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Spotlight On: Irish makeup artist Ciara Ryan

For this week’s Spotlight On feature, we spoke to Irish makeup artist Ciara Ryan.

After completing a crash course in makeup, the 21-year-old landed her dream job in MAC Cosmetics.

The Dublin native began sharing her looks on Instagram and TikTok (@paintedbyciara), where she has gained a massive following.

In her exclusive interview with, Ciara spoke about the pros and cons of having a large social media platform, her plans for the future, and shared her top beauty tips.

How did you first get into makeup? What steps did you take to pursue a career in it?

I’ve been doing makeup as long as I can remember. My mom wore makeup everyday and still does, and I used to sit and watch her put it on and be amazed by how it could change her entire face. She was an amazing artist so the way she did makeup was so therapeutic to watch.

I really got into it when I was 14, when I was going to teenage discos. All my friends would ask me to do their brows, eyeliner, etc. I got used to working on different face shapes from a young age because of this.

My career in makeup began when I finished school. I did a crash course in makeup and then applied for jobs. I applied for every makeup counter imaginable, including ones in local pharmacies. I popped my CV into Mac cosmetics on the off chance that they might be desperate – I never imagined working there as I wasn’t sure I was good enough.

Months went by and just as I lost hope I got an interview! I then got the job and have been working there ever since.

What made you decide to put yourself out there and showcase your work on social media apps such as TikTok and Instagram?


I used to be obsessed with beauty influencers on Instagram and YouTube. I used to die when I saw the PR drops they’d receive and all the makeup and opportunities to work with brands. I knew that’s what I wanted to do too!

My makeup Instagram page has been around a while, I’ve only really gotten into it recently and really started putting the work in. My TikTok kind of started off as a joke. At first, it was me doing dances and getting 20 views to now posting and getting 20 million views! I love making TikToks and I’m genuinely obsessed with them so I find it easy to do them, it’s not work at all for me it’s more like a hobby.

What has the response been like to your videos? Have you dealt with any online trolling and if so, how do you handle it?


I’ve definitely received some hate based on my appearance – usually to do with my false tan or lip fillers. Thankfully, I’m super sure of myself and comments like this don’t really affect me. The way I view trolls online is that if they were happy, they wouldn’t be saying or doing things like this.

I really pity people who feel the need to drag others down. It shows how down they must feel in themselves if they can’t be happy for others success. For the most part, I ignore the hate. Sometimes I engage for the laugh but all they’re looking for is a reaction so it’s best to just ignore or delete the comments.

@paintedbyciaraI don’t know the girl in the red lipstick ##fyp ##fy ##foryou ##foryoupage ##makeup ##makeuplook ##transformation #hotgirlsummer ##redlip ##redlipstick ##mua♬ original sound – Maya Karli

How did it feel when your videos started to blow up?

It was so wild when they started to blow up. My cousin used to slag me because I’d put up videos and get 4 views. I never did it for views or even expected them to blow up. It just kind of happened. I was getting such positive feedback from people about my videos and people saying they found them addictive to watch. This made me want to create more and do better.


How did you stay inspired and motivated to create looks and content over the lockdown?

I love doing my makeup, it makes me feel good and it gives me something to do. I wasn’t working for 4 months so I knew I had to give myself a routine to stay sane! I told myself I’d have to create 2/3 looks a week and make TikToks of the looks as well as getting some Insta content. This kept me busy, increased my engagement and overall got me where I am today. Consistency in posting really makes a difference. I had posts lined up and ready to go for a week in advance. It really helps with the growth of my pages.

What are your go-to beauty products?

My go-to beauty products would be an endless list so I’ll give you 5! First up is the La-Roche Posay SPF 50 sunscreen for my Irish skin. Secondly, MAC Cosmetics Strobe Cream in PinkLite. Also, Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter in shade 4, perfect for that everyday glow.

I have recently become obsessed with the SOSU by SJ Complete Contour Palette, it’s so creamy and amazing! Finally, MAC Cosmetics Mineralise Powders – they are beautiful and blend like a dream!

Would you like to create your own range of products? Do you have anything exciting planned for the year ahead?

I would absolutely love to have my own range of products, in fact I’d love my own brand! I see so many gaps in the market for beauty products that I’d love to create. Working in retails helps with this, I constantly have people coming in asking for products that don’t exist which gives me inspiration for things I could possibly bring out in the future.

My plans for the year ahead is to really grow my social media platforms and get my name more out there. I’d love to do more collaborations with brands and work on up skilling my makeup and be the best version of myself that I can be!


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