Bellamianta CEO Linda Stinson brings us behind the scenes of first makeup launch with Paddy McGurgan

Pic: Evan Doherty for VIP Magazine

To celebrate the launch of Paddy McGurgan’s debut makeup collection, ‘The HeART Of Beauty’ we caught up with the professional makeup artist and Bellamianta CEO Linda Stinson to chat about their hot new collab, beauty heroes and what’s next for the brand… 

What an exciting collaboration. Paddy, you must be over the moon! As a makeup artist of 20 years, has this always been the dream of yours, to launch your own range?

Yeah, I was so thrilled when it came about! It’s been fantastic to work right through this process. It’s been long, but it’s been brilliant. We couldn’t have done any better. Working with Bellamianta, I knew we were always going to get quality ingredients and formulation. It’s been really great.

Linda, Bellamianta is known for tan, but this is a first for the brand, dabbling into the world of makeup. Tell us, how did it all come about?

It’s been a long-term strategy and we always wanted to branch out to colour cosmetics. I was a makeup artist in the past so it’s always been a love of mine and something I’ve always been really passionate about. Over the last few years, we’ve been making small moves over this direction, bringing out glow products for your skin and bronzing drops. This was a natural progression from that. When I knew we were launching into the cosmetics world, I wanted to collaborate with someone in the industry who had credibility and Paddy has been a professional makeup artist for a long time. We knew of each other from the industry and I knew how well-respected he was. We had a discussion in work one day and Paddy’s name was the first to come up. I knew he’d be fantastic, reached out to Paddy and he accepted.

Pic: Evan Doherty for VIP Magazine

Paddy, you’ve worked with some of the biggest names in showbiz over your years but also see regular clients all the time too. Did that stand to you, knowing what works well across a multitude of different faces, and what different people want?

P: Definitely! Having the ability to know what the average person wants when they sit in your chair, them telling you what they don’t like about their face, what they’re frustrated about, was vital information I was able to take into the collection.
L: We were definitely on the same page with that. Whenever we discussed the collection, we wanted it to be for everyone to use, every day.

You both thrive in different areas but definitely have common interests across the business and beauty side of things, so how collaborative was this process, was it nice to have someone else to lean on and bounce ideas off?

L: Oh definitely! Paddy was in total control of the formulations.
P: 100 per cent. But at the same time, I was able to lean on Linda and say well try it and tell me what you think. You should never be so cocky in that you’ll think your way is perfect. To be good at something, you always have to leave a margin for error. I was so fixated with making sure the formulas were right, and when I thought I got it, I’d go to the others and get their opinions.
L: It has to be something that when people buy it, they’re happy with it. With Bellamianta, we have a lot of women in our offices, in different age ranges and they’re our target clients. We let everyone try the products to see what they thought.

Pic: Evan Doherty for VIP Magazine

What was the most difficult part of this process for you both? Any standout challenges?

L: I think it was the time in which we did it. It was a long and drawn-out process. With COVID, it took a lot longer than what we initially anticipated, so that in itself was very frustrating. We were
told our products would arrive in March, and then it wouldn’t be until June, then it wouldn’t be until September. It was frustrating. In terms of formulation though, it gave us a little bit more time to actually focus on it and make sure we got it all right.

Paddy tell us, as a professional MUA, we’re coming into the festive season and there’s sure to be plenty of nights out. Talk us through your beauty bag staples and the key products we can use to achieve a red-carpet-worthy look.

P: Our skin becomes very dehydrated at this time, so you want to have a good moisturiser, something that’s gel based. I think also making sure you have a luminosity to your skin is vital, so
whether it’s in your foundation or you wear something underneath to give a good glow. When it comes to the eyes, for this season, I don’t think we are going to see super intense looks but instead, very soft glam with a hint of a delicate sparkle on top. Instead of going for something chunky, try a dust that gives a seamless application.

Pic: Evan Doherty for VIP Magazine

If you both had to choose one hero product each from the collection, what would it be and why?

P: The bronzing stick!! It’s just what I’ve wanted for so long. It’s so easy to use on the face and I use it on the eyes too as a base for the eyeshadows to rest into. It’s my hero product!
L: Mine has to be the eyeshadow palette. Being a makeup artist and having worked for so many different brands, whenever I’d be working away, I would have always had to take a load of palettes with me. With this one, it’s the perfect size and has every colour I would need and want. It’s my go-to now, it comes everywhere with me!

Can we expect more from you both in the future, perhaps another product drop the line or is this a one-off special?

P: So thirsty for more! [laughs]
L: There’s already some big discussions going on.
P: We’re throwing around a few ideas, so we’ll see!

Pic: Evan Doherty for VIP Magazine

Linda, between the makeup and the tan, you must be so proud of how far Bellamianta has come over the last number of years since launching in 2015. It’s an incredible achievement.

L: I know! Sometimes when you’re the person behind the brand, it’s very seldom that you step away and take a minute to say ok, I am proud of what we’ve done. I’m very hands-on from
the warehouse to the formulations to the marketing and packaging. You can never been too sure of yourself though. It’s a competitive industry and you need to be always keeping up with the trends and bringing out new products. For us, everything is developed from scratch so bringing a product from idea to fruition takes a lot longer. It’s a lengthy process, but it’s worth it in the end.

When you released your first product, could you have ever imagined things going the way they have and that you’d have the opportunity to work with the people you have?

L: I always had the ambition, but having ambition and actually getting there are two very different things. I didn’t expect it to get so big, I didn’t expect to have a secondary brand in Iconic Bronze but I’m glad it worked out this way I kept pursuing my goals. After the rebrand of Bellamianta, it’s
something I look at on shelves and tell myself I’m proud of creating it.

Pic: Evan Doherty for VIP Magazine

Where would you like to see the brand going over the next few years, do you hope to launch it into new markets further afield or are you happy to focus your attention across Ireland and the UK?

L: I always say this, you’re better cementing your imprint on home territory so that’s here and the UK before we start looking elsewhere. Bellamianta is stocked in America and we have ambitions to take the brand globally, we’re attending trade shows this year which will hopefully get us more of a global reach.

You’ll be celebrating ten years in business in 2025 – which isn’t too far away at all and we’re sure you’ve already got some plans in motion for it! What will you do to mark the occasion? Can we expect big things from Bellamianta during that year in particular?

L: Oh, I’d say there’ll be a party – Bellamianta loves a party! We’ll definitely do something. It’s mad to think it’s so close, those few years will go by in the blink of an eye.

To shop the range, visit


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