Inside My Makeup Bag: Kay Montano

Photo: Via @kaymontano.
Peruse Kay Montano's Instagram or website and you'll see countless famous faces that the international makeup artist has made up impeccably for fashion shoots and events – we're talking Liv Tyler, Kirsten Dunst, Eva Green, Claudia Schiffer and Nicole Kidman. But unlike her peers, Montano's channels are also filled with an array of images celebrating the diverse beauty and talent of lesser known faces. Montano launched ThandieKay in 2013, with long-term friend and collaborator, actress Thandie Newton, a beauty blog which not only offers makeup tips and tutorials but more importantly, contributes to the necessary conversation about beauty and diversity. The duo met over a decade ago on a shoot for British Vogue, when Thandie felt for the first time that her skin colour was being celebrated with the way in which Kay used and applied products, bringing out a richness and depth to her complexion. The pair decided to set up a website, offering women a place to be inspired by broader beauty ideals than those we typically see in the media. And boy are we thankful for ThandieKay. Below, we stole some time with Kay from her busy schedule in order to delve into her makeup bag, talk tricks of the trade and find out about her hero products.

If you had just five minutes to get ready what would you do/use?
Tie my hair in a topknot, add a hairpiece onto it, put lots of jewellery on, apply BB cream, concealer, blusher, curl my eyelashes and put mascara on. Run out of the door with great shoes and a cool handbag.

Favourite foundation and why?
Skin continually changes throughout your life, so your foundation has to change too. My general go-to however are two Bobbi Brown Foundation sticks as most of us with medium-darker skin need two different shades.

What’s your most trusty highstreet makeup product?
Rimmel mascara and Bourjois blusher.

What’s the one product that you have re-purchased the most over the years?
Shu Uemura eyelash curlers.
What’s the one product you reach for to take you from day to night?
Lip liner. Can you remember the first beauty product you bought in your teens?
An eyeshadow duo from Mary Quant. What's your hair routine?
If I could I'd blow dry, curl or straighten my hair weekly, but my hair is too delicate, and too long for regular heat styling. Because it is not frizzy enough to be an Afro, and not curly enough to be left natural, I wear it up or in a braid most of the time.

What’s the most expensive, luxury beauty product you own?
Various moisturisers!

Can you remember your worst beauty faux pas?
Making my lips and eyebrows thinner, dear oh dear!

Favourite mascara and why?
Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara because I love the brush and strong but non cloggy formula.

Who are your beauty icons?
I have so many! Though I often find myself returning to references of Debbie Harry, Grace Jones and Catherine Deneuve.
Favourite lip product?
Bobbi Brown lip liner in Cocoa. Which is the one, transformative beauty product that makes you feel your best?
Eyelash curlers. What's your favourite beauty trend/look for Autumn 16?
I don't believe in beauty trends or 'looks' at all anymore. I don't think they've actually existed for about 10 years. What are now called 'trends' are more a vehicle created by and for the beauty industry to give their beauty content a narrative. Follow Kay on Instagram @kaymontano

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