But following the tried-and-tested route that so many people in the make-up industry have taken, D.J.’s first model wasn’t a music A-lister, it was himself.
“When I was younger I would experiment with clothes and outrageous hair colours and my interest in make-up went hand-in-hand with that. I used to switch between different looks a lot although I’ve toned it down these days.“
After finishing school at age 18, Toome-born D.J. worked for Illamasqua in Debenhams, Belfast, before moving to his current full time position with MAC Cosmetics, also in Debenhams.
We’ve been fans of his work for a while now, and loved working with D.J. on our recent The Fairest of Them All? Sugahfix photoshoot (pictured above and left). We watch him work his magic and take inspiration from the evil Queen Ravenna, from the new Snow White & The Huntsman movie, in order to create his looks.
We especially loved it when he got to work on creating the fabulously dramatic smoky eyes he does so well. And what else would an evil queen have but a killer pout? D.J. knew just how to interpret the style brief and it was clear that this young local make-up artist will keep getting better and better.
At the age of just 21, D.J. – whose full name is Dominic John, but he’s known to everyone as D.J. – has already marked himself out as a talent to watch.
“I’m currently trying to work my way up in the business, working on photoshoots and trying to finish my portfolio,” he says. “But my goal over the next few years would be to do the fashion weeks in London, Paris and Milan.
“I’m excited by it all. I like all aspects of the make-up industry, but I’m very excited by the dramatic and creative elements. My inspiration would be Alex Box, the London-based make-up artist. She does a lot of dramatic visual things but it’s all still really beautiful.”
Between Beth Ditto and Alex Box (the self-proclaimed ‘artist who works with make-up’) we’re seeing a trend in D.J.’s admiration for women who aren’t afraid to take risks and who see drama as an integral part of their look.
But D.J. also knows how best to flatter a woman’s face, bringing out her character and best features by his skilful use of colour, shade, tone, shadowing, highlighting and texture.
Working for MAC means it’s his job to stay on top of the latest trends, which he can then transfer over to his freelance work, including photo shoots and wedding make-up.
And on the day Sugahfix spoke to him he was just back from Dublin, where he had attended a MAC seminar. “The trends for spring/summer 2012 are all very fresh,” says D.J., “so not too heavy on foundation and concealer. It’s a natural and fresh look, and then if you want you can have more drama around the eyes. But if you’re going for a smoky eye look then tone down cheeks and lips.”
D.J. is currently working on his portfolio and has several weddings booked throughout the summer. But his career is something he’s been thinking about and planning for a long time.
“By the time I’m 25 I’d just love to still be working all the time and obviously I’d like to have done some international fashion weeks by then.
“With make-up, you’re always learning, there’s always something new in terms of products and trends. I just want to keep on always learning new things.”
*To contact D.J. Griffin, telephone 07743 451465 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out his facebook page here
Top right: Photographer: Ruairi Drayne, Model: Jayne Higgins at CMPR Talent, MUA D.J. Griffin, Hair: Suzan at Zuni Hairdressing, Creative Direction & Styling by Katrina Doran for Sugahfix.com
Left: Photographer: Lee Mitchell, Model: Diona Doherty, MUA: D.J. Griffin, Hair: Jonathan Mckelvey,
Below: Creative Direction: Olivia Muldoon Hair Academy, Photographer: Lee Mitchell, Model: Caroline Taylor, MUA: D.J. Griffin, Hair: Gemma Managh