time.

I learned how to be quick in my work, quick fixes and ticks. I met some of the biggest names in show business, it was my job to make them feel, and look like a better version of themselves, so early in the morning.

Please can you tell us a bit about the kinds of work you do and which you enjoy the most (if any!), be that editorial, red carpet, catwalk?

I work across such an array of different types of makeup jobs – catwalk shows, celebrity photo shoots, editorial fashion stories, but my favourite are red carpet events.

Red carpet involves promotional work, film junkets and premieres with actors, presenters, super models, authors, child actors etc..

You have a completely ethical and cruelty-free kit, what prompted you to make that move?

I was prompted to create a fully ethical, cruelty free kit with my client Emma Watson as we embarked on a promotional tour. She asked if I could create a bespoke, ethical skincare and make up kit to use on her moving forward and I agreed to take on the mission!

I had to educate myself in the world of ethical beauty, a side of it that was unknown to me at the time. Though it was a huge task, I was excited to embark on it.

There seems to have been a boom in the past 12-24 months in consumers thinking about conscious consumerism – be it reducing food waste, eliminating plastic waste, recycling clothes – in your opinion, what has driven that?

It is wonderful that so many more people in my industry are taking action and using their voice to promote a cleaner lifestyle.

I need to talk about the power of social media, and how this impacts the younger generation, who have more information available to them than ever before. There is also the power of the celebrity, within the industry I work in, which is immense and can have a mammoth impact, globally.

What about your choices. As a professional make-up artist, what does an ethical kit mean? What are your criteria for selecting product?

An ethical kit means to me that in the vast makeup and beauty market, there is no need to use products that are tested on animals anymore. The range of brands that are available, who choose to be cruelty free can be found everywhere. Furthermore, more and more companies are veering towards being ethically correct.

All this is possible without having to sacrifice the quality of the product, which means that green beauty is the way forward.

Being natural, eco friendly, waste free and as sustainable as possible is my criteria when choosing products for my work kit and my personal use.

Amanda Grossman is respresented by The Wall Group.