An award-winning Derry make-up artist has told of her “trip of a lifetime” when she rubbed shoulders with celebrity Kim Kardashian in Los Angeles last week.
Antonia Gallagher sat on the front row at a make-up masterclass hosted by one of the biggest names in the industry.
Antonia, who owns ‘The Parlour’ on Abercorn Road, is well known across Derry and beyond and was invited as a special guest of Make Up artist Mario Dedivanovic (MakeUpByMario) through her role as brand ambassador for Powder N’ Pout cosmetics - owned by Carndonagh woman, Aisling Cunningham.
Antonia, who is mummy to Maddison (12) and Maggiemay (10) and has been married to Paul for 15 years, shared her experience with her followers across social media, who were gripped by her updates.
Speaking to the ‘Journal’ on her return home, Antonia said that while the trip was amazing and she will “cherish” all she learned, there really is no place like home.
She described the Make Up Masterclass as “surreal” and admitted she tried to remain composed while “screaming inside” as she sat with her inspirations.
She said: “Honestly, it was surreal, to be sat front row next to some of the biggest names in the industry including Anastasia (Beverly Hills), James Charles, Jadey Wadey, GIGI, was just mind blowing but I kept my cool whilst everyone was screaming and shouting for autographs from them. I tried to pretend I wasn’t phased whilst I was screaming inside wanting to join in with the people infront of me screaming at them! I did finally build up the nerve to ask Jade for a photograph and gave her some Powder ‘n’ Pout brushes to try, which she was delighted with and shared with her 2.1 million followers on Instagram.”
Antonia is a huge fan of Powder ‘n’ Pout and was delighted to be asked to be Brand Ambassador.
She said: “As an artist I began using their brushes almost three years ago and instantly fell in love with them, so much so that I became a stockist. I’ve always been a huge supporter and they sponsored my gift bags at my classes. Then, on October past, they took me out for dinner and asked me if I would become a Brand Ambassador which I was thrilled at as I know - as do my clients/students and followers on social media - that it’s a brand I truly believe in.”
Her followers also know that she’s a huge fan of Mario . . . and she told how, not only does she admire his technique, but also his values and who he is as a person.
Antonia said: “This was my second time to have attended one of Mario’s classes, so I sort of knew what to half expect and to be blown away by his knowledge. He’s someone who truly inspires me and has done my throughout my career.
“I’ve so much respect for not only for his work but his work ethic and him as a person. A lot of what he’s achieved has been for his mother and as well as my husband and children, a lot of my drive and passion comes from my dream of to one day bring my parents to live with me so I can take proper care of them.
“His style of artistry and what he’s known for, is like myself, which is pretty makeup and accentuating the face’s natural features, so I could listen and watch him paint faces all day.”
Antonia was able to meet Mario and his muse, Kim Kardashian, who was his model on the day.
She described him as “just amazing.”
She added how he was “so dry and sarcastic, but not in a rude way and yet so passionate whilst he’s working. I can almost feel him hold his breath whilst he’s concentrating. He has a very calm a quiet soul and just a real good energy about him.”
She also greatly admires Kim Kardashian.
Antonia admitted: “Since the trip, I’ve become a ‘Kim K’ fan - having known very little about her before hand and having never watched her show. I’d only known her as an extremely attractive woman. Having met her, I found her to be very humble as well as funny. I think I got to see the real Kim, very respectful to Mario and values and trusts his opinions 100 per cent, which I’d assume is rare in such a big glamorous industry.
“Totally besotted by her children, she even FaceTimed North (her daughter) whilst she was at her cousins first birthday party. So definitely, I’ve now seen the beauty that she carries in the inside as well.”
Antonia’s trip was watched and commented on by hundreds of her followers on social media and she told me how she wanted to take them” with her on the trip.
She said: “The people that follow and support me truly blow me away. Many of them are total strangers that began the journey with me all those years ago, some just recently joined my journey and honestly they are what pushes me when I’m having a day that I just can’t be bothered. I remember and acknowledge their messages and comment suggesting that I’ve inspired them in some ways and nine times out of 10 I get up and shake myself, think what I’d toldthem and then I’m ready to face another day.
“So, being on this trip I wanted to take them with me. I will never try to be someone I’m not. I’ll always be me and say and show it how it is and I believe they respect that.
“So, I wanted them to see and feel like they were there with me; the support they’ve shown me, not only this past week but thoughout my career, I will be forever indebt ed to them and I just hope I managed to represeed not only Powder ‘n’ Pout, my family, and also our wee island as well.”
The trip was a culmination of what was a big year for Antonia last year and this is continuing into 2019. She told how she had adopted a new positive outlook to life, which has been transformational.
Antonia went on: “I made a promise to myself at the beginning of 2018, being at a very dark place in my life, that I would begin to look after myself including my mental health. So, I began a journey and I’m still very much on that journey and I believe my life has turned around because I’ve changed my attitude and began believing in myself and surrounding my self with positive people. My professional life has definitely changed directions, for the past year and a half I’ve been working on my own eyeshadow palette, from formulas to design. It’s been a long process that we hoped would have been ready by Christmas, but I just wasn’t happy so I’d rather it was late but worth the wait. That will finally be launching this year, which is a collaboration with Beaut Essential. I’ve also become a Brand Ambassador for a few different companies and that’s just the start of it. I’ve very much more in the pipe- line but can’t reveal just yet.”
Despite the glitz and glamour of her trip and seeing how celebrities live, Antonia said she is just as happy living her life the way it is.
She said: “Glamour and Fame is just all that, but for me there is no place like home. I had a trip of a life time (and even turned down my invite to The Grammys after party).
“I will cherish and practise everything I learnt from Mario and Anastasia and continue to work hard on my dream of one day being a home owner.”