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Max May – Hair and Makeup Artist


Max May is one of Australia’s leading hair & makeup artists – working alongside notable clients such as Rose Byrne, Teresa Palmer, Abbie Cornish, Sarah Murdoch and Lara Bingle, whilst working on the covers & pages of fashion bibles HARPER’S BAZAAR Australia, Singapore and China, OYSTER, RUSSH Magazine, ELLE Japan, GRAZIA Australia, UK and Italy, and TEN Magazine.

Starting off as a Hair Stylist, Max soon moved in to working with Makeup due to his long-term love affair with drawing & painting. Taking cues from the techniques used in visual arts, along with the combination of colour palettes, Max soon moved up the ranks in the Beauty & Fashion Industry as the one to watch.

Although self-taught, Max’s intuitive sense of artistry and skill make him one of the most sought-after Australian Makeup artists, working along side such brands as La Mer, MAC, Becca Cosmetics and L’Oreal. And to top it all off Max is just a great guy and a lot of fun to be around!

Check out Max’s blog here:



Q & A:

1) Did you study H&M/or just learn on the job/teach yourself? Who were some of your greatest creative influences during this time? (photographers, references, peers or other)

I’m pretty much a self taught Hair & Makeup artist. I started my career assisting. It started with hair that came very naturally to me cutting friends hair through my early twenties. I started playing with makeup experimenting with colour and shading when I started assisting. I had many influences and was always looking through magazines and books to find inspiration and define myself and my style. Photographers like Steven Klein, Mert & Marcus, Avedon, and Helmut Newton were huge parts of my beginning and still today! Makeup artist like Charlotte Tilbury, Kevyn Aucoin and Pat McGrath inspire me on a daily bases.

2) What do you feel makes someone a great hair and make up artist?

Having a style that is recognized.

3) How would you describe your creative style/trademark look, and do you feel it has changed over the years as you’ve grown as an artist?

The part of my style that is mostly recognised would have to be my skin, conturing and use of warm bronzy gold colour and my beach wave “day after hair’! I think my style has expanded and grown a lot in the last few years especially since starting Maxmade my beauty blog where I have had the opportunity to experiment and create beauty images that would not be that accessible in the Australian market.

4) Do you prefer to work on shoots/events or on shows? Do you have an all time favorite photo, shoot or job that you’ve worked on? If so – what is it of/is there a story behind it?

Everyday is a completely different day to the last, you never know what to expect and the challenges are always new. I believe that you are only as good as your last job. I have had many moments in my time especially in my early days shooting with people like stylist – Mark Vassalo and photographers – Simon Lekias and Georges Antoni are some of my most memorable as I was so fresh and wide eyed.

5) What do you love most about your job?

Being creative and being surrounded by people that share similar visions.

6) Do you have any tricks of the trade or magic products that you cant’ live without in your kit? / never leave home without?

Eye lash curls I could not live or do a makeup without. YSL Radiant Touch, Tom Ford Contour and Illuminate, Becca Cosmetics Shimmering perfectors, O&M Seat Salt Spray, Elnett Hairspray and La Mer Lip Balm

7) As a creative person – who and what inspires you? / What are you passionate about? / What motivates you to be better?

The smallest of things in your day to day life can inspire you – from a movie to exhibition you may go and see. I’m motivated by the desire to always challenge myself. To push myself and take myself out of my comfort zone. I love that rush you feel; it makes me feel alive.

8) What do you enjoy to do in your down time when you’re not working?

I train at the gym, do yoga, run, travel, spend time with my friends and my boyfriend. I like to cook and I love to day-dream of what is possible.

9) What next – any other interesting projects on the horizon/future goals you are yet to achieve? (feel free to plug any new collaborations, your blog, products etc here)

Travel, love and my art is always my main focus. My blog Maxmade will be a huge part of the next few years for me. I started it late last year as an outlet for my creative juices and since then it has grown into a full-time job, reaching out to everyday girls wanting to learn & get inspired about hair and makeup, getting insider tips and tricks and finding out the hottest and all time faithful products on the market that artists like myself use as a hair and makeup professional in the fashion and beauty industry.



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