A Q&A With A Beauty Pro...

6 May 2013

Beauty Insider

A Q&A with a Beauty Pro: tally bookbinder

Tally Bookbinder has a CV that would knock any beauty-loving-celeb-adoring person’s socks off. It is enviable to say the least. She’s worked with the likes of Robbie Williams, Michelle Keegan, Gary Barlow, Sophie Anderton and Gok Wan – and that’s just for starters. Up there with the best professional makeup artists in the beauty industry, we’re not jealous whatsoever that she’s not only worked with, but touched, David Beckham. Nope, not at all..

Tally is an award-winning, highly respected and internationally recognised celebrity makeup artist and hair stylist who boasts over 20 years experience.

Starting at the Dawn Cragg School of Film & TV, she went on to take her dream job in 1994 touring with Take That as their personal makeup artist.

michelle keegan

With extensive credits under her belt such as Snog, Marry, Avoid and more recently designing for Cbeebies, Tally’s creative touch is regularly seen in publications like OK! Hello! Marie Claire and The Telegraph. Her work is featured at prestigious award ceremonies such as the NTA’s and the Soap Awards.

Tally has since become the creative course instructor at the Davy Jones school of SFX as well as balancing her celeb clients, household and being a mum.

This lady is wonder woman!

We caught her on the phone for a quick-fire Q&A:

Q. Describe your typical working day…  tally bookbinder beauty tips

I’ll check my emails first thing, check the call sheets for the job I’m on for the day and prepare my kit for what I need. I’ll clean my makeup brushes, sort any electrical bits and prep any hair pieces I need. I’ll make sure they’re the right things for the right person – it all depends on what model/actor/client I’m working on that day. When I’m at the shoot I’ll lay out the kit ready for the client, meet with the art director to see how they want the models to look, I’ll meet with the photographer to check the lighting and I’ll get working.

Q. What’s your go-to beauty product?

Smashbox primer. It’s an oil-free primer that goes under foundation – it’s absolutely pointless putting foundation on without it! It makes foundation last all day. It has a silicone layer and stops foundation sinking into the skin and generally looks so much nicer than if you haven’t used it. Skin looks cleaner and so much more natural with it on.

mac 5Q. Which beauty product do you love the smell of?

Mac lipstick – The matte range.  They smell of sweeties!


Q. What’s your favourite perfume?

I really can’t choose – Each one is very special. I have a favourite for different reasons, times and occasions.

If I go out my hubby I’ll wear the perfume I wore on my wedding day because I know he loves that and If I’m going out with my mum, I’ll wear the perfume that she bought me.

Q. Favourite beauty tip?

Drink lots of water – It hydrates you, plumps the skin and stops it looking dull. I’d say aim for 8 glasses a day: Keep a bottle of water by your bed, one in your car, and one in your handbag – Keep sipping and before you know you’ll have drunk more than 8! It’s seriously better than any cream! Water has a knock-on effect: It is amazing for your teeth, eyes, skin, complexion: everything!

Also - Sleep is a massive one. If you have plenty of that you’ll be well on the way to brilliant. tally bookbinder beauty tip

Q. How many perfumes do you own?

This may sound ridiculous but: 20. My best friend works for a perfume company and she gives me free samples all the time – it’s brilliant!

Q. What’s the biggest mistake someone could make with their makeup?

Applying it in the wrong light. I usually do it in a proper studio with bright lights but if you’re at home, you need natural light. By this I mean flat light from the window, not over-spilling light or a light in the room. If it means putting the mirror directly on the window sill and facing the window then that’s perfect. It’ll show your complexion in its truest form so when you step outside it doesn’t look like you’ve been tangoed.

Q. Who’s your beauty idol?


Beyonce! Not many people can look so good with just clear coat of lipgloss on. She has the most perfect coffee-colour skin tone – I just adore everything about her. She is so natural and it really doesn’t take much for her to look amazing. In fact, when she has too much makeup on – it ruins her a bit… Beyonce doesn’t have stupid injection in her lips or any work done – she’s a natural beauty.

Q. Where would you love to go on holiday but haven’t yet?

It’s hard to say having just got back from the two most perfect places ever for my honeymoon: Bali and Singapore.

I'm also really lucky that my job lets me travel to places I would never dream of!

Let’s just say I would love to go back to – Disney Land, Florida. We went 3 years ago with the kids and that’s the one place they never stop talking about. It’s magical.


            Q. Is there a perfume that takes you to a special memory?

youth dew

 I love smelling old ladies perfume – I’m sure everyone feels the same. I just love the gorgeous, sweet-smelling perfumes that lovely old ladies wear.

Estee lauder – Youth Dew, takes me back to lovely memories of my grandma and sitting with her at her dressing table when I was little. I know it was launched like 50 years ago! (1953!) I remember sat there going through all her powder puffs and lipsticks – it smelt incredible.


Q. If you could invent your own lipstick to describe you – what would it be called?

“Glass Half Full” – One thing anybody who knows me will say that I like to see the positive in anything.

Some of the names of the lipsticks I see are crazy! I like to think ‘Glass Half Full is a little less cliché and a little more quirky. 

Q. Define what beauty means to you: louise bride

You can meet people who are literally so perfectly beautiful; they’ll have porcelain skin and not an imperfection to be seen, but they’re not always beautiful on the inside to match.

I think beauty is more often found in the people who aren’t as aesthetically pleasing – there needs to be a good balance of not just looking beautiful but looking further within for that beautiful personality. It shines through when people are genuine.

Q. Do you have a ‘Makeup Motto’?

“A little bit of lippy wouldn’t go a miss!”

My friends always laugh at me for saying this: It’s definitely become my motto – they write it in cards and everything!

gemma mernaI think they’re always cautious about how and if they choose to wear makeup when they come to see me because of my job but I’m not mean! However, if they come to me looking like they’ve just rolled out of bed, I WILL say to them: “A little bit of lippy wouldn’t go a miss!”.

 It’s true though! Lipstick can wake your face up and brighten up your whole appearance – I know so many people are too busy to put a full face of makeup on, but seriously, lipsticks takes one minute and makes such a difference!


tally quote


tally loves


You can find Tally BookBinder at:


Website: http://www.tallybookbinder.co.uk/

Twitter:  @tallybookbinder

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