CREDITS – All images sourced from Arnold Milfort

In a tell-all conversation with The Peacock Magazine, Hiromi speaks about her pathway into the world of beauty, her most memorable moments as a make-up artist and what her definition of ‘Beauty’ is.



A glance at Hiromi Ueda’s make-up artistry will tell you she is not your regular artist. She’s a lot more—and in all her make-up ways, extraordinary. Her noteworthy work has made it to some of the top-notch fashion brands like Armani Beauty, Loewe and more, along with leading fashion publications across the world. A self-confessed versatile artist, Hiromi’s signature stroke is to enhance the beauty of the person sitting on her make-up chair, in a natural way.

Q) What were your growing-up years like?

Hiromi Ueda (HU): All in all I had a good and protected childhood! I can remember always having a big imaginative, fanciful mind, spending quite a lot of time outside, daydreaming, drawing and painting. On the other hand, I have always been sporty and active too. In my teenage years, I was influenced a lot by my big sister who was really into American TV shows which opened up a whole new world for me since it showed me a completely different lifestyle than what we had in Japan at that time. My first introduction to beauty started when I was looking through fashion magazines. I would recreate the looks on my friends after school.

Q) How and when did you realise your calling to become a make-up artist? Did you always want to become one?

HU: First my parents encouraged me to follow an academic path and that’s why I started studying German literature. As soon as I graduated I decided to move to England which was in 2000. In my first two years in London, I spent my time studying English in the mornings and then hanging out with friends in the afternoons and weekends. We would go out to parties a lot and that’s the time when I met a friend who was studying make-up. She inspired me, so I ended up studying make-up at Westminster College and then graduating. I developed such a great passion for it and was so happy to have finally found something that I really loved doing, that I reached out to friends and everyone who had contacts in the industry to introduce me to working make-up artists that I could assist to gain experience.

Q) How did you land your first assignment?

HU: After long years of assisting mainly Alex Box and working on shows with Petros Petrohilos and Diane Kendal, I met my first agent backstage who invited me for a meeting to show my portfolio. Then they took me in at Julian Watson agency and I started working on loads of editorials to build up connections with collaborators.

Q) When did you get your first big break?

HU: It probably was the series with Katie Grand, Alasdair McLellan and Sølve Sundsbø for Love magazine in 2011 which were very exciting and creative.

Q) How do you decide the looks for any shoot, especially brand campaigns? Do you always go by the memo or do you choose to go by your instincts?

HU: I follow the direction of the brand but I still always like to put my personal artistic input into the looks. I look at the model’s features (of the face) as well and adjust accordingly. So a lot of my creative process actually happens in the moment when I have the model in front of me.



Q) How would you describe your signature look?

HU: I am a very versatile make-up artist, I don’t have one signature look since I love creating all types of make-up for different occasions but I do love the use of colour. For a big make-up look I often use bold colours on the eyes and on lips but always make sure to have the contrast of radiant and very natural skin for these. On the other hand, I’m known for enhancing one’s (my client’s) own beauty in a natural way, elevating and enhancing the models’ features.

Q) What have been the highlights of your career until now?

HU: Working for French Vogue with David Sims and Emmanuelle Alt, associating with my agency Art + Commerce and working with Cindy Crawford were big highlights in my career. I also had the pleasure of working with actress Deepika Padukone. Most recently being appointed as ‘The Global Make-up Artist’ for Armani Beauty was a big milestone since it was my dream for many years.

Q) What’s your definition of ‘Beauty’?

HU: My definition of beauty is kindness inside out. It’s about bringing out the best in yourself.

Q) Who is your ultimate make-up icon and why?

HU: Rumiko, who is the founder of RMK. Since I came across and read her book, I wanted to become a make-up artist too.

Q) Who is your style icon?

HU: ’90s Supermodels like Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell. In my work today I can see the massive influence they had in my make-up style.



Q) Debunk the biggest make-up myth you’ve heard.

HU: Make-up causes acne. While certain make-up products can clog pores and exacerbate acne for some individuals, many modern formulations are non-comedogenic and won’t cause breakouts if used properly.

Q) What’s the craziest styling request you’ve ever had?

HU: Doing a full airbrushed body paint, head to toe with a stencil pattern on several people in a limited time.

Q) Who would you love to give a makeover to?

HU: It would be fun to travel back in time to do Cleopatra’s make-up with the make-up that they used at that age.

Q) Where’s the strangest place/set you’ve ever done someone’s make-up?

HU: When I did Maggie Smith’s make-up for Loewe we had to turn off the lights and close all the curtains, as her eyes were sensitive to any light.

Q) What are the three make-up products you can’t live without?

HU: A primer with sunscreen, mascara and lipstick.

Q) What is your number one skincare tip?

HU: I like to do my own quick face mask, soaking cotton pads in a hydrating primer and placing it all over my face before applying serums and moisturisers.

Q) Which is that one make-up product or tool that is always in your kit?

HU: Luminous silk foundation. All shades are decanted into Kitpak bottles and bags to save space.

Q) What’s one celebrity beauty secret we might not know about, but should?

HU: Double-sided tape behind the ear to hold the ear back.

Q) What do you love most about what you do?

HU: To witness boosting people’s confidence after they see my make-up results on their faces.

Q) Who cuts your hair?

HU: Naoki Komiya.

Q) What skincare product still needs to be invented?

HU: More anti-aging products.

Q) What would we be if make-up never existed?

HU: Unemployed and bored.

Q) What are your future plans?

HU: I would love to be able to create my own products.




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